Many people gamble and for some they will not experience, however gambling is highly addictive and experiencing a gambling addiction can happen to anyone. There are some common myths about gambling, and not understanding some of these myths could lead to a person developing a gambling problem.
Myths about gambling
Here are myths to be aware of when it comes to gambling:
Myth #1: Gambling is an easy way to make money
Gambling should not be seen as a way to make money. Gambling is a game of chance, and there’s no guarantee that you’re going to win. The advantage is always with ‘the house’ which could be a casino, a bookies, or an online gambling app or website, meaning you are more likely to lose than to win.
Myth #2: The longer you gamble, the more likely you are to win
Gambling is a game of chance, and how long you’ve been playing a game or placing bets won’t have any impact on the next result. It’s more likely that you’ll just continue to lose money, because the house always has the advantage.
Myth #3: You can win your money back if you keep gambling
This is a dangerous way to think, because as soon as you start chasing your losses, you will only drive yourself further into debt. If it was possible for everyone to win their money back, then betting shops and casinos wouldn’t be able to stay in business.
Myth #4: You can’t become addicted to gambling
Gambling can be just as addictive as alcohol or drugs. This is because gambling has a similar effect on the brain as these substances, releasing chemicals that make you feel good. This can make you want to keep repeating the behaviour so that you can have that same rush of happiness again. This can turn into an addiction if the gambler keeps gambling despite any negative consequences.
Myth #5: People with a gambling problem gamble every day
While you will find some compulsive gamblers who gamble every day, a person doesn’t need to be placing bets or playing games every day for it to be a problem. Someone can only gamble once or twice a month and still have a problem.
The problem isn’t necessarily how often the person gambles, but how negative an impact it is having on their mental, emotional and financial well-being and their relationships.
Myth #6: You’re more likely to win if you know the game really well
No matter how much of an expert you are on football, it will always be down to chance on the day. Just because your team is doing well and they seem to be likely to win their next match, it doesn’t mean they will. It’s never a guarantee.
Myth #7: You can predict the outcome of a game by looking at previous results
If you’re betting on a sports game and you can see that one of the teams has lost four times this season, while the other team has only lost twice, you might decide that the second team is more likely to win. But that isn’t necessarily the case, and past outcomes have no bearing on how the next will go.
Myth #8: Losing a few bets in a row means you’re due for a win on the next one
Some people feel that after a few bad bets, their luck must be around the corner. However, gambling is still a game of chance, and losing a number of bets in a row doesn’t make it more likely that you’ll win on the next one.
Myth #9: Older adults are more likely to have a gambling problem than teenagers and young adults
Studies have shown that young people in Ireland are now more at risk of developing a gambling problem than adults, and gambling rates among teens are 2-3 times higher than adults. This is due to the accessibility of gambling through apps, websites and games.
How can I stop gambling?
Gambling can be difficult to give up and you may have to try a few different things, but recovery is possible no matter how hopeless the situation may feel. You can call Problem Gambling Ireland for information and support on 089 241 5401.
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