Self-Control — Why Is It Important In Gambling?

Gambling is a fun pastime activity. But, overdoing it can lead to an addiction. Read this article to find out why self-control is so important in gambling.

Gambling: Why You Need to Remain in Control

The gambling industry today is worth around $400 billion. Such an astronomical success of what is essentially a pastime activity lies in the fact that it’s extremely fun. However, it’s extremely addictive as well.

If you enjoy gambling, be it roulettes, slots, or poker, maintaining a level of self-control is a must. Around 6 million Americans have been diagnosed with pathological gambling. On top of that, one in every five addicts attempts suicide, making problem gambling an addictive disorder with the highest suicide rate in the United States.

Nowadays, it’s even easier to develop an addiction. With the convenience which online casinos provide, placing a bet is a single tap on your phone. Saying goodbye to money on a credit card is also psychologically easier, as it’s basically just a number on a website.

We’ve all had sessions where we went back on our promise and spent over a certain limit. But, most of us know how to keep such sessions to a minimum. Others don’t have the willpower or the self-control to do the same. Why does this happen? Well, some of us simply have a personality that is more prone to getting addicted. These individuals cannot seem to produce enough dopamine — a hormone our body releases in dangerous and stressful situations. They need that extra source of excitement and adrenaline they don’t normally get in their lives.

Others find it as a stress release valve, or they simply do it out of boredom. Either way, when you’re not able to remain in control, you need to take some action to try and beat the addiction.

Dealing With Addiction

If you decide to neglect the telltale signs that are in front of you, your gambling disorder can bring you personal and financial problems. Most addicts don’t know when they need to stop gambling. They start chasing losses which only result in even more financial problems. Not being able to implement a bankroll management system and overpaying can put you into debts you won’t be able to pay off.

But, there’s a silver lining. The thing is, gambling addiction is a psychological one, as opposed to physical addictions such as alcoholism and drug abuse. As such, it’s easier to get rid of. Around half of all addicts have managed to pull through on their own. However, if in the long run it’s not working out, you should turn to professional help. Just like with any other disorder, there’s an organization (Gamblers Anonymous) which hosts meetings for its members who look to help each other out. They follow a ten-step program, similar to the AA, which helps you combat this issue and learn how to overcome it.

Additionally, you can seek the help of a psychologist who can help you with some cognitive-behavioral therapy. This includes therapeutical sessions with a doctor who will get you to talk about how you feel while gambling. You should write a diary, and log your gambling and non-gambling days, and reward yourself for good behavior.


In gambling, self-control is key. If you’re unable to tell yourself when to stop, you should probably avoid this activity. It can lead to strains in personal relationships and severe financial problems. If you catch yourself lying to your close ones about your gambling sessions, you might have a problem.

When you learn how to remain in control, gambling can stay a fun, harmless, way of spending your time.