Gambling Addiction: Who's to Blame?

The debate over whether gambling is legal and casinos are beneficial or harmful has never really come to any concrete conclusion - at least not one where both parties will be happy.

Casino operators do look to it as their bread and butter; but they also sincerely run their gambling games and such because it gives them some sense of fulfillment to make their patrons happy.

It's simply the mantra of any good business owner - customer satisfaction is always first. What happens then when gamblers suddenly find themselves on a downward spiral because they developed a gambling problem? Not yet an addiction but getting there and fast!

Those who oppose casinos and gambling will be quick to point fingers and say that casinos should have been shut down in the first place. If they weren't around to tempt people, no one would get this kind of problem.

Those who are pro casinos on the other hand may also be quick to point out that it's not the casinos that caused such an addiction but the gamblers themselves and their families. They're just not getting enough love that's what.

Gambling was their means of escape from a sorry state of life.

An observer on the other hand, someone who's neither left nor right, will be quick to point out that there could be some truth to both these points of view. The question is, which one has more responsibility towards the gamblers - especially when they begin to show symptoms of a gambling addiction?

First of all, a gambling addiction is pretty much like any other dependency addiction whether to alcohol or illegal drugs or even pornography. There is a deeper emotional, psychological and mental problem going on than just the addictive qualities of gambling, alcohol or drugs.

It could be that the environment the gambler lives in is not one of loving support. It could also be that the gambler has too much stress in their lives and they just don't know how to deal with. Their form of release is to gamble. The high and the rush make them feel good for awhile. They then do it repeatedly to get a higher high and avoid a lower low.

Now, being near a casino doesn't help when someone is feeling this way. This is perhaps the only contribution of casinos to the problem, if you can even call it a contribution. It does seem unfair.

Nevertheless, someone who's not in a very good place in their lives right now and who's got easy access to casino games is more in danger of developing a gambling addiction. But it's still not a good enough reason to blame it all on casinos.

It's perhaps a little of everything that drives someone to become addicted to anything.