Gambling Could be really fun and it IS fun unless it stops being a way of entertaining yourself from time to time and becomes an addiction.Unfortunately, we aren’t perfect and occasionally, what we were thinking could never happen to us begins to ruin our life and relationships with friends and loved ones. Luckily, there’s always a way out.
Responsible gambling Is what ought to be pursued and encouraged but if you or a number of your nearest and dearest have failed — understand that you are not alone and dive deep into our guide to gambling addiction where you will find all the essential information and useful resources.
Gambling Addiction Causes
No An individual can clearly say what’s the specific argumentation of gambling addiction and it can hardly be restricted to only one, actually. Typically, it is a combination of factors which make someone stop controlling themselves and obtain involved in the problem gambling. Here are the most common of these.
Our brains are different and that is the beauty. A number people obtain excited out of painting, some love watching old films made in the 40s, and a few obtain super-excited when they obtain a winning combination in slots. Their brains typically don’t produce the essential quantity of dopamine and norepinephrine — hormones linked to anxiety and happiness — they have to boost them by playing gambling games.
Studies by scientists and researchers from Imperial College London Suggested that the brains of gambling addicts respond to gambling activities exactly like the drug addicts’ response to getting a drug. And even though gambling addiction doesn’t damage your physical health that a lot of, it’s still pretty dangerous. Besides, there are some hypotheses that gambling addiction can be genetically conditioned. So if you know that your grandma was really keen on poker — better be careful with casinos.
The Argumentation for gambling addiction to appear might also be more psychological than biological. The addict’s brain can be working perfectly on the physical side but the way a person thinks might be completely distorted. That includes various weird superstitions (like throwing a coin a number of times waiting for it to flip on the specific side and thinking that it can affect the result of the game). People with a gambling addiction can be super-confident in what they are doing and while it’s usually a great thing that helps you achieve success in your job or personal life, that’s not useful while playing gambling games. The winning doesn’t really depend on how confident you are when pulling a lever of the one-arm bandit or while playing another round of blackjack but it can seriously affect how a lot of money you spend at the end of the day.
Social causes might be the most important and the most widespread ones in gambling addiction case and they include all the outside factors that can influence the person’s behaviour and psychological state. The addiction can be triggered by problems at work or in personal life, for example.
Some people believe that gambling can solve their financial situation and only make it worse. We can’t stress this more — gambling, whether online or offline, should be treated as a way to have fun or unwind after a long day but it can’t be a source of income unless you are a professional poker player winning the world’s tournaments. Excessive stress or loneliness, death in the family and other difficult life events, complicated relationships with S.O. or family members — all of these factors can ignite gambling addiction though it doesn’t mean every person struggling through a difficult period will definitely become addicted to gambling games.
Problem Gambling Signs and Symptoms
The Before all else step towards the solution of the problem is to admit that the problem exists. But how do you know that you or someone you care about is addicted to gambling? Well, there are some signs that can show it. If you observe several of them or even just one — consider talking about it to a specialist or contacting one of the helpful resources we’ll mention later in this article.
Your positive emotions are substituted with negative ones
What You should obtain from gambling games is fun, thrill, and a controlled feeling of excitement. But what if all those emotions are left far behind and now gambling games affect your mental state in a negative way? People with gambling addiction start feeling sad, anxious and stressed. We all can obtain slightly upset when losing a round in the favorite game but that feeling goes to extremes when you are an addict.
Gambling becomes a priority
There Is nothing bad in playing gambling games in your spare time but you should be concerned when it becomes the one and only activity you want to obtain involved in. Preferring gambling to other important things like work, hobbies, time with friends or family is one of the main symptoms of addiction.
Entertainment is no more a goal
One more signal of addiction is that a person stops playing games to have fun and starts doing it for some other reasons. It can be a way to run from real-life problems, escape anxiety, or whatever else. It’s important to remember that games can’t solve any of your issues — it’s only you who can.
You start chasing losses
It’s impossible to win constantly — every frequent player knows it very well. There is a house edge you just can’t beat, there are losing streaks, there is Mercury in retrograde that just can’t let you obtain that jackpot. And the best solution here is to put the game aside and try your luck next time. But not when you are a gambling addict. People with a gambling addiction will play more and more, trying to recover the losses they got and thus putting themselves even in a deeper hole.
Money problems occur
In most cases, people start their way to the world of gambling games with small bets. But with the time being, that amount can significantly develop and go on rising. It’s probably not a big deal when you are a millionaire but if you start playing with money set aside for more important things like paying bills, purchasing your mum’s birthday present, or going on a holiday — that’s a clear sign of the addiction.
You just can’t stop
When You are a responsible player, you know when it’s time to say”stop”, obtain out of the casino or close a laptop and go do some other stuff. When you are a compulsive gambler, there is not really such a thing as “getting bored of games”. You just play and play and can’t stop even if you feel like you want to.
