Why Is Gambling So Addictive?

  • Updated
  • By Daryl Charman
why gambling addictive

Gambling is still one of the most popular activities for adults around the world.

Whether it’s placing a bet on a sporting event, picking your numbers for the weekly lottery draw or simply playing online bingo, there are certain psychological and physical outcomes which make it so addictive.

Here’s a closer look at why it can keep people coming back for more.

A closer look at gambling addictions

One of the big reasons that make gambling so addictive can happen when a player experiences an early big win.

The thrill that comes with winning such a large amount of money can quite often force you to forget about your responsibilities.

As we mentioned in our guide on the impact gambling has on the brain, the main neurotransmitter in your brain will release dopamine when you win. This chemical is only released when you’re stimulated and enjoying something. This will then spur your brain to urge your body to repeat the action.

Another psychological reason why gambling is so addictive could be blamed on a biological composition. This is where you are born with less of the chemical; norepinephrine, so you look to find the activities which give off dopamine to compensate for the deficiency.

As gambling laws have continued to become more liberal in the UK, more and more casino sites and bookmakers have continued to appear – making gambling very accessible.

Whether it’s through an app, in-store or online, gambling is easy to get involved in. This can almost make it feel like an everyday routine thing to do, due to it having the same level of ease as simply turning on a television.

Proactive ways to combat a gambling addiction

As a starting point, you should always monitor your wins and losses throughout the year. Failure to do this could make it easy to forget about the money you’re spending on gambling every month.

If you’re under a great level of stress, gambling isn’t always the answer to give you the emotional freedom or release that you want.

Don’t let your other problems cause another one. Instead, turn to a counsellor to talk through all your thoughts.

Financial gain is also a major factor why gambling can be so addictive. However, if you don’t get a firm grip of what you’re spending, you may start to realise that you’re getting yourself into more debt.

For advice on money or a gambling addiction, get in touch with either StepChange or GamCare.