For many internet gambling enthusiasts, visiting a casino overnight is an exciting experience during which they may get lucky and maybe even hit a jackpot. However, for a small percentage of bettors, gaming becomes an uncontrollable compulsion that leads to severe issues and difficulties.
Gambling addiction (hereinafter - GA) is similar to alcoholism in that a sufferer yearns for gambling in the same way an alcoholic craves alcohol. Gambling can put a heavy burden on personal relationships and cause difficulties at work.
Suffering from GA, people frequently conceal or lie about their behavior. They may turn to friends for assistance with financial struggles linked to their addiction. Some people that have GA are looking for emotional and adrenaline rushes, while others are seeking a way out from the monotony of everyday existence.
Gambling addiction is a difficult condition to treat, and there is no instant or simple cure. However, it's vital to understand the reasons behind GA and know what steps to take to prevent it.
There are many reasons why people become addicted to gambling, but the three most common ones are:
You are more likely to develop GA if your family members have gambling addiction or struggle with addiction in general.
This compulsive habit may be linked to genetics. Gambling may be a thrilling adventure that is difficult to resist for some people. Many individuals become dependent on the thrill of a big victory.
In addition, certain urges may be more difficult for some individuals to resist. Because of their genes, they are more likely to get addicted to anything.
Some people may be even more vulnerable to GA due to family members or friends who engage in it. Humans require social connection and acceptance for their psychological well-being. Because of this, genetics has an impact on GA behavior and development. You are tempted to imitate close people's actions in order to be sociable and interact with them.
Residents of the immediate vicinity of a casino have easy access to gambling, which raises their risk of developing GA.
Living several hours away from the establishment, you are less likely to engage in this behavior, but do not forget the fact that internet gaming has made launching slots easier than ever.
Thrill seekers are more likely to become compulsive gamblers, although those with poor coping skills are also more susceptible.
Some people may find the rush of adrenaline and the thrill of gambling too alluring. These are individuals who seek euphoria from winning on a regular basis.
For others, casino games become means of coping with difficult emotions or life circumstances. These people are unable to deal with problems, therefore gambling becomes an outlet as well as a method of avoiding pain.
Players often try to hide their behavior, making it difficult to spot GA's indicators. However, like other addicts, they frequently have many of the same symptoms.
Among the most frequently seen indications of gambling addiction are:
Casino games become everything to someone who has a betting problem. In favor of pursuing new possibilities for gambling, all other aspects of life are neglected.
GA can lead to the fact that a person:
Is frequently late for work or does not arrive at all;
Doesn't want to spend time with his or her relatives;
Gives up socializing;
Does not care for basic sanitary habits and self-care.
If you or someone you know neglects all other aspects of life, it's possible that they have an addiction.
Those who have a gambling problem frequently try to conceal it. They may mislead their friends and relatives about where they are going and what they are doing. They can say that they are:
Working late into the night;
Traveling for work;
Aiding friends in need;
Monitoring several projects.
How can you hide something so basic? Because people with GA are ashamed of their conduct and afraid of being ridiculed or condemned by their loved ones, they conceal their gambling habits from others. They keep it a secret from everyone to avoid having to acknowledge the reality or deal with their addiction.
It doesn't matter whether gambling takes place at a physical casino or online, individuals who have GA will go to great lengths to conceal their activities from the people they care about.
A person who earns money exclusively from gambling is an example of GA. They may have quit their jobs to devote all of their time to casino games or they may be dependent on their profits to get by.
Gambling addiction can affect anybody who makes a living from it.
Borrowing money for gambling is one of the most visible indicators of GA. Individuals who suffer from this condition believe that gaming is the only real pleasure in life.
Gambling addiction can have a serious financial toll on those who suffer from it. The pleasure of hitting the jackpot or making a significant profit is part of the allure of gambling. It's the rush of winning that makes many addicts keep betting or spinning slot machines even after they lose a lot of money.
People who are addicted to gambling may borrow funds from friends, coworkers, and others in order to keep making bets.
Many people who suffer from GA spend a significant portion of their day thinking, fantasizing, and dreaming about gambling. Their existence and thoughts are dominated by it. Those with GA are unable to cease these ideas or control their compulsive gaming behavior.
Someone who is addicted to gambling may:
Have inexplicable absences from work or social gatherings, and exhibit secretive behavior;
Spend a significant amount of time on basic activities;
Take a lot of sick days or vacation time;
Spend more and more time playing in online casinos.
One of the most significant red flags in relation to GA is secrecy concerning money.
Those who have a GA problem can:
There may be several symptoms of gambling addiction:
GA victims are notoriously private and can go to great lengths to conceal their gambling's financial costs.
People with gambling problems frequently display certain emotional and behavioral symptoms, for example:
Oftentimes, the telltale signs of gambling addiction are difficult to spot because people battling this problem often try to keep their compulsive habits and resulting emotions under wraps.
Similar to other types of addiction, GA develops gradually over time. For some people, it progresses quickly and they reach the final stage within a few years. For others, it can take much longer – even decades – to get there.
The first stage is known as the "victory phase," and it generally begins with a significant victory. The thrill of winning and the euphoria that comes with it contribute to a positive attitude toward gambling. Many people who develop GA begin to believe they have an innate ability for gambling and that greater riches are on the horizon. The initial feelings of elation and joy after winning urge a person to bet more.
