The United States Supreme Court legalized sports betting in 2018. That was a major boon to an already growing industry.
Online gambling has been the fastest-growing segment since 2016. And it’s expected to keep growing while practically doubling in scope.
Sports betting is the most popular out of all betting options, with both in-person and online gambling. With the NFL’s Conference championships about to start, you can be sure that bets are placed at a frantic pace.
You may be one of those people. Or, you may be one who wonders, “What’s all the hype?” Whatever side of the field you come down on, you might be asking yourself, “Why do people gamble?” Well, keep reading, and you’ll find out.
1. It’s Fun
Anyone who’s ever made a wager on a game or at a casino has felt that rush. That initial rush when you place your bet with anticipation. Then, there’s the rush of the process.
Whether you bet on a certain team, a certain score, or you spun the roulette wheel, the excitement is the same. Sure, some feel it more than others, but everyone who makes a bet feels some sort of rush flowing through their veins.
To piggyback on the “rush” theme in point one, there’s also that rush of competition. Perhaps you used to play sports and, like most, weren’t able to continue beyond high school or Little League.
But you still enjoy the feeling of competition. Placing a bet with a friend or with a bookmaker can give you a sense of that feeling you missed oh so badly.
It may not completely fill that void, as you’re not out on the field or ice rink, but there’s at least a little sense of competition.
Even if it’s a $5 bet against a friend, or even a drink or dinner or having to wear the other teams’ jersey in public, it’s still a bet.
Many people think gambling is glamorous. They feel like they’re in Vegas with Frank, Dean, and the rest of the Rat Pack. They think of the movie Casino and Sharon Stones’ Ginger, throwing chips in the air grinning ear to ear after a big win at the Craps table.
People tend to feel like they’re something of a high roller when they’re gambling. That’s the reason people will put more money than they should on a bet, whether it’s online gambling or in a casino.
The media and advertisements play a part in this as well. Gambling is portrayed as sleek, stylish, and sexy in commercials and print ads.
Marketing agencies understand the way our brains are wired, and they know we’ll respond to these types of campaigns. Plus, when people are at a casino or The Kentucky Derby, it’s thought of as a place to be seen.
4. They Want to Escape
Escapism is a big part of “Why do people gamble?”, especially during these times of COVID-19 and lockdowns all over the world. Hard numbers aren’t in yet, but most predict that online gambling users have doubled or even tripled during 2020.
People who’ve been locked in their homes are looking for any kind of excitement, interaction, or a way to pass their time at the best gambling sites.
When major sports came back on the scene, it was a rush to make a bet. Any kind of a bet would do to escape the existence we had for so long.
It’s the bustling of people, sounds, and flashy lights that help us escape in a casino. When you step into a casino, you’re immediately transported to another world. It’s a quick fix for a longing to escape from your reality.
5. The Social Aspect
Tying into making a bet with a friend, there’s a social aspect to gambling. You may be sitting around with your friends placing bets on a game together.
Or, you may be putting money on a fantasy sports league. You get together with friends, draft a team, make trades throughout the season, and ultimately get to brag if you win while taking the pot of money home with you.
Or, maybe you simply play bingo at a local hall with friends and others in your community? Although, a bit different and much lower stakes, it’s still a form of gambling.
6. Low-Risk and High-Reward
A lot of people feel that gambling is a low-risk and high-reward proposition. Many psychologists will tell you this. But, that’s not true when you look at the stats.
Remember, the odds always favor the house. Why do you think casinos have stayed in business all these years. Plus, they’ve only grown their enterprise in the process.
The saying “The house always wins.” isn’t entirely true, but it is for the most part. Why do you think casinos offer cushy perks and high-end suites to big-time players?
Even if you’re not a big-time better, if you hit a big jackpot, you’ll most likely be greeted by a casino host who offers you a free extended stay at their hotel or a future free room package.
They want you to stay and keep playing. The longer you play, the better their odds are.
Last but not least, there’s the real ugly side of gambling, and that’s addiction. Addiction is a big problem in society, whether it’s drugs, booze, or otherwise.
Gambling is one of the biggest problems addictive people face. It can ruin lives, marriages, families, careers, and more. Here are some telling statistics you should know:
- 5 out of every 100 people that gamble are addicted
- 750,000 people between the ages of 14-21 have a gambling problem
- Gambling addicts often have mental disorders
- Gambling increases the chance to commit violent crimes
- More than 6% of college students gamble
Why Do People Gamble?
As you can see, there are many answers to, “Why do people gamble?” and some people may even have two or more reasons they gamble. For some, it can be harmless, a way to escape a tough time, or for socializing.
But for others, it can be a dark road to follow. Whether you’re already a gambler or considering trying it out, do so with caution and know your limits.
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