Lottery is known to be the most correct way to count optimists, but even better – poker. Like, however, any other gambling. No wonder players are called addicts, and gambling – needle.

In the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) ludomania, or gambling, assigned code F63.0. Love of gambling is as much an addiction as drug or alcohol abuse. How it manifests itself and where does gambling grow from – it is about this in our material.

The gods were playing dice


Gambling did not appear yesterday, but many thousands of years ago. The first reliable references to them are found around 3500 years BC in Ancient Egypt. Archaeologists find figures depicting gods and people playing dough – ram bones or interphalangeous joints of a sheep or a dog. Such objects were also found in the parking lots of ancient man. Both ancient Greeks and Roman emperors, especially Augustus and Claudius, loved playing. Not to mention the Germans, who lost not only their property in the bones, but also their freedom: the loser was simply sold into slavery.

The situation was not better in Asia. The sacred Sanskrit text of Hinduism Bhavishya Purana, which dates back to 3000 BC, tells of a prince who, thanks to the game, lost both his fortune and his wife. Although it is common for Asian legends to lose a wife, daughter and even parts of his own body.

North American Indians were also fond of the game, and even more so were Europeans. The first device for roulette appeared in France as early as 1765, the first casino (translated from Italian – “country house”) in 1863 opened the Prince of Monaco, Charles Grimaldi, and the first slot machine, called today the “one-armed bandit”, invented an American mechanic – also Charles, but named Faye – in 1895.

With the game tried to fight – first the Church, then the state or all together. But to defeat it finally failed. It is clear: it’s not so much about the promise of quick money, as a real psychological dependency.

Adrenaline needle

What is gembling? According to the definition of ICD-10, it is a pathological tendency that “consists of frequent repetitive gambling, which dominates the subject’s life and leads to a decrease in social, professional, material and family values when due attention is not paid to responsibilities in this area”.


There are many characteristic features of gambling addiction. According to the American Classification of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV, 1994), it is sufficient for a person to have five features out of ten.

  1. The man is passionate about the game and always comes back to it in his thoughts, deliberately tries to give up gambling or, on the contrary, looks forward to another opportunity; thinks about the options – where to get money for the game;
  2. Does not stop the game with increasing volume of bets. It is warmed up by the growing acuteness of the feeling;
  3. has made more than one attempt to overcome his passion for the game;
  4. Comes into the world of play to escape from the real world: to escape from internal and external problems (to remove the feeling of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression, etc.);
  5. Returns to the game the day after losing to be able to get back at it (with the thought of losing giving him no rest);
  6. Expresses anxiety and irritability if he plays less or refuses to play at all;
  7. Lies to family, doctors, and other people so as not to show his addiction;
  8. The person had to commit illegal acts: he went to fraud, theft, forgery and the like to find the means to play;
  9. Endangers and even is willing to break off relations with family, relatives and friends, to quit his job or study in the name of the game;
  10. If the game loses money to support himself and his family, shifts the solution of problems to others;

Men are more likely to be addicted to play, but women are more likely to be addicted to play (as with any other form of addiction: women, for example, sleep faster, become drug addicts and have more difficulty in overcoming addiction). Their passion for playing games is three times faster, and it is worse to treat. Ladies also get into the net of excitement at a more mature age, and the reasons for this are different than those of men. Gambling in women is usually accompanied by depression, in men – by alcoholism. Although people prone to gambling, in principle, often combine many types of addictions – both alcoholism and drug addiction. It is clear that all this leads to sad consequences: players are characterized by quarrels with relatives and friends, divorces and frequent job changes.

There are many roots, evil is one thing

The reasons for the development of gaming are confusing, like quantum states. Just as the causes of any other addiction – drug, alcohol or love. A large role in the formation of addiction plays a specific situation in the family and environment of a person. Although there are certain factors that contribute to the emergence of gemblings.


First of all, it is simply the availability of gambling and its advertising on the Internet, on television and in the media. Another factor is called motivational. People prone to ludomania, are divided into two types: the first – are players “action” (in the game they meet the need for dominance, risk, prove superiority over others). The second type is characterized by the fact that in the process of playing away from reality, from losses and losses that may occur in reality. Of course, all this is supported by curiosity, interest in new sensations, motivation to win money and excitement that generates gambling.

