Unknown Gamblers – is this an eligible statement?
Walk along a street and take a look at the people coming at you.
Can you see which man is a gambler?
Can you see whether this or that woman loves gambling?
Nobody can see it. And this is one of the reasons why it is not an addiction, not an illness, exactly like no passion is an addiction or an illness. Passion is typically human. But not only you can’t see which person is a gambler, also you can not know whether that person, yesterday a gambler, is a gambler today or tomorrow, too. And this is another reason why it can’t be an addiction.
What is the characteristic of being a gambler?
Before I answer this question, I ask you another question: What is the characteristic of being a footballer or a philatelist? Well, it is to play football or to collect stamps. Not more. So, a gambler is a person, who’s playing money games.
Can all people play football, collect stamps or gamble? Basically of course, but in the reality of course not. One needs skills to play football and passion for collecting stamps. And a gambler? A gambler needs two things to become a gambler: a problem or a personal conflict and a ‚finding out‘ that gambling influences that. The ‚finding out‘ already happens with the first contact, especially with the first winnings.
What’s the reason for it? By our meaning, the reason is fate coping.
This is the conclusion of 40 years gambling and being in contact with gamblers. Reading posts of gambler’s in some net groups, you’ll find sentences like ‚I started gambling today to escape my problems, to feel free or to have some luck‘.
Of course, there are many possibilities to escape problems, to feel free or to have luck, but the involving is rarely that dramatically and that deep going than it is when somebody is gambling.
It’s often heard that gambling would be entertainment. It can be used as entertainment, that’s right, but fundamentally it is more than entertainment. The difference between entertainment and gambling is made by the component ‚hazard‘. Let me explain it by an example. If somebody drives a car, he can do it to entertain himself, of course. But if he brings hazard in the driving, the entertainment ends by exceeding a given point. Then it becomes dangerous. And bringing more and more hazard in the driving, after exceeding the critical point, it has consequences.
This is a good picture to explain the situation of gamblers and you can see that there is no addiction, but a lot of thoughtlessness and especially missing skills to handle the own emotions on the one side and a normal game with excitement and good feelings on the other side.
If you follow me we can say that gambling is a normal behaviour. But we also have to say, being a gambler is nevertheless not that normal. The reason is, gamblers are stigmatised in the most societies and, that’s a big point, some of them stigmatise themselves.