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Can You Tell If You’ll Become Addicted?

News out of Washington University in St. Louis about a recent topic here on PokerMoments… addiction to gambling.

First some numbers…. 80% plus of people gamble, while 1.8% have a disorder of pathological gambling. I’ve previously written about symptoms of mild gambling addiction.  More serious addiction includes a preoccupation with betting, gambling more often or with larger bets, and chasing losses with bigger and bigger bets. But can you tell if you are going to be the one who goes too far down the dark path?

Well, some psychiatrists and social workers at Wash U are trying to figure out how to predict that. What they’ve discovered so far are 2 activities that point to “cross-over behavior,” crossing over from gambling being a hobby to pathological gambling. They are: betting on stock options or the commodities market, and betting on bingo.

Next, and perhaps more interesting… they’ll be looking at what particular type of gambling triggers problems in a particular person – the answer to why I can’t stop playing freecell, but have no problem with bingo, while you might casually enjoy poker, but need to stay away from the slots.

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