Problem Gambling

How to recognise and prevent gambling addiction

It is mandatory for online casinos to ensure that gamblers are aware that problem gambling is a very real concern. They are required to highlight the dangers of problem gambling, provide information regarding the prevention thereof, and to list available resources for assistance with problem gambling.

Problem gambling is defined as the consistent urge to continue in gambling practice despite being aware of the negative impact it has on self and others. These negative consequences include diminished capacity in mental and physical health, increased debt and the impact on family with regards to emotional support, finances and lack of time spent in their company.

Unfortunately, as with other addictions, problem gambling can only be managed effectively if the gambler comes to realise that his/her behaviour is disruptive to self and others, and is willing to to seek and accept help. Below is a list of warning signs compiled by experts in their field, that every gambler should affiliate him/herself with.

Problem Gambling Warning Signs

  • The gambler is incessantly replaying his/her gambling experience, planning his/her next betting spree, and spending winnings that he/she has not yet won.
  • The gambler finds him/herself constantly raising his/her bets to continue getting enjoyment from the gambling experience.
  • The gambler finds him/herself restless, depressed or irritable when not engaging in gambling activities.
  • The gambler has felt the desire to diminish or end his/her gambling activities. but has not been able to do so.
  • The gambler feels the need to gamble to escape from emotional or personal problems such as loneliness or marital discord.
  • The gambler habitually borrows, steals or sells goods to obtain funds for gambling.
  • The gambler fails to meet work, college or family obligations because he/she is gambling.

Online casinos recognise that prevention is better than cure, an as such, most of them list a set of guidelines for the prevention of problem gambling. Here are the basic ways to avoid becoming a victim of gambling addiction.

Preventative Measures

  • The gambler should fix a daily, weekly and monthly wagering limit before commencing.
  • The gambler should fix a daily, weekly and monthly time limit before commencing.
  • The gambler should play for pleasure and not envisage him/herself paying off debts or making purchases.
  • The gambler should not chase losses in the hope of turning them around.
  • The gambler should know to stop when he/she is winning. They should set a limit of how much they are willing to drop their winnings by, and walk away when that limit is reached.
  • The gambler should understand that there are no sure-win formulas. Casino games are games of chance.

Some online casinos offer voluntary exclusion facilities for problem gamblers, whereby the player sets a time period for which he/she will not be able to gain access to the casino site. This is highly recommended since online gambling is exceedingly accessible for those who are tempted. Problem gamblers should also accept professional assistance from aid organisations the likes of Gamblers Anonymous or GamCare.