What Causes Problem Gambling



  1. What Causes Problem Gambling Losses
  2. What Causes Problem Gambling
  3. What Causes Problem Gambling Addiction

Problem gambling occurs when someone has lost control of their gambling behaviors. Someone who has a problem with gambling is likely to engage in high risk and even criminal behaviors to support their gambling. When unable to continue gambling, someone with problem gambling behaviors is likely to experience intense urges and cravings to gamble. The Causes of Gambling Addiction. The causes are various. It may start when you play in a high-risk bet. The incredible thing is that you win the bet. Because of the unexpected result, you think that you should try it again and again. It seems your adrenaline pumps anytime you make risky bets.

What is gambling addiction?

Gambling refers to an activity in which a person risks something valuable to them in order to win something in return. Common forms of gambling include betting in casinos or on sporting events.

Gambling disorder describes a loss of control of gambling behavior that causes significant problems with finances, work, or personal relationships. Sometimes it is also called compulsive gambling or problem gambling. People with a gambling disorder are unable to control their gambling activities.

How common is gambling addiction?

Compulsive gambling affects an estimated two to four percent of the population in the United States.

What causes gambling addiction?

An uncontrollable desire for the rush or excitement of winning can lead to compulsive gambling. There is no known cause for this disorder. In some cases, the condition runs in families.

What Causes Problem Gambling Losses

What causes a gambling problemWhat Causes Problem Gambling

What are the symptoms of gambling addiction?

Signs of gambling addiction include:

  • Thinking about gambling more often; having a craving for gambling that grows in intensely
  • Gambling money or possessions you don’t have
  • Needing to make bigger bets more often to achieve the rush of excitement
  • Becoming irritable or restless when trying to stop or slow down gambling
  • Chasing losses (gambling after losing money to win back the loss)
  • Continuing to gamble even when it negatively affects finances, work, or personal relationships
  • Lying to keep gambling activity secret
  • Difficulty controlling gambling activity
  • Gambling when feeling anxious or agitated or to manage other uncomfortable feelings
  • Seeking financial assistance from others due to money problems from gambling
What Causes Problem Gambling

Most people gamble for fun and entertainment. Yet a small proportion does gamble to excess. The Study on Hong Kong People’s Participation in Gambling Activities commissioned by the Home Affairs Bureau in 2012, conducted by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, found less than 2% of the local population could be considered as possible problem gamblers or possible pathological gamblers.

Any negative impact on an individual’s life caused by gambling may be construed as signs of problem gambling. This includes harm to one’s family, financial conditions, work performance, or mental and physical well-being. The most common symptoms of problem gambling are:

Gambling beyond one’s means, at the expense of meeting basic necessities; even using credit card or loans to gamble; or requiring monetary assistance of others because of gambling
Declining work performance and even causing absenteeism
Lying about the gambling behaviour and the amount of money lost
Losing interest in family, friends and other non-gambling related matters, thus causing harm to family relationships
Failing to stop or cut down gambling in spite of repeated attempts
Neglecting everyday activities, and worst still, constantly thinking about gambling

High intensity forms of gambling that offers continuous play and rapid, repeated staking is a major cause of problem gambling behaviours. An obvious example is illegal online gambling games where access is possible seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Forms of gambling where credit is available are also highly conducive to problem gambling.

Other causes may include:

What Causes Problem Gambling
  • Myths such as “sure-win” formulas, or money lost can be won back if one gambles more
  • Problematic social life and lack of family support
  • Absence of life goals
  • Lack of other forms of entertainment, leading one to turn gambling into a habit
  • Use gambling as a means to escape personal problems or to relieve pressure
  • Family and peer influence

The level of severity may vary among problem gamblers, but the harms their behaviour inflicted on their family relationships, financial conditions, work performance, as well as mental and physical health are just as profound. The adverse effects include:

  • Losing interest in social interaction, undermining personal relationships, and even losing the respect and trust of family and friends
  • Poor concentration that impact on learning ability and work performance, leading to absenteeism and even job loss
  • Deflating self esteem
  • Causing health issues, such as insomnia and loss of appetite
  • Inflicting mental problems, such as delirium and confusion
  • Resorting to illegal means to get money for gambling, such as taking out illegal loans or committing crimes

The great majority of people gamble in a controlled way as a form of entertainment. You can follow these useful tips to gamble in a responsible manner:

Don’t borrow to gamble, only place bets within your means

What Causes Problem Gambling

Set and stick to a time frame for gambling activities, take intermittent breaks

What Causes Problem Gambling Addiction

Treat gambling as a form of entertainment, not a means to make money
Don’t cover up or lie about your gambling behaviour