Gambling and Its Consequences


In the United Kingdom, the Gambling Commission regulates gambling activities. Although the gambling industry is often categorized as a single entity, it stretches far beyond gambling. It is the largest market in the world, with a combined market value of $335 billion in 2009. Other forms of gambling are nonwagering activities such as collecting game pieces for a game of Magic: The Gathering or betting on sports events. A number of people use the word gaming to refer to both types of activities.

Problems associated with gambling

The negative consequences of problems associated with gambling are considerable and extensive. They include emotional, physical, and relationship effects. Listed below are some of the more common types of problems associated with gambling. These impacts often compound and interrelate, and affect the partner’s ability to function and maintain a healthy relationship. These consequences are often exacerbated by other issues. The effects of problem gambling can even lead to separation or divorce. However, many of these effects can be prevented by public health initiatives.

Community reinforcement and family training programs are helpful in helping family members deal with the negative consequences associated with gambling. These programs provide skills training to family members and have proven effective in reducing the frequency and severity of gambling-related problems. However, these programs are only effective if the affected family members are willing to seek assistance. These programs are also costly, and require that the affected family members seek help. Unfortunately, if no one is willing to step forward, it is possible for gambling to ruin a relationship or cause significant harm.

Treatment options

There are many different treatment options for gambling addiction. Residential treatment is often recommended for people who are unable to control their urges to gamble. The program provides both time and professional support to help individuals better understand the impact of gambling and how to cope with triggers of addictive behaviour. Gambling rehab can also help individuals learn adaptive coping mechanisms to stop their impulses to gamble. This may include attending a group therapy program. However, residential treatment is not suitable for every person.

Other treatment methods for gambling addiction may be necessary. Psychotherapy, for example, is an excellent option to address the psychological aspects of gambling addiction. Psychotherapy is a powerful way to identify the underlying causes of gambling and reverse any misperceptions that drive an individual to indulge in these activities. Cognitive-behavioural therapy is particularly useful for those whose gambling habits are triggered by particular emotions or situations. In addition, 12-step support groups may help.

Common forms of gambling

The most popular forms of gambling for children are card games, lottery tickets, and scratchy cards. Some children may move from casual gambling to more serious forms of gambling as they enter their adolescent years. Television and the internet are full of advertisements for games like gambling, and kids can easily access thousands of websites where they can place their bets. Smartphones and tablets can even be used to gamble without real money. Many children are fascinated with the idea of winning a large amount of money.

Although these forms of gambling are not particularly common among young adults, they do pose risks. While rapid gambling is not the most dangerous form, it may be a more ominous sign that a young adult is developing a problem. This is a problem that could potentially affect their ability to patronize state lotteries or casinos. In such a case, further epidemiological research is needed to determine what type of gambling is most common among young people.

Negative emotions associated with gambling

The cognitive process involved in pathological gambling is likely to involve two major components: suppression and cognitive reappraisal. Researchers from Ruiz de Lara, Navas, and Perales (2001) assessed the impact of two adaptive coping strategies in pathological gamblers: wishful thinking and positive refocusing. These strategies are both overrepresented in problematic gamblers, and they are likely to be dysfunctional for gambling.

This study found that greater positive urgency was associated with increased gambling involvement, more serious problem gambling, and slower increases in eating-related impairment over time. This suggests that negative urgency may not be uniquely associated with increased gambling frequency, but it may be beneficial for women who engage in at-risk gambling. The findings also point toward the potential benefits of interventions targeting positive emotions. The positive urgency concept, therefore, is an important component in gambling treatment programs for women.