FOMO, or fear of missing out, is an uneasy and, at times, 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 is particularly powerful when it comes to gambling.
Let’s explore the psychological state of FOMO and how to ensure it doesn’t hit when you next play online casino games.
The link between FOMO and gambling
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. Because we are social beings, we rely on each other to survive. Over human history, being left out or not in the know could put people in serious danger. 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. Even though FOMO itself is not a gambling addiction, it can be an early symptom of what could become an addiction. FOMO keeps us at casino table games so that we don’t miss rewarding opportunities and this can become excessive if left unchecked.
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? Here are some warning signs:
- 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 have 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 something, or not do something, based on what others might think?
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?
Try 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 our great 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.