Gambling Phases

Progression of gambling phases

Robert Custer, a leader in gambling psychology, has identified three phases to the progression of gambling:

  • Early Stage Dependence (Winning Phase)
    In this stage, the financial rewards or the internal escape received as a result of gambling behaviour provide sufficient motivation for the behaviour to continue
  • Middle Stage (Losing Phase)
    Losses begin to stack up, gamblers start “chasing” their losses, which cause the gambling behaviour to become more out of control.
  • Late Stage (Desperation Phase)
    In this final stage, the gambler becomes overwhelmed.  There are extreme emotional, financial and family/relationship problems.  Criminal behaviour may occur, with possible legal consequences.