Gambling and alcohol complement each other in ways that increase the need and acceptability of one in the presence of another. Their peculiar symbiotic link derives itself from the impact the two vices have upon the subconscious human psyche. Under the influence of alcohol, one is prone to reach greater heights of risk taking in gambling; and the need for alcohol is only aggravated by the adventure of gambling.
GAMBLING – MANIFESTATION OF THE OBSESSIVE TRAIT
Psychologists define personality in terms of certain ‘traits’. Typical examples are the paranoid trait, obsessive trait, narcissistic trait, sadist trait and anti-social trait. While in more recent times this classification has been replaced with more complex concepts and terminologies, it still serves a great deal to understand the behavioural components of human actions.
Gambling is largely a manifestation of obsessive trait, as also is alcoholism to some extent. Notably, the larger component in alcohol addiction is psychological and not physical dependence. Thus, a person with higher obsessive traits is more likely to be a gambler as well as an alcoholic.
ALCOHOL’S EFFECTS IN REDUCING OUR INHIBITIONS
Alcohol is a depressant of the central nervous system. It reduces the efficiency of the brain. At higher levels, it makes the brain incapacitated and induces unconsciousness. At lower levels, its first effect is in the form of loss of inhibition. The first few pegs give that feeling of well-being primarily because of this phenomenon.
Ordinarily, our mind is burdened with a lot of responsibilities, and a lot of permutations and combinations as to what we should do and what we should not. A person visiting a casino would be very conservative in his approach and risk taking abilities, unless under the influence of some substance that takes away his ability to judge and make rational decisions.
Most people are averse to risk. The casino offers the lure of jackpot, but it also threatens with loss of money. Being averse to risk would mean that people would be very conservative in the casino. However, once they are under the influence of alcohol, the inhibition is gone. In that state, they become over-confident and are willing to risk more. This alcohol induced lack of inhibition is the reason why alcohol is served in casinos. It is also the reason why people wish to have alcohol before they indulge in gambling.
GAMBLING ALSO LEADS TO ALCOHOL
It is not that alcohol alone promotes gambling. Gambling also contributes towards alcoholism. A win in the casino leads to a high, which requires celebration with a glass. A loss is a time to dissolve the bad memories in alcohol. Either way, gambling promotes alcoholism, while alcohol promotes gambling.
No doubt then, that most casinos prefer to serve alcohol to people visiting it, if so allowed by the prevailing law.