To a small proportion of society gambling is addictive.
The moment you place the word ‘addictive’ in any statement it is natural to think about heroin addicts, drunks and the like.
Can gambling seriously be compared to the addictiveness of ingesting chemicals in the form of drugs and alcohol?
For starters it’s patently stupid to tell a gambler they have a disease and “it’s not your actions that are to blame but some misfortune with your make-up”.
Labelling them diseased means the gambler believes they are somehow rendered powerless.
It places all the blame on this nefarious disease or illness of which medical science has not definitive grasp of and certainly no cure.
There is no definitive study to say “having this gene makes you a gambling addict”.
The only people who call gambling an illness or a disease are those with vested interests: doctors and psychiatrists.
I myself gamble, on the horses.
In fact I lose money on the horses, yet I weigh this up with the entertainment and excitement I get from the exercise.
If gambling is a disease - by rights casual punters like me also carry a 'Malaria' type infection and simply don't not know it.
If the disease theory holds water punters like me must also have something in our systems that can resist this 'invader'?
I have yet to meet anyone who wins at the races.
This includes large gamblers.
Everyone, including the problem gambler is fully aware they are losing - only way less so than your average punter.
One of the major differences is a problem gambler has a far greater expectancy to win.
I want to win, I don't expect to in-fact I expect to lose.
Now reverse this mental state.
A decade or so ago having a greater expectancy to take more of the pool would have been called greed, but no-one is allowed to be so blunt nowadays.
Addictive gamblers hate others winning money they see as theirs.
I love when my fellow punters win big - it gives you hope, it's nice seeing people happy.
Couple this increased expectancy with an elevated ‘thrill of the win’ and you have addictive issues.
The problem-gambler therefore places the pleasure they derive from gambling above most of the things going-on in their lives.
Problem gamblers exhibit narcissistic traits placing their own ‘pleasure’ above the needs of even their children, love-ones, employers etc.
The adverse results of their addiction are compatible with alcohol and drugs but that’s as far as the connection goes.
Anyone who says gambling is a disease has vested interests or wants to defer the blame away from the real cause.