Online gambling is one of the most popular forms of entertainment, enabling players to make winnings while playing fun and high-quality games. While the key remains to play for fun even if the real money is involved, there are plenty of players who lose their focus along the way. For these players, problem gambling is a reality, and it is a serious issue that needs to be handled and cured sooner rather than later.
In this guide, you’ll find all the information you need on problem gambling and how to steer clear of it or get help for it. Online gambling can be fun, but it can also destroy you if you don’t take it in the right way. With this guide to help, you’ll be ready to play the best games from top providers without running into a problem.
Problem Gambling, also known as gambling addiction or compulsive gambling, is when a player has the urge to gamble non-stop no matter how harmful it can be. They ignore the negative consequence and can’t stop themselves from taking one more spin or being dealt one more hand. The main thing that defines problem gambling is when gambling itself becomes a harmful activity for the player or others connected to the player.
First and foremost, gambling is supposed to be about the fun and should never ever become an obsessive compulsion. Gambling is definitely a problem if it starts getting in the way of your work, school or life activities in general. If it is harmful mentally, physically or financially and causes problems between you and those closest to you, it is definitely considered a problem. A gambling problem gets worse as time goes by, but luckily there are ways to spot a gambling problem and stop it before it can get worse.
There are a few ways to identify if you or someone you know is developing a gambling problem.
If someone starts developing a gambling problem they tend to lie to the people closest to them including their family, spouses, friends and co-workers. They lie about the amount of time and money they spend on their gambling habit.
One of the main danger signs is when someone starts borrowing or even stealing money to feed their gambling addiction. Many gamblers with a problem don’t know how to stop and like any other addict, they will do everything necessary to continue their habit. If someone starts borrowing irregular amounts of money on a frequent basis, or you notice things or money disappearing whenever they’re around, it might be time to get them some help.
When a gambling problem occurs it is nearly impossible for the player to stop participating in gambling. They will become aggressive or depressed, or experience crazy mood swings when attempting to stop.
Someone with a gambling problem will often start withdrawing from society because of their obsession with gambling. If they aren’t playing they will constantly be thinking of gambling. They will start slacking at work, at home and in all other areas of their life.
Another tell-tale sign of gambling addiction is when someone constantly tries to win back money that they’ve lost. They will keep playing in the hope of making wins that will cover the losses they’ve had in previous game rounds. One of their main mottoes is generally that they will stop playing as soon as they’ve hit a big win.
The first thing a problem gambler will do when confronted with the problem is trying to convince you that there is no problem. They will often explain they are in control and know what they are doing, but if they show any of the abovementioned signs or symptoms, then the chances are they are lying and they are in desperate need of help.
Like any other addiction problem, gambling is very serious. It can cause extreme damage and lead to the addict losing their jobs, friends, family and everything else that they hold dear. It’s not easy to deal with a problem gambler, but it is definitely worth the effort. With the right approach, these players can be helped, cured and be back to normal in no time.
The first thing you need to do, when you suspect someone you love of having a gambling addiction, is to talk to them. Much as with any other addiction, the choice of getting help ultimately remains theirs. You, as a loved one, partner or friend can talk to them and encourage them to get the help they need. When talking to them it is of utmost importance to remember that while you want them to get help immediately, they might not be ready to take the leap just yet. Don’t force them, as this can only cause a further spiral deeper into their addiction.
Be supportive, understanding and, most important of all, non-judgemental. When someone feels attacked or under pressure it might cause them to withdraw instead of listening. If they feel supported and cared for, chances are they might see clarity.
Some problem gamblers might be relieved that someone has noted, and will talk about it and be open to getting help. Others might become defensive or even aggressive because they are ashamed. Instead of taking offence, it is important to remain calm and loving and to remind them that you care. If they insist they don’t have a problem and attempt to end the conversation, the best thing to do would be the leave it, but end with some information on where they can get help.
It’s always easier to help someone else with a problem than it is confronting your own problems and taking care of them. If you fear that you might be developing or already have a gambling problem, then here are some tips and tricks to deal with it.
Online gambling is first and foremost about fun. Scoring cash winnings is fun, but it should never be the drive behind your gameplay, as this is an addiction waiting to happen. Most of the top-rated online casinos have preventative measures in place which they implement when noticing a gambling addiction, but they also provide ways for you to stay in control of your gameplay and keep addiction at bay.
If you feel that you are already developing a problem, you can make use of the self-exclusion option most online casinos offer. There are a few simple steps to follow which will help you lock your account for a certain time period. Your account will only be available again after the time period you selected is over. If you’re in the danger zone, it would be wise to close your account permanently.
There are a few rules to implement and follow when taking part in online gambling.
Make use of the account and time limit settings provided by most online casinos to prevent possible gambling addiction. Not all gamblers become addicted, but those who don’t do it the right way tend towards addiction. Stick with these 10 rules and you’ll have a good time without doing damage to any other part of your life.
Don’t forget to check out our guide on how to play safe. These casinos are all about player safety and health. With preventative measures, helplines and genuine care, they will keep you having a good time the right way.
Each region has its own gambling addiction helpline that is open most hours of the day. Below is a list of sites and numbers to phone, based on your region. Whether you make use of it for yourself or for someone you love, it will definitely change your life for the better. Gambling, much like any other addiction, is not something to play with or be taken lightly.
Contact the following organisations for more information:
Tel: 0808 8020 133
Tel: 0808 8020 133
Christian Centre for Gambling Rehabilitation
Tel: 020 7833 8626
Tel: 718 352 1671
Tel: 0808 8020 133
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