Dr. Robert L. Custer, a widely respected psychiatrist from Midland, Pa identified that there are six types of gamblers and they vary from low to moderate to high risk. He advocated that gambling addiction be treated as a behavioural disorder. Custer felt that the problem rooted from sadness and sorrow and believed these people used gambling as a form of escapism from the pain and not for getting money or social pleasure.
The following list is not stating the all forms of gambling are addictive and many social gamblers have little risk of addiction:
- Professional Gamblers – this type of gambler do not believe they are addicted they gamble for a living. The use of stats and calculations allows them to chose those games that they consider will have a better chance of winning. The risks of addiction and loss are understood.
- Antisocial Personality – as the name suggests these gamblers are those with an antisocial personality disorder. Often form an unlawful background, fixing bets and other illegal behaviour is in their makeup. These charmers are often good at deceit, controlling others, they are impulsive, have no remorse and can be aggressive.
- Casual Social Gamblers – often only bet now and again for recreation. As they have other interests and hobbies problem or addiction gambling does not happen very often. If they do develop a gambling addiction it is often due to a massive win or because of issues in their life.
- Serious Social Gamblers – gambling is their main entertainment and this type of gambler can control their habit. However, like casual social gamblers gambling addiction could occur due to a large win, a trauma or stress in work or at home.
- Relief and Escape Gamblers – use gambling to get away from feelings of stress, depression, boredom and loneliness in their lives. Control levels are better than a compulsive gambler and gambling is a relief from their problems that they cannot talk about. The negative ramifications of gambling may lead them to chase bets in order to get their loses back.
- Compulsive Pathological Gamblers – have no control over their gambling and are considered to have a pathological disorder. Other addictions, such as alcohol and drugs are highly likely to be bought on. A change in their personality, mood swings and have feelings of guilt about their habit.
It is very unusual for a compulsive gambler to be able to break the gambling cycling by themselves. Treatment is available and includes medication and cognitive therapy.