Problem Gambling Among Athletes: Why are They Susceptible?

by Zella

Most of us grow up dreaming of fame and glory. The life of a celebrity is prone to many challenges that most of us overlook, taken over by our will to enjoy a lifestyle that is available to very few. Even though the focus is always on celebrity athletes, their extraordinary lives are not always what they seem to be.

For more than a handful, problem gambling is a real threat with the potential to devastate all their hard work and sacrifice an entire career. For a few particular reasons, high-profile athletes are amongst some of the most susceptible individuals to fall into the traps of an uncontrollable desire to gamble.

Author Martim Nabeiro (find out more about his path here) takes on the psychology and history behind this tendency to let us know why this is a real issue and how vast its impacts can be.

The Ever-moving Desire to Win

Most successful athletes share a trait that compels them towards victory. Whether on the football pitch, on the racing track or a swimming pool, the rush they get from winning acts like a drug on the brain. Dopamine acts towards the reward mechanism programmed into each individual.

The Ever-moving Desire to Win
The Ever-moving Desire to Win

It's therefore not a surprise that some people get "addicted" to winning and will go to great lengths to overcome the challenges that pose in their path. Regardless of gambling in sports issues, modern gambling institutions such as those found at casino online promote a healthy approach to this entertainment segment.

That's not to say that the desire to win won't still move most of these individuals, but the mechanisms to regain control are in place at all times.

How Technology Gives a Helping Hand

In the past, it was frequent to come across problem gambling after the damage occurred. Newspapers would shout widely about athletes that lost millions to gambling, with casinos exempting themselves from any responsibility.

Nowadays, the growing sense of ethics seems to be in place, especially with great examples from the most reputable online casinos found in the country. Apart from the most up-to-date legislation and rules, these casinos promote healthy gambling and provide several solutions for their players to maintain a positive relationship with their time and money.

From self-exclusion to gambling limits, players can create the right atmosphere and draw the lines not to cross, should their gambling sessions find themselves going out of hand. A positive step in the right direction, definitely, but yet some athletes with gambling problems need to rethink the approach altogether.

Availability vs Attitude

For those that find themselves in trouble in their relationship to gambling, a few solutions seem to have a fair share of success.

Ideally, start by moving away from the category of games that create the issue altogether. If these athletes lose thousands at a single card game session, it's worth considering much smaller bets in games such as online slots. The reward system still gets stimulated frequently, even if the amounts at play are nowhere near expectation.

It's great to think of it as a challenge to overcome. An athlete measures life over goals, and fewer are more challenging than those that can affect our wellbeing. The result can ultimately be the type of win-win situation that will feel like winning the most significant medal or trophy.

A Question of Attitude

In the end, athletes with gambling problems feel a mishap in their careers. Commonly, following retirement or an extended injury, when the replacement mechanism tends to lead them down a narrow road.

The attitude or mindset needs them to focus on more mundane victories, away from the central stage. Even if initially, these may feel petty when compared, they pose an opportunity to redefine their perspective on life.

Many of those that have overcome gambling in sport issues have found a renewed energy within their families, a different line of work or a new spiritual connection. Ultimately, it's mostly about finding new ways to feel complete and appreciated.

Whether someone is a famous athlete or the person next door, gambling issues are a serious concern that can affect them. It's easy to get caught in the excitement of winning, the anxiety of gaining your losses back and descend upon a spiral.

Whenever gambling is not fun, stop. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, seek professional help, which is widely and freely available. Gambling can be one of the most fun activities ever, but it requires balance, as does anything in life.

About Zella

Zella is a writer and filmmaker known for her work in the field of media arts. She hails from Tohatchi, New Mexico, and has achieved notable accomplishments throughout her career. Zella holds a bachelor's degree in Media Arts from the University of New Mexico and an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts.

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