The 7 Deadly Sins of Gambling Addiction

Updated on June 1, 2017
Chriswillman90 profile image

Krzysztof is a former gambling addict who hopes to give advice to those who may be suffering from gambling addiction and other disorders.

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What is Gambling Addiction?

Are You a Gambling Addict?

A gambling addiction or disorder is when an individual has lost the willpower to control their gambling behavior.

In the beginning stages of gambling disorder, the losses are low but gradually begin to climb until the person loses everything, including cars and/or their home.

You may not think of gambling as a deadly sin, but several religious groups and countries outlaw it because they perceive to be immoral and lead to impure behavior. It's often correlated with things like prostitution, which is also outlawed in numerous countries.

Some see gambling as the deadliest sin of them all because of how it weaves together elements of the other seven.

Discover how gambling disorder progresses into and through the stages of wrath, pride, greed, gluttony, lust, envy, and sloth.

1. Wrath of Addiction

Source

Deadly Sin: Wrath

Wrath or anger is the most powerful emotion one can feel, but what is its role in addiction?

The answer is easy...

When it comes to drugs and alcohol, wrath shows itself as a side effect to the ingestion of these harmful products.

We've sadly seen or heard the stories of the drunken mother/father beating and berating their spouse or child.

Regarding gambling, wrath comes from every loss a person has on the slots, blackjack, the races, and more. Each loss feels like someone is stabbing them resulting in a painful and angry reaction.

Surprisingly wrath is the first stage of the disorder because you still have a strong reactionary response to the situation.

Gradually your approach becomes more subdued, and that's when you begin to lose control of yourself and your actions.

2. Pride in Your Winnings

What's more prideful than a lion
What's more prideful than a lion | Source

Deadly Sin: Pride

Each win is a strong hubris to the mind, and it's an early phase of gambling disorder.

Why?

Pride begins the unraveling process that's generated in three different psychological ways:

  • Satisfaction of a small gain
  • Inner monologue of something greater
  • False sense of self-worth

Unlike being prideful due to positive accomplishments, here pride is misguided/fleeting and bolstered by an occasional win. For example, a few wins on the slot machine create a mental satisfaction despite the small gain.

That small gain will trigger an emotional response where the idea of winning something bigger stirs your internals.

Those internal monologues makes you feel stronger and accomplished but because the gain is fleeting, it creates a false sense of self-worth.

You feel worthy during a gambling surplus, but chances are that surplus will disintegrate before your eyes turning thoughts of self-worth and happiness into an endless chase.

This is the complete opposite of winning an Olympic gold medal because the success of earning a medal will always be there, and that accomplishment can't be taken away whereas monetary gain can.

3. Greed for More

Deadly Sin: Greed

Considering gambling is associated with money, it's appropriate for greed to play a massive role throughout the process

Why do people gamble in the first place?

They have an inordinate desire to gain a lot of cash, wealth, and luxury despite precedence that says it's unlikely for them to do so. The gambling and casino industry welcomes this impulsive behavior with open arms.

In today's economy, casino cities like Atlantic City, New Jersey, are struggling—so somebody has to take the fall. Mind you the struggles of gambling locales goes beyond the games themselves (location, violence, loss of income).

Greed along with gluttony represent the middle stages of gambling disorder. Once a person enters the greedy stage, they begin to forego logic and focus on the illogical odds.

Despite several losses, their mind lights up with every win due to strong psychological reaction that's present as is with most addictions.

A win is akin to a shot of vodka or an ingestion of a drug because of the intense euphoria generated.

The grandiose of fictional wealth is also thrown into the mix, which leads towards the next deadly sin and eventual downfall.

4. Gluttony of Gambling

Too much of a bad thing
Too much of a bad thing | Source

Deadly Sin: Gluttony

Once the charm and glamour of gambling fades, the person dives into the sad and uncomfortable state of the disorder.

Gluttony is another word for excess, and it's a very appropriate sin pertaining to addictive behaviors where excess means everything. A few drinks is okay, but once someone exceeds a certain amount, they slip into gluttony.

Eating extra every now and then is okay, but constant overindulgence indicates a significant problem.

