Gambling As a Form of Addiction

Gambling is a form of addiction that has financial and emotional implications. Once an individual starts binge gambling, they may find it difficult to stop and it can begin to affect every aspect of their life. Therapy may be required to help an individual overcome their gambling addiction. CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) can help a person change their thoughts about gambling so that they can control their urges. The goal of behavior therapy is to eliminate the urge to gamble.

While problem gambling usually starts with occasional pleasure and enjoyment, it can also become a destructive habit. The underlying causes of this addiction are different for every person. A person who experiences an addiction to gambling will begin to feel the negative effects of the behavior, and will likely continue to experience these consequences until the addiction is fully recognized. A person who suffers from gambling addiction will need to increase their spending until they no longer feel the “high” from gambling. This can lead to a vicious cycle. The increased cravings lead to decreased control over impulses and gambling addiction will continue to increase.

Insurance, as a form of risk transfer, is another example of a game of chance. Insurance companies calculate premiums using actuarial methods similar to gambling odds. The goal of insurance is to maximize the expected return over the long term. The goal of gambling is to win against your own interests, but insurability is an important factor. Gamblers also may display cognitive and motivational biases. For example, a person with high risk aversion may be a higher-risk gambler than a person with low risk aversion.

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