Gambling: Origin and Types

 

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Every activity must have started somehow and somewhere and this is applicable to gambling as well. While various studies and research into the past have shown that gambling started as early as life itself, it is hard to pinpoint the very first time it occurred. It was also recorded that they could go to places to gamble far back as it ever began and while this went on, it allowed strangers to chat and it improved communication skills; though those places were also known to have reckless activities going on and a bad reputation.

The origin of gambling can be traced back to the Greek mythology in the division of the Universe; Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon did this by playing “Throw the dice”. Particularly, the use of dice can be dated back to around 40,000 years and dice games have been in existence since then. Being able to throw a double six in a dice game might seem lucky but it was called the “Throw of Aphrodite” and it usually marked the end of the game and signified victory.

Locations and Origination

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China: Going back as far as 2300bc, the Chinese have always been known to be very interested in gambling and this they did by using tiles in a game of chance. It was also reported that funds gotten from the lottery were used for some projects including building the Great Wall of China and this has continued up to this moment even in other parts of the world.

Greece and Rome: Apart from the myth describing the creation of the Universe, Greeks were also known to find playing a game of dice fascinating. At about 500bc, a Greek poet made mention of the occurrence and the use of dice; this went on and became popular amongst Greeks and they turned out to gamble on almost anything that came their way.

Italy and France: A particular game that did exist long ago as far back as the 1400s is a two-player game of Baccarat. It became obvious when the game migrated from Italy to France and up to date, the game has taken up various forms and versions and is still very much played and loved in casinos.

Other places around the world also had stints of gambling’s origination; and it can be said that whatever initiated it, must have been a result of the zeal to try out something new.

Types of Gambling

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There are various ways and forms of gambling and some are more popular than the other and while these types have their varying odds and similitude in their chances of winning; some others are different. Below are some types of gambling:

  1. Casino gambling: This is very much the most popular type of gambling as it makes up part of the revenue of China. It has even been made legal in some countries but then it doesn’t come without debate and objections as some people feel it is harmful while others see it as being a harmless setting; offering good activities. In the casino, various games can be played and it comes with its own rules. We have:

Card games: They can be any of these and more; Blackjack, Poker, Baccarat, Spades, Hearts, and casino war. Most times, players play against the house.

Dice games: The end result is decided by the outcome of throwing the dice which might appear as luck.

Gambling machines: Slot machines have their outcome decided once the player hits the spin button.

  • Sports betting: Another type of gambling that has also settled very well is sports betting. While it generates a lot of money as recorded by the American Gaming Association, it also turns in illegal funds even more than the legal funds. Any sport can be gambled on and as long as people are following a type of sport, then some people will be betting on it. It has various forms though and playing instructions such as; Moneyline, In-play betting, second-half bets, head-to-head, teasers and a whole lot more.
  • Lottery: There are two major forms:

Scratch-Offs: The customer will purchase a card and then scratch off some covered spaces to reveal the symbols underneath. If they are able to have a considerable number of matches or uncover a specific symbol, they win a particular amount or they lose if they don’t meet the requirement.

Drawings: This one requires a player to select a series of numbers at random from a given set of integers. After the deadline for the procurement of tickets, a drawing is made and the numbers that win are announced. The player can win based on the number of right picks but it’s always more if he/she picks all the numbers correctly.

Other types of gambling are Poker, Bingo, Mahjong, Raffle tickets.

Gambling is truly as old as life itself and has developed to be a business, a lifestyle and a form of cooling off steam for people. The future does hold a lot more for gambling and there’s surely more to come in the types of gambling as to the ones we have now.

Alarming Signs That Your Partner Has Developed Serious Gambling Addiction

Do you have any idea if your partner has ever been to a casino? Or maybe your significant other has already tried playing those online gambling apps even once? Don’t underestimate the addictive nature of this game of chances. 

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Gambling addiction can destroy not just your partner but also you and your relationship. Read on and check if the following are the signs you have been noticing lately. 

