Can you become addicted to gambling in a day?

For most people, it takes time to develop a gambling problem. But some may feel a strong urge to gamble the very next day. Yes, you can become addicted to gambling in 24h. Let’s explore this phenomenon further and try to explain why.

You’ve probably heard people say things like: He has an addictive personality, or her brain is wired to enjoy gambling. Some genetics might be involved, but to our best knowledge, it hasn’t been proven yet. Let’s try to explain why some people get hooked in a day while others can gamble for years without showing any problems.  

We believe pain is the cause of addiction. No matter your opinion about gambling, one thing is sure. Gambling is exceptionally good at distracting us and helping us forget any problem we have outside the game.

How fast can you develop a gambling addiction?

We have read countless stories about people who have lived happy lives and gambled for years without any problems. Gambling was a fun hobby and caused no actual harm to them. Some would say they gambled within their means, and others would say they gambled for the right reasons. If we see their behaviour through the lens of escape theory, then they didn’t use gambling to escape. 

We have tried to illustrate this in the gambling addiction curve as the first stage where people gamble for entertainment. But then something happens. Perhaps a divorce, a lost job, someone died or something else caused the personal agony. Suddenly, the gambling behaviour changes. The number of hours increases, and the person starts to use gambling to forget about the pain.

Gambling can have a dramatically different effect on a person who carries a lot of pain. Pain is something we try to avoid at nearly all costs. Gambling can quickly become the “go-to solution”. We define gambling addictions as If a person experiences pain and gets an urge to gamble, then he is a gambling addict.

Some common reasons people gambles are loneliness, boredom, stress, and anxiety. The stronger the pain is, the more relief gambling could create. No wonder it’s easy to get hooked. It is particularly true if they have an extra positive experience the first time they try. Many addicts talk about that first win.

Here is a video from our guides about what happens when we win. (The title of the video is “Don’t Win”) for good reasons.

Some genetic prepositions might make some people more susceptible to addiction. But even if it does, we can’t do anything about it. We can only work with things we can affect. On QuitGamble.com, we believe the amount of pain the person feels is involved in how fast a potential gambling problem develops.

If you have somebody close to you who gambles, keep extra attention to their gambling behaviour if something happens in their life that can impact their pain/happiness levels. Suppose you want to know more. Please read the guide on How to help a gambling addict.

Suppose you’re gambling or thinking of gambling. Consider how you feel before you gamble. Don’t gamble when you’re feeling low, or have feelings you don’t want to have. Then you’re the most vulnerable to the power of gambling. We don’t recommend anybody to gamble.