By using our site or services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Gambling Addiction, The Dark Side of Gambling 

Gambling addiction is a serious issue in the entertainment industry

Gambling addiction is the dark side of the online casino business. People who can’t control their gambling are at risk of gambling away all their money and going bankrupt. This leads to a miserable situation for both the person and their loved ones. What should you do if you think you are at risk of being a problem gambler? Why do some people become problem gamblers, and some don’t? These are the things we will discuss in this article.

How to Know if You Have a Gambling Problem

Realizing that you have a gambling problem is an important first step to addressing your gambling addiction. But it’s a step that many problem gamblers never take. They are often unaware that they have a problem. They don’t have the necessary self-awareness to realize that their behaviour is problematic and destructive. If they can manage to get past this step, however, they’re well on their way to improving their situation. To help with this, the best online casinos will have a responsible gaming page where you can find a list of self-assessment questions. These contain things that operators and licensing authorities consider to be signs of problem gambling. This will include questions like: am I gambling to try to win back my losses? Do I lie to others about how much I gamble for? Have my personal relationships suffered because of my gambling? If you find yourself answering yes to a lot of these questions you might be at risk of having a gambling problem. You should consider taking appropriate action.

Why Do Some People Become Addicted to Gambling while Others Don't?

Why then do some people become addicted to gambling and some don’t? This is obviously a subject that could take up whole books, which we don’t have room for here. But we can try for a very short overview!

The brain is a very complex biological machine, with a neurological setup wired by evolution to handle life. Some of this setup is also used while gambling. Now, while the chemistry of the brain is the same for everyone (barring disease or mutations), using signal substances like dopamine and serotonin, the neural connections are different for everyone because of how their brain developed throughout life. The sensitivity of neuron transmitters and receptors will be tuned differently, and neurons will connect with each other in different patterns. This chemical and biological tuning affects the electric signals that pass through the brain and these electric signals combined affect your mental state. This will lead to some people getting a giant kick out of a big win when gambling. Another person’s reaction is more muted. Some brains will just be more prone to gambling addiction than others. It’s hard to know which type you are before you start to gamble. It is important to understand that you’re not a bad person because your brain happens to be more prone to gambling addiction. It’s just how it happened to turn out. What you need to be aware of, however, is that you have this propensity for gambling addiction and take strong measures to curb it.

A picture of a person walking the path between healthy and problem gambling

What Can You Do About Your Gambling Addiction?

Now that you know that, perhaps, you have the propensity for gambling addiction, what are you supposed to do about it? Like most things in life there are degrees of problem gambling. Just because you tend to lose track of time when gambling, or maybe get overly excited and bet too much, doesn’t mean that you are an all-out gambling addict. The best online casinos will have responsible gaming tools available to help you set limits to your gambling. These will let you set limits to your deposits, losses, session time, and the like, to keep your gambling under control. This might be enough to keep your problematic behaviours in check and let you continue to enjoy your pastime.

If your problem gambling is serious enough that this isn’t sufficient to keep things in check, however, then the only safe thing to do is to self-exclude yourself from all gambling sites you use, to minimize contact with the source of the problem. The best online casinos will also have links to self-help sites, or organizations that deal with problem gamblers, offering psychological help and assistance. We recommend the Responsible Gambling Directory that has localized links to information available on the subject.

Much like with other kinds of addictions, if your gambling addiction is this severe, it will be a life-long struggle to keep it under control. It will be in your best interest to keep away from online casinos and other gambling businesses. You can also try to keep them away from you, by signing up to sites like which will inform the casinos that you are not interested in doing business with them. Remember to not give up if you should happen to take a misstep and end up gambling again. Try to learn from your mistakes and be alert if the same situation that made you stumble happens again.

The Casino's Role to battle Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction used to be something that the casino industry swept under the rug, but as legislation and public opinion have taken an increased interest in the matter, the casinos have been forced to take the matter more seriously. They need to display information about problem gambling on their sites and they are forced to take action against players that can be perceived as problem gamblers by the licensing authorities, and to have policies in place for what to do when they detect a problem gambler. Considering how serious the consequences can be, this is very reasonable, and perhaps not enough, but considering the balance the licensing authorities need to keep between strong regulations and players choosing to move to unlicensed sites, it is perhaps the best we’ll get.

Until next time, stay safe

Share this