Who is at Risk of Gambling Addiction

Gambling risks

Gambling addiction refers to the uncontrollable behavior of placing bets regularly regardless of its harmful side effects. Everyone can ever find themselves in this problem which distracts lives and is sometimes unpredictable. Gambling addiction is common in some groups of people and uncommon to others. So, what causes this difference in the addiction? There are different risk factors associated with gambling addiction. This article tells us who is at risk of gambling addiction by discussing its risk factors.


Age is a risk factor leading to gambling addiction. The young people and the middle-aged are the most at risk of gambling addiction. This is because they have income and time to indulge in gambling activities. However, the aged are not at risk since they don’t have the time and energy to gamble. Nevertheless, the old still gamble but the majority are not addicted. Some of those in retirement indulge in gambling but just a handful are addicted to problem gambling.


Males are vulnerable to gambling addiction as compared to their female counterparts. Teens and young men in colleges are at a higher risk too. Women are believed to start gambling later in life. When they do, they get addicted quickly than men. They will, therefore, gamble for the rest of their lives. However, the highest number of people at risk of gambling is the male gender.

Mental health and capacity

Gambling addiction is highly attached to mental disorders like anxiety, depression, bipolar, and stress. If one has job-related stress, they are likely to easily fall into gambling addiction. They find this as an escape route for the stress caused at work. Similarly, traumatic occurrences may place one at risk of being addicted to gambling. When one is experiencing some mental torture, they are more vulnerable to suffer from gambling addiction, as they are looking for solace elsewhere. Additionally, gambling addiction might be as a result of substance use disorder.

Parkinson’s disease drugs

Medications used to treat Parkinson’s disease like dopamine agonists have a rare side effect that causes gambling addiction. Antipsychotic drugs are also linked to higher risks of compulsive behavior such as gambling addiction. These medications affect brain functioning resulting in patients getting into gambling addiction. Therefore, Parkinson’s disease and restless leg disorder patients are more prone to problem gambling.

Family and friends

Having family members and friends who are addicted to gambling puts you at risk of the addiction. This is because you have opportunities to access gambling platforms easily. Such predisposition makes you vulnerable to gambling addiction. Therefore, if either your parent or a close friend is addicted to gambling, you are at risk of the same. Seeing family and friends engaging in a certain activity gives a sort of endorsement and approval. So, the need to gamble simply because a friend or a family member is doing it is a risk factor to gambling addiction.

Highest level of education reached

People who have achieved great milestones in education are more vulnerable to gambling addiction than those who haven’t. This is because the latter have no exposure to gambling opportunities as compared to the former. The educated can also access gambling sites easily without issues. Thus, the learned fellas are at a higher risk of gambling addiction. If for instance, they are in higher institutions of learning, they can use computers and education loans for gambling. This leads to gambling addiction.

A person raised by a single parent

A person who is raised by one parent is vulnerable to falling into gambling addiction. This is because they have no strict rules from both parents to stick to certain standards. This freedom puts them at risk of gambling addiction.

Having other or previous addictions

People with other addictions such as alcohol and drugs are at risk of gambling addiction. Most of the gambling facilities offer drinks and most bars have gambling casinos. That’s why other addictions like alcohol are linked with gambling addiction.

Having parents who had a gambling addiction

If any of your parents had a gambling addiction, the same may happen to you. Genetics may be the cause since your parents can transmit the genes to you. Also, growing up seeing your parents gamble all the time may contribute to you gambling all the time too. You might find it a good thing to do especially if you look up to your parents.


Certain factors predispose you to gambling addiction. Not everyone gets into a gambling addiction and they are aware of it. You should look out for the signs of addiction and if you are addicted, establish which risk factor predisposed you. People with other addictions are prone to gambling addiction. Similarly, other risk factors like age, gender, level of education, mental disorders, to name a few, play a part. Therefore, most of the time, gambling addiction doesn’t come out of the blue as everybody assumes.

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