Understanding the Phases of Compulsive Gambling
A person doesn’t just fall in addiction in one day — it’s a continuous process with things slowly getting worse with time. In most cases, specialists define four main stages:
- the winning phase;
- the losing phase;
- the desperation phase;
- and the hopeless phase.
- Now let’s look at them in more detail to understand what happens with an addict on each stage.
The Winning Phase
The phase got its name from the fact that gambling addiction sometimes appears after a big (or relatively big win). A person wins the money and gets a super-optimistic and positive attitude towards gambling, starts playing more often to win more or even believes to be born under a lucky star or to have some special gambling skills that need to be pursued. It’s not an obligatory stage though — some players can develop addiction with no winning stage at all. The duration of the winning stage is also not stable: while some can stay in it for years or even decades, the other will move forward to the next one within a couple of weeks.
The Losing Phase
The Losing phase is a lot of less positive as you could obtain from its name. At this stage, there is a significant develop in the frequency of gambling — the player has earned some tolerance and now needs to play more to obtain the equal feeling of excitement they could feel in the beginning. This is when an addict starts losing more money than it would be reasonable to lose and gets in debt. The losing stage is the one when the player’s interrelation with his friends and family become worse as one chooses gambling as the main priority and starts to hide it from everyone due to shame or anxiety.
The Desperation Phase
At this stage, an addict gets desperate as there is no more control over the situation. The amount of debts significantly increases and it looks like there is no way to pay them back but to play more and recover the losses. In the desperation phase, a person with an addiction might want to stop gambling but in most cases, it’s too late and professional help is needed to cut the addiction. Even physical health may suffer at this point due to anxiety, restlessness, and sleep problems.
The Hopeless Phase
The hopeless phase is also not an inevitable one as most of the addicts manage to seek help before they reach the very bottom. At this stage, a person with addiction sees no possible ways out of the situation. Alcohol and drug abuse are frequent companions of the hopeless stage. Moreover, 20% of addicts may attempt suicide at this point.
To a more positive note: the hopeless phase is not the last one. If one manages to draft off the bottom and gets the necessary treatment, there are two more phases ahead — the rebuilding one and grows one. This is when one rebuilds their ability to enjoy life without gambling, grows back relationships, and finds some other ways to solve personal problems and issues.
How to Stay Safe When Gambling Online
The best way to fight gambling addiction is to prevent one. It’s so a lot of easier to stay safe when playing and learn to control yourself than to deal with the consequences later. Here are the tips you can follow to stay safe when gambling online:
- Choose reliable casinos only. We’ll talk later about the gambling operators’ authority in more detail but the 1 thing to understand is that reputable casinos do their best not to let players fall into dependence. To discover a trusted casino, browse the players’ and industry experts’ reviews or decide on a website from the OnlineCasinoHex listing as your security is our main priority and we check every casino before making it to our choice.
- Remember to have fun. It is always nice to win but winning should not be your only goal when gambling while the fun should. Consider online gambling as the best way to amuse yourself or to unload your mind after a long and hard day at work but do not consider it as a method of making money or solving your financial problems as it may result in addiction.
- Bet the cash you’re ready to lose. Losing is inevitable when enjoying gambling games online so never bet the amount of money that you can not afford to lose. Make yourself a distinct ewallet for online gambling purposes and if you run out of funds there — well, it is time to switch to other things until the better times.
- Watch the time. In land-based casinos, they do everything for you to lose track of time: there are no windows that you observe that the sun has set and no clocks on the walls. When gambling online, you have an opportunity to keep an eye on the length of time you’re playing and it is better to not turn it into”too long”. An hour on the weekend or a few rounds at a mobile casino in a coffee break won’t do any harm but ensure that you don’t spend hours spinning the reels rather than going out or watching the new episode of your favourite TV-show.
- Don’t make bets when you’re drunk. Sometimes, it’s far better to begin texting your ex than to start an online casino website. When intoxicated, you can not restrain yourself correctly and can easily lose more money than you planned and it is not the thing you may recuperate in the morning by”sorry I was drunk” text.
- One win is sufficient. If you win, there’s a massive temptation to go on playing and win much more. But in fact, there are more opportunities to lose all of the previous winnings than of getting extra ones. Therefore, if you’re lucky to win some cash — better call it a day and log out of the casino.
- As you can see, the tips are super-easy to follow. Recall them while playing and you can save yourself a good deal of issues later on and allow gambling bring you only positive emotions and true fun.
How to Prevent Gambling Disorders?
In The former passage, we covered the easiest rules you can follow to remain safe while gambling. But what if you already believe it becomes harder to stop or if you know yourself pretty well to know there could be a problem if you start making bets? The simplest solution here is to simply not obtain involved in gambling activities whatsoever but they’re so a lot of fun, are not they? If you wish to make bets in online casinos and do not obtain into trouble, there’s a list of specific recommendations that may help you control the gaming process longer.