“Gambling Disorder is characterized by a pattern of compulsive gambling that becomes problematic and leads to the experience of negative consequences in an individual’s life.” –Hailey Shafir, LPCS, LCAS, CCS-I

Your Partner Avoids Talking About Money 

In short, your partner is becoming﷟HYPERLINK “https://www.elementsbehavioralhealth.com/behavioral-process-addictions/confirming-your-suspicions-how-to-know-for-sure-if-your-spouse-has-a-gambling-problem/amp/”secretive about where he spends the money. If both of you talked about the sharing of bills, the chances are high that your partner is a problem gambler if he or she has missed more than a month of bill shares. 

Furthermore, a sudden change in the cash flow and mood of your significant other at times can confirm your suspicion. A little bit of investigation may not hurt. Take notice of the credit card bills piling up in the mailbox. 

Your Partner Has Been Borrowing Large Amounts Of Money From You Frequently 

It is possible that your money is being used﷟HYPERLINK “http://nyproblemgambling.org/resources/warning-signs/”to fund your partner’s gambling addiction without you knowing. Be wary if he or she promises you a bigger return without being told explicitly where this considerably huge sum would be used and how this ‘larger return’ would happen. It’s okay to give your partner the benefit of the doubt at first, but a second and succeeding borrowing is already too much and should say something. 

“Sometimes problem gamblers spend the money that should go to food or rent or heat on their habit and spend more time on gambling than with the kids and spouse who need them.” –Marie Hartwell-Walker, Ed.D., a licensed psychologist and marriage and family counselor.

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 Certain Things Around The House Have Been Disappearing Lately 

Things with high value in particular mysteriously go missing. It can be alarming as material investments, either by your partner or by both of you, can be at risk of being sold off just to satisfy gambling compulsions and cover all the lost funds from this addiction. 

Frequent Mood Shifts 

Change in mood and behavior is inevitable when it comes to gambling. Your partner undeniably looks too upset, uncomfortable, and irritable without apparent reason as soon as he gets home. More often than not, the question of how his day went will also be ignored. 

Notice your partner’s personality shifting from being cheerful and high-spirited to depressed and frustrated. It can affect habits and patterns in sleeping, eating, and even your sexual relationship. 

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 Obligations Are Being Ignored And Neglected 

Intense cravings to gamble can make your partner disregard responsibilities at home and work. Canceled date nights and noticeably lesser time together maybe because your partner is ‘chasing losses.’ Your partner begins to lose track of time so he can gamble until all the lost money (from gambling as well) is recovered. 

“A person who is a compulsive gambler can recover with treatment, but it’s hard sometimes for a person struggling with compulsive gambling to realize they need help.” –Natalia S. David, PsyD

If your suspicions all come out to be true, then the best thing for you to do is encourage your partner to try therapy as soon as he is ready. Allow your significant other to open up as reasons for this gambling addiction may stem from underlying problems. Gambling can mask these real personal issues. Your relationship doesn’t need to end as there is a lot of available professional help for your partner and your romance. 

Gambling Addiction

 

             Source: gamblingtreatment.net

 

One of the grave dangers of gambling is that one can easily get addicted to it and since addiction is not something that comes overnight, it can become very difficult to quit gambling. It starts from that first step to try it out so that the person can get the fun out of it or to increase their income or just to test their skills. While these go on, there’s a constant zeal to want to get better, to try out something new or to place a higher bet and this constantly drives the person to a very deep end that backing out becomes unlikely and unthinkable.

Hailey Shafir, LPCS, LCAS, CCS-I  explains that “Addiction is a non-medical term that refers to a wide range of mental disorders called Substance Use Disorders. There are a variety of different types of Substance Use Disorders, including Alcohol Use Disorder, Stimulant Use Disorder, and Cannabis Use Disorder, just to name a few.” While there have been efforts made to ease the hearts of people addicted to gambling and help them overcome it, like a depression chat room where they tell their stories and are encouraged to fight the pressure, these efforts have sometimes remained ineffective.

According to REHAB INTERNATIONAL, there is a treatment for gambling addiction which can also be called problem gambling and “Based on recent research, there are currently 2.5 million Americans who have a gambling addiction and an additional three million are considered to be problem gamblers.” (Rehab-international.org)

Symptoms

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  • There will be an excessive craving for gaming/gambling.
  • Reluctance to get involved with other things.
  • Uncontrolled anxiety towards gambling.
  • Going into unnecessary debts just to gamble.
  • Loss of sleep can result in a migraine or depression.
  • Lesser family time.
  • Frequent visits to gaming centres/casinos.

