Your body undergoes some changes when playing real money casino games. Here, we take a look at these changes and what causes these reactions in the body of gamblers.
Gamblers all over the world have experienced a high when they hit it big at the tables or land a jackpot on slots. This is a natural reaction and is caused by the release of dopamine in our brain. This neurotransmitter is known to provide feelings of joy and excitement. Just like using a drug, gambling causes similar reactions. While this excitement is enjoyable for casual gamblers, it becomes something that problem gamblers crave. The constant release of dopamine can lower the effects felt, increasing the need for activities that will cause those same feelings.
What Happens to the Brain
Studies have been done to examine how gambling influences the brain and chemical tests are used to measure amounts of neurochemicals that are present. Two main areas of your brain are included in these studies, the prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum. The first controls your personality and is known to be the goal-setting part of your mind. In gamblers, this part is thinking ahead about actions or consequences. The ventral striatum is a rewards center. It allows for processing of memory and emotions. When gambling, blood flow to both of these areas increases. The result is a release of dopamine, causing an adrenaline rush.
Dopamine Tolerance Risk
For those that gamble often, it is possible for your brain to develop a tolerance to the release of dopamine. This same effect is experienced by drug users and alcoholics. The reward system in our brain will get weaker as it is used more. This means that gamblers will seek that feeling and may take larger risks to get those huge rewards that will evoke positive feelings. Since gambling stimulates the release of adrenaline, it is easy to see how some can form problematic behaviors.
This not only happens when visiting a land casino, but is also experienced by players who engage in real money play gambling online. At these websites, it is easy to spend money and many players lose track of how much they are depositing. If you play for real money casino sites online can lead to addiction and can have serious consequences. The more you play, the more you will seek those rewards and good feelings.
Online casinos deliver a safe way to enjoy great games, but responsible gaming is essential. It is easy to overspend since you are not physically using money when playing online. Due to this, the brain can quickly form a tolerance to dopamine and you no longer get excited over small wins but start chasing larger payouts and spending more money.
Physical Effects of Gambling Addictions
While we can clearly see how our brain reacts to gambling, there are also things that happen to the body if players have developed a gambling addiction. Whether you play at an online casino or a land venue, the thrill of chasing losses and earning more by betting more will provide that high that players seek. Those with a gambling disorder will have a higher stress level and this can cause physical ailments like headaches, migraines, backache, muscle tension, and even nausea. It also has a severe effect on mental health and can lead to depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, and more.
Playing casino games or engaging in any form of betting will promote a release of dopamine and over time, your body will develop a tolerance. There are many ways in which betting can affect the body. Emotional symptoms may present, which can include depression and anxiety. There are also physical effects that can be seen in problem gamblers, such as loss of sleep, severe weight loss or gain, pale skin, and dark eye circles.
While playing games for real money can be exciting and enjoyable, it is only positive if players are able to play responsibly and remain in control.