The real reason why people gamble

What’s the psychology of gambling? Gambling is not a profitable business, it never was, and the chances that this will change is the same as being able to fly a car; not that it’s impossible, the chances are just too slim. Gamblers also know this fact. But why then do people bet half if not all their hard-earned money and time in casinos? These questions need to be answered, and we will try our possible best to possibly give you the closure you seek.

The context – the psychology of gambling

Gambling offers bettors the chance of earning a monetary reward and other notable prizes. But, have you ever considered some of the other reasons why your friend, partner, school teacher, parent (because this could be anyone) gamble? Diving into human psychology and why one would invest so much time and money into it.

The illusion of control

Gambling creates an illusion of control – It predisposes their brains to over-confidence – for instance, this sort of illusion that gives you a false sense of security about our daily lives and the decisions we make. As our brains luck us up in this self-deceit, we are pushed away from reality and become ignorant of what’s true.

This affects gamblers because gambling games give them the belief that it’s possible to use skills to influence an outcome that is predesigned to be won by chance.

The reason – taking risks

One of the many reasons why people gamble is to quench their ever-increasing thirst to take risks. Its human nature to get a rush of dopamine when gambling. A gambler would tell you that the feeling is so different. “Will I win?” “Will my prediction come up?” This sense of anticipation creates an extra layer of highness; one feels natural. Even though the adrenaline rush feels good at the time, it is only temporary. Anyone can fall into this bottomless pit. An unending thirst to feel that we can achieve what seems impossible. One we think we can’t live without.

To escape from their ‘toxic’ environment

Another reason people get into gambling is so that they can ‘escape’ from the outside world. They believe gambling serves as a medium of escape. It’s just like sex and alcohol; it temporarily fades out those problems bugging their mind. The casinos will provide glitzy scenery and lots of games and gaming machines. While we are gambling, we will meet up with different people, some of which are just like you. The scenery, music, and emotions stimulate your senses.

For social purposes

Humans are social creatures. In most countries, including the United States, gambling is accepted as part of the nation’s culture. Some are introduced to gambling at a young age – they are exposed to online casinos, playing cards, poker, and slots. These always appear harmless at first till it turns to an unhealthy habit. Playing the bingo with a couple of friends on a Friday night at the club or meet up at the amusement arcade.

The mirage

Those that gamble often do so because they are swept off their feet by the glamour. One trick many gambling companies pull is to playing on human psychology. They know humans are mostly moved by what they see. That is why they show you these lavish, sexy, fashionable lifestyles, which are often portrayed in movies, casinos, their ads, and so much more. We sit in front of our TV and see different notable characters enjoying a night out at the casino. The illusion of a high society drives people to invest in the venture.

The art of promoting the illusion of control

The illusion of control we talked about earlier is a matter of personal choice. It is determined by one’s idea, and in situations where the bettor is given the option to play a part in arranging the gamble, he is being given a choice to exert his skills, thereby altering or being in control of the outcome when in reality, it’s just an illusion. What leads to prolonged gambling? It is believed that near-misses and personal choice have been proven to play a major role in this habit. Both near misses and personal choice increase the size of bets placed by the gambler.

Near misses and Personal choices

  • Personal choices:

This is just one of the two determinants that create the illusion of control by the gambling companies. It refers to situations where the gambler has a certain role to play in the arrangement. For instance, lottery players prefer a number sequence they’ve preselected and may refuse to exchange it with anyone or for several tickets filled with random numbers. Providing them with choices will encourage them to play more as it will make them believe that they have a role to play in the entire outcome of the game.

  • Near misses

While personal choices are about creating an illusion of control through shared responsibility, near misses, on the other hand, occur when the outcome is close to the supposed jackpot. However, there is no actual win. Remember when you predicted that a certain dog would finish in second place only to end up in third? The goal is to encourage you to play more. The higher the frequencies of near misses, the more time you spend gambling. This trick gets compulsive buyers a lot, as it makes them believe that they are closer to hitting the jackpot – now, this is far from the truth.


Trying to break down the range of motivational determinants for gambling will lead to more questions than answers. While others are pursuing financial gain, others are in it for the dopamine rush. We’ve seen others take up gambling professionally. The rate at which people are gambling is overly increasing, and the signs are not good.  If you’ve got any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to us as we’ll be glad to hear from you. Keep learning and keep growing; that’s the only path to growth.