psychology of loss
- Casino

Psychology of Loss – Why gamblers are having fun even losing?

“I have long understood that losing always comes with the territory when you wander into the gambling business, just as getting crippled for life is an acceptable risk in the linebacker business. They both are extremely violent sports, and pain is part of the bargain. Buy the ticket, take the ride,” Hunter S. Thompson once said.

Although gambling is a form of entertainment, pleasure, excitement and sometimes a victory make a person feel comfortable and happy while playing. But, what changes when things go south?

Well, it’s true nobody likes to lose, but some people are not ready to admit defeat even when it’s obvious they have no chance to win. Even when the players start to lose their money, the adrenaline and desire to take a risk often outweigh the sacrifices. So in reality, a loss is just the engine that drives the gamblers to continue.

A renowned poker star, Daniel Negreanu stated he always wants to play even when the odds are against him.

“The majority of players are looking for reasons to fold. I am looking for reasons to play,” he said.

In her book, Cruise Quarters – A Novel about Casinos and Cruise Ships, Cara Bertoia tried to explain her vision of gamblers’ psychology.

“It’s hard to walk away from a winning streak, even harder to leave the table when you’re on a losing one,”she wrote.

Why does losing stimulate further play?

The gamblers are preoccupied, unsuccessfully control the desire for gambling, they are nervous and tense. While playing, they try to escape the problem or get rid of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression, and after losing the money they chase the “win” already by tomorrow. But what is that so powerful and irresistible that drives those people?

Mark Griffiths, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, revealed that gamblers list various motivation factors that affect their desire. It’s not all about the money; the fun and excitement are also critical parts of gambler’s conscience.

“Even when you’re losing while you’re gambling, your body is still producing adrenalin and endorphins,”he says.

So, it’s not just a matter of gain, but it’s also a physiological reaction that forces the gamblers to maintain their utopian streak even when they lose.

“I will stop as soon as I recuperate the money I’ve lost” is probably the most ever used sentence by every gambler when asked about their addiction problem.

A desire to recover the loss is the most common problem among the people addicted to gambling, but that’s not the only force that encourages them to continue to play even when they lose.

Still, there are players who “learn” from their mistakes and try to turn that into “their advantage.”

The famous poker player Phil Hellmuth explained his frustration with losing, pointing out that he tries to profit from failures.

“Lose, lose, lose! I hate to lose! After losing consistently for about a year online, I have to ask myself: are you an online donk?

 

“I do not handle losing well, and that hasn’t been a bad thing for me. Because when I lose I focus my energy on the how’s and the why’s, and I strive to improve my weaknesses,” he admitted.

Casino bonuses stimulate players

In addition to the already established ways of luring new customers (no clocks and no windows, colorful lights and charming sounds, free alcohol, etc.) the casino has found another method to attract people. By offering a wide range of bonuses, casinos offer players the opportunity to achieve a certain profit with minimal or no loss.

However, there is a hidden agenda behind this sweet-looking act of noble-mindedness.

It’s like going to a supermarket. People want to taste the food before purchasing. So, casinos are willing to offer ‘a discount’ even before the players invest their money because in case of a win, no matter how small it might be, the players will always aspire to replicate the feeling of victory.

Conclusion

Gambling is like a stock trading, and as every stock markets say – Never invest more than you’re prepared to lose. For those who can’t play just for fun and handle a loss, there are other ways to find excitement and entertainment

About Ian Fleming

Read All Posts By Ian Fleming