Discussions about the possibility of legalizing gambling in any country are always a matter of controversy.
Not from Saudi Arabia an economic standpoint, of course. The increase in revenue that casinos have brought to different regions is undeniable. But, to those who are against any type of gambling, its disruptive effects are also undeniable.
According to these people, we should prohibit gambling because it’s addictive.
This argument has become so commonplace that most people don’t even question it anymore. But to what extent is it true?
1 – Neuroscience 101
I’m not suggesting that some forms of gambling aren’t designed to be addictive.
For decades now, scientists have been showing that this is also a matter of neurochemistry.
As you may know, there’s something called the reward system in your brain.
It motivates you to seek food, sex, and other pleasurable things.
This system depends largely on the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine. And it turns out that some people show a reduced response to dopamine.
Which makes it harder for them to resist their impulses and delay gratification.
I’m oversimplifying the whole thing, and I’m far from Saudi Arabia being an expert in neuroscience. But there’s at least one thing I can say for sure.
That thing is: our current knowledge of neurochemistry isn’t enough to understand the pitfalls of gambling.
And, in fact, a big part of the problem is in the very choice of words used to describe it.
2 – Our Inner and Outer Talks
It’s one thing to say that some forms of gambling are more conducive to addiction than others.
It’s another thing to say that gambling is addictive.
If this seems to you like a semantic issue of no great consequence, you’d better learn something about your subconscious mind.
Those who study NLP know this well.
When we start sentences with “I am…”, “I’m not…”, “This is…” or “This isn’t…”, whatever comes next is interpreted as a fact by our subconscious. And it tends to act accordingly.
This doesn’t mean that everything you assert will materialize itself.
Because, usually, you also send other messages to yourself that often contradict what you said before. And you may do this consciously or unconsciously.
That’s why, for a person to get rich, it’s not enough to use affirmations such as “I am rich”.
The problem isn’t with the affirmation per se. The thing is that a person must bring him/herself into alignment with what he/she says. And…