Why do people keep harmful habits like gambling, even when they know it is wreaking lives?
Casinos are money making organisations and the gambling is set up so that in the long run the house will not lose. You could win £100 one day and get a big feeling of joy and then lose £50 the next day and the day after.
The actions of a gambling addict may seen ridiculous to some, why not just stop or don’t spend so much time or money doing it, they may say but for the addict it is not that simple. It is worth understanding what the trigger for this sort of behaviour is so you can go some way to helping them.
One reason for people to gamble is the unknown. Playing a fruit machine every day in the hope it will shell out hundreds of pounds is enough incentive for some. If they knew the max payout was £20 each day, they probably wouldn’t have bothered.
It has been said that a gambler thinks of his dreams while he is gambling. The change that his life will improve with a big win. Whilst the dream is linked to gambling the person can see no reason to stop. The rewards that people can get from gambling are varied and this attracts some so they start to gamble.
Subconsciously a gambler may believe that he is gambling to remove financial difficulties and therefore doing something about the problem. The gambler will feel positive the moment they start to gamble and all feelings of stress or worry are gone. This is a big draw for someone in an emotional state as he can instantly feel worry free.
If gamblers lose why do they keep gambling?
- In Control – When a person wins, even a small amount, they think they are becoming a more skilful gambler and therefore in control. This is just an illusion.
- A Big Win Is Waiting – Flashing lights and claxons indicate that someone has won the jackpot in the fruit machine. Everyone knows this and if a gambler sees this it reinforces there thought they can win and motivates then to continue gambling.
- A Close Call – Particularly on fruit machines a gambler may believe that they have cracked the pattern of the pay out. Convinced that they are just waiting for the next part of the pattern they will continue to bet more and more money because they are so close to winning.
- Get Back Their Loses – A lot of gamblers get stuck in the idea that they can win back their loses. In the long run no one will win back all the money of a big loss but the idea keeps people gambling.