Gambling is essentially the action of gambling with an uncertain result with the intention of winning something more valuable; and it is seen by many as being similar to sports betting. Gambling therefore requires three components for it to be legitimate: risk, consideration, and a reward. The reward may be financial or non-financial in nature; some examples of non-financial rewards include merchandise, travel, tickets to events, and casino chips. When considering the risk factor, which can either be psychological or physical, potential gamblers should consider whether their gamble will have any long-term effects on them.
With respect to the addictions, there are four types of gambling addictions, including compulsive gambling, internet gambling, alcohol/drug addiction, and sexual addiction. Compulsive gambling is characterized by habitual use of gambling devices or equipment with no foreseeable end in mind. Internet gambling refers to placing bets online, usually through betting exchanges, which the main goal is to make quick profits with little or no risk at all; however, the end goal in this case is still achieving financial satisfaction. Alcohol/drug addiction is seen as pathological gambling in which a person regularly engages in behavior designed to satisfy an intense need for alcohol or drugs.
Addictions are seen as a problem when excessive gambling behavior is detrimental to one’s health, relationships, and social standing. Those who suffer from gambling addictions may try to resolve the problem through self-help programs and legal means. It is important that treatment centers and rehabilitation services help in the recovery process by keeping the gambler away from gambling behaviors that lead to addiction in the first place. It is also important that family members of addicts support the recovering gambler and help to keep him away from temptations that may lead to gambling relapse. Recovery and maintenance centers offer gamblers the best chance of beating addiction. Gamblers should realize that addiction leads to problems of its own such as lack of intimacy, poor health, and relationships.