Make no mistake about it, gambling is a fun and exciting form of adult entertainment. It’s great that most people can thoroughly enjoy a few hours of retail or online gambling and walk away feeling entertained, win or lose. Unfortunately, there are people who are vulnerable to the dark side of gambling.
For problem gamblers, the dark side of gambling is compulsive gambling/gambling addiction. Like any other kind of addiction, gambling addiction holds the potential of destroying lives. That includes the lives of compulsive gamblers and the people that surround them in their day-to-day lives.
With the proliferation of online gambling throughout the world, awareness regarding responsible gambling is on the rise. In the UK alone, experts claim there are at least 12 million UK residents that maintain at least one online gambling account with online sportsbooks or online casino sites in the UK. That’s a lot of people who could potentially fall victim to gambling addiction.
It’s clear that many countries are quite aware of how bad this issue could become. That’s exactly why the UK Gambling Commission innovated the GamStop self-exclusion scheme as a responsible gambling resource for gamblers.
There is good news coming out of the gambling addiction treatment community. Increased awareness has led to the creation of a number of really good books on the topic. For the benefit of any reader who might be struggling with gambling addiction themselves or through a loved one, here are six (6) of the best books on compulsive gambling/gambling addiction.
1. Addiction By Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas – By Natasha Dow Schull
People in the know about the gambling community are well aware that retail and online casinos don’t fight fair. There is real psychology behind what casinos do to keep players spinning the reels, rolling the dice, and playing table games. This book focuses on the way gambling machines in Las Vegas are geared toward bringing out compulsive behaviour in people.
Gambling machines are designed to put players in a trance. The sights, sounds, the spinning reels, and the winning bells and whistles are all designed to create a sense of euphoria in each and every machine player. Knowing the odds are always in their favour, the casinos are hoping the euphoria is addictive enough to keep players coming back for more.
It’s worth noting that online slots are created to elicit the exact same behaviours.
2. Gambling: Don’t Bet On It – By Joyce B. Taylor-Marbury
There is nothing more powerful than reading about the first-person experiences of someone who has been through the horrors of gambling addiction. Ms. Taylor-Maybury offers an in-depth look at her 25 years as a compulsive gambler. She details all of the horrible events that occurred in her life as a result of gambling. In her honest assessment of her addiction, she talks openly about the progression of her disease and what it took to break the gambling shackles that confined her.
3. A Day At a Time – Gamblers Anonymous Handbook
Gamblers Anonymous (GA) was founded in 1957 by Jim W., who had already been an active member of AA. Throughout the years, GA has played a major role in saving the lives of millions of compulsive gamblers who just needed a helping hand to get past their gambling diseases.
A Day At a Time is the handbook that is given for free to each GA member. The handbook offers daily reflections and prayers that were created to help keep recovering compulsive gamblers stay securely on the road to recovery. By reading each passage one day at a time, the book is intended to keep recovering compulsive gamblers inspired to keep moving forward without returning to their favourite forms of gambling.
4. Addiction and Responsibility: An Inquiry into the Addictive Mind – By Francis F. Seeburger, Ph.D.
While not specifically centred on gambling addiction, this thoughtful piece of literature chronicles how the human mind works and why addictions are so prevalent in our lives. The book makes clear that everyone is subject to some kind of addictive behaviour. It’s only the depths of problems that are created that determine just how powerful addiction can grab hold of a victim.
The power of this book lies in the way it addresses how addictive thinking produces harmful addictive behaviours.
5. Born to Lose: Memoirs of a Compulsive Gambler – By Bill Lee
Chinese-American Bill Lee offers another first-person brilliant account of what life is like for someone who falls victim to gambling addiction.
Much of the book’s focus is on Lee’s 40-year journey as a compulsive gambler. He often highlights how his Chinese upbringing introduced gambling as an acceptable part of Chinese culture. During his gambling career, there were amazing highs. Unfortunately, there were many more devastating lows that kept him in constant pursuit of the wins that never came.
By the end of the book, Lee takes the reader through his 15 years of recovery. He does this to show that no matter how ingrained someone becomes in the dark side of gambling, there is always hope for recovery and a better way of living.
6. Taking Back Your Life: Women and Problem Gambling – By Dr. Diane Rae Davis
People mistakenly believe that compulsive gambling is largely a problem among the male population. This book makes clear that women are just as likely, if not more so, to become consumed by the desire to gamble. While men tend to favour sports betting and table games, women are very vulnerable to slots and machine gambling.
The book looks in great depth at the seductive nature of casino gambling and how/why women are so vulnerable to the seduction. The book claims that more than 5,000,000 women in America alone are living their lives with a gambling addiction. The personal stories provided in the book offer both insights into the causes of compulsive gambling and the process of getting from addiction into recovery.
Markus lives in San Francisco, California and is the video game and audio expert on Good e-Reader! He has a huge interest in new e-readers and tablets, and gaming.