If you are reading this article, chances are you are – or at least have been at some point – a social gambler.
Social Gamblers are, in a nutshell, people who enjoy gambling. As you can imagine, they are the vast majority of gamblers. The first to identify this category was Dr. Robert L. Cluster in his classification of the 6 types of gambler. As he explained, Social Gamblers can be divided into two groups: Casual Social Gamblers and Serious Social Gamblers.
- Casual Social Gamblers are people who consider gambling fun, but who bet infrequently. For them, gambling is just one of many forms of recreational activities. For example, think about a football fan: he loves watching games even if his favourite team is not playing. Occasionally, to spice things up, he places a $2 bet with all of today’s games. Or again, think about someone who has been invited by his mates to watch a boxing match. They all disagree on who will be the winner, so to make sure they can brag properly if their pick wins, they bet $10 with each others.
Casual Social Gamblers are people who have several other recreational activities. They take all the positive aspects of gambling, and hardly any of the negative ones.
- Serious Social Gamblers, on the other hand, are people who consider gambling to be a primary source of entertainment, and for this reason they gamble more frequently. Think of someone who likes to play cards, but needs the thrill of the wager to enjoy the game. Or for example someone who doesn’t have many hobbies, so to spend an evening of fun, drives to the Casino to indulge on Roulette and Blackjack.
Much like the Casual Social Gambler, this kind of gamblers can control their gambling habits, but needs to set a spending limit to make sure their gambling sessions don’t harm their finances.
Most of the times, Social Gamblers do not develop addictive behaviours and are disciplined enough to spend only a given budget for the entertainment they get in return.
However, there are certain events that can turn their habits into problematic ones. A traumatic event, a big win, raised levels of stress at work or anxiety in their relationships, these can all trigger addictive behaviours toward gambling. What is important to understand is that Social Gambler is not a permanent label for an individual, but it’s to be considered as a phase, which can be very short or everlong.
For this reasons, it is extremely important to educate anyone exposed to gambling, about all of its aspects and its potentially negative consequences.