When a gambler spends more than is allowed, they also fall victim to this deadly sin. This sin will gradually lead to their downfall because after a while the losses will pile up without any means of control.

As the individual falls deeper, they begin to care less and less about what they're losing and no longer care about their actions.

The only psychological stimulant to them is an occasional win, which is no longer supported by thoughts of greed.

5. Lust for Power

Source

Deadly Sin: Lust

One may wonder how lust and gambling go together, but there's a potent connection.

In fact I'd probably group lust and envy together because those sins have a lot in common. With gambling disorder, lust is not intimate in nature; it's a thirst for power.

They are lusting for something that has eluded them (money and wealth).

However this thirst reaches the point where the victim shows signs of common addictive symptoms including:

  • Sneaky behavior regarding your gambling habits
  • Desperation to recoup your losses
  • Lying about your actions
  • Stealing or borrowing money from others (also fraud)
  • Betting higher amounts after each loss

The lust for power and control becomes so much that the person will throw all sense out the window and only think about regaining everything they've lost.

They spiral out of control because their actions create deeper losses that scream of desperation.

This could be seen as the point of no return because if the person suffering is not stopped or controlled, then they could lose everything and end up on the streets or in jail.

6. Envy of Others

Deadly Sin: Envy

You might think envy would be one of the first sins you'd encounter throughout the disorder's progression, but it's actually one of the last ones you'll see.

When your losses pile up and you begin to dive into greater financial debt, you'll look towards other people who have had luck and success when they gambled.

Seeing other people's successes breeds an intense feeling of envy because you want what they have and will do what it takes to have it.

This is similar to lust where there's an obsession and a thirst, except this time it's directly related towards others.

You may even feel hatred towards people because they've been able to succeed where you failed.

This hatred only fuels addiction further, and the actions you partake in may include illegal activities. Crimes like fraud are common during the latter stages of the disorder with the worst cases leading to homelessness or prison.

The best example I could think of is one of the last scenes from Requiem for a Dream, where a few of the addicts end up in prison after they've been caught due to illegal activities.

7. Sloth: The Final Stage

Deadly Sin: Sloth

The last sin and the final stage in gambling disorder is sloth.

Sloth is what people would call laziness, but it's much more than that. To addicts it's the feeling of carelessness, tapping out emotionally, and the wasting away of their life.

Going back to the movie Requiem for a Dream, it's that scene where all of the addicts are lying in a fetal position after their hopes and dreams have been shattered. For a gambling addict the endings are often similar.

At this point the money is almost gone. They may have lost their car, home, or other amenities, and they don't care anymore. Some of those people end up on the streets or in jail while others look like gambling zombies.

None of the losses matter anymore, and even the occasional win fails to excite their emotional state.

It's an extremely sad and unpleasant chapter that could have been prevented. The rough ride through addiction is very clear and each sin serves as a pit stop.

However this isn't a scenic drive towards your ideal destination, this is a ride into a bottomless pit.

It must be stopped otherwise you'll go through each of the seven deadly sins and arrive at nothing but a wasted life.

Is Gambling the 8th Deadliest Sin?

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Questions & Answers

  • I spend a few hundred per week on gambling. Am I an impulsive gambler?

    I guess that depends on how much income or net worth you have. If you're a millionaire, then a few hundred probably won't make much of a difference.

    However, I'd consider an impulsive gambler as one who can't physically stop gambling no matter how hard they try.

Comments

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    • profile image

      Bob 

      2 months ago

      Thanks for this well written article, I have been an addict for some time now and every time I told myself it was gonna be my last, but my willpower is just not that strong. How can I be stronger?

    • profile image

      Jennifer 

      6 months ago

      I wish I had never walked into a casino. I regret it. Seven years ago I made this stupid decision. Now I feel addicted. I lost lots of money and assets. I feel like I'm in my own worst nightmare. I get up crying over my losses all the time. I have decided to look for other ways to use my Monet and time.

    • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

      Krzysztof Willman 

      15 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      Thanks for your insight and well said. Agree how sins can easily consume us and nice reference.

