The World’s Unspoken Addiction



The popularity of Squid Game has brought some newfound attention to gambling addiction.

  As Netflix´s new hit show Squid Game garners more and more views, one underlying motif of the breakout show must be examined: gambling addiction. How many victims does gambling addiction affect a year?  Why is this not talked about more? 

  The year 1931 goes down in history as the time when gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada. As of current day, the average Las Vegas casino makes a staggering 1.9 million dollars a day, with a hefty percentage of the money attributed to gambling.

  ¨Gambling addiction does not get much attention in high school or society as a whole.¨ Shares Sanderson High School CTE Teacher, Rodney Obaigbena. ¨However, with the popularity of paid fantasy sports leagues, and other online games that require money, it can easily become a problem if participants go outside of their allocated budgets.¨

  Obaigbena leads into an interesting point. FanDuel and DraftKings currently have over 14 million reported users, which may lead one to speculate how gambling apps such as these corral all of these users. The answer is sponsorships: With their names plastered all over American professional sports, it is no wonder that borderline criminal apps are collecting tens of millions from addicted users.

  Yes, gambling outlets like FanDuel, DraftKings, or even the traditional Vegas casino are a pristine, clean, legal way for one’s money to disappear in the blink of an eye. Surely there’s not a way that gambling is the source of many underworld activities? Wrong, and it is worse than expected.

  As mentioned before, Squid Game encapsulates the addictive drug that is gambling and its ties to a shadowy criminal underworld. One valuable piece of information that the average Netflix viewer can absorb from the latest hit show is that there is no exaggeration involved; if anything, crimes surrounding gambling are under-represented in the series.

  According to Ray Lozano Drug and Substance Prevention Specialists, gambling does indeed correlate with crime: it is reported that 80 to 90 percent of those who attend Gamblers Anonymous admit to participating in illegal activities to get money for more gambling. Daniel Mumma, Psychology and AP U.S History teacher at Sanderson, provides a neurological perspective of gambling.

  ¨Neuroscience research has shown that gambling addiction is similar to other addictions, and also that some gamblers believe they can control the outcome of certain games, but in reality this is called the gambler’s fallacy.” Mumma brings up a great point; the most interesting fact being the gambler’s fallacy can be the culprit of falsely predicting future events. 

  The Decision Lab travels in depth on how common the gambler’s fallacy truly is. In the article, there are many examples provided of non-gambling related events being incorrectly predicted because said event has happened in the past.

  ¨The odds of winning in a cash slot are 35 to 2, meaning there is no such thing as a ´hot streak´ if a person pays out more,¨ Sanderson senior and Academy of Finance President, Mina Khan explains: ¨I think just being aware of statistics can help someone see how unfavorable it is– 75%  of players lose in Blackjack. Why does the government allow it? Just like anything else, it brings in money for them.¨

  By and large, gambling is a major issue that is simply not given enough attention in today’s society. If you, or anybody close to you is struggling with gambling, do not hesitate to call the NC gambling hotline at 1-877-718-5543.