For many, gambling is a frivolous pastime, an immoral vice.
However, throughout history, mathematicians and scientists have described the games that you can play in a casino in very different ways: it is a hotbed of ideas where you can test different ideas about how the world works.
Science and play have always gone hand in hand over time. Many games are based on science like math or probability.
In addition to this kind of correlation, there is another interaction between games and science: how games affect your brain and how they can change the way you think and see things.
The interactivity between science and play is undeniable, starting with some fundamental examples:
- Concepts of Probability
The way we measure the probability of an event occurring was not developed until the 16th century through the study of dice games. Even the concepts of statistical theory and hypothesis testing were inspired by dice and roulette just over a century ago.
- The birth of modern computing
Gambling has also spawned some modern computer technology. The evolution of both is irreversible and, of course, ambiguous: who makes the other develop?
The flexibility with which people move from the world of finance to the world of betting suggests that there is great potential for an exchange of ideas between the two sectors. Many of the pioneers of blackjack or roulette theories have made big money in finance. For them, finance was not a completely different field, but just another game in which you had to find a scientific strategy in order to win.
- Prevention of cognitive decline
In the field of disease transmission, many of the methods used to prevent and control disease have their origins in gambling and betting. In the same way that physical activity strengthens the muscles of the body, social games can improve the brain and memory at any age. Learning the rules of a new game of logic and concentration or playing slot machines or bingo helps train the brain.
However, gambling affects the brain, and this can also cause a problem and develop into a pathology. But what drives people to develop gambling addiction? Many factors can cause a person who is much more vulnerable than others to develop an addiction to gambling. Numerous studies over the years on the subject show that factors such as:
- available financial resources,
- mood disorders,
- drug addiction,
- cultural environment,
- socioeconomic status.
As you play, your brain gradually releases dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter that makes you feel energized and enjoy taking risks. You might expect to feel euphoric only when you win, but your body produces this neurological response not only when you win, but also when you lose.
This means that once the excitement of the moment takes over, some people find it difficult to know when to stop playing, as they become addicted to the risk and reward that the game provides.
Three things to consider:
- game environment
- communication with other people and socialization
- ability to maintain control
Several factors make gambling a problem for many people. Never forget that gambling can lead to pathological addiction. Playing in moderation is always the right choice. Chasing losses is a mistake, because gambling depends on chance, without exception.
You must have a positive attitude towards gambling. Spending small amounts of money and gaining something or even losing everything shouldn’t be an excuse to fall into the trap of insisting when it’s not necessary, it could lead to a problem you didn’t plan for.
People who gamble too much expose themselves to various risks that can also affect their mental and physical health:
- no focus
- Hard to work
- general excitement
- personality change.
Gambling itself is not dangerous, as many people engage in it simply for fun and entertainment. In this case, we’re talking about social gambling because people can stop whenever they want, they don’t develop painful compulsion, and they never gamble more than they intended.
Gambling becomes a pathology when a person increasingly feels the need to indulge in it, each time sending larger and larger amounts, regardless of what he can really afford, and without being able to control himself.