Why do some people develop gambling addictions?

Responsible Service of AlcoholThe question that many ask: why do some people develop a gambling addiction whilst others do not? Well, there are numerous theories and approaches that could reveal the exact reason behind this question.

To be able to assist someone with their gambling addiction, you must first understand their reasoning for gambling, understanding is key. There are numerous factors that are associated with problem gambling behaviour, these include:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Impulsivity
  • Biology and or genetic vulnerability
  • Family history: was the person’s parent a problem gambler?
  • Peer group influence
  • Environmental variables

It is believed that some individuals simply learn problem gambling and associate it with a positive or rewarding experience. This is as their first experiences with gambling were positive and they immediately associate gambling with an adrenaline rush and excitement, and they try and replicate that feeling each time they gamble. Some also gain a sense of importance and enjoy the feeling of being praised or enjoy being noticed, and they associate that with winning.

However, others use gambling as a means of covering up other feelings or negative emotions such as loneliness, boredom, dealing with grief, depression and/or to satisfy a need to compensate for areas that they do not excel in.

It has also been identified that there is an association between children who live with parents that have a gambling problem. This is as the child observes their parents and their behaviour and believes this to be normal and, therefore, replicates their parents’ behaviour.

It is important to realise that problem gamblers don’t overcome their addiction by simply having more self-control; it is more than self-control as many think. The addiction is more complex, and to be able for the addiction to be overcome – the root of the issue needs to be identified and resolved.

For staff members to work within a workplace that has gambling facilities, they must complete their responsible service of gambling (RSG). This is as they must be able to identify if a patron has an addiction and how best to approach the situation. Knowing why people gamble is key. To complete an RSG online, please go to our website and start today – www.clubtraining.com.au.