Nowadays, real and virtual casinos attract an incredible number of players from all over the world. Along with slot machines, sports betting, scratch and draw games and many other games of chance, some are even addicted to them. But why such a craze?
The influence of online games
The arrival of online gaming platforms is one of the causes of the increase in addiction. The player no longer needs to move around to be entertained. Knowing that while remaining comfortably seated on his couch and spared the gaze and prejudice of others, he can play at his own leisure. Day and night, he can bet on his favourite gambling games without being inspected by social control.
There are no opening hours as in regular casinos. He has the right to play several games simultaneously and to stay there as long as he wishes. The Internet thus offers a certain freedom to the players, but some are no longer aware of their actions. Some casinos do not fail to deploy great means to attract players to their home by using multiple strategies.
At this stage, they offer a whole range of bonuses and advantages that may seem attractive at first. The player is seduced and only thinks about playing, betting, topping up his account, etc.
Addiction in numbers
As previously announced, the existence of these gambling incentives only increases addictive behaviours. It is already expected that induction will accelerate at a great speed, especially among young adults between 18 and 25 years of age. In France, the reference center on excessive gambling estimates that more than one million gamblers are pathological.
According to one estimate, the rate of pathology reaches 2% of the adult population. The rate tends to increase over time. Another study was conducted in 1996 by Ladouceur, Jacques, Ferland and Giroux showing a rate of 2.1%. The increase may be small in numbers, but it is now a real problem.
The clearer the path, the more addiction increases. It is recognized that the number of pathological gamblers reaches the world record in countries where gambling establishments are favored, such as Las Vegas. Being the gambling capital of the world, this country has an incredible rate of “player-addicts” that even exceeds the national average.
Australia, with a multitude of video lotteries, also has the highest number of players with this problem gambling practice.
The three basic steps that lead to addiction
The internet is there. It tends to be accused of being the main cause of this addiction. But this is really not quite the case. There are many other distinct phases that explain how gamblers become addicted to gambling.
The winning phase: from the moment of registration, the player is quickly seduced by the avalanche of bonuses and advantages offered by the casino. He tries the experiment, he is entertained and he obtains gains, let us say consequent. There is no denying that chance is favourable to him during his beginnings. At that moment, he gets excited and has only one thing on his mind: to keep playing, again and again! He even thinks that luck will smile on him throughout his games. There is nothing like winning to fill the pockets with little. So he uses his winnings to make new starting bets on other games. No one will be able to stop him thinking he has nothing to lose. But how far will this hour of glory go?
The Loss Phase: When a player begins to drift, he or she cannot be spared this phase. Always keeping in mind the chance of winning, the bettor plays beyond his means. He bets large sums without realizing that he could lose everything at any time. The initial winnings are lost. The player who does not accept defeat tries to recover. He invests a lot in betting, allowing himself to make large bets with the expectation that he may get them back soon. This is not the case. We can see that this phase of loss lasts a long time. This is the hardest period for gambling enthusiasts without them really realizing it. The gambler dives deeper into debt. The gambler is less concerned about those around him or her and family life, and more concerned about gambling. They put all their effort and concentration into gambling, even if it means giving up other interests. Debts build up, stress sets in, and nothing works for the gambler.
The despair phase: As a result of these successive periods of loss, the gambler may lose control. Overwhelmed by events, he or she may slip and commit theft, for example, to pay debts or gamble again. The gambler no longer feels the same sense of excitement as before. Depression comes on suddenly. At worst, suicidal thoughts occupy their minds.
At this point, gambling has become an addiction. A cure is urgently needed. Dialogue is the only way to help the gambler get out of this situation. It is advisable to consult one of the specialized agents of French institutions such as Adictel and SOS Joueurs.