Online Gambling – Causes and Treatment of Internet Gambling Addiction

Online Gambling allows players to wager money on a variety of casino games via the internet. The winnings are placed into the player’s account and can be withdrawn whenever desired. However, it is important to remember that gambling should be treated as entertainment and not a way to make big bucks. Therefore, it is recommended to only gamble money that you can afford to lose and set deposit limits. If you are unsure of how to start gambling online, there are many helpful resources available to help.

Biological Causes

Gambling triggers the release of dopamine and other feel-good neurotransmitters, which is why it can be addictive. Several studies have shown that compulsive gambling is linked to mental illness. For example, in a study published in Current Addiction Reports, researchers from Southern Cross University in Australia found that higher rates of coexisting mental health problems such as depression and anxiety were observed in online gamblers compared to those who only gambled at land-based casinos.

Psychological Causes

Identifying, detecting and acting on early risk indicators may reduce the gambling-related harms sustained by Internet gamblers. However, a single gambling index is not sufficient to identify problem gamblers, as it fails to capture the complex interactions between different factors and game-specific characteristics that influence gambling behaviour. In addition, research is needed on the sensitivity of gaming data to screen for gambling problems and on methods to detect behavioural change.

Treatment options for internet gambling addiction include individual and group cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a highly effective treatment for internet gambling addiction, as it addresses the root causes of the problem in a supportive, empathic environment. Treatment is usually accompanied by motivational interviewing, which focuses on helping patients commit to change and work through ambivalence.

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