A gambling addiction worsens as a person becomes more obsessed with it. They gamble by themselves, start borrowing money, quit their jobs, and lie to friends and family about where they are going or what they are doing. When individuals are addicted and chasing their losses, they may start to believe that one big win will cover everything that's been lost.
Getting to its peak, GA typically manifests itself in a person's inability to control his or her gambling activity. They can't quit gaming even if they feel guilty and ashamed afterwards.
The issue will begin to have negative consequences in every area of their life. Addicts may lose their job, friends, and even their home. In some situations, players can be arrested because of illegal activities done while gambling.
The hopelessness phase is when players feel that they have hit rock bottom. They may lose all faith that things can get better and stop caring whether they live or die. Some people at this stage may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the situation.
Gambling may be a pleasurable and thrilling pastime that does not lead to addiction. Here are some pointers to assist you in having fun without becoming hooked on this sort of activity.
Keep in mind that casinos, offline and online, aim to make money -- not lose it to a handful of lucky people. So while games can be enjoyable, remember not to treat them as investments.
Consider gambling just a fun activity, like going out to eat or watching a movie.
Only bet with money you're comfortable losing — never with funds meant to pay rent, groceries, or other bills.
Use the money you would spend on entertainment for gambling instead.
The use of drugs or alcohol will diminish your ability to make sound decisions, which makes it more complicated to exhibit self-control. Therefore, it is essential to always keep a clear mind and exercise caution when placing wagers.
It's tempting to spend a weekend gambling and enjoying the thrill of casino games. It is, however, critical to set a time limit for every session. Limiting your gaming allows avoiding huge losses that may persuade you to keep placing bets.
Limiting how much you can spend on games may help prevent large losses and AD. However, if you set a limit on your gaming and then try to get back lost funds before calling it a day, you aren't really restricting yourself.
The best way to avoid GA is through prevention. To do this, consider taking the following measures:
GAMSTOP is a project that can help you monitor your online betting activities. By signing up for GAMSTOP, you agree to not use any casino sites or applications licensed in the UK for a set period of time ( from 6 months to 5 years).
Registering on GAMSTOP is a very quick and easy process. All you need to do is enter your date of birth, email, zip code, and you're good to go! Once registered, you will be blocked from gambling on any platform licensed in the UK.
It's essential to take frequent breaks, whether you're playing online or in a real casino. It's all too easy to get caught up in the thrill and lose track of time. Taking timeouts will allow you to refocus your attention and get back on track.
If you are gambling online, many sites have the option to set deposit limits so you don't overspend. Remember that gambling should be for entertainment purposes only and stick to your budget.
Limiting your deposits is a great way to reduce losses, but if the platform doesn't give you any means to do so, you can impose your own restrictions. Be firm with yourself. As soon as you reach this requirement, stop immediately and try again tomorrow.
Online casino mailing lists can be very tempting, especially when you see a promotional email in your inbox. It's easy to get unsubscribed from these kinds of things, and this step will help you focus on work or other activities that are more important.
You can ask to have your account blocked if you discover that you spend more time gambling online than is necessary. You may contact the website's customer care department and request to have your profile closed.
To stop gambling from taking over your life, do anything you love in addition to it. This will allow you to prevent developing an unhealthy habit.
Bookmakers and online casinos should ensure that they offer ethical and responsible gambling.
They should not prey on players with gambling addiction, but rather help them get the treatment they need. It should be possible for users to delete their accounts. In addition, they should have the ability to set maximum betting limits and time restrictions. Furthermore, all platforms should offer self-tests for GA.
Though one might think that only adults bet compulsively, young people are just as susceptible. However, those with several "protective factors" in their lives are less likely to develop a gambling addiction. These protective measures include:
Close relations with family, friends, and at school;
Reasonable degree of realism and limitations;
Great problem-solving abilities.
When young people have a supportive network and can manage their emotions, they're less likely to develop GA.
If you're struggling with gambling addiction, know that you are not alone. Millions of people all over the world understand what you're going through. However, there is help out there that you can get from several different organizations, including:
GamCare is a leading provider of confidential and unbiased support for people addicted to gambling. All services offered by the organization are free.
For those individuals who are having difficulties with gambling, GamCare provides assistance through the following outlets:
A project that offers free and 100% confidential support and advice 24/7 via the National Gambling Hotline.
BeGambleAware strives to help those who:
This organization provides information and support for those affected by casino games. They can tell more facts about the risks, signs, and symptoms of addiction, as well as how to get help.
An association dedicated to assisting individuals who are struggling with gambling issues. You may ask them to locate a meeting place near you or connect you with someone on the phone for support. The organization also offers information about treatment programs for GA and recovery plans.
It is a charity that works with children and young people who are in need of support, particularly those who are vulnerable due to their race or religion. This organization helps some of the UK's most defenseless kids achieve their full potential through a variety of services.
There are projects that can assist clients with compulsive gambling-related debts.
This charity offers free and confidential support to those worried about debt. They provide unbiased consultations and help, including:
Reducing your monthly payments to an acceptable level;
Protecting your most important assets, including your home;
Preventing creditors from taking action against you.
The main mission of this non-profit organization is to provide anyone in need with a free helpline and trained debt consultants who can assist and educate them on debt reduction options.
A free, impartial, and unbiased hotline for debt problems. They provide a free online chat and email assista
nce. On weekdays, you can also call their support hotline.
StepChange is an organization that provides debt advice to those who need it. Regardless of the time of day, they always have someone ready to provide support and advice on whatever problem you may be facing.