Why Do You Gamble

The Need that Makes Us Chase that Elusive Dream

After writing the eighth book of mine I noticed that in each one I ask this same question: “Why do you gamble?” Veterans of my teachings know the answer, but do you?

Do you really know why you gamble? It’s a four-letter word that drives you to risk money on the outcome of dice games, sporting events, card games, Slots or any such endeavor which calls for the risking of money to better your financial position.

Have you come up with that four-letter word? It’s called NEED. Each one of us has a particular need that stirs our juices and makes us chase that elusive dream.

Look at this list and see if you can find yourself in one of these categories:

  1. Need Money
  2. Need Entertainment
  3. Need Outlet for Life-Style
  4. Need Thrill of Going for the Chase
  5. Need Feeling of Adventure


Surely you can find yourself on that list. I probably qualify for every one of them but especially (A). I gamble for money and am not ashamed to admit it.

Sure I love the excitement, the thrills, the chase, and I hate the losses that occur 30% to 40% of the time, and each loss hurts a lot. But my need is making a living in the world I love, and it disgusts me to see people coming into my world and getting their clocks cleaned.

Greed Takes Over after the Need Is Satisfied

Some of you might have said GREED was what drew you to gambling (even though I qualified the question by saying it had four letters, not five). But greed doesn’t drive you to gambling. Greed takes over after the NEED is satisfied.

My friend Les Trubble has more trouble than a deep sea diver with a punctured lifeline. He makes a decent living as a truck driver, but has run into some financial problems with two kids heading into college, his wife having an unfortunate hospital stay, and two cars that pick the same week to decide to drop a transmission.

Les Trubble accepted his troubles for a while, but then started looking for ways to supplement his income and get out of trouble.
He read where some guy win at vegas party slot machine for $700,000 in just a few games in the online casinos and envisions his problems coming to an end!

Why Do You GambleLes Trubble thinks this can happen to him, so he starts dipping into his budget of mortgage payments and heads for the land of dreams. In the short space of two hours, he finds a couple of generous machines and runs up a decent profit of $215. His spirits are soaring, his prayers answered.

On the way to the casino he told himself that even a $150 profit would cover a telephone bill, a dental visit and an insurance payment.

As soon as he reached this profit, with a couple of dollars to spare, his NEED was satisfied. But Les Trubble decided that this was his day and no use quitting while he’s on a hot roll.

So armed with his starting Bankroll of $300, his profit of $215, his hot streak in third gear and his hopes soaring, he goes for the kill.

It’s no contest. A cold run develops and he increases his bets.

Then some near misses frustrate him and he promises to quit if he just gets back to the plus point of $215.

But Lady Luck has flown the coop. The more he loses, the higher he bets. In a blink the profit is gone. In two blinks his $300 Bankroll is gone.

Now Les Trubble has more trouble. He has to find a way to replace the stake.

A Lousy, Bottomless, Gut-Wrenching Experience

The ride home is a nightmare. Not only is his money gone but his common sense. You know what this dork is thinking about? A way to get back to the machines because he’s gotta get that money back.

We’ve all traveled that road. I sure have. It’s a lousy feeling, a lousy bottomless, gut wrenching experience. And I see and talk to these people every day of the week. Different faces, different casinos, different games, same stories!

Why do you gamble?