People who engage in gambling are grouped into four categories: Problem gamblers, Pathological gamblers, Social gamblers, and Professional gamblers. Understanding which category you fit into can help you identify your gambling addiction and get the help you need. Here are some tips to reduce your risk of becoming a problem gambler:
Problem gamblers experience an acute stress state during the gambling process. This state causes the release of catecholamines and pituitary-adrenal hormones. Researchers have also found that problem gamblers have higher levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, during their gambling sessions. These elevated levels may persist for a long period of time.
Pathological gambling has been associated with significant increases in depressive symptoms and anxiety. Pathological gamblers often experience increasing periods of tension prior to their gambling, a condition known as anticipatory anxiety. This anxiety may be pleasurable or frightening, depending on the person. Gambling initially relieves anxiety by offering an escape from stressful aspects of everyday life.
Treatment for problem gambling typically involves counseling, step-based programs, peer-support groups, and medications. However, no one treatment has been shown to be the most effective. To make effective treatments accessible to people with pathological gambling, they must be both cost-effective and low-threshold.
Social gamblers are people who enjoy gambling as a way to relax and spend time with friends. Though they may spend a lot of time at the gambling venue, they are usually able to balance their gambling activities with their other responsibilities. These individuals are often mistaken for addiction, because they spend many hours gambling without displaying any other signs of gambling addiction.
The popularity of social gambling games has exploded in recent years. Today, more than 11 million people play these games each day on their favorite social networking sites. In fact, the social casino market is worth $4 billion and has grown by four-fold in the past six years. Some of the most popular social gambling games include Zynga Poker and Slotomania.
Professional gamblers have a distinct advantage over beginners. They have a keen eye for details and are able to remain calm even when large sums are at stake. These gamblers have a keen eye for betting and will often watch as many as four or five games a day. They can also make betting decisions based on logic.
Professional gamblers can win more money than average because they employ specific betting strategies. For example, a good bettor knows when a horse is performing well and will use that information to line up bets in his favor. They also know the jockeys and stables and have a keen eye for high breeding horses.