And a whole lot more.

These symptoms are what can be seen before someone gets addicted or while they are yet to become very much addicted. It can be a result of personality disorders or a problem with drugs and alcohol and there will be a need to test new waters. There is a tolerance level that comes beforehand, it eases them into going on and then they want more, the drive for more leads them into getting addicted.

Forms of gambling

While the form or type depends on the country, the very common one is the casino. Someone can spend a large chunk of time there just trying to have fun or make more money. Often times than not, they end up losing a lot and still put in more just to sight a win.

Sports betting is also very popular and almost all the sports if not all have a betting activity, horse racing is very popular and it really does eat deep into finances and can even result in suicidal attempts.

Dangers of gambling addiction

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Just like the dangers associated with gambling, dangers associated with gambling addictions are like a step further and almost the same. “If people were able to say ‘I am a problem gambler’ in the same way that they say ‘I am an alcoholic’ then it would protect them.” A psychiatrist Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones once said.

  • Family woes: A family that has a gambler will also have reasons to not agree and argue. This is because of the effect that gambling has on one’s personality, it’s either he or she becomes so far from the home and forgets the family or the excessive need to spend money on betting which can ruin the family and leave them penniless. Even the children will also be a receiver of the problem leaving them to take or make wrong decisions too.
  • Alcohol and drugs: While this might have been there before, it could also arise as a result of addiction. There might be a need to want to ease depression and just wade off worries and then they end up becoming drug and alcohol addicts which worsen the case.
  • Deformed lifestyle: While the person could have been truthful and sincere, he or she will resort to lying and deceit just to have their way and get what they want or escape queries till another time. So, there’s a continuous thread of lies and insincerity. The person might also lose his or her job and then get put off from the world or just go so far into having an anxiety disorder as a result of excessive anxiety.
  •  Economic effects: A lot of money is lost to gambling daily and yearly which affects the economy. Unemployment increases as people lose their jobs because of fraudulent activities and they can even go bankrupt and result in stealing. They can sell off their properties and all these will have a great effect on the economic life of the gambler and even the nation.

Treatment of gambling

  • As I mentioned earlier that chat rooms or groups have been set up to get addicts to open up and fight the addiction, it might not be fully effective but it’s a great step towards total recovery.
  • There are medications also to help ease the pain or symptoms and get them back in shape. Therapy can also be done to adjust their behavior and their reasoning.

“Addiction psychology is only a primary focus. Psychodynamic and cognitive behavioral approaches, mindfulness and evidence based practices. Trusting that clients know how to steer the direction for what should be discussed in therapy.” –Jeremy Frank PhD CADC

It’s not a totally bad case as it can be treated but the best thing is to not start than to start looking for solutions after losing a lot to it already. So, there’s a need to sensitize someone and also to proffer help to those in need of it because as much as gambling will not make the body swell or result in any physical injury, it can easily take someone’s life after battling with the addiction for long.

Elderly People And Why They Gamble

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What makes gambling so addictive?” “How come most people I know that are into gambling are of old age?” These are just some of the few questions that a non-gambling person might ask. Who can blame him/her? The curious person has little to no experience at all with gambling and no exposure to the environment of the casino world, where gambling most often takes place. 

It is not shocking to find people of old age at the casinos or involving themselves in gambling. Go to a casino. More often than not, you’ll see that the slot machines are lined up with older adults. Perhaps, because it is an easy and exciting way of winning cash? Or there’s not much thinking involved? These may be the popular opinions as to why elderly people partake in gambling. But in truth, the reason behind it is that old age is linked to loss of self-control, which can cause them to get addicted easily to gambling. 

Scientific evidence 

A natural component of aging is the shrinking of the size of the brain’s frontal lobes. A more specific term for this process of shrinking is called atrophy. In this process, the tissues of the frontal lobes in the brain begin to waste away on their own. This leads to a great reduction of executive functioning, which is the brain’s capacity to influence one’s behavior. Less executive functioning means less self-control. This will eventually lead the brain to have a significantly harder time to tell a person when enough is enough. As Natalia S. David, PsyD. says, “Not everyone who gambles has a problem with it. It is important to determine whether or not the other person has an addiction.”

