Psychology : The Hidden Dangers of Betting


Nowadays, betting has become the in-thing among Kenyan campus students. The main motivation as to why most students bet is to get money to subsidize the ‘peanuts’ they receive from their parents and the God-sent HELB.

It is a widely accepted fact that betting can be harmful and addictive, but what is less commonly spoken about are the real reasons why.

Let’s take 10 people that had never bet before, and place them on fixed odd betting terminals. Nine lose, and one person X wins an amount of money. The nine losers won’t return to the betting site voluntarily afterwards but for person X, his brain will never be the same again. This is because during his win, person X had a massive surge of dopamine occurring in his brain. When something unexpected as a big win during betting happens, dopamine levels go high. This is because since we were young, our brain has learnt the desire for money. It has been engrained into our brain and because of the culture and system we live in, it often comes top of the list before food, sex and other actions of progression.

Because a reward has been achieved(a big win) and has been stampmarked by the large surge of dopamine, his brain registers betting as a progressive action that isessential to his survival. Person X’s brain knows the pattern and releases small amounts of dopamine because it knows it’s on its way to a reward. But often, the reward doesn’t come so his brain is constantly producing excessive amounts of dopamine searching for a particular reward.

This is what causes people to be glued on betting sites. It isn’t just because their conscious brain wants to win money, but more that their subconscious is following an engrained pattern and will keep a person doing the required task until it achieves the reward that the pattern is linked with.

Typical effects of a person with an addiction to betting include : loss of self esteem, lack of motivation as betting has taken over the mind, anxiety, negative thinking due to constant cycles of losing bets, stress, family breakdown, continuous unemployment, learning difficulties and cognitive impairment, including many with symptoms similar to ADHD and bi-polar disorder.

Therefore the next time you as a campus student visits Sportspesa in a bid to earn more income, take your time to think if the cause is worth it.



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