Compulsive gambling is a form of addiction defined by an urge to bet more frequently, even when it is clearly time to count one’s losses and pack it in. Compulsive gamblers will pursue losses and will show irritability when they attempt to stop gambling. An addiction is a habitual attraction to a substance or action that causes long term destruction through overdependence. Gambling is a pretty old pastime, and even ancient cultures were known to engage in it. Compulsive gamblers existed then too, but not to the extent of the large numbers that we are seeing today.