Gambling is basically the act of betting something of worth on an event with the aim of winning something else with the same certainty. In its broadest sense, gambling takes into account three factors to be present: risk, consideration, and a potential prize. While some activities like online gambling are completely based on chance, there are other types of gambling that use more calculated odds and thus are more predicated on the knowledge of the players.
Gambling addictions are usually defined as excessive or repeated gambling when compared with one’s normal gambling behavior. The two types of gambling addiction are Internet and offline. Gambling addicts, who are habitually addicted, exhibit certain characteristics like over-stimulation by the moment, poor decision-making abilities, uncontrollable gambling urges and an insatiable desire for success. They often have poor social networks, low self-esteem, poor job performance, and poor physical health.
These days, the Internet has provided a good platform for gambling addiction to take root in many people. This is because Internet gambling is usually accompanied by high-risk activities like cyber-stalking, credit card frauds, and money laundering. Online gambling is very easy; yet the lure of the virtual tables keeps gamblers hooked on their computers and laptops. In fact, there are even some who consider online betting as a substitute for real betting at live casinos. All in all, these people are usually characterized by their inability to leave the comfort of their homes and their reliance on online sources to meet their needs.
Offline addictions can range from alcoholism to smoking, with the highest prevalence seen in cigarette smoking. The addiction manifests itself through: poor judgment, substance abuse, social withdrawal, loss of employment, and poor hygiene. As it is with gambling addiction, offline addicts are also prone to higher risk of contracting transmittable diseases, such as Hepatitis A or HIV. These people are more susceptible to disease because they are not able to control their drinking or smoking habits when they are not in front of the computer.
For the most part, the problem of higher risk of contracting addiction is not an issue for the US. Although there are legal loopholes that allow online gamblers to enter casinos and bars with no restrictions, these people are still monitored by the law, as they could still fall into unacceptable risks, such as drug use, violence, or suicide. This is not the case for all countries, and the US is one of them. Because of this, there are very few legal cases of internet gambling addiction being subjected to criminal proceedings and of those being successfully prosecuted, the offenders are usually minors. Addicts do not generally spend a lot of time behind bars, if they are caught.
An addiction to gambling takes time to develop and may go unnoticed by loved ones. The only way to address the problem is to reach out to the gambler and try and give them the help they need. There are support groups on many forums that offer advice and help. Gambling addiction can be fought successfully and people who have experienced it can tell others about what they went through and how they came out of it. Help is available, it’s just up to the person who needs it to seek it.