The Risk of Gambling

Within money games, a distinction is made between money games that are predominantly dependent on chance and money games with a skill component, although the boundary is not always clear-cut.

Random money games, i.e. “pure games of chance” depend exclusively on chance and have nothing to do with skill. Examples include slot machines, casino games, and lotteries. People can get very fast addicted to these things. It is about the euphoria of winning which makes gabling so attractive. It is true that we love the thought of just winning money instead of earning.

Among the gambling games with a skill component, there are various gradations of the skill component, although the corresponding percentage has not yet been clearly defined. There are also games of chance with competence share that are still predominantly dependent on chance. Examples are sports betting or card games for money (like blackjack). Certain skills can create an advantage (e.g., betting on a successful team), but the outcome of the game cannot be influenced.

The Issue of playing over Money

The Risk of Gambling

In money games with a relatively higher skill component, so-called “skill games,” gamblers become more proficient, i.e., more skillful, after a few games. After a learning phase, players can train their fine motor skills and/or cognitive abilities and thus, compared to random money games, influence what happens in the game.

However, in every game there are also components that cannot be influenced. This means that ultimately there can be no control over the outcome of the game.

The risk posed by a particular game of chance depends on its addictive potential.

Games with a rapid sequence of games, such as slot machines and casino games, are among the games with a high risk of developing gambling addiction. It should be noted, however, that in principle any form of gambling can lead to addiction.

Switzerland as an example

Games of Luck

In Switzerland, 55% (3,498,000 people) have played a game of chance in the last 12 months. 3% of them gamble excessively, i.e. 192,000 people. It can be assumed that an additional 5-10 people are also affected by a gambling problem, extrapolated to a total of approx. 1-2 million throughout Switzerland. This led to costs of money gambling in 2020.

1,446 million $ monetary losses of gamblers consisting of gross gaming revenues. 851 million contributions for charitable purposes. 5 million$ were spent on prevention and treatment. And further 551-648 million $ of social costs were brought up.

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