Problem gambling is an urge to gamble despite harmful negative consequences or a desire to stop. Problem gambling often is defined by whether harm is experienced by the gambler or others, rather than by the gambler’s behavior.
Forms of Gambling
- Lotteries (traditional), bingo
- Destination resort casinos
- Urban or suburban casinos
- Convenient Gambling: gaming devices in bars, slot machines
- Ultra-Convenient Gambling: interactive television, mobile phone, or internet gambling
The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery Recent evidence indicates that gambling is an addiction similar to chemical addiction. According to a study conducted by Alec Roy, M.D. formerly at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, norepinephrine is secreted under stress, arousal, or thrill, so problem gamblers gamble to get the feelings associated with norepinephrine.
Further to this, according to a report from the Harvard Medical School Division on Addictions there was an experiment constructed where test subjects were presented with siuations where they could win, lose or break even in a casino-like environment. Subjects’ reactions were measured using a fMRI, a neuro-imaging device very similar to a MRI. And according to Hans Breiter, MD, co-director of the motivation and Emotion
Neuroscience Centre at the Massachusetts General Hospital, “Monetary reward in a gambling-like experiment produces brain activation very similar to that observed in a cocaine addict receiving an infusion of cocaine.”