Gambling has been somewhat controversial and there has been a lot of ambiguity in the definitions, concepts, and meanings of various terms. Who is a professional gambler? Who is an addict? What type of gambler are you? Where do we draw the line? This article serves as a guide to help us understand the differences in both concepts and their relevance. Find out more.

Types Of Gamblers

Understanding the different types of gamblers will help you to identify the group you fall into, which could also determine the next best step for you. Gamblers fall into the major categories below:

  1. Professional Gamblers: These are people who earn a living from gambling primarily. They study systems and patterns and find a way to beat them. There are not many professional gamblers because it takes extraordinary skill, intelligence, hard work, patience, and self-control to be successful. Professional gamblers are usually not addicts.
  2. Social/casual gamblers: These are people who spend some of their free time and moderate amounts of money on a few games. They represent a huge part of the gambling community worldwide. With social gamblers, it is usually not about winning. Gambling is not the primary focus. Rather, they seek to spend time with friends, meet new people, and relax.
  3. Escape Gamblers: When gambling becomes a coping skill or an outlet to fight off stress, depression, and anxiety, it might become problematic for your family, friendships, and work in the future. This group of people may not mind losing large amounts of money in a short time as long as gambling fulfills their emotional needs at that point in time.
  4. Conservative Gamblers: This set of people bet because they desire to gain experience. Thus, they often have a modest budget and are not prone to addictive practices.
  5. Personality Gamblers: They are also known as antisocial gamblers. They engage in illegal betting acts, which may involve cheating, lying, stealing, and even match-fixing. These people are at the highest risk of addiction.
  6. Compulsive Gamblers: For these people, gambling controls most of their time, money, and lives. Although most of them deny it, the signs are evident in their mental health, financial, and even criminal history. These people need treatment and support to prevent the problems from escalating.

Professional Gambling

Professional gamblers have skills that help them to assess and mitigate risk in other to rake in profit at the end of the day. A professional gambler has a low risk for addiction. However, we cannot rule out the possibility. If they begin to lose their high levels of control, patience, and awareness, we might see an increased risk and a reversal of patterns toward the direction of an addict.

Professional gamblers are focused to make income out of gambling, that’s why they usually know all the details and requirements of different bonuses provided by the casinos. For example, the most favourite option is free spins no deposit win real money, it is a great possibility to have a chance for playing for real money with no need to deposit. It is a win-win situation, that doesn’t require you to risk. So, speaking about professional gamblers, those people will never lose the chance to use amazing casino promotions.

Before venturing into the path of a professional, there are certain things you must know. It is not just about wearing those expensive suits and sitting in some exotic bar drinking fine wine. You have to ask yourself some questions. How big is your bankroll? The bigger the better. Huge bankrolls help to absorb the shocks that come with a losing streak. How much time are you willing to invest? You can determine your hours of work as a professional gambler. Remember that the path to success as a professional gambler could be long and slow. To increase your chances of success, it takes a keen desire to scale up and put in the hard work. You must be sure about your conviction to turn pro.

Gambling Addiction

Addictions vary in gambling and could have profound effects on a person’s life and health. People experience addictions in different ways. Research has shown that both electronic gambling machines and Internet gambling are the most addictive forms of gambling. 

Amateur gamblers are more likely to have addiction problems because they rely on luck rather than skill when they bet. Amateurs do not usually track their bets or study to improve their game like professional players. Thus, they are more likely to lose their discipline and self-control, which would only mean more problems.

Signs Of An Addicted Loser

Addicted gamblers show their problems in different ways. Below are some of the ways you can easily identify an addict:

  • Spending too much time gambling. Consistently spending the whole day spinning reels at the expense of other areas of your life could qualify you as an addicted loser.
  • Repeated failed attempts at cutting back on gambling despite its obvious negative effects.
  • Constantly chasing wins to make up for previous losses.
  • Gambling even when one cannot afford it financially.
  • Feeling the need to hide one’s gambling habits from others.
  • Feeling anxious at the thought of not being able to gamble.
  • Increased concern from friends and family about one’s gambling activity.
  • Impulsiveness.
  • Jeopardizing important relationships and opportunities due to gambling.

The Gender Of Addiction Problem

Nowadays, it is quite difficult to say if males or females are more usually addicted to gambling. But the statistics show that men gamble more often, that’s why it is considered that women are less addicted because they gamble less usual.

Differences Between Professional & Addicted Gamblers

The table below summarizes the major differences between professional gamblers and addicts. 

Feature Professional Gambler Addicted Loser/Gambler
Skills Depend on skill rather than luck Depend on luck to make money
Control Have full control over gambling habits Have little control over habits and resources
Finances Make a living out of gambling Loses a significant part of income to gambling
Addiction Usually do not have any other addictions Often has other vices like alcohol and drug abuse
Law Make money through legal means May be involved in illegal acts
Loss Profits are usually more than losses Losses far outweigh the profits

Dealing With The Problem

There is no surefire way to prevent gambling addiction. However, public education and a multidisciplinary approach targeting those at risk may be helpful. Certain risk factors play a major role in the development of addiction. These include:

  • Having an underlying mental health condition such as substance abuse problems, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, ADHD, etc. 
  • Young or middle age. 
  • Male gender, although the gender pattern between the male and female has increasingly become similar
  • Certain personality types such as being highly competitive, workaholic, etc.
  • Side effects of medications such as dopamine agonists
  • Having a family member or friend who has a gambling problem
  • Job-related stress
  • Retirement

Failure to deal with gambling addiction could cause a variety of short-term and long-term effects. Some of these problems include reduced productivity, failed relationships, depression, suicidal ideations, bankruptcy, a decline in health, and so on. The problems of an addicted loser usually extend beyond the person and affect those around them. Therapy and self-help groups may help those who have already become addicts.

Final Thoughts

Gambling when done modestly and with good reason is a way to ease tension, have fun, build relationships, and probably make some money. However, one could quickly become an addicted loser if precautionary measures are not put in place. You should never be afraid to ask for help if you find yourself getting addicted to gambling. Getting treatment at the earliest sign will prevent the debilitating effects of being an addicted loser.

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