This is the reason why elderly people cannot cease their unhealthy habits of gambling. It might not be so much that they are addicted to gambling and that they do it because they genuinely enjoy the act of gambling. It may be because they have little self-control and can’t stop, even if the gambling costs them. 

Progressive effects of lack of self-control 

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What happens to these older adults who find themselves getting addicted to gambling, but almost always end up losing? This can result in many possible things. One of these is anger issues. That is because “The challenge with anger is finding a way to express it in a way that doesn’t make others want to shut down or become defensive or scared.” John M. Grohol, Psy.D.  said.

All of us know the stereotype of elderly people. People usually think of them as grumpy, impatient or reclusive. This image of these people is portrayed in many famous films, wherein the grandparents lose their patience towards their grandchildren, for example. Can this stereotype be applied to the elderly people who gamble? Possibly. 

Going back to what was mentioned earlier, elderly people who actively participate in gambling have little self-control, a trait that comes with old age. Loss of self-control can lead to anger issues such as aggression, frustration or vexation dealt by a loss at the casino. But what can they expect? One does not easily win at gambling. A day at the casino will more likely lead to a loss in cash rather than a profit. With that being said, an elderly person who has severe trouble with self-control is highly at risk of losing his/her temper. 

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“The first step was to understand that our goal was to mainstream addiction treatment into the general delivery of health care.” Navdeep Kang, PsyD explains. So to sum up, self-control is not the only thing that elderly people lose when it comes to aging and gambling. It is also money and a cool head that is lost after gambling. 

The Gambler With Anxiety: How To Cope

 

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Anxiety can fuel a gambling problem.

Research has shown that there is a relation between the gambling and anxiety. The 2001–2002 National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions raised suggestions that people with problems in gambling or pathological gambling may also be dealing with anxiety disorders. Specifically, 11% deal with generalized anxiety disorder; almost 15% experience post-traumatic stress disorder; 22% have panic disorder; and 52% are possibly suffering from a specific phobia.

“Anxiety is an adaptation of that vital and fundamental fear response. Sometimes anxiety will tell you that the worst is true.” That is according to Kristine Tye, MA, LMFT. People who are anxious may turn to gambling as a way of dealing with their problems. Some of them say that when they bet, they can separate their anxiety or turn their anxiety into excitement. Thus, the action of gambling becomes a part of their life to the point that it may overwhelm them.

Thus, to elicit change such as removing the gambling behavior, one might need to reduce or alleviate anxiety first. There are ways to do so.

Relax

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A complete psychological and physiological opposite of anxiety and worry is relaxation. Whereas panic and anxiety may show increased heart rate and the need to gasp for air, with relaxing comes a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure, and calm mind. If one practices to rest regularly, the effects can be significant. Although it may seem too simple, relaxing is genuinely a way by which people can learn how to counteract anxiety, as both cannot occur at once. However, true relaxation goes more than just watching TV while on the couch. Karin Draper, LMFT explains that “Anxiety can often lead to substance abuse as a means to cope, particularly for those experience social anxiety or those who experience a high level of stress and struggle to find other means of relaxation.”

There are times when anxiety levels reach high that people feel psychologically and physically bothered and uncomfortable. During these times, relaxation exercise like identifying, defusing triggers, and breaking cycles of anxiety, can help with them. One should also practice doing it daily and regularly so that they will know what to do all the time.

Pure relaxation isn’t easy, but one can get better at it through practice. Activities that help both the body and mind relax include meditation and yoga. This helps someone be more aware of their body and recognize when it’s becoming too intense. These are also easily done at your home.

Visualization Exercise

A great strategy is to mix the breathing exercise with the muscle relaxation exercises earlier along with visualization.

Visualizations work better if the individual believes that it is a safe place and if he uses the senses to imagine it to include details. This can help one to forget the negative thoughts. For example, you can imagine going to the park. In time and with enough practice, he can imagine even the birds they hear in the park, the smell of the grass, the sun on the skin, and the grass beneath the feet.