Unsubscribe in the casinos’ marketing emails. Yeah, there might be some juicy bonuses and promotions announced but they can stimulate gambling and make you start playing even if you weren’t really going to. You won’t miss everything important and will keep your mailbox cleaner if you decide just not to obtain those mails. To do it, find the “unsubscribe” link that is usually located at the very bottom of the mail or contact the casino’s customer support if you can’t do it yourself.
Set a deposit limit. It can either be your “imaginary” limit when you decide that you can’t deposit more than $20 a week, for example, and stop playing when you reach the limit. Or, if you are not sure that you can keep that promise, you can set a limit in the casino and it will not be able to either accept your money or develop the limit when you try to do it.
Set a limit on losses. The equal goes for the money you lose. If you think a deposit limit is not an option for you, stick to the limit on losses so that the casino will temporarily block you from betting when you reach that limit. It can be a daily, weekly, or monthly one.
Set a time limit. If a problem is not in the money you lose but rather in the time you spend in online casinos, you can opt for a time-out on the website you are usually playing in. Just like in the previous point, you’ll be temporarily banned from the website when you reach your limit and will only be able to start betting again when the new day/week/month starts. Who knows, you might even lose your interest in games till that time.
Block yourself from a casino. If you think it’s time for real action, you can contact customer support of the casino and ask them to completely block your account. Any reliable gambling venue should do it immediately with no questions demand as soon as you prove your identity. In some cases, it can also be done on behalf of the relatives who are worried about their loved one to have a gambling addiction.
Sign in to GamStop. It’s the UK service that gets you blocked from every gambling website licensed on the territory of the United Kingdom. It can either be a temporary ban or a permanent one.
Gambling Operators’ Responsibility
Your Safety is in your hands but it’s great to have somebody to assist you in the event that you feel unconfident. That is why casino operators should participate in the practice of gambling addiction prevention and get prepared to give a helping hand to people in need. Obviously, every company’s aim is to make money and online casinos aren’t an exemption but making money on people with gambling addiction is unquestionably bad for karma and no trustworthy gambling website will practice it. So how can you tell a trusted casino by a greedy one in this instance?
There should be a way to check yourself. Reliable online casinos offer a test which you can undergo to find out if you’ve gambling addiction or how close you are to you personally. If there’s bad news following the evaluation, the casino should provide you with useful contacts and resources for gambling enthusiasts.
There should be a chance of setting the limits. One more sign of dependable and dedicated online casino is that it allows setting time and cash limits for the gamers. This means you can anytime specify the period of time and money you can spend in the casino and it’ll temporarily prevent you from playing when the limit is reached. It’s the easiest and among the most useful ways to maintain gambling addiction in check on the first stage and do not let it grow worse.
You need to be able to hold aloof anytime. When temporary blocks do not work for you, you can contact the casino’s customer service asking to block you from their place immediately and with no possibility of restoring. A dependable casino won’t ever deny and will do its best to assist you or your family members fight gambling addiction.
Protect Minors from Gambling
We Often consider how to protect our children from violence, violence, or drug dependence but seldom keep gambling in mind as it is considered as something that kids are simply not interested in. In actuality, children see gambling advertising everywhere and may want to try it just for fun or to make money in”the easiest way”. Clearly, playing slots seems a lot of more appealing than mowing your neighbor’s yard. But for the fact that underage gambling is illegal and frustrated by casino operators (that is why they constantly check your identity until you can register and make a deposit), it is also quite dangerous.
According to LeoSafePlay statistics, Kids are 300 percent more likely to develop an addiction than adults. They also don’t possess their own most in many cases thus a minor hooked on gambling might obtain involved in crimes. So protecting minors from gambling should become one of the priorities both for operators, parents, and governments. You can not control what your child is doing when you aren’t around but you can follow several straightforward recommendations to decrease the odds of a kid to begin playing gambling games.
Keep your online casinos from reach. Make sure that you don’t leave a website open when there are children around and do not maintain your login information written down in a location where minors can inadvertently find them.
Install blocking software on your computer and your kid’s computer also. Programs like NetNanny or CyberPatrol will block access to gambling websites (or whatever websites you do not want your children to see too ) and won’t let children open them either inadvertently or on purpose.
Talk to the children. Tell them what gambling is, why it is bad for children, and why they should not even attempt it before reaching the legal age. Explain that it is not the means of getting money and that there are more opportunities to lose in the future than to win a lot of money.
Getting Help for Problem Gambling
Preventing Gambling addiction is a key but occasionally it is possible to understand that there’s a problem only when it is already quite serious and you can not just stop gambling by the will power alone. Don’t worry, it is never too late and there’s always a way out from gambling addiction. So what do you do when in trouble?
