Should Gambling Be Classified As an Addiction?


Gambling is a form of entertainment, in which people wager money or something else of value on a random event with the hope of winning. It is a major international commercial activity and a source of tax revenue for state governments. It is also an important part of the social life of many people. People can gamble at casinos, horse race tracks, or by buying lottery tickets. People can also place bets with friends or family in a home setting on sports games or on other events. Some people even play games such as marbles or collectible game pieces like Magic: The Gathering for a chance to win.

While the gambling industry generates substantial economic benefits, problem gambling is a significant concern. Problem gambling can occur at any age and can affect anyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status or level of education. However, some groups are at higher risk for developing gambling problems than others, such as children and teenagers. Some people also have a genetic predisposition to develop gambling problems, and may be at greater risk due to their environment or medical history.

The debate about whether pathological gambling should be classified as an addiction has been influenced by a number of factors. Research scientists, psychiatrists, and other treatment care clinicians have framed questions about gambling in different ways, depending on their disciplinary training, experiences, and world views. For example, researchers have argued that the act of gambling can be evidence of recreational interest, diminished mathematical skills, poor judgment, or mental illness.

Posted in: Gambling