Impact of Gambling

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Gambling happens when a person takes a chance of losing their money or belongings by placing it on a game where winning or losing are by chance. Chance here means that there are equal measures of winning and losing hence the person tries it by luck. In gambling, a person is considered lucky when they won and considered unlucky if they do not win. Gambling around the world has grown at a higher rate whereby even in areas where gambling was never heard, nowadays it's prevalence. The following paper will look at the addiction of gambling to users as well as look at key factors that affect its usages such as age and culture. While sometimes back gambling was illegal, social views have changed, and now the gambling industry is now considered as a multi-billion industry with its growth likely to continue CITATION Chr11 \l 1033 (Adamec, 2011). Gambling addiction results when a person is used to gambling that they cannot resist the urge to gamble despite the fact that they know that the practice is not good for them. The study of gambling addiction does not center on the behaviors of the gambler; it focuses mainly on whether the gambler experiences harm or others close to them such as family, friends, and acquaintances CITATION Lin01 \l 1033 (Bayer, 2001).

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Impact of History upon Addiction Theory and Treatment

Gambling started a long time ago inform of playing cards and rolling a dice. Most people used gambling as a form of passing time and leisure. Early colonists used the game of gambling as a recreational activity where people would come and pass their free time when they had nothing to do or where resting. Gambling at that time was not commercialized in the sense that people were not using it as a means of getting income. Early colonists betted on wrestling matches, dog and cat fights and target shooting also. Early colonists also did like the stamp act very much because it introduced taxes which were levied on playing cards and other forms of gambling. Riverboat gambling was also another form of gambling where people used to bet on boats which raced down the Mississippi river. This changed during the time of the civil war when battle grounds were taken into the river thus the gamblers had to retreat because of the intense fighting. The issue of Gambling in the United States has been banned and then made it legal again several times in the history of America, but there has always been at least one major gambling center. The first such center developed in New Orleans with the representative of the French colonists in 1718. With the acceleration of the gaming houses in New Orleans, there came an economical, overly-luxurious style which many clubs today continue to follow. These houses also served food and spirits to their patrons as a way of enticing them so that they could come and gamble during their leisure hours CITATION Mic92 \l 1033 (Fleming & Barry, 1992).

Lotteries also existed in the United States as early as 1500's where the colonists used lotteries as a way of getting funds to be used in military defenses. The Congress issued a lottery of around $5 million as a way of collecting money to help the war on independence. The invasion of the French and the Indians in 1748 prompted Benjamin Franklin to organize a lottery that was meant to raise money for defense. What can be seen in the early forms of gambling is that governments had not banned it since most people were playing it for leisure since it had not been commercialized yet. Governments used lotteries as a way of making money to mount military defenses to defeat the enemy. People were shown clearly that the common good lay in using the money on the lottery so that they could help the government in raising money to be used in the war CITATION Nei08 \l 1033 (Isaacs, 2008).

Public opinion about gambling has changed greatly since long ago gambling was viewed as a non-issue that did not affect the society in any way. Today, gambling is highly regulated in most countries because of its negative effects on the society. Public opinion on the issue is divided with some people arguing that it is like an investment whereby everybody takes a risk with their money. Critics of gambling argue that it can be equated to substance abuse because it is addictive and normally leads people to regret CITATION Chr13 \l 1033 (Lawford, 2013).

DSM-5 Criteria and Severity: Gambling disorder

Symptoms of gambling disorders in DSM-5

The problem of consistent and repetitive problematic gambling addiction behavior that leads the person to be clinically impaired or stressed as the individual exhibits the following traits over a period not passing one cycle and not less than six months.

The individual feels the need to gamble with an increased amount of money each time to satisfaction of achieving the level of excitement that will satisfy their urge to gamble. Until the individual does this, they will look distressed or out of place because they have not done one thing that guarantees their satisfaction.

"The only reason I keep using more and more money is that that is the only way that I add up my excitement."

The individual feels restlessness or irritated when they are told, or they think about stopping gambling or reducing the quantity of money they spend on gambling. This is brought by the feeling that they are losing something, or they are about to win big in the gambling games.

"Whenever I try to stop gambling, I normally get very angry and nervous and start shouting and yelling at everyone who is around me. The only way that is seen for a gambler to avoid being abusive and violent is by continuing to gamble. Only after gambling, I feel peace within myself, and I show it to those around me."

Gambling disorder is also shown by the person who has made several attempts to quit or control gambling, but they have not been able to control or stop it.

