When using operant conditioning to teach a new behavior, the schedule of reinforcement that is utilized can have a major impact on how fast the behavior is acquired and the strength of the response. Gambling problems are often attributed in part to the variable ratio schedule that gambling is based upon. In this type of schedule, the reward is delivered at after a variable number of responses. Because you never know when a reward will be offered, this schedule produces a high, steady rate of responding.
Learn more in this article about the different schedules of reinforcement used in operant conditioning.