Much research is being done on gambling addiction, problem gambling behavior and related issues. You might think that this is mainly done to provide governments with arguments.
Singapore and Malaysia like to use these to regulate gambling in their country. Unfortunately, the opinions of researchers differ greatly and sometimes even contradict each other. The research fields do not make it much clearer. One scientist looks for addiction behavior in the family situation, another looks at the gambling environment and another examines the substances in our brains.
There are many of those fabrics, each with its own function. The two most important in gambling behavior studies are dopamine and serotonin.
For convenience, dopamine is called the pleasure or reward hormone. Your brain produces dopamine when you do things for which you deserve a reward.
When the slot machine hits three bells, not only does money fall into the box or you get a lot of points with your total. A wave of pleasure also shoots through your body, thanks to the production of dopamine.
According to researchers, that enjoyment makes you want to continue playing, even more than your material profit. You want to experience that pleasure kick again.
Serotonin, the other neurotransmitter, seems a bit more complicated than dopamine. It is also a hormone that can make us happy. You could not quite rightly say that with dopamine the production is done by something outside ourselves, for example, if the roulette ball lands on the number you have chosen.
You can then say of serotonin that it is produced by something in ourselves, for example, when an anxiety stopped you from visiting a busy casino room. If you do it anyway, and it turns out not to be frightening then the serotonin will make you proud of yourself. The nervousness, with which you might still enter the casino room, disappears and is replaced by a happy feeling due to the production of serotonin.