"My attempts to quit the gambling menace have been futile so far. Every time I try to quit; something keeps pulling me back to it, and I realize that it is growing more and more complicated each day".

The person is preoccupied with gambling, that is always thinking about issues to do with gambling such as where to get the money for gambling, regretting on past mistakes they made on gambling especially where they lost some amount of money and proposed the next step how they are going to advance time and money in the process of gambling.

"I think and reminiscence about gambling each and every time of the day and night. I resemble to be nevermore able to get it out of my head ever".

An addicted gambler always gambles whenever they feel that they are distressed. That is they take gambling as a form of stress reliever. Such feelings included guilty, depression, anxiety and helplessness.

"I use gambling as a way of getting my mind out of trouble such as when being depressed or stressed with something; I find my solace in gambling."

After losing money gambling, the person wakes up thinking about how to get their money back by chasing their losses. This makes them lose even more money, and this continues as a cycle.

" Whenever I lose money in gambling, I come back the next day wanting to get even, exacting revenge by gambling even more to get more money and cover the amount of money I used yesterday.'

People who are addicted to gambling often hides the extent of involvement with the vice.

"Whenever am asked by close friends where I spend most of my evenings, I would rather lie than tell them the truth about it. There is no way I would admit that I was in a casino gambling."

An addict usually has lost something because of gambling; this may be family, job or educational or relationship opportunity.

"Gambling has caused me a lot of money, jobs, family, and friends as well."

A gambling addict normally relies on their close people to help them from their financial problems that they got because of gambling.

"I have had to beg money from my parents and close friends to even buy food and pay rent most of the times."

Gambling disorder specifiers

Regarding substance use disorders, clinicians are tasked with responsibility of specifying severity by number of symptoms

Mild (4-5 criteria is met)

Moderate (6-7 criteria is met)

Severe (8-9 criteria is met)

Clinicians are asked to make the specifications of whether the gambling vice is

Episodic (comes sometimes and goes)

Persistent (happens at all times)

Clinicians are also asked to Specify if:

In early remission: After full guidelines for backing disorder were beforehand met, none of the guidelines for gambling dysfunction have been met for at least three periods but less than 12 months.

In sustained remission: Subsequent full criteria for gaming disorder were beforehand met, none of the models for playing disorder have been met during a period of 12 months or longer.

Social and Cultural Issues in gambling


According to (Namrata Raylu, 2003), there is no well-defined literature regarding the role of culture in the process of gambling. Evidence from existing studies suggests that certain cultural groups are more vulnerable to begin gambling and more prone to a person developing an addiction to the problem of gambling. Developing and maintaining gambling addiction is more prevalent in western culture as compared to other places such as the Middle East and Africa CITATION Nan05 \l 1033 (Petry, 2005). The culture in the Middle East prohibits gambling hence gambling disorders are not prevalent in the Middle East as compared to western cultures. Gambling addiction seems to be prevalent in almost all cultures around the world even though it is more prevalent in the western culture. Over 90 countries around the world have legalized gambling hence making the problem of gambling an international problem. Gambling disorders occur when the practice of gambling is done without control, and the society is made to believe they can acquire riches through gambling instead of working hard CITATION Wil00 \l 1033 (McCown & Chamberlain, 2000).


(Svensson & Romild, 2014) Argues that men experience more problems than women when it comes to gambling because they know how to calculate a risk better. While most male gamblers are driven to gambling by frustrations, women are driven to gambling because they want to take a chance CITATION Don08 \l 1033 (Ross, 2008). In countries where gambling is allowed, both men and women participate even though male gamblers make up most of the gamblers. Studies show that both men and women gamble in different domains. Despite this, more men than women participate in gambling, and they are more likely to keep gambling even after losing. Men loose most in gambling because of feelings of vengeance and revenger, where they want to revenge on money they had lost previously CITATION Nam03 \l 1033 (Namrata Raylu, 2003).

Impact upon the Family and Intimate Relationships

The first effect that gambling causes on families is the problem of finances. People who gamble may lose savings, belongings and property and this often leads to feelings of confusion and helplessness CITATION Jes14 \l 1033 (Svensson & Romild, 2014). Gambling also causes emotional problems and isolation to the family members. When a gambling partner losses, they may become with =drawn because they do not want to be seen in public and their children or spouses may also be affected as well. The spouse and children may feel embarrassed hence end up isolating themselves from the rest of the people. Gambling also causes mental and physical health problems. Whenever a person loses a large amount of money or something valuable, they may start experiencing depression, and this too leads to weak physical health as well. Gambling has a very negative effect on children in that if one or both parents are gamblers, the chil...

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