If there is “a type of compulsive gambling personality”, it has yet to be identified in a precise way.
However, the chronic players exhibit some distinctive features.
While these are usually found among chronic players, it must be remembered that not every chronic player will exhibit all or exhibit them in an extreme manner.
There is considerable diversity among the chronic players.
Chronic players have a need to control events, and the game provides the illusion that they can control the uncontrollable. Some develop a kind of “irrational thought” in what they come to believe they can (literally) control a card’s turn, the roll of dice, the rotation of the wheel, or the results of a race.
At the advanced stages of this disorder, especially when they see their financial problems while the insoluble and they become desperate, the chronic players begin to think “backward”, to their problems.
Rather than seeing their financial, family, work, legal, and other problems because of their game, they see the game further as a solution to their problems.
“If only I had the money to play with, I could win a certain amount of money, and all my problems would be taken into account” is the all too familiar complaint of the chronic gambler.
There is also evidence that chronic players are egocentric, insecure, and tend to exhibit negligence for authority. They are highly competitive but seem to have abandoned or abandoned on conventional ways of competition.
One interpretation is that because chronic gamblers have doubts about the strength of their personal resources, they turn to the game in an attempt to be successful.
This perspective is consistent with Merton’s idea that when people do not have access to conventional and socially approved means to achieve success, they will become “innovative” and turn to deviant means of achieving the goal of success.
On some standardized personality tests, chronic players seem to be quite similar to alcoholics.
Chronic gamblers borrow money from friends, relatives, co-workers, banks, loan companies, cooperative savings and loan associations, credit cards, and loan sharks to pay their gambling and gambling debts. stay in the action.
In several studies, the average gambling-related debt of male chronic gamblers has been estimated at between $ 442,000 and $ 54,000, excluding home mortgages, car loans, and other consumer loans.
The level of indebtedness is approximately a third lower for female chronic players.
Given their debt and desire to stay in action, it’s not surprising that chronic gamblers engage in a variety of illegal behavior.
About two-thirds of chronic players report that they have engaged in illegal activities to pay gambling debts or to get money with which to gamble.
Reported illegal activities include counterfeiting, embezzlement, fraud, tax evasion/fraud, and a variety of “street crimes”.