Grade 9 | Unit 9.5 | Page 8
WHY DO SOME PEOPLE DEVELOP A PROBLEM WITH
GAMBLING WHILE MANY OTHERS DON'T?
Does every one who gambles develop a gambling problem?
• Most people who gamble don't experience a problem with it. They spend
money that they can afford and see gambling as fun or entertainment.
When does gambling become a problem for the person?
• A problem gambler is a person who, on a repeated basis, feels that he or
she has lost more money than they could comfortably afford to.
A problem gambler is unable to place limits on the time and money spent
on gambling. The person cannot control or stick to his or her decision
about the amount of time or money spend on gambling.
Why do you think some people develop a gambling problem whereas others
• The thrill of uncertainty, of anticipated surprise, and of not being able to
predict when or how much they will win drives some people to keep on
gambling. Not knowing when they're going to win or how much they're
going to win is the attraction for many players.
• The rewards or emotional payoffs of winning drives many players
to keep on gambling. People get involved in high-risk behaviour because
it gives them a thrill; it makes them “feel good”. Our society likes “winners”
and so the chance to win at gambling is a powerful attraction.
• Entrapment drives many players to keep on gambling.
To be entrapped means you're caught and can't escape. Players who are
“entrapped” become more and more determined to continue with an
uncertain plan. The gambler continues to gamble because he thinks that
he has “invested” so much already and thinks that he will win soon, “just
the next round!” This results in more gambling, mounting losses and a
growing determination to gamble.