    • profile image

      Vigo 

      15 months ago

      Wonderful mate, you put it so elequentlely,whatever i say here will be less than what you have put up there. Most of us are sinners but we have to choose our sin wisely, otherwise all other sins consume us. There is no happiness lies in winning or either losing, I got no answers here probably al pacino did. Lol

    • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

      Krzysztof Willman 

      17 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      It's not your fault but I am sorry to hear that. It's the disease that caused it but I wish you well and hope you can get help and recover one day. Good luck to you.

    • profile image

      Jerome 

      17 months ago

      I just lost my 401 k that I cash..n i been gambling 4 13 years but this time I screw up big time lost all of my saving desperate 4 money even loan would not lend me anything I'm in whole waiting 4 my body n suol ..very sad disappoint my family...

    • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

      Krzysztof Willman 

      18 months ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      That's unfortunate but at least you've made progress over other curses. I was too introduced to gambling by those I thought I could trust and lost a lot. You will definitely overcome it with a little practice and you'll be a stronger person for it.

    • profile image

      it's beginning ... 

      18 months ago

      I lost 3k in the last 2 weeks. I was first introduced to gambling by an Ex narcissistic boyfriend over 10 years ago. I am now 38 yo. I feel like it was a curse he left me with (wild imagination).

      Over the years I have overcame other addictions and I am now successful. I work really and refuse to lose any more. Gambling won't defeat me.

    • profile image

      Di Godie 

      23 months ago

      Gambling had started taking a stroll on me step by step, but thanks to Online stories and experience , I can now say Fuck Gambling , aint coming back for a crapy damn system

    • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

      Krzysztof Willman 

      2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      That's the right attitude and it's nice to hear. I know it varies among others but stopping really is surprisingly easy.

    • profile image

      paolo 

      2 years ago

      gambling for me started as fun and gradually became an obsession - the passing of the years and the experience of life have taught me the only way to beat this cancerous addiction is to STOP completely whether it is by self-control (which is by all accounts paramount to kicking drug addiction) or by replacing it with an outside agent such as a spiritual dedication

    • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

      Krzysztof Willman 

      2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      That's so unfortunate and I'm sorry that gambling has brought you down that path. It should be regulated somehow because it's seen as fun when it's the opposite. The worst part is when you think you could gain all your losses back only to lose much more. I was in a dark place too and I really hope you can escape it. You can't let the addiction win.

    • profile image

      Bobby t 

      2 years ago

      I'm in the verge of suicide from compulsive gambling . It started as a child with pinball machines then sports gambling and casinos. Then I quit. Completely. Then one day I bought a $1 scratch off ticket with my change from a gas station. I won $100. It started the worst gambling addiction of my life. I just could not stop buying them. I'm on the verge of being homeless over these horrible things that are everywhere you go. I had a great business. I had a great life . I threw it all away 10 and twenty dollars at a time. Losing $500 in 15 minutes. The lottery for me is the worst thing in the world for compulsive gamblers and in my opinion should be outlawed. It destroys more lives than all other gambling combined. It's just too easily accessible . It's everywhere! I'm in a very dark place iver all of this. Ashamed in PA..

    • profile image

      Eby 

      2 years ago

      No more gambling for me

    • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

      Krzysztof Willman 

      2 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I'm all for gambling being illegal here again because it's a nightmare sometimes. That's why there's so many help centers just focused solely on gambling addiction.

    • profile image

      lost soul 

      2 years ago

      I hate gambling but can't stop....I really need help I wish we didn't have gambling in our state.....I wish I would have never started.

    • profile image

      gg grim 

      2 years ago

      ive lost over a million and im still gambling so don't start

    • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

      Krzysztof Willman 

      3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      It's awful at times, I know the feeling. Good luck to you.

    • profile image

      Ben 

      3 years ago

      I want to stop this illness ... Needs help!

    • Chriswillman90 profile imageAUTHOR

      Krzysztof Willman 

      3 years ago from Parlin, New Jersey

      I like it from time to time but you could easily get lost in it and I envy people like you that don't enjoy it.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      3 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting take on gambling. Personally I just don't enjoy it. So it's easy for me to stay away from.

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