Gambling: It’s a Matter of Degree
Which of these is gambling? Poker games with friends Playing poker online for no money Going to the casino Church bingo Fundraiser raffle Day trading in the stock market
Definition of Gambling: Risking money or something of value on the outcome of an unpredictable event or contest.
Gambling is the norm • Gambling at some level is the norm among college students • 70% in Connecticut sample • 88% in Minnesota sample • Most people can gamble without a problem, but a sizable percentage of college student gamble excessively and show signs of a gambling problem (3.2% - 16.4%).
those are stats…this is real:Greg Hogan was • a 19-year-old finance and accounting major at Lehigh University • president of his sophomore class • a cellist in the university orchestra • an employee in the school chaplain's office • the son of a Baptist minister ….and • a student with a gambling problem whose desperation drove him to bank robbery and jail
Levels of Involvement No Gambling Pathological Social Harmful / Problem
Why do some people get into trouble with gambling? 3 forces work together: Person: personality…genetics? Games: built to compel you to play more Environment: it’s everywhere and seen as harmless fun
HOOKED like other “addictions” Brain is affected Tolerance develops Loss of control …but harder to detect
A word about the games themselves…. What are the most addictive types of games?
Poker: luck or skill? Can you make a living at it?
Casino gaming “tricks” Can you name some?
Internet gambling: • Is illegal • Accelerated rate of play increases losses • Free practice sites – let you win more so you think you’re skilled…when you bet with money that changes
How brain activity differs when we contemplate financial losses and gains. The blue areas at left are those that become deactivated as we make decisions that will likely cause us to lose money. The orange and red areas at right show the activation that occurs in the brain when we believe the odds are in our favor and we’ll win money.
Q: What “built” Las Vegas? A: the Gambler’s Fallacy …an example follows…..
Odds of winning $100 in Powerball … are about 11 thousand to 1…but what does that mean??
Let’s say there is 1 piece of red popcorn hidden in this bag of 10,000 pieces of white popcorn ….you’d have a better chance of reaching in and grabbing the one red kernel of popcorn in this bag than you would of winning $100 on a powerball ticket
….but if your lucky numbers have “almost” come up in the last five lottery drawings, you may believe that your chances of winning are better than this…yet they are notother examples of false beliefs?
If you find yourself saying, "I can't quit now, I'm on a winning streak," Gambler's Fallacy If you find yourself saying, "I can't quit now, my luck's about to change," Gambler's Fallacy One of our basic needs is for a sense of control, which we gain by seeking to predict the future and by attributing cause to events that occur that are really random
Responsible gambling guidelines • Set a money limit and stick to it. • Set a time limit and stick to it. • Make it a rule not to gamble on credit. • Consider any losses the cost of recreation • Expect to lose and treat any winnings as a bonus. • Don’t gamble as a way to cope with emotional or physical pain. • Gambling should not interfere with or substitute for friends, family, work, or other • worthwhile activities. • Avoid trying to win back lost money. • Become educated about the warning signs of problem gambling.
SOCIAL GAMBLING PROBLEM GAMBLING Social or Problem? Frequent, or spends more time gambling Occasional gambler Sticks to limits of money to play with Plays with $ that is needed or borrowed Hopes to win but expects to lose Expects to win; keeps playing to win back losses Can take it or leave it Pre-occupied with gambling
A Simple Test 1) Have you ever had to LIE to people important to you about how much you gambled? 2) Have you ever felt the need to BET more and more money? Yes to either may indicate a problem