Are we gamblers naturally?

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Is gambling part of human nature? This is an interesting question that cannot be found an answer immediately. Perhaps man invented the wheel to play roulette with it. To get a better picture of the connection between humans and gambling, it is interesting to look at what is already known about it.

It is already known that a lot was gambling in history; The Romans and Chinese in particular knew how to handle dice. Yet we are not yet out of time. The prediction for 2022 is that we will jointly gamble $ 635 billion. Is this a modern phenomenon or something in our genes? In short, are we gamblers naturally?

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Gambling history

To answer that question, we have to go far back in time. Far before we had touched only one dice, the Chinese were already gambling. In addition, it already occurred in the Bible. During the crucifixion of Jesus, people already played for his cloak. This may be historical examples of gambling, it still does not answer if it is in our nature.

It may seem more like gambling, or perhaps a certain eagerness. The idea of risk has always been part of humans. We used to have to hunt and that was not always without risk. But taking a risk is not always tied to gambling, certainly not in historical periods. However, taking a risk makes an exciting feeling; A feeling that we also feel while gambling.


Anthropology is a science that deals with the physical and cultural aspects of people. According to anthropologists, there were no gambling in large parts of the world. They did not have the materials to gamble with those in China and Europe. The lack of dice and cards was therefore enough not to gamble. They also did not need it to make it. This already gives a fairly direct answer to the question whether people are naturally gambler. The anthropologists give a resounding no as an answer.

Recent history

Until fairly recently there were parts of the world where there was no gambling at all. Many peoples simply never had the opportunity to do so and therefore no need for it. For example, there are parts of the world where gambling was only introduced in the last 50 years: areas such as South America, islands in the Pacific and northern areas in Scandinavia were recently free of gambling.

Gambling still does not even occur in some areas. They also did not need to make the material to gamble with. This also gives a negative answer to the question of whether we are gamblers by nature.


Before we can be sure in our answer, it is good to doubt. It is possible that residents of many areas did not gamble because they were isolated. But even in areas where previously explorers came, gambling has not been excited. It is possible that these travelers did not have gambling materials to introduce.

But when we come back to the question of whether we are naturally gamblers, it is actually not relevant. If this were the case, they would have already invented something to gamble with. Since this was not the case, the answer of no seems to be gaining more and more conviction.


So we can determine quite early that gambling is not in our blood. Yet it is clear that people like to take a chance. We do not have the need to gamble naturally, but as soon as the possibility is there it is done. The world is increasingly connected and gambling is easier than ever before.

We can do anywhere in the world without too much trouble casinos Visits, from Las Vegas to Macau in China. The rise of the internet and smartphones also makes it ever easier. From October 2021 there are also Legal American online casinos. But why are we so sensitive to gambling when this is not in our blood?

Gambling sensitivity

An interesting fact is that peoples who were only later introduced with gambling have much more problems with gambling addictions. According to scientists, addiction sensitivity depends on genetic layout and factors in the environment. The claim that a risky life can lead to gambling addiction is also one that is not correct.

People from countries with a dangerous climate have no history of gambling. The differences in the peoples do not seem to be decisive for sensitivity to gambling. After all, Europeans and Chinese have been gambling and living on different sides of the world for a long time. The possibility to gamble leads to gambling. Once it is part of the culture, it is simply more common.

A matter of money

This still does not provide a clear answer to the phenomenon that there is more gambling addiction among peoples who never gambled historically. An answer to this are the economic conditions of the peoples. The money from those who introduced the gambling was more convenient than the goods they exchanged for it. The idea to earn this quickly through gambling games also turned out to be an attraction.

Wanting to earn money quickly is somewhat human. In a world where materials are important, it is attractive to have more materials. Certainly if this increases the ease of life and you take a higher position in the hierarchy. Gambling is not human by nature, but perhaps the characteristics that attract us to gambling are.

The psychology of gambling

The research into the genes that make us sensitive to gambling is still ongoing. If hard evidence is missing, it is useful to see what is going around in our brains. Is it then the human nature that attracts us to gambling? Casinos earn a lot of money from gamblers.

How come we always spend our money while we know that there is a chance that we will lose it? Not only the chance to win prizes or money attracts us to gambling, other factors also play an important role.

