What to do when you become a problem gambler?

in Casino blog
Created: 27 December 2017
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Most great things in life can turn into harmful experiences if you push them too far, and it applies to lots of our basic satisfactions like food and drinking. Recreational activities such as gambling could also lead towards a dark path if the control is lost and common sense is replaced with blind greed and irrational behaviour – which is, undoubtedly, a shame. The fact remains that gambling can be addictive, and the key is to feed the addiction in a fun and rewarding way, rationally, and not give into it entirely. When this happens, people find themselves battling a gambling problem. There are ways to prevent this kind of advanced addiction, and also ways to recognise it in its early stages, as well as address it when it’s already developed and with consequences.

Gambling Addiction Explained

When someone is a problem gambler, we also say that this person has a gambling disorder, or that is a compulsive or pathological gambler. These people have trouble controlling their impulses. The impulse to gamble is so strong that they are unaware of the negative consequences for them, their loved ones and their surroundings. Problem gambling is unfortunate, just like any kind of addiction – drug abuse, alcohol abuse or smoking. Reckless gamblers will place bets without admitting they can’t afford to lose, blind to the fact that the odds are against them. Gambling addiction can damage one’s mental health and seriously disrupt family life and financial stability, not to mention the most extreme of cases when people lose their jobs and even their homes to gambling. That’s why it is best to react as soon as you notice that gambling is taking too much of your time, frustrating you to the point you can’t live your life normally, you’re losing too much money and desperately trying to regain it, unsuccessfully

Signs of Problem Gambling

We all start gambling out of various reasons; some take up betting out of curiosity, others out of boredom, and some take it quite seriously and pursue big wins or get into professional gambling. It is truly one of the more entertaining activities to spend your time on, as it amuses you visually and exercises your brain, and is one of the few pastimes that can bring you money. The attractions of gambling are indisputable, as well as all the things it gives back to the player. Who can be happier than an average bloke placing a small bet on a slot and winning a multi-million progressive jackpot that will change his life forever? But, as we all know, gambling carries certain risks and not everyone has the capability to deal with those risks. Some people are simply more fragile than others, have more tendency to give in to emotions and aspirations, rather than to embrace real-life situations that may have long-lasting consequences on their lives.

When it comes to gambling, it can be obvious what type of a player someone is. There are calculated and well-behaved players that follow their routine and their plan. They usually have a predetermined budget specifically created for the purposes of gambling. These people know when to stop and acknowledge when they are experiencing streaks of bad luck. On the other hand, there are overly emotional players who can’t stand to lose and feel anger and resentment towards casino slot machines or table games by the end of a session just because it didn’t go as well as they thought it would. This type of player is in the risk group of becoming a problem gambler. Here are some of the most common signs of becoming a problem gambler:

• Lying – once you start hiding your gambling habits from the people around you and start lying to your friends, family or coworkers, that’s one of the signs that you’re doing something you should be doing.
• Chasing losses – this is the most common mistake that gamblers make, which can have severe consequences. When you try to cover your loss with a bigger bet, you can enter a never-ending circle of losses trying to recover what is no longer yours.
• Betting more and more – upping the bet size just to have a bigger thrill is a classic sign of addiction. This kind of behaviour could lead to debt and losing more money than you could possibly recover.
• Unable to stop/Obsessed – problem gamblers always have gambling on their mind. They know when they’ve last gambled and they plan when to do it again. They might even know they should gamble as much, but the urge is too strong within them.
• Borrowing money – financial failure is what awaits every pathological gambler. This person will not hesitate to ask for money from friends or family members under all kinds if pretexts to then use on more gambling.

Getting Help

Problem gamblers aren’t forgotten, and the gambling community is very much engaged in finding more ways of dealing with problematic betting and promoting responsible gambling. There are multiple options for players who are experiencing difficulties with problem gambling, and some of the most notable include help hotlines, institutions that educate players about responsible gambling and self-excluding programs available at most casino sites.

Depending on which country the bettor is from, he must have access to some sort of an organisation that offers help to addicted gamblers. There are anonymous phone chat services, anonymous meet-ups, and also professional help from psychologists and counsellors who specialise in addition disorders. In recent years, the self-exclusion program has become more known to players and more used by those who benefit the most. Self-exclusion is when the casino won’t allow the player to play for a certain amount of time, usually from a few months to a year. The player signs the agreement with the casino, and as long as the self-exclusion stands, the player won’t be able to play for real money. No matter how many times you feel tempted to play again all your options and your account settings will be disabled. During this time, the player is prompted to seek help and regain control of his/her gambling habits. The distance helps, and lots of players have successfully recovered after making use of the self-exclusion feature.

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