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The Psychology of Gambling Addiction

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  • Written by Kyle Jackson
  • Updated December 16

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The activity of gambling has been around for ages. Many people in the past up the present see gambling as a glorified activity that personifies wealth, power and intelligence. When you watch films or TV shows that has the concept of gambling, the gambling lords are often the powerful and rich ones. This gave people the idea that they can be like that in real life when they gamble. But it is not enough to say that people would want to get rich and powerful through gambling. This needs a much deeper thought. With this article, the psychology of gambling addiction will be dissected to make it more understandable.

Reasons for Gambling

There are many reasons people gamble. Some take gambling as a pastime; something that can help them relax and have fun. For these people, it is just a game to be played and enjoyed. For others, gambling is a hobby; a part of their routine. They may do their usual gambling routine but never exceeding it. And for many, gambling is their way to get money. Some people feel they are lucky and they keep on betting just because of this feeling.

Defining Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is also known as problem gambling. If you gamble just for fun and that you can control and stop yourself from betting, then you do not have a gambling addiction. But the disorder comes when you can no longer stop yourself from gambling and believe that gambling can save you or has become part of your life.

Gambling addiction is perceiving gambling as a drug-like element where you cannot stop and have the urge to use it again. This is considered a mental and behavioral disease, as it will affect the way of thinking of the patient.

Giving In to Gambling Addiction

What makes one addicted to gambling? For many people, gambling is just a game. It is not to be taken seriously or something that should take a major part in one’s life. But just like drugs, there are certain factors that make gambling so addictive to people. So what are the things that can make one give in to gambling addiction?

·         Winning

The feeling of winning games can give one a natural ‘high’ feeling. It is like you wanted to win more. And with this, you keep on betting without realizing that you have already lost more than what you have won.

·         Illusion

Gambling creates the illusion that you can get rich with it. A bettor would always think that he will win the next game and the next game and until he has totally gone out of control.

·         Social influence

When your friends or family are also into gambling, then you will also get hooked on it. If everyone around you enjoys the game of betting, you will also feel the same, especially if you are always with them. This then becomes a habit and will be part of your daily lives.

·         Money

Aside from the feeling of winning, having the feel of money in your hands can also draw one to gambling even more. Getting the monetary reward will make one feel that they need to gamble more to get more money in their hands.


Since gambling addiction is like addiction to substance and alcohol, it is a treatable disorder. The first step to treatment is acknowledgement and accepted. One needs to accept to himself that he has a gambling addiction and they need treatment. Acceptance will make one become more aware that he will undergo the process of rehabilitation and that he needs to cooperate. There are several programs being offered to a person with gambling addiction. There will be diagnosis, counselling, detox, rehabilitation, aftercare and others. The program will depend on your level of addiction.

It is a good thing that there are now many organizations that aim to help people with gambling problems. They can be consulted for treatment programs and procedures. People who suffer gambling addiction should get into treatment right away or the problem will get bigger and bigger. As gambling these days has become easier to access with the arrival of online gambling sites, people should always remember that they need self-control and responsibility in order to avoid gambling problems.  

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