Is Gambling an Addiction?


Gambling is a type of activity in which a person bets money or other values on an uncertain event. It requires consideration, risk, and prize. Moreover, it may be an addictive activity if people become overly obsessed with it. However, in some cases, it may be used as a self-soothing behavior. For instance, a person may be playing a gambling game to sooth unpleasant feelings.

Gambling is a major international commercial activity

It’s no secret that gambling is a large international commercial activity. In 2009, the legal gambling market was worth $335 billion. However, not all gambling is conducted with money. In games such as marbles, players wager nonmonetary items in exchange for a chance to win. Players of Magic: The Gathering stake collectible game pieces. Regardless of the medium used, gambling is a large international commercial activity.

It can lead to addiction

A recent decision by the American Psychiatric Association has acknowledged that gambling can lead to addiction. The recent research supports the link between gambling and addiction. Addicts who are born into a family with a history of addiction are likely to inherit the same genetic pattern. This suggests that the urge to gamble may be a family trait. While the APA has not yet defined gambling as an addiction, it has noted the similarities between gambling and other addictive behaviors.

It can be a way to self-soothe unpleasant feelings

While it is natural to be drawn to the lure of winning and escaping unpleasant emotions, gambling is also a destructive habit that can cause depression, anxiety, or even suicidal thoughts. If you have a gambling problem, you should try to avoid it and find other healthy ways to self-soothe. You can practice relaxation techniques, talk to friends who don’t gamble, or volunteer your time. If your gambling habit is not under control, seek professional help to overcome it.

It can be a way to make money

While there are many benefits to gambling, you should never treat it as a source of income. Even if you do win, you should budget for the potential loss and plan accordingly. This applies to chance-based gambling like lottery tickets, bingo games, gaming machines, etc., in which all players have an equal chance of winning. The best way to prevent losing is to budget for the expenses of gambling. Once you understand what motivates your gambling habits, you can take steps to prevent it.