Problem Gambling Factors

9 min read
Anna Kravtcova
Anna Kravtcova
Problem Gambling Expert
Fact checked by:
Paruyr Shahbazyan
Last Updated: May 27, 2024, 3:47 PM

Exploring the Profile of a Potential Problem Gambler

What kind of person is predisposed to problem gambling? Are you the kind of person that scientists expect to become a gambler? What are the known types of gamblers? What does Freud think about gamblers? How would you spot someone struggling with gambling issues? Let's consider and try to answer these questions right now.

Types of Gamblers

Ralph Greenson developed a simple typology of gamblers, namely: amateurs, professionals and neurotics. Amateurs treat the game as entertainment and professionals try to make money from it, whereas neurotics simply can't stop themselves from playing.

When neurotics start gambling, their feelings of anxiety and depression are temporarily alleviated, although this only further exacerbates their problematic behavior.

They are also referred to as “avoidant”  because they gamble to escape unpleasant emotions and their personal issues. In contrast however, there are others known as “action gamblers”, driven by adrenaline, excitement and the desire to win, who are usually more educated, ambitious and successful.

That said, “action gamblers” will often fall into the “avoidants” group, as even a professional gambler can become a neurotic.

Once the gambler is ready to have a go, depending on their disposition and personal circumstances there are several directions which they may head in. They may either gravitate toward trouble-free regular gambling, or possibly get into problem or even pathological gambling, which is recognized as a disorder in the DSM-IV by the American Psychiatric Association. As mentioned earlier, it often depends on one's circumstances.

Problem Gambler VS Pathological Gambler: What’s The Difference?

Edmund Bergler even developed a list of problem gambling signs that can be used for self-assessment.

How Do Problem Gamblers Feel After Taking A Break?

Complete ban on gambling for those with issues is not widely spread. But it's a normal practice for problem gamblers to self-exclude from the game for some time. It's a rough challenge, because this people are fighting a full-fledged addiction.


How To Maintain Control?

Here are some tips on how not to lose control of your gambling:

  • Engage in stimulating activities during calm periods to offset the need for adrenaline, such as trying a new hobby, undertaking a project, or engaging in physical exercise.
  • Counteract "automatic fantasies" of past gambling victories by immediately diverting thoughts to different subjects to prevent habitual thinking patterns.
  • Channel emotional tension into creative outlets; if ineffective, consider consulting a psychologist or reaching out to supportive friends or family members.
  • At the onset of the urge to gamble, resist negotiating with the impulse—akin to "not negotiating with terrorists."
  • Recognize the critical point of temptation to gamble and proactively self-exclude from gaming environments, contact supportive individuals, or seek professional help.
  • If deciding to gamble, involve a trusted individual to monitor and regulate behavior during the activity.
  • Become aware of and address common cognitive distortions that fuel gambling addiction, recognizing and correcting "thinking errors."


What Contributes To Problem Gambling?

Scientists have discovered which children tend to grow into problem gamblers.

  • Children took part in gambling with their parents.
  • They are especially attracted to board games – from cards to monopoly.
  • The most important values for them are material.
  • They always feel jealous of rich relatives and friends.
  • They believe they can solve all their problems with money.

Pretty much the same factors usually affect adults.

  • Tendency to dependent behavior.
  • Perceives gambling as a way to win big in no time.
  • Surrounded by gambling friends.
  • Unorganized spare time.
  • “Spare” money, unorganized budget.
  • Relationship conflicts.
  • Positive image of gambling in advertising.
  • Gambling availability.
  • Practicing lottery games.

What Do Psychologists Say About Problem Gamblers?

Sigmund Freud says that this behaviour is based on an unconscious desire to lose in order to feel a sense of injustice and self-pity. It is due to the fact that in childhood a problem gambler did not receive his mother’s attention or was often punished by his father, and also if, as a teenager, he liked to check how far he could go in his risky behaviour. Hoffman believes that the basis of problematic gambling behaviour is the need for risk, and those who have enough risk in life and at work are less inclined to risk strategies in gambling. And in general, studies say that gamblers love strong feelings.

