The Hummingbird Blog

A Series of Insights Into Savings, Personal Finance and Behavioural Science

Part 6 - Gambling Is a Question of Mindset

Based on the available evidence and statistical information, we can conclude that gambling is a question of attitude and mindset. Generally speaking, individuals will choose to engage in gambling (or any other game of chance, including the lottery) because they don’t perceive an alternative, which can yield the possibility of transforming their financial reality. A 2011 study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies points toward a distinct difference between recreational and pathological gambling. On the whole, the main difference lies in the fact that recreational gambling is done as a means of entertainment. In contrast, pathological gamblers engage in gaming activities as they see it as a source of income that may ultimately lead them to financial success.

As you can see, it all boils down to a question of mindset. As long as individuals see gambling as a means of achieving some type of financial incentive, as opposed to seeing it in terms of entertainment, gambling can take on a pathological twist. Thus, having viable alternatives to gambling would enable individuals to opt for other types of strategies that can yield financial rewards. In the end, the opportunity to obtain a financial reward can prove to be a powerful incentive, which can then lead to a positive change in overall habits and behaviors. As such, switching over to a positive mindset doesn’t have to be an arduous task. All that is needed is some positive reinforcement to make things change over time.

In the world of money management, it’s all about incentives. When individuals have sufficient incentives, they are able to modify their patterns. After all, there is no reason to modify behavior if there are no clear incentives to do so.

When considering the power of incentives, finding the right way or reallocating funds toward saving can produce a powerful financial effect. It should be noted that the point here is not to compete with the gambling industry, much less break it down, rather the intention is to provide people with alternatives in which they can safely redirect their money allocation so that they can build a safe saving strategy.

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