Gambling refers to the wagering of something of worth on an uncertain event with the intention of winning something more valuable than what you had wager on. Gambling therefore requires three components to be present: risk, consideration, and the reward. There are three main types of gambling: horse racing, backgammon, and poker.
The United States government has made a lot of different attempts to regulate and prevent illegal gambling including; the Wire Act, the Combination Card Act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the Alcohol Taxation Simplification Act, the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, the Video Gambling Enforcement Act, the Sarbanes Oxley Act, the Education and the Family Services Act, the Deposit Insurance Companies Act, the Deposit Insurance Fund Promotion Act, the Internal Revenue Code, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Fair Trading Act, and the Regulation of Internet Gaming Enforcement Act. These laws have attempted to put into place limitations and regulations on internet gambling in order to protect the innocent and inexperienced gambler from being exploited by organized crime. These laws are in effect in all states in the United States and are enforced at the federal level. The majority of states in the United States now have some form of legalized gambling including: Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington. This list does not include all of the states that have legalized but unregulated gambling including: Kansas, Mississippi, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Gambling addiction is not something that is difficult to diagnose. There are many commonalities among those who gamble or have gambling addictions. People who gamble tend to be extremely impulsive and do not think things through; they do not have a strategy in place before they begin to gamble. In most cases gambling addicts will be gamblers for life and have deep connections to the games they are involved in.
Although gambling addiction is considered a type of addiction there are many differences between an addiction and gambling addiction. For example, alcoholism is considered an addiction while drug addiction is not. Alcoholism and drug addictions both cause a person to engage in behaviors that are injurious to their health and cause the user to suffer from a variety of physical withdrawal symptoms. However, with gambling addiction the user will lose their money, their identity, and will be shunned by their peers. They may become unemployed and blacklisted by most employers.
Many gamblers will try to explain away their gambling behavior as mere accidents of chance. They will claim that they had a set limit that they had reached and would re-evaluate their decisions from time to time. This is one explanation why so many people find it hard to admit that they have a gambling problem even when it is in the form of addiction. They cannot help but blame fate or the recession when they lose their money, property, and credibility.
In some cases, the addicts will attempt to rationalize away the losses that they have made. They will say things like “I just lost one game and I was really hoping that I could win that next one.” Although this sounds somewhat rational it really isn’t. Gambling addictions are very serious and should not be taken lightly. If you or someone you know is suffering from gambling addictions, seek professional help immediately.