How To Curb FOMO in Casino Gambling

min read
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BetMGM Dec 04, 2023, 6:10 AM

FOMO, or “fear of missing out,” is an uneasy and all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out on something rewarding. It can occur in many different situations, from feeling you are missing out on mind-blowing experiences to thinking you have to follow new trends.

FOMO in gaming and other popular forms of media and entertainment is particularly powerful, especially where online gambling is concerned. For example, in an online poker game, you may feel fear or unease when you think of folding a hand, only to find out later that it could have won. It is this anxiety that drives a lot of players to make irrational decisions because they don’t want to miss out on the possibility of winning a potentially big pot. So, they overplay weak hands or wait too long to fold and end up losing a lot more money than they had initially planned. 

There is, however, a silver lining. While FOMO can be very overwhelming (and it’s something that everyone will feel at some point or another), you can pinpoint what is causing your FOMO and learn how to control your emotions so you can avoid impulsive decisions. 

Discover more about the psychological state of FOMO and how to ensure it doesn’t hit when you next play online casino games.

What Is FOMO and How Is It Related to Gambling Behavior?

FOMO is a psychological phenomenon rooted in the fear that you’re being left out of something fun or important — or, in gambling, missing out on potentially profitable opportunities. The first thing to understand is that the state of FOMO is not a new thing. It is, in fact, a survival mechanism that humans have always experienced. Humans are social beings, so they rely on each other to survive. Over human history, being left out or not in the know could have put people in serious danger.

While FOMO may not necessarily put you in harm’s way today, watching someone else succeed or win big at the casino can create a fear that you’re missing out on a valuable experience. It’s no surprise, then, that FOMO can lead to physiological responses — for example, your stomach clenches into a knot, your chest tightens, and your heart beats faster.

When it comes to playing casino games for real money, like casino dice games or roulette, FOMO can kick in fast, which is why prioritizing safe casino gambling practices and knowing when to gamble or when to cut your losses and go home is so important. Even though FOMO itself is not a gambling addiction, it can be an early symptom or warning sign of what could become an addiction. FOMO keeps players at casino table games so they don’t miss rewarding opportunities; this behavior can become excessive if left unchecked.

Here are some of the causes of FOMO.

Availability Bias

FOMO is often triggered by availability bias, where people tend to put too much emphasis on the information that is right in front of them or think that something is more likely to happen because they can very clearly remember something similar happening in the past. In gambling, FOMO can happen when players remember the chances they missed or hear about someone else winning big. This bias makes them believe these opportunities happen more often than they actually do, fueling a fear of missing out on potential profits.

Social Proof

While many people put a negative emphasis on conformity, it’s human nature to want to fit in and be a part of a group. FOMO is heavily rooted in the human desire to be a part of something and connect with others. So, seeing someone doing something enjoyable or valuable can amplify your fear that you’re missing out. Seeing someone having fun and winning at your favorite casino game, for example, can drive you to play more than you should because you’re chasing those same wins and the enjoyment the other person looks to be experiencing.

Comparisons

Comparisons, especially with peers or societal expectations, contribute significantly to FOMO. The tendency to measure one’s own experiences against those of others can generate a fear of falling behind or not living up to perceived standards.

Uncertainty or Ambiguity

FOMO thrives in situations of uncertainty or ambiguity. You don’t know what will happen, so FOMO drives you to take unnecessary risks or make impulsive decisions based on the fear that something exciting or beneficial might happen, only for you to miss it.

Regret

Regret is also one of the biggest drivers of FOMO, especially for someone who has missed out on a potentially profitable opportunity in the past. FOMO leads people to dwell on that sense of disappointment from not participating, and this regret only gets stronger, so they are more likely to make impulsive decisions in the future. 

Who Is Vulnerable to FOMO?

FOMO can strike many different kinds of people, such as:

  • People who evaluate themselves in relation to others.
  • Those who feel a strong need to belong in a community.
  • People needing approval from others and also wanting to feel popular.
  • Those who pay a lot of attention to the state of mind of others, particularly when it comes to positive social interactions.
  • Extroverts who are stimulated by group energy.
  • People who are not comfortable determining their own path.

How do you know if you’re a person who is vulnerable to experiencing FOMO when playing casino table games or online casino games? It’s important to understand how to know when to stop gambling or when you should take a break from casino games because you’re basing your decisions on the fear of missing out. Here are some warning signs to look out for.

Texting or Surfing the Web While Driving

This warning sign might be surprising, but cyberpsychology researcher Jon Elhai says: “FOMO is a powerful motivator of behavior, including smartphone checking behavior. The finding of smartphone checking despite driving shows participants were engaging in very risky and harmful behavior.”

Your Answer to Every Question Is “Yes”

This could apply to holding when you should be folding in poker or answering in the affirmative to every social invitation you receive.

Feeling Oddly Unhappy When Gambling

If you’re hitting live dealer casino games but finding yourself miserable and/or anxious, FOMO is more likely to strike. If you’re not in the right frame of mind to make rational decisions, walk away. Online casinos use various forms of technology, such as encryption software, to protect you, but you also need to protect yourself and assess your state of mind when gambling.

Engaging in too much social media activity

FOMO is often associated with social media, where you repeatedly check various platforms in case you’ve missed out on something. Do you find yourself checking social media immediately upon waking, during meals and right before going to sleep? This is a red flag.

Being Motivated Often by What Others Think of You

Do you regularly do (or not do) something based on what others might think? If so, you may be susceptible to FOMO in unsafe scenarios.

How To Stop FOMO When Gambling in Casinos

Now that you understand what FOMO is about, how can you stop yourself from experiencing this potentially problematic feeling when playing casino games, whether online or at a land-based casino?

If you want to prioritize responsible gambling but often find yourself falling into the FOMO trap, start by trying to understand your FOMO trigger. Could it be that when you’re losing at casino table games, a sense of FOMO kicks in? Try and understand your emotional state when a feeling of FOMO takes hold of you. It might also be about watching other people winning that sets your FOMO off. 

Once you’ve identified your trigger, try to distract yourself when that trigger occurs. For example, if you’re triggered by watching TikTok videos of people winning online slots, then rather avoid these videos. You can even write a note to stick on your computer screen to remind yourself not to worry about what others are doing. And remember, you can choose how you want to allocate your attention. 

Enjoy Playing Fun Casino Games With BetMGM

With a huge list of casino games, BetMGM has something for everyone. You can enjoy playing casino games for real money while ensuring that you keep an eye out for any unnecessary FOMO. Try your hand at online casino games, casino table games and live dealer casino games, or teach yourself how to play roulette at a casino. Play safely and responsibly when you register today with BetMGM.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.