What Is A Gambling Addiction?
Gamblers are individuals who regularly wager on sporting events, lottery drawings, casino games, or anything else that can be loosely termed as “gambling.” In modern parlance, however, gambling has come to mean dealing with bets on any event, including horse races, soccer matches, football games, tennis matches, etc. Gambling, therefore, requires three elements for it to be considered: risk, consideration, and a reward. In other words, the whole idea of gambling is to take a chance, hope for the best, and then hope for the worst. Without the first two components, it would be very difficult to consider gambling at all.
In the first component, risk refers to the unpredictability of an investment. For instance, if I were to bet on the health of a specific human being, the likelihood of that individual dying in a certain amount of time, given that the health of that particular human being is unknown, would probably be considered somewhat low. However, if I were to take that same amount of money on the stock market, the probability of that particular stock market’s value decreasing over a specified period of time would be high. In this example, my gamble (the betting) would require consideration as well as a potential reward. The second component, the consideration component, refers to factors beyond my control that could affect the performance of the stock market, such as the environment (e.g., fuel prices are rising due to a lack of oil supplies) and other outside forces beyond my influence. For instance, if I am considering investing in the stock market to take advantage of current trends in the market, the timing of that investment is influenced by the possibility that the trend may reverse.
Another way to look at gambling as a form of wagering is to view it as an income tax payment. If I win on a wager, I am required to pay income tax based on the amount of cash I earned plus my state’s income tax. If the amount of the winnings is large enough to cover my state’s income tax, then my gambling winnings are taxable income for me. Similarly, if I lose on a wager, then I’m required to pay UBIT, which is defined as the amount by which the amount of loss exceeds the amount of winnings.
In many ways, a gambler behaves more like a trader than like a pure gambler. Like a businessman who decides where to invest his money, a gambler considers various factors and circumstances before placing his wagers. He evaluates the likely returns from various investments and determines whether those returns are sufficient to compensate for the additional risk he faces by gambling. In contrast, the gambler who regards a bet as a game of chance has not effectively evaluated the expected results of that bet. Therefore, a gambler is gambling in much the same way as a gambler who regards any investment as a gamble.
To put it simply, people gamble because they feel like gambling and they sometimes even feel like running away from real-world situations that could get them into trouble, like a death in the family or losing their job. Most gamblers feel that the means to avoid these unpleasant events is to wager. When I make a bet, I want to win; therefore, I usually plan my games around my likelihood of winning. But I also realize that I can sometimes lose and that planning around the possibility of losing is sometimes unnecessary because a set of common sense can help guide me through those times. The trick is to evaluate all the possible outcomes and to have an understanding of the risks that might arise in order to determine whether I should continue to play.
Whether it is poker, craps, roulette, blackjack or anything else, all forms of gambling addiction are considered to be addictions, because the gamblers continue to place their financial or physical health at risk by continuing to gamble. Gambling addiction does not only result in financial or physical problems for the addicted person; it can also cause significant psychological issues. It is true that the majority of gamblers are able to stop when they reach their bottom line, but it is also true that some may never have fully stopped gambling and may only find this out later on in their life. People who are considered to be addicted to gambling should be treated by mental health professionals in order to combat the psychological effects of their gambling habit.