How your Brain Gets Addicted to Gambling

Each one of us loves to spend our time in leisure to keep our mind, body, and soul happy in all stages of life. Some people choose to gamble for pleasure and money, but anything done in excess can have serious consequences too.

Can Gambling be good for your brain?

It’s crucial for us to remain physically active with an alert brain till we age. Some gamble at a tender age while some take up gambling after retirement.  Though addiction is not good, Gambling would still help fuel the mind to be energetic by staying focused, better concentration and thought process as a form of good brain exercise.

Bad-side of gambling effects to the brain

As per scientific research, there are three categories of gamblers namely professional, social and problem-gamblers. The problem gamblers are the primary victims who show severe signs of brain disorders which disrupts their life. Did you know that there is a portion of the brain called ventral striatum responsible for projecting both the reward and abuse side of an addicted person? When the pure pleasure of feeling good from gambling develops into more severe forms like repetition to relieve fear, anxiety, insecurity, the greed of money, crime and other sense of negativity is what leads to the addiction. Gambling addiction can have severe consequences to a person’s purpose of life, education, financial status, and reputation but how it affects the brain would be known from the below factors:


  • Lack of general interest: Deficiency in Serotonin neurotransmitter in the brain leads to the loss of general interest to perform daily activities of life.
  • Increase in tolerance level: When the happy neurotransmitter “Dopamine” releases in excess due to gambling addiction, the person would indulge in less physical activity and develop more tolerance towards the external stimulus.
  • Reward-Seeking and Impulsive Nature: The brain pattern in a gambling addict would continually seek immediate rewards to gain momentum in happiness or pleasure. So the chemicals such as dopamine or serotonin would naturally increase owing to genetic influence and make the addicts behave impulsively to engage in heavy gambling.
  • Cravings and thrill to betting: The brain chemicals would become adaptable to regular gambling to urge the addicts in making instant money through betting in a casino, sports, internet poker, black cards, slot machines, scratch cards, and other such games.
  • Withdrawal Tendency: Dependency of brain chemicals in gambling would obstruct the reward or content seeking mode of the brain making the addict vulnerable to symptoms like apnea, irritability behavior, unwell, feeling of withdrawal from loved ones and family responsibilities, instead find ultimate solace in gambling as the sole purpose of life.
  • Urge to do repeated gambling activities to gain immediate or short-term funds due to constant failures or lack of long-term reward from the hard work and dedication done in the traditional work culture.

By receiving proper medical treatment and cognitive therapy, gambling addiction can be stopped and controlled for improved standards of a peaceful life.