Steer clear of these problem gambling issues! Be careful and take care of yourself and your loved ones.


Lisa Davies
Gambling Addiction: A Guide to the Different Types of Gamblers and Their Risk of Addiction

Meet Our Authors

Paruyr Shahbazyan began his business career in 2000 as a private entrepreneur. Over thirteen years, he developed a deep understanding for business and leadership, laying a solid foundation for his professional journey.

In 2013, Paruyr stepped into the sports and betting industry as the founder and president of Bookmaker Rating. This online mass media platform, which he led until 2020, focused on providing in-depth analysis and insights in sports betting, earning a reputation for its quality content. 

Continuing his innovative approach in 2022, Paruyr co-founded Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol. This venture showcases his dedication to integrating advanced technology in the evolving landscape of sports betting. Through these diverse experiences, Paruyr has continuously influenced and shaped the betting industry, driving new trends and setting high standards.

Engaged in private entrepreneurship2000-2013
Founder and President at Bookmaker Rating, an online platform focused on sports and betting2013-2020
Co-founder at Azuro, a decentralized betting protocol2022

"Innovation in sportsbetting comes from a deep understanding of both technology and the human element of sports." 

- Paruyr Shahbazyan, Founder, RG


Principles and Ethics

Paruyr Shahbazyan's core beliefs lie in the power of informed decision-making and integrity in the betting industry. He understands that the foundation of successful betting is not just about odds and predictions, but also about the trust and reliability of the information provided. Paruyr advocates for a betting environment where transparency and knowledge are paramount, ensuring that bettors are well-equipped with accurate data and insights.

Strategic Vision

Paruyr's vision is to revolutionize the sports betting industry through the integration of technology. He sees the future of betting as a blend of traditional sports knowledge with innovative tech solutions, like decentralized protocols, to enhance user experience and fairness. His aim is to create platforms that are not only user-friendly but also uphold the highest standards of ethical betting, contributing to a more responsible and enjoyable betting culture.

Future Perspectives

Looking towards the future, Paruyr envisions a betting landscape that is more inclusive, technologically advanced, and globally connected. He anticipates a significant shift towards more decentralized and transparent betting systems, driven by blockchain technology. Paruyr is committed to being at the forefront of this change, continuously exploring new possibilities and innovations that can redefine what it means to engage in sports betting in a digital world. His focus is on building systems that prioritize user empowerment, fairness, and the global growth of the sports betting community.


Sol Fayerman-Hansen
Sol Fayerman-Hansen

Sol Fayerman Hansen is the Editor-in-Chief at With over two decades of experience in sports journalism and iGaming content, Sol finds working with a refreshing experience focused on transparency and responsible, informed sports gambling. 

No, that bonus won't make you rich; it might lead to a gambling addiction even faster.

Notable Achievements

Sol is the creator of the world's largest book on digital art, a work collected by Harvard University libraries for its historic significance. He also served as the head of innovation at the Bank of Montreal, specializing in advanced technologies.

Personal Passion

Writing is Sol's daily practice and his art. He loves enriching readers with every story, reflecting his commitment to helping people through his work.


An avid sports lover, technology enthusiast, and a dedicated collector of both digital and physical art, Sol is habitually curious and a serial experimenter who loves to test new things…it's the only way to learn.

Cristina Varela Galan
Cristina Varela Galan
Problem Gambling Expert

Cristina used to work as a Psychology Assistant in the Bizkaia Pathological and Risky Gamblers Association. She was also part of a research team in Deusto University, specializing in pathological gambling area. While working there, she managed to develop her own project 

 “Exploring the association between emotional regulation, alexithymia, stressful life events and gambling in adolescent and young adult women”.

Nick Ashbourne
Nick Ashbourne
Senior Writer

Nick has been fascinated with sports since he was first taken to a Toronto Maple Leafs game back in 1998, and he's written about them professionally since 2014.