Replacement Activities

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Things people do to alleviate their anxiety is by distracting themselves. Therefore, doing something else other than gambling can help focus one’s attention and concern from the negative thoughts and worry. Once this alleviates the stress, there might be a reduction in the need to gamble. “To quell overwhelm, engage in an activity that you enjoy, such as listening to music, reading a book or taking a walk. And consider how you can solve the stressors that triggered your overwhelm in the first place” Marla W. Deibler, PsyD elaborates.

Doing another activity unrelated to gambling may mean finding new hobbies or going back to old interests. If done continuously, they may evolve in such a way that it takes over the coping mechanism of gambling to reduce anxiety and ultimately replace it. There’s no need to think too hard on what to do. It can be something as simple as reading fictional books, drawing, or listening to new music like BTS.

Be Patient

Dropping gambling isn’t something that can be done in a short time, just like how Rome wasn’t built in a day. It would take time as it would require many changes in their lifestyle like getting new skills. There will be times wherein the person involved might regress, but it’s part of the process. It takes baby steps to make significant changes, not giant leaps.

5 Negative Effects Of Gambling On Your Relationships

After winning yet another game, you feel happy. You collect your winnings. Then, you decide to try your luck again and spend it in another round. 

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This time, you lose. You’re calling your wife, but she’s not answering. She’s frustrated that you’re still out at this hour. Your friends? They already left you because you lost. You start to feel lonely and isolated. 

Just like any addiction, you realize that ﷟HYPERLINK “http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/for-the-public/What-is-gambling.aspx” gambling has adverse effects not only to yourself but for everyone around you. 

  1. Mistrust/ Loss Of Trust 

Gambling addicts consciously or unconsciously hide behind lies and deceit to get their fix. For example, some makeup excuses just to get to their favorite casino. While other people take it extremes, such as stating fake illnesses in the family just to gather capital for their gambling. 

Constant lying and deceit can lead to loss of trust. Eventually, these lies end up putting a strain on relationships. This strain does not occur within the family; it can even extend to friends and colleagues.  But note, “If you have had significant issues around trust, safety, or stability in relationships previously, I think it’s important for people to have other sources of support outside of their partner(s). This support can come in various forms such as friends, family members, clergy, and even a therapist.” says Jor-El Caraballo, LMHC.

2. Financial Loss 

Addiction to gambling also means less financial support available for the family. Gambling addicts are usually the breadwinners. More often than not, these gambling addicts use up their limited budget to gamble. These funds are supposedly allotted for food or other expenses within the home.  Elizabeth Scott, MS, a wellness coach says  “Learning to cope with financial stress and effectively manage your financial situation can help you feel more in control of your life, reduce your stress, and build a more secure future.”

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 3. Breakdown Of Family Relations 

Resentment from other family members ensues because of the limited time spent on bonding with the family. First, the spouse feels neglected. Most of the duties inside the home are now a burden of the other spouse. Less income available also translates to increased economic responsibility for the spouse, leading to more resentment. 

The children also feel resentment towards the gambler because they don’t feel the needed love and support. Heated conflicts between spouses due to finances can also lead the children to become depressed and isolated. 

4. Possible Influence On Children 

Parents are supposedly the first examples for their children. These children’s worldview takes after their parents and relatives. So if the children see one of their parents addicted to gambling, they may ﷟HYPERLINK “https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5316223/”take after them. 

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Gamblers should worry that they may be setting up a bad example for their children. If their children experience the same problems with gambling in their future, they are only the ones to blame. 

5. Limited Social Circles 

There is the saying that the “birds of the same feather, flock together.” And gamblers are the ones who often stay together. Gamblers are awake at odd hours; they are awake at night and usually asleep during the day. 

Having an odd sleeping pattern thus limits the people gamblers interact with. 

Having mentioned these negative effects, what should you do to get on the right track? 

First off, you should consult a medical expert. Often, when you are too engrossed in your gambling activities, you become unaware that you are hooked on it already. 

A medical expert, specifically a psychiatrist, will be able to diagnose your condition and advise healthy coping mechanisms. 

Neglecting your symptoms can lead to even more disastrous outcomes for your relationships. Decide to take action to start the path to recovery.