Gambling refers to the act of placing a bet or taking an action in hopes of winning something. Many people will engage in gambling activities to try to win money, to win the lottery, to gain money with online betting, etc. The act of gambling is generally viewed as a dangerous activity. For many people it involves too much money and they are unable to control their desires. Others may view gambling as a harmless way of making money, for others it may involve fraud or theft. Gambling has been around for a long time, but as technology has developed, so has the issue of gambling, its risks, and laws surrounding gambling.
People who are addicted to gambling, are considered to have a problem gambling, and those with a gambling addiction are called addicts. Gambling is generally something of worth in an unpredictable situation with the intention of winning something more than what is lost. Gambling therefore requires three components to be present: risk, consideration, and a reward. In order to address a problem gambling addiction, treatment programs have to take each of these components into consideration and find the best solution that addresses the individual’s gambling needs.
People who gamble in order to feel better emotionally, may develop depression or anxiety if the gambling addiction causes them to have to repeatedly lose money. People who have higher risk of developing gambling addictions are more likely to experience multiple addictions over time, which can lead to more serious addictions. Those who are not gambling addicts, but who have a history of high risk investments, such as stock market trading, can develop addictions over time to things like sports memorabilia, gambling, or even high risk investments, such as real estate. If an individual is exposed to a higher risk investment and loses that investment because of gambling, they could develop a higher risk addiction and be labeled an addiction for life.