Taking risks

A psychological explanation for gambling is that taking risks gives us a exciting feeling. The tension that you feel after deploying money is present, regardless of whether you win or not. Adrenaline is released in the brain and this gives us a natural high. Man is constantly looking for this feeling and some are more sensitive to this than others.

So it doesn't necessarily have to be about winning a prize or money. Even the use, the action of gambling itself, can already cause a good feeling. And if this feeling goes out again, you will keep looking for the same experience. However, this can lead to a gambling addiction.


Gambling often happens in a dazzling environment - one that makes us escape the routine of daily life. This can be an impressive hall in a casino, a space full of slots where the senses are constantly stimulated, or an online environment where everything seems possible.

Our senses are stimulated and our emotions are becoming more intense. For many, this escape from life is an experience that they cherish. If you are constantly looking for this, a dependent can arise. Instead of working on problems, you keep escaping to another world.


Because of the media and marketing, the world of gambling seems like a stylish and sexy affair. Take a look at Las Vegas. The whole city is a reflection of the world, where miracles from all over the world have been recreated. There are also countless entertainment and gigantic riches.

This gives people the feeling that gambling leads to a stylish life, a life that they like to be part of. Not often you come across gambling addiction in marketing and media, giving gambling a more positive image than is often the case.

Social aspects

Gambling is a part of many cultures worldwide. A large part of the population also participates in it. This ensures that gambling through the majority of the audience is seen as something normal. Already at a young age you will become acquainted with card games and arcade halls.

Also consider a fair, with stalls where you can win different prizes. These are forms of gambling that we have to deal with at an early age. For example, at a later age it does not seem strange to gamble with money.

A matter of perception

If we look at all these factors it is clearer why gambling seems so natural to humans, while this is not the case. Many psychological things that are of course for people attract us to gambling. This also ensures that we see gambling as something that entails a low risk and is especially a pleasant time spent. This is not always the case: many people take an unnecessary risk during gambling and get into trouble with money and gambling addiction.

Nature past

There is still no end in sight when it comes to gambling. In China they were gambling thousands of years ago and the number of gamblers in that part of the world is still growing. The rest of the world is also not far behind. Economists estimate that the global turnover for gambling providers in 2022 is around 635 billion dollars.

About 9 percent of this lies with online providers of games of chance, this includes online casinos and online betting on sports and virtual sports. For example, regardless of whether it is in our nature, we are en masse attracted to gambling.


Are we gamblers naturally? The answer from anthropology is no. Where the possibilities for gambling were, there was gambling. The Chinese and Europeans were traditionally gamblers, but for some peoples gambling is a recent phenomenon. They also had no need to make materials to gamble with. Because the world is now connected, thanks to the internet and smartphones, gambling is accessible worldwide.

It is still a growing industry. There are, however, aspects of human nature that attract us to gambling. Psychological factors such as taking a risk and the exciting feeling that comes from this. So gambling is not naturally human, but that does not prevent people from gambling a massive gamble.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are we naturally gamblers?

All proof leads to the answer that humans are not a natural gambler. Gambling happened especially when the possibility of was here. People from all over the world did not have this need and therefore did not make any materials such as cards or dice. For them, gambling is a recent phenomenon. The Chinese and Europeans traditionally did, but this was not because this was in their nature.

Why is people gambling?

It is not in our DNA to gamble, but there are aspects of human nature that attract us to gambling. Factors such as the exciting sense of taking risk and escaping from the daily grind have an influence on this. The attention for gambling in media and marketing also gives us a positive picture of gambling. That is why it is a normal and accepted part of our culture. Moreover, there are more and more options for gambling.

Is gambling bad for humans?

Gambling in itself is not necessarily bad for humans. If you handle it wisely and know your limits, this is no problem. However, some people are sensitive to gambling addiction. This means that they cannot properly control themselves in the field of gambling and this often leads to financial and mental problems.

Where does gambling addiction come from?

According to scientists, a number of factors are important when it comes to gambling addiction. For example, some people have a genetic predisposition for it and factors in the area also influence it. In addition, some psychological factors apply. Research is still being done into the exact factors that influence this. If you are sensitive to this, it is useful to look up more about it and to handle gambling carefully.