Gambling in a casino is great fun, whether you visit a land-based branch or a website. However, it has a disadvantage as well: the risk of becoming addicted to gambling. Some people are more sensible to addiction than others, and might become problematic gamblers. Do you know that there are several types of problematic gamblers? In the following article we will explain them to you.
Several phases of gambling addiction
Although gambling is no substance, it’s still considered to be addictive. You can compare it to a drug- or alcohol addiction. A gambling addiction develops in several phases. It begins with the ‘winning phase’, in which the gambler has a lot of self-confidence. He or she thinks the winning strike will never end. This is obviously not the case. In the ‘losing phase’ a person can lose so much money that it will eventually develop into the ‘desperate phase’. In practice these phases often merge into eachother.
The winning phase
Researchers have looked into the three phases we’ve just mentioned. A person who in the ‘winning phase’ plays regularly with short breaks. He or she gambles in an intense way and loves the kick of winning. The gambler is in a so-called winning strike and becomes more and more optimistic about his or her winning chances. During this phase, there are no real problems yet. The first signs are already there though. For example, the gambler plays for many hours and loses his or her sense of time more and more. The amount of money spend during a game also slowly increases. Although the gambler doesn’t borrow money, he or she does spend money for other occasions on gambling. Friends begin to notice and sometimes comment on the time and money that is spend on gambling. However, the gambler says that there’s no problem and that everything is under control.
Don’t let gambling become an obsession
The danger of the ‘winning phase’ is that addiction is closer than it seems. The gambler fantasizes about a big win and hopes to be very fortunate very soon. He or she spends more money and begins to use all kinds of strategies to ‘influence the game’, although that is not really possible. Practice makes perfect they say, but it shouldn’t become an obsession. Be careful if practice becomes a big part of your day. It’s also not a good sign when a gambler says that a loss is the result of ‘weaker moments’. He or she blames factors like not enough concentration or a low quality slot machine. To make up for the loss, another round of gambling must take place. And another round, and another one… Everything that the gambler wins is put back in the game.