Today’s Grand National season sees busiest day for bookmakers in the UK as the nation has a flutter on this much loved race. Of course it is not without controversy, every year horses die on this somewhat dangerous course but that doesn’t stop millions from placing a bet or two. The Grand National, for many, is the only day that they stepped foot into a bookmakers shop and hope to have placed their hard earned cash on the winner. For others gambling is an everyday habit whether it be betting on horses, playing online poker or frittering their hard earned cash away on casinos down machines. These casino star machines found in bookmakers and betting shops are a rising concern-they are often described as the “crack cocaine” of the betting industry- and not without good cause. Fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) feature games such as roulette and blackjack. Their high-speed gameplay and quick results are what makes these machines so popular, and they are a real problem . Studies have shown that casino gaming machines are becoming very popular and can prove to be addictive.
Gambling addiction is a compulsive behaviour and encourages release of endorphins similar to that compared with heroin and opiate addiction. The endorphins released create a natural “high” when indulging in gambling activity can be highly addictive. Compulsive behaviour and addiction are closely linked and benefits from the same approaches in treatment. Obsessive compulsive behaviour and addiction are controlled by the nervous system is in the front lobes of the brain. They are very similar but there are subtle differences. They may develop over time and the gambler’s inability to stop gambling even though they know it has massive detrimental effects on the personal life are still unable to stop. Effective treatment for gambling addiction must always include counselling and therapy. The reasons behind gambling addiction must be addressed.