Psychological aspects of gambling



Legal situation and moral aspects of gambling

Gambling is usually perceived by society as an immoral thing since it often leads to greater poverty with people who lose their money sometimes can borrow much money as a loan or even may commit crime to pay their debts or continue gambling. From the Bible we know about the seven deadly sins of humans which are lust and gambling is seen as the manifestation of greed and laziness since gamblers desire to get rich quickly with little investment and without any efforts.

In the United States, most states prohibit gambling. Violations of the laws are considered misdemeanors or felonies punishable by fines and prison. However, most gambling statutes only criminalize games of chance in which no skill is required, and they make exceptions for state-controlled gambling and social gambling. The laws are aimed primarily at the type of gambling operations that can be used to finance organized crime.

Gambling is exploitation of human frailty

Despite the moral aspect even the governments in many countries welcome activities like bingo, lotteries or other games where the chance to win and the number of winning people is significantly less the revenue that they produce. The odds are in favor of the game operator and the gambler has little chance of winning in the long run. It has been estimated that the chance of getting hit by lightning is much higher than the chance of winning a large lottery jackpot. Well, even though many men are seeking their luck in casinos and lotteries spending almost the last amounts of money in order to win. In fact, it looks magnificent if one spends just a few dollars but gains millions. But the reality is completely different i.e. the gambling houses are getting richer and richer whereas the majority of players is getting poor.

Psychological and financial incentives for gambling

Casinos are some of the most profitable businesses in the world which do not produce a product. Although casinos are highly regulated by government agencies to reduce scams and cheating, the public is seldom aware of the odds of winning any particular game. Casinos have mastered the art of temptation. A barrage of psychological and economic incentives are designed to part you from your money. Once you have have made a bet and lost some money, you have a greater motivation to continue betting in order to recover your losses. Unless you are extremely disciplined and stop betting, trying to recover a gambling loss can start a vicious cycle in which you keep losing against the casino. In the end, the casino always wins because the odds are stacked in its favor.

Psychological Incentives:

– Money in casinos and gambling Houses is converted into “credits”, tokens or different chips for gambling. This abstraction makes it hard for the player to keep track of how much money has actually been lost or won. Once real money has been converted to playing chips it takes somewhat mental effort and discipline to cash out, even after a win.
• Players at slot machines receive frequent, small prizes which are called bonuses at irregular intervals. This encourages people to continue betting in the hope of getting a big jackpot.

– The mathematical complexity of some slot machines disorients customers by allowing multiple lines of play and various bets. A “penny” machine may allow 25 lines of play at up to 10 credits per line. Each pull of the handle at the maximum bet will cost $2.50, which is fifty cents more than on some “dollar” machines.

– Casinos keep customers in the gambling halls by offering hourly prizes that must be claimed within 30 minutes.

– Customers are required to insert a casino ID card into a slot machine to qualify for hourly prizes. Although there may not be a requirement to gamble, once the card is in, the customer may actually feed the machine.

– Gambling halls are filled with loud music and sounds of Bonus games in the slot machines or dropping coins for winning bets and quiet short sounds for losing bets.

– Hypnotic rotating wheels and video displays with flashing images keep the customer’s attention on the slot machines and gaming equipment.

– Slot machines programmed with “near misses” make customers think that they are close to winning thereby encouraging further play. The psychological stimulus of almost winning augments the desire to continue playing to try to get a big prize.

– The loud ringing of slot machines paying out a jackpot serves to convince players who have been losing on nearby machines that it is possible to win by continuing to play.

– Slot machines flash messages such as “Play 3 Credits” which imply that it is advantageous to maximize the amount of the bet. These messages act like subliminal suggestions which may be obeyed subconsciously.

– The low level of lighting and the absence of clocks in a casino relaxes the customers and makes them lose track of time.

– Casinos provide free alcoholic drinks to gamblers at the slot machines or game tables. People gambling under the influence of alcohol have poor judgment and lose their money faster.

– Casinos have chairs only in front of the slot machines and game tables. This eventually forces tired customers to sit down to relax in situations conducive to gambling.

– The floor plan of a casino is like a giant maze. The gambling machines and the gaming tables are arranged in staggered clusters that make it impossible to walk between two points in a straight line. It is necessary to meander through a variety of machines and games, and it is very easy to get lost and disoriented inside a big casino. Keeping the customer in the casino increases the chance that he or she will spend some money in a slot machine or at a table game.

– Casinos establish a tier system with labels of “platinum”, “titanium”, and “diamond” for the more prestigious players, whereas the ordinary players are assigned categories like “gold” or “red label”. The higher ranks with greater fringe benefits can only be achieved by increased level of play or by winning large jackpots. Big players have access to the “high roller” areas which supposedly pay bigger percentages.



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Filled Under: Gambling Advice