Gambling addiction and its causes

By | April 29, 2019

Gambling addiction is never a pleasant experience. It may make life miserable for the addicted person, their family, and friends.
Nowadays, the UK government is working hard in cooperation with UKGC and online casinos mentioned by Solicitors.Guru to promote responsible gambling. However, to fight the addiction first, we must understand what is causing it.

When discussing the major causes of gambling one has to consider that there are two primary forms of gambling addictions:

  • Pathological gambling
  • Compulsive gambling

With regards to pathological gambling, there is no one specific cause.

Compulsive gambling may be caused by some medications used to treat patients who have Parkinson disease and also those coping with impulsive control disorders. Compulsive gambling also results in mania which is a common symptom of bipolar disorder.

When treating Parkinson’s disease or the restless leg syndrome, some patients have been observed to develop compulsive gambling along with other surprising compulsive behaviors like compulsive sexual and uncontrollable extreme shopping behavior. One such medication which has been found to cause this compulsive behavior is Pramipexole (Mirapex). The connection between the drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease and this impulsive behavior is simple. This medication increases the dopamine secretion in the brain.

As I mentioned earlier, people who also have bipolar disorder may develop mania which also causes excessive spending which in turn is another characteristic trait of gamblers.

Other causes of gambling addiction

The following factors may also contribute to the possibility of an individual becoming a gambling addict.


A research conducted shows that most gambling addicts suffer from depression.


Most people view gambling as a way to get rid of the feelings of isolation and boredom. Some seniors who have lost their marriage mate, and are all alone, often resort to gambling.

Alcohol addiction

According to studies most individuals who gamble, often have an alcohol problem.


To most individuals gambling is a quick and easy way to eliminate stress be it emotional, financial or work-related stress. But in the actual sense, it only adds to the tension as you try to cope with the pain of losing money and the shame it brings.

The brain

The brain is a very complex and vital part of our organism. But due to how the brain of certain individuals works it also increases the risk of getting addicted to gambling among other things. How? The brain releases a chemical known as dopamine when an individual is going through a pleasurable moment. The brain further makes the individual want to experience that pleasure again. When it happens to a gambler, it increases the risk of addiction.

The pleasure of the game

Gambling provides immense pleasure to those who participate in it. Some begin to enjoy this feeling a bit too much, and soon they become addicted.


Nowadays, gambling has become very accessible thus making it hard to resist. You can play online on your smartphone or computer at home or even on the go. Also, betting shops are now very common everywhere in the UK. Some sites even offer incentives such as initial stakes that can be done for free or at a reduced rate. There are even categories for the elderly and the young too.