Image courtesy National Council on Problem Gambling
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What is Gambling Addiction and How to Deal With It

Simply put, gambling addiction is a condition that can afflict anyone anywhere and in all walks of life. Enjoyment turns into compulsion before you even realize it because of the specific human need to win. People in Norway are not exempt from it. That’s the reason why legislation on the subject is so convoluted. 

Jørgen Aasgen, our guest author and expert from, knows a great deal about gambling and everything related to responsible betting. So we’ll let him elaborate on the ideas behind this social issue. 

What is gambling? defines gambling as:

  • “the activity or practise of playing at a game of chance for money or other stakes”, or
  • “the act or practise of risking the loss of something important by taking a chance or acting recklessly.” 

If you suspect that you have a gambling problem, visit the Norwegian organisation Norsk Tipping and seek help on its website. Please do something sooner rather than later.

Causes of gambling addiction

A natural human trait is that our normal brain functioning and chemistry motivate us to repeat behaviours that we find pleasurable. Research into the psyche has helped us comprehend why people repeat certain activities, even when they lead to damaging consequences.

This is because people start to expect some benefit from what has become an addiction, even though it is harmful. These benefits can include:

  • Reduction of stress 
  • Release from boredom
  • Sensations of pleasure
  • Coping with negative situations or feelings  
  • The advantage of avoiding withdrawal symptoms

Ways out of gambling addiction

After researching gambling addiction, we’ve come up with the following suggestions for finding your way out.

1. Understand the problem 

You might have a gambling disorder if you feel:

  • A strong urge to gamble with more significant sums of money
  • Restless or irritable when not gambling
  • Preoccupied with gambling
  • That you gamble to relieve stress
  • The desire to continue gambling to get even
  • That you have lied to others about gambling

2. Don’t be tempted

Once you’ve realised that you do, indeed, have a problem, the next step is to avoid temptation. Identify the triggers that push you into gambling, and do all that you can to dodge them.

Just as a recovering alcoholic should avoid walking into a bar, you should ignore those triggers you’ve identified. We know that it’s easier said than done but know that your mind is stronger than your impulses.

3. Join a support group

Support groups are organisations comprising people who have experienced the same thing and gotten over it. Although they’re not professionals, they’re free to meet in person or online chat rooms.

Gamblers Anonymous is a support group specifically formed to meet the needs of those with gambling problems. The concept used is the same as other support groups like Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous.

4. Postpone gambling when you crave it

Cravings come naturally with addictions and are intense longings or an urge to do the desired behaviour. These cravings may be difficult to endure, but they will eventually stop.

Know that you will experience them, but you don’t have to let them control you. Have a contingency plan in place whereby you can postpone your craving, like doing some form of exercise or phoning a friend.

5. Find other things to do

While distracting yourself and avoiding triggers during cravings are great ways to stop gambling, you’ll need to find healthy alternatives. By replacing gambling behaviours with good ones, you’re well on your way to recovery. Some suggestions are:

  • Physical activity such as walking or playing a sport
  • Spending more time with people who don’t gamble
  • Meditation
  • Trying out new hobbies
  • Travelling

6. Think about the consequences of addiction

Think about the consequences resulting from your past gambling to avoid repeating them. These may have been:

  • The emotional pain you brought on your loved ones
  • Financial troubles you may have put your family through
  • Lies you told to cover your addiction from others

7. Seek professional help

Should all else fail, we would strongly urge you to seek professional help. You’ll be able to find professionals through the internet or even the casino/s that you frequent.


We trust that you have found this article interesting and inspiring. As the saying goes, “winners know when to stop.”

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