A huge role in the formation of gambling addiction has a family factor and above all – the painful building relationships with loved ones, which generates all kinds of addiction. Because of wrong upbringing a person becomes psychologically weak and vulnerable, so he can not resist reality, leaving it in the game or trying to prove something to himself and others with its help.

Character is formed under the influence of the environment and first of all the human family. But there are both genetic factors and the notorious influence of circumstances. That is why addiction specialists also highlight the personal factor.

A person may have features inherent in a potential player: low self-esteem, intolerance to rejection of requests, too acute reaction to criticism, heightened anxiety, propensity for depression, impulsivity, thirst for risk, intolerance to disappointment, the desire to feel their own power, the propensity to mystical thinking.


Such traits help to form in the future player irrational attitudes, which psychologists call thinking errors. It is primarily a belief that money solves all problems, including communication between people, that uncertainty can be overcome by winning, a person represents a bet as a certain deal, believes that the debts can be returned only after recoupment, and that he knows how to control himself not only in matters of whether to play him or not, but also in whether he can refrain from betting everything he has.

The economic factor that makes gambling attractive in the mass consciousness is also important. It is clear that this is done for the benefit of gambling corporations, involving for such purposes, advertising and hidden impact on the mass consciousness. The attitude to the fact that gambling is a cool and prestigious way of life, that “all our life is a game”, the contemptuous attitude towards people not involved in the game and contempt for the usual way of earning is encouraged.

Psychologists highlight the following family factors in the formation of gambling:

  • Violation of psychological boundaries between generations (there are no vowel or silent “rules” in the family that regulate the relationship between older and younger family members, or, conversely, they are too rigid);
  • Adults do not have effective social behaviors, so they cannot lead by example to children;
  • family members do not have clear roles, so there are no defined rights and responsibilities;
  • There are double standards in reactions to similar behaviour (if a child stole something from a shop, he or she is scolded, if he or she stole something from a rich person, he or she is praised because “this is what they want”);
  • There is an inconsistency in the attitudes of different family members (the latter have different opinions about raising children and do not try to reach an agreement with each other);
  • Inadequately planned family budget (without taking into account the needs of all family members, the emphasis is only on the priorities of one person);

From euphoria to prison

Dependence on the game is not formed immediately, but gradually. Specialists in gembling addiction allocate several stages.

Preparatory phase

At this time, a person has only a susceptibility to gambling: this is facilitated by the above factors, and also by the influence of an environment where material values, rather than the traditional human attitude to each other, are praised;

The stage of winning

Man begins to play and, thanks to developed magical thinking and the absence of critical, lack of education and poorly formed logic, finds faith in his luck. Winnings (they can be not only large, but also small) make him think about his power, create such a missing illusion of controlling himself and the world, form an overrated self-esteem. During this period, the man is literally reveled in the game and absorbed in it so much that he sees no danger.

Cards gambling

The stage of losing

A person completely goes to the game that becomes the center of his life, family and work are relegated to the background. A vicious circle appears: to enter the game – to lose – to get into debt – to hide – to start playing again to get back at it. And so constantly. As the disease progresses, these cycles are repeated more and more often. Addict begins to deceive others, ceases to perform their duties, there are such qualities as irritability and increased fatigue, secrecy and malice. Even if the person wins – he is not satisfied with this amount, want more and more, eventually loses everything. It is then he begins to realize his illness and look for an opportunity to overcome it – the willpower to stop playing. As a rule, he does not succeed.

The stage of disappointment

The total collapse of life: the player accumulates a huge number of debts, those close to him turned away. As a result, he is completely withdrawn, may start drinking alcohol. This stage is also characterized by frequent emotional breakdowns. All free time, as before, is concentrated on the game: the man still hopes to get back, paying off all his debts in one fell swoop.

The stage of hopelessness

The gambler loses the last thing he has – hope to win. But still continues to play – by inertia, just to participate. At this stage, he is likely to be arrested (due to criminal acts that he has already committed or continues to commit) or die: he may be killed for his debts or he will die from an overdose of alcohol and drugs.

All these stages are rapid – in just a year and a half or three years – although sometimes it can take ten years. But in general, to kill – morally or physically – a fully healthy person, the game will take very little time.

Gambling psychology: Whoever doesn’t risk it drinks champagne.
Tagged on: