Online Gambling Addiction

It starts off with a $10-20 bet, where you may even win $1000, and then everything gets back very quickly. Taking high risks is a part of human nature. We love doing extreme sports, hitchhiking, or walking deep in the forest.

We are not aware of what is the real cause of the addiction. It is the dopamine rush. Dopamine is a chemical produced by the hypothalamus, a small area of the brain that helps you feel good. It activates the same pleasurable reward pathways in our brains as eating tasty food, listening to good music, having sex, or betting at online casino sites like Dopamine increases while you are getting closer to a potential win.

Nowadays, problem gambling affects as many as 1% of the population.

Who is having a gambling problem?

Extreme gambling is considered a disorder by the World Health Organization.

Yes, it is ok to place a minimum bet and quit playing after the first loss. But this could get out of hand real fast — when gambling disrupts your daily life.

In 2016, the Gambling Commission suggested problem gamblers were:

The warning signs of gambling addiction are feelings of stress or anxiety while playing and afterwards too, betting more than players afford to lose, and gambling until feeling the same “high” as before.

Why do people become addicted?

Online gambling addiction resembles alcohol or drug abuse. These additions cause real problems when they become compulsive. The habits flow from two different reward pathways in our brain — liking and wanting.

Liking is a spontaneous thrill of doing something pleasant (e.g. eating a lemon pie). Wanting is a desire to do it — eat the pie seen in the grocery store. Wanting strengthens our desire and motivates us to buy it.

Gambling addiction is a rewiring of these reward systems. When people become addicted, liking and wanting systems are no longer intertwined. The wanting remains at the same level while liking decreases gradually.

The addicted man needs to be more engaged in gambling to get the same level of pleasure.

There is one more addictive behaviour factor we should consider. Some people are at a greater risk because their family members suffer from an addiction or players are stressed themselves. Finally, nature plays a significant role: problem gamblers may have lower impulse-control than others who do not suffer from the negative impact of online gambling.

Mobile Gambling

The online gambling industry would not have been one of the biggest in the world if casino games were not on mobile devices. Mobile gambling allows people to stay tuned 24/7, sometimes placing automatic bets. Undoubtedly, technology has made gambling much more available now. A smartphone in hand allows you to make a bet at any time and place. Besides, more and more mobile applications appear in AppStore and Google Play. It’s much handier to play via an app. Plus, casino operators make you turn on the popping notifications like “latest slots”, “best bonus codes”, etc. A person becomes nervous. A player is afraid of missing the chance to win. It is the trick casino operators use to make people gamble more often.

Final Thoughts

Online gambling has gained a sound footing in the 21st century: more and more players suffer from gambling addiction. It happens because of several factors. No doubt, mobile devices have played a role, letting players bet with one click. But we should not underestimate other aspects like an addicted family member or stress.

If you see the first warning signs, do not ignore them. Contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network: 1-800-522-4700.


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