As many people know, gambling can be one of the more devastating vices, causing distinct problems for those unlucky enough to get sucked in.
But of course, as far as addiction goes, some sources of gambling can be more (or indeed less) triggering than others – at least in the initial stages. But what exactly is the worst type of gambling, and what makes them so bad?
Is Some Gambling Worse Than Others?
An outside to the gambling world might not think there is a difference, or indeed that all gambling vices are the same. But the fact of the matter is that this is not true.
Depending on the nature of the game in question, certain games can have distinctly worse effects on the individual over a much shorter period of time – potentially leading to addiction and financial ruin.
What Causes Gambling Addiction?
Of course, depending on the nature of the gambler in question, there can be numerous reasons why gambling can have such a powerful hold over them.
Some simpler forms of gambling – like scratch cards – can deliver quick bursts of thrills, highs, and lows, and can become addictive for those with a susceptible disposition.
The low price of these cards can also add to this, as the expense doesn’t seem like much of a consequence for the potential large payout. However, in most cases, this payout never actually comes.
One thing that makes gambling so attractive to so many people is that it offers the prospect of financial freedom – that is, the freedom from having to work for a living, the freedom from the rat race and financial dependency, or indeed a burst of wealth in the short term that can feel like a real win.
This sense of freedom is attractive, and should not be underestimated.
Thrill Of The Chase
For lifelong gamblers, there is also the thrill of the chase – that is, the thrill of pursuing a fortune that you know or feel should be yours.
This fortune may never come, and it might not even make the person happy (see also “Can Gambling Make You Happy?“), but the anticipation for such a win is a powerful incentive for those suffering from gambling addiction.
One of the main things that fosters gambling addiction in some people is an initial success or reward.
This could be a new, first time gambler who has won a significant amount of money, and then develops an addiction to the feeling they got from the experience.
Many also attach a sense of ‘luck’ to themselves, or a lack thereof, which takes away the responsibility of their actions, and essentially puts power in some ‘higher’ notion – almost like luck becomes a God figure that has their lives in its hands.
Depending on the game, many casinos allow for initial wins and prizes to incentivize people to gamble some more. And while this may indeed seem immoral, it is one of the most common practices in the gaming and gambling industry.
The Most Addictive Forms Of Gambling
There are also some games that are more addictive than others.
Electronic Gambling Machines
These are said to be one of the most addictive forms of modern gambling, and can actually cause addiction to develop in individuals at a much quicker rate than traditional means.
This is down to many reasons, including the instant gratification that they can bring, as well as the independence associated with the process.
Depending on the machine, you can also input your credit card, taking away the association with actual, physical money, and instead reducing it to ones and zeros that don’t seem as consequential.
On a similar level is internet gambling. This obviously hasn’t been around as long as other gambling outlets, but since its inception it has increased casual gambling addiction in countless people all around the world.
One reason is the accessibility, and that you no longer need to go to a casino to gamble. The fact that it is literally a click away means that anyone can access and gamble at any time of the day or night.
There is also the notion of immediate gratification, which can be a powerful attraction for a lot of people with addictive personalities.
How To Recover From Addiction
Luckily, there have never been as many resources as there are today, with everything from rehab centers, support groups, twelve step programs, and even medication.
Confide In A Friend
One of the best things to do when carrying a heavy load is to share the weight. Telling a trusted friend or family member can help to keep you away from situations that could be triggering, and could also help keep you honest and in line.
Twelve Step Programs
Support groups are incredibly effective, and can offer the proper help and support to people with debilitating addictions.
Gambler’s Anonymous is one such group, and they have numerous methods to help – including sharing problems, rewarding good behavior, and assigning you sponsors to help you through.
One of the main things to do is to change your lifestyle. Gambling can often be a large proportion of the addict’s life, and filling that time can be half the battle.
This means discovering new hobbies and pastimes, or taking up exercise to make you feel better physically and mentally.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about gambling, and the worst types that people can get involved with.
It’s true that gambling can be a damaging addiction for many, ruining not only their finances, but every facet of their lives.
Luckily, there are numerous organizations in modern times designed to help and counsel gambling addicts towards more fruitful lives.
So if you think your gambling is becoming a problem, then why not check out some of the help that’s available?