First of all, speak with your loved ones or close friends. We understand how hard it can be to admit you have a issue and tell about it to your loved ones but emotional support is among the most crucial factors of recovery from any sort of addiction. So share your ideas and feelings and ask for help if you feel like you will need some. You may ask a friend to become your emergency contact to call when you feel the need to gamble or to spend more time together so you can distract.
Give yourself time to think. Every time you wish to make a bet, do not take immediate action and postpone it for a particular time period. Let it be a few hours or a day. Generally, you’ll have other things to do before that moment. When you urge to play again — replicate the thinking process.
Practice visualizing. Imagine what will happen and how you’re going to feel when you lose your grip and make a bet. We’re pretty sure it is not something great so why experience those feelings when you can’t?
Seek treatment. All those recommendations are nice and useful but you will find just the addition to overall therapy. It’s hard and nearly impossible to fight gambling addiction on your own so that you might choose to speak to a psychotherapist who will begin the counseling program and, sometimes, will prescribe you medicine to help deal with withdrawal symptoms. Obviously, there isn’t any magic pill to treat addiction in a day but antidepressants together with treatment sessions have shown some positive results. Additionally, there are self-help communities and resources of individuals struggling with the equal problem and collecting to assist each other — we’ll share the connections in the previous passage of this report.
Gambling Addiction Resources
As We have already said, you’re never alone in your addiction. Fortunately, there are special services assisting people in trouble — they have already helped thousands of gambling addicts and know just what to do and what measures to take to recuperate. Contact them if you’re in need of assistance and see what you can do collectively. If you’re a friend or a relative of a person with gambling addiction, do not be afraid to reach local recovery programs or among the resources we will name underneath as they could explain the roadmap and provide recommendations on how best to behave and what not to do.
Gamblers Anonymous is the worldwide network of individuals struggling with gambling addiction. Due to the service, it is possible to find a meeting near you or speak to somebody about the hotline when you require immediate help. There’s also a whole lot of helpful information gathered on the official website so give it some of your time and do not be afraid to see a meeting. Nobody wins a struggle alone and it is always great to have someone to obtain your spine, especially if they understand what you’re going through.
If you’re located in the UK, you can reach the GamCare charity service that’s financed by industry participants such as casino operators or game developers. Here, you’ll find helpful information, speak with a counselor or perhaps join a group online-chat to go over your discoveries and problems with other men and women. There’s also a self-assessment test to take and learn how secure your gambling is and if it is time to do it.
Here is just one more UK-located service aimed to help people with gambling addiction. It functions based on National Responsible Gambling Strategy and offers confidential support to people suffering from gambling addiction. Hotline and live chat are available 24/7 so there’s always someone to speak to.
The aid services aren’t restricted to the UK, of course. Canada-based gamblers considering reaching for help can contact the Canadian ProblemGambling service. There’s a special section for family support and self explanatory recommendations to family and friends of an addict in addition to a community forum and a self-assessment quiz.
Very good news For the Canadian players: if you need to take a step towards responsible gambling or obtain support from gambling addiction for you or someone near you, there’s a local problem gambling council in each Canadian province. Below, you will find a list of local associations which you could reach any moment.
Alberta. Alberta Health Services.
Telephone 1-866-332-2322 for addiction support.
British Columbia. British Columbia Partnership for Responsible Gambling
Telephone 1-888-795-6111 for addiction support.
Manitoba. Addictions Foundation at Manitoba
Telephone 1-855-662-6605 for addiction support.
New Brunswick. New Brunswick Health
Telephone 1-800-461-1234 for addiction support.
Newfoundland. Newfoundland Labrador Health and Community Services
Telephone 1-877-999-7589 for addiction support.
Northwest Territories. NWT Health and Social Services
Telephone 1-800-661-0844 for addiction support.
Nova Scotia. Problem Gambling Help Line
Telephone 1-888-347-8888 for addiction support.
Nunavut. Nunavut Health and Social Services
Telephone 1-800-265-3333 for addiction support.
Telephone 1-866-531-2600 for addiction support.
Prince Edward Island. Health PEI Gambling Addiction Services
Telephone 1-855-255-4255 for addiction support.
Quebec. Gambling: Help and Referral
Telephone 1-800-461-0140 for addiction support.
Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan Health — Gambling
Telephone 1-306-787-7239 for addiction support.
Yukon Territory. Yukon Health and Social Services
Telephone 1-800-661-0408 for addiction support.
As You can see, there are various ways to obtain help, all over the arm’s reach. And Though the before all else step is the most difficult one, it is worth taking. OnlineCasinoHex is always ready to provide you with Information about responsible gambling in addition to recommend the reliable Casinos that take the players’ safety seriously to stop online Gambling addiction before it has an opportunity to develop.