Why Gambling is so Addictive: Reasons and Evidence


Why Do People Gamble? Gambling can be defined as any behavior involving the risk of money or valuables on the outcome of a game, contest, or another event on platforms such as ufabet. Not only is gambling an extremely popular activity, but it is also a very expensive, sometimes devastating one. Although it occasionally turns that lucky person into a millionaire, it much more often throws a person into financial ruin, digging him or her in holes too deep to recover from. If it becomes addicting, which it often does, it can even ruin a person’s life and marriage. So if the chance of losing and the pain that loss can cause is so much greater than the chance of winning and the happiness that winning can bring, why exactly do people gamble? Gambling is an activity that is done socially, can add fun and excitement to one’s life, and of course, gives a person a chance to win money.

Many people gamble for the sole purpose to win money or help with a financial problem. Some people may start gambling to try and get themselves out of debt. However, many people who gamble for this reason often end up losing even more money than they started out owing. Say for instance a person goes into a casino one day and loses $200. The next day he/she goes back to try and make his/her money back and loses $400. The person, who originally was trying to make money, now is just trying to make back the money he/she has already lost and come out even. Some people gamble because they are good at it and consistently win money. A professional poker player may have played long enough where they know the odds of winning each hand and are good at reading other players. In blackjack, some people are able to “count cards,” allowing them to accurately predict the next card coming based on percentages and odds. A person may also be good at betting on professional sports because they have done a lot of research and know the teams well. Sometimes a person may be feeling lucky and think it’s his/her lucky day despite consistent losses in the past. Furthermore, a person may gamble solely because he/she is confident in his/her abilities. This person may bet on something as simple as making a basketball shot or a round of golf.

Gambling has greatly grown in popularity because it is very fun and exciting. The rise in popularity can clearly be seen in the World Series of Poker, a poker tournament in Las Vegas involving a $10,000 tournament buy-in. The World Series of Poker official website states the number of players in the tournament has grown from 839 people in 2003 to 8,773 people in 2007. Many love the challenge and adrenaline rushes that these card games and other forms of gambling bring. There are many types of gambling, each involving a different skill. Card games require a person to know odds, be able to read other players that are opponents, and of course require luck. Slot machines require a lot of patience because many times it takes a lot of spins to win big. Betting on sports requires an understanding of the teams playing and the Vegas lines which means some research is necessary. The many types of gambling allow someone who fails at one type to find something they are good at. Some may say that the level of competition goes up if there is something on the line. A friendly one-on-one basketball game can turn into a fierce competition in which the players would do anything to win now that they have something at risk. Many find this competition more enjoyable. Sometimes gambling is done because someone may be bored, and it is something easy and exciting to do. It is even so easy to gamble now that it can be done online, at the convenience of one’s home in the forms of online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks, such as Bodog and the Ultimate Bet. Recently, Betting on sports has also dramatically grown. The Super Bowl is the most widely bet on a game in the world. According to the American Gaming Association, an estimated $8 billion is wagered every year on the Super Bowl. March Madness, the NCAA basketball tournament involving 64 college basketball teams, is second with an estimated $2.5 billion dollars bet during the tournament. A fan may bet on his/her favorite sports team to show support, or a person may bet on a sporting event just to add meaning to a game they would otherwise care nothing about. For example, pre-season football games are very commonly bet on just to make them exciting to watch. A game that means nothing to the team now means everything to the gambler. This is just another instance in which gambling can add excitement to an otherwise boring event.

Although not believed to be socially acceptable by many, gambling is an activity that is often done socially. Home poker games involving a bunch of friends getting together to play cards are becoming very popular. These often include a lot of food and drinks, with laughter very commonly heard. They serve the same purpose as going out to the movies or going bowling, to have fun. Bachelor and bachelorette parties often take place at a casino, involving group gambling and drinking for hours. Others may go to the casino just to meet new people. Betting on a game with a group of friends such as a round of golf is also very common. This provides some friendly competition and often includes trash-talking, fun, and more laughter along the way. The winner then has bragging rights until the next time they meet for a rematch. Gambling is also something that most of the time doesn’t require much physical success, although it does often bring much mental strain, so it can be done at any age. An athlete cannot perform at the same level as he/she could at a young age because his/her body may wear down. However, someone who gambles can do so at any age and may even get better as he/she gets older from experience. Doyle Brunson, “The Texas Dolly,” is a very successful professional poker player who is now 74 years old and has been playing poker for over 50 years. In no other sport is an athlete able to compete for that long. Gambling events are even organized for the elderly including weekly bingo nights and other related activities.

Gambling has been around forever and will continue to play a great role in society. Even though it can bring much pain and misfortune to a person, ruining his/her future, it is still a big part of many people’s lives. It is not only participated in for the chance to win money, but also many other reasons. If someone who gambles does so with intelligence, it can bring much fun and excitement to a person for the remainder of his/her life.