When people look at a gambler, they might wonder what drives them to keep going back to the casino. Whether they win or lose, some people just keep hitting up the slots or card tables. Is it all about the money? Or the thrill of the possibilities of hitting it big? Or is there something else that drives gamblers to continue betting and retuning to casinos day after day. We talked to Canadian gambler Bryan Reep to understand a little more about his motivations and why he loves to bet. Here is life from a gambler’s perspective.
Why Start Gambling
For many people, the reasons for gambling can vary greatly. Some of the motivations might be social, while other people do it for economic reasons. According to a study, older people tend to be drawn to games like slot machines that require as little concentration and complex decision making as possible. These types of games make a good way to pass the time and they can still carry on a conversation while betting.
The reaons for gambling are also divided between genders. In general, women seem to prefer to play chance-based games like roulette or baccarat, whereas men seem to be drawn to skill-based games like blackjack. Men also tend to turn everything more into a skills-based game, even when there is little skill involved.
Think about the 1967 version of Casino Royale. Our favorite secret agent was playing baccarat, which is a game that is mostly based on skill. But, we are led to believe that James Bond has more control over the cards, and we are on the edge of our seats, watching him take down his opponents. Of course, in the 2006 version, they did switch the game to Texas Hold ‘em, to make the game more skills-based, and less based on chance, and therefore, a little more exciting. Men, stereotypically, will change these chance-based games into more of a skill-based test, to help them achieve a certain level of control.
Bryan Reep says that the reason why he loved to play blackjack over other games was just for that reason. While there was a factor of chance involved, he also had to be skillful enough to succeed and cause the house to bust more often than himself. “I would read books, study the hands and strategy of high-stakes blackjack players, all to increase my chances,” said Reep. “Blackjack requires more than just luck, and I was driven to give myself the best chance possible.”
“For me, gambling became a more frequent habit as time went on. What started off a social or occasional habit evolved into a more regular activity over time. I would play blackjack on my phone or on my computer when I couldn’t visit a brick and mortar casino,” says Reep. “Chasing that next big win became more and more fun for me, and it was exciting to see my wins wrack up.”
Studies have shown that this is typical for many other gamblers as well. People’s motivations for gambling change over time, and as they start to gamble more frequently, the reasons behind hitting up the casino might change dramatically. What starts off as a simple way to get enjoyment might quickly progress into an increased preoccupation with recovering from losses and hitting the next big win.
Getting Something For Nothing
“I remember the first time I went to the casino and won big. I only had brought about $100 with me and had set a strict limit on how much I was going to spend. Once I spent that amount, I would be done for the night. I was down to my last two chips when all of a sudden, I went on a hot streak and couldn’t lose. Before I knew it, I was up $500. The whole table was winning and the energy was electric. Everyone was joking and laughing. By the end of the night, I walked away with $2700 in my pocket. The feeling that I could get something for nothing was unforgettable.”
This same feeling is what drives many other gamblers as well, and is what causes many to take risks. Think about why the lottery is so attractive. Despite the long odds, Americans spend more than $1,000 per year on the lottery. For a relatively small stake, you have the chance to win millions and change your life.
According to this site, the average Canadian gambler is drawn to free spins and no deposit bonuses. Once again, it is the idea that you can spend little to none of your own money and make money is so appealing to gamblers.
Some gamblers might even see betting as a form of investing. Instead of the more traditional forms of investing, like the stock market, better gives gamblers the opportunity to grow their potential wealth much quicker and in a more hands-on way.
For man gamblers, another motivating factor that causes them to keep coming back to online casinos is how much fun it is. According to Mark Griffiths, a psychologist at Nottingham Trent University, “Even when you are losing while you’re gambling, your body is still producing adrenaline and endorphins.” People are drawn to the entertainment and don’t seem to mind terribly when they lose.
For Bryan, it is a similar story. “Every time I gamble, I set a limit for myself. I tell myself I am going to cash out when I reach a certain amount made or lost because it is really important to have boundaries. This loss threshold helps to minimize the effects of bad days and keeps my wins high. But, even on the days when I lose, I realized it wasn’t impacting how often I go to the casino. For me, online gambling is a form of entertainment. Even when I lost everything I brought to the casino that day, I still was able to bet and play for an extended period of time, and I had fun doing it. I know I’m more likely to lose than win, so keeping that mentality in check has been helpful.”
Studies have even shown that losing, even if it is just temporary, can help increase the positive result when you do when. That’s why bettors’ expectations that they will win can change during a losing streak. When gamblers had a low expectation that they would eventually win again, their reaction to winning was much greater.
The Wide Variety of Games and Accessibility
For Reep, the biggest draw of gambling has always been how accessible it is to play and the abundance of games available. “When I get tired of playing blackjack, I can switch over to video poker or Texas Hold ‘em. If I want a more mindless game, slots are the perfect way to pass the time.”
Online casinos have seen a huge increase in popularity, with mobile apps making online casinos even more accessible. Each casino now puts more effort into the design of their online games and ensures that their graphics are attractive and as life-like as possible. Plus, many casinos will incorporate references to pop culture in their slot machines. You can find a slot machine that has themes like Game of Thrones, The Simpson, Lord of the Rings, Britney Spears, and much more. Other themes include nature, mythology, and others. No matter what your interests are, you can find something that you like at the casino.
In addition, there are many different types of gambling games available. A gambler can find sports betting, video slot machines, craps, poker, video poker, craps, blackjack, and roulette.
“Even at an online casino, I can play with live dealers, making it feel like I am in the casino. I can chat with the dealer and they will respond back. It makes it even more fun to go back and play.”
With the popularity of gambling, it is clear casinos are not going anywhere, despite the recent quarantine and self-isolation measures put in place. The motivations of why people gamble vary from person to person, but they are all united in the desire to win money and have fun. And thanks to online casinos, Bryan Reep and other gamblers like him will always have a place to play.