Nick has covered baseball and hockey for outlets like The Athletic, Sportsnet, and Yahoo Sports, and his sports betting expertise has grown since its legalization in Ontario in 2022. 

Between 2022 and 2023 he worked for a betting startup called NorthStar Bets, and in 2024 he contributed to Oddspedia before joining the Responsible Gambling team.

Anna Kravtcova
Anna Kravtcova
Problem Gambling Expert

Ph.D. in organizational psychology, an internationally certified psychologist (EuroPsy 2022, Cognitive behavioural therapy of mindfulness 2020, International Society for Emotional Intelligence 2017, Russian Psychological society 2014, American Psychological Association(Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologist) 2011), speaker of many international conferences (USA, Brazil, Portugal, Czech Republic, Russia, etc.). TEDx speaker.

Mike made the decision to dive headfirst into the booming world of sports betting fresh out of college. Back in the day, when 1-800 pick lines and sports pagers were all the rage, he couldn't resist the allure, having grown up idolizing sports legends like Sweetness, MJ, and Slammin Sammy. Mike dedicated his early years to the industry, tirelessly analyzing games, writing articles with free picks, and selling his expertise on reputable handicapping sites. Unlike many others, Mike was known for his integrity and only released one Game of the Year per sport, per season. His hard work and unwavering commitment paid off, earning him a devoted following and propelling his career to new heights. Then came the explosion of Daily Fantasy Sports. Believe it or not, companies like DraftKings and FanDuel used to pay Mike's company to increase their brand exposure. Now, those same industry giants don't even bother responding to his emails. While Mike appreciates the convenience of being able to place legal bets in his own backyard, he can't help but feel disheartened by what has become of the industry. People are being led astray, falsely believing that a mere $5 wager on a 20-team same-game-parlay will be their ticket to financial security. If there’s one thing Mike learned from making book back in the day, it’s that parlays are a bookie’s best friend. A bankroll is the only leg you have to stand on in the battle with the books, and Mike’s here to offer up advice on how to protect it.

Mark Medina
Mark Medina
NBA Reporter

Mark Medina is a longtime NBA reporter that includes stints as a Lakers blogger with The Los Angeles Times (2010-12), Lakers beat writer with the Los Angeles Daily News (2012-17), Warriors beat writer with Bay Area News Group (2017-19) as well as an NBA reporter/columnist for USA Today (2019-21) and (2021-23). Medina is also an NBA insider with Fox Sports Radio and frequent contributor to CBSLA's SportsCentralLA with Jim Hill and with Spectrum Sportsnet.

Daria Tuboltseva
Daria Tuboltseva
Hockey Journalist

Daria went to St. Petersburg State University and earned a bachelor of international journalism. Working as a sports journalist from 2014, from 2016 as a hockey journalist. Covered 5 World Championships, 2022 Winter Olympics, 2020 World Juniors, 6 Gagarin Cup Finals. 

Owner of a telegram channel Coolest Game on Earth.

Integrative nutritionist specializing on sports nutritionology.

Paul M. Banks
Paul M. Banks
Sports Journalist

Paul M. Banks is a professional Content Creator whose career has seen bylines in numerous publications, including the New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Yahoo, MSN, FOX Sports and Sports Illustrated.

Banks has made scores of guest appearances on live radio and television, featuring regularly on NTD News, WGN-TV, CCTV, ESPN Radio, the History Channel, SiriusXM and CBS Sports Radio.

He is the Founding Editor of The Sports, which has been featured and linked in hundreds of leading media outlets all across the world.

He has also authored two books, one of which, "No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in Sports Media," became an assigned textbook in journalism courses at State University New York-Oneonta.

Nikhil Narain
Nikhil Narain
Cricket Journalist

Nikhil Narain is a die-hard cricket romantic, published author, and has worked for some of the leading digital websites and broadcasters in India and overseas. An alumnus of the London School of Economics, Nikhil's forte is using data and numbers creatively to weave interesting stories and revolutionize the way cricket statistics are generated and analyzed.