Gambling means playing games for a chance to win money and it can also be called betting. The Gambling business and its foundations are embedded in a gaming model, where you have to play their games in order to obtain the chance to win or lose your bet. Therefore, it is easy to understand that the more you play, the more money you spend. The more money you spend, the higher the chances you get to win the desired result but equally so the chances you get to lose. Also, the more money you bet, the higher the chances are for you to win or lose your bet so is really important to always remember that this is a gamble, and like any gamble, one day you may win and another day you may lose. With time, it can become tricky to differentiate when you are playing for fun or when you are depending on those wins and is unable to live life normally without playing in a healthy manner, as a result having your life extremely affected financially which is a big fear we all carry. So, like anything in life, too much of something that you like doing or enjoy, can harm you in the future if overdone, overtaken, overused etc. As an example, if you look at it from the simple act of eating candy. It’s delicious, you love it, you take pleasure in it but too much of it can seriously harm your physical health in the long run. Now, don’t think you are on your own on this entire scenario. Responsible Gambling doesn’t include just players, it also includes operators and software providers and other services in the gaming industry who must and are responsible at all times to make sure they are making available to players the safest, fairest and super high standards of the quality of their gaming experience which is paramount to manage the risks of increasing number of addicted players.
And this is why we want to define for you in this article the differences between healthy gambling and unhealthy gambling and we here we also hope to help you learn how to gamble responsibly and give you tips to maintain the quality of your gambling in order to avoid becoming dependent or addicted to it. So let’s get the ball rolling.
Signs of Gambling Addictions
Are you endlessly thinking about Gambling?
When you feel you are unable to freely stop doing something, is usually the first sign of becoming addicted to it. That little urge to play that game one more time and repeating the cycle over and over again makes your mind more used to the habit, becoming very difficult to break that cycle in the long run. Another factor is if you feel unable to cope simply by the thought of stopping to play, or you aren’t able to imagine yourself normally without the habit. Usually, these are key factors showing you are having problems with gambling and should certainly seek for help to discuss the situation.
Other short term signs of gambling addictions are:
The player is finding very difficult to control the number of times they are gambling.
Have a look at the average time you are spending gambling versus doing any other normal and enjoyable activity during your day. Are you starting to mix the day for the night, losing track of your usual habits? Take a moment and try to look at your overall day and see how much do you value this habit and chooses to work around it over other enjoyable daily routine life doing. If gambling is more important for you, this could be a problem sign of addiction.
The player is starting to hide they are gambling to their friends and family
Typically when there is something to hide, it means there is something wrong. Have you started to become ashamed of your habit and don’t know how to make it stop? Has your environment become more hostile since you started gambling more and feel the need to hide? Observe your close environment and rate is quality in order to understand the actual reason why there is an urge to hide. This could be a sign of addiction where you don’t feel comfortable to show your vulnerability and need external help to get through it.
The player continues to gamble even though they have no money to do so and start to borrow money from friends and family in order to continue.
Typically at this point, the addiction is already existent and starting to grow on the player so this is more of a consequence from being addicted to gambling and it can continue getting worse and worse results on personal financial bankruptcy. Watch out if you starting to owe big amounts of money and immediately speak to someone about your issues in order to get the help you need.
The player starts to receive concerns from their loved ones of the habit
Are your friends and family expressing that they are worried and starting to distance themselves from you? How are you reacting with their feedback? Are you feeling the urge to distance yourself further from those because you don’t feel you have the space to gamble as much as you would like?
The player starts avoiding other enjoyable parts of their lives and starts to prioritize gambling only
Are you returning the phone calls from your friends? Are you missing main family event days or started to simply not find any of these important for you. Have you noticed if you distanced yourself instead of them?
The player starts to sell personal items in order to pay back money owed from gambling
Again, at this point, the player has completely lost control of their finances and is in desperation to either pay back money owed or to continue gambling. This is a severe sign and player should seek immediately for help before letting the situation becomes worse.
The player is fully dependable on gambling in order to make money to live.
Have you stopped working and decided to gamble instead? Are you finding difficult to identify all the skills you have in order to make money in a different way? Do you find you lack patience in making the desired money as you earned in past so much and wants to repeat the cycle over and over? At this stage, your mental health is also affected and can generate other neurological problems such as depression. If you are currently depending on gambling in order to live, you are now completely dependable and addicted to it so try to seek for help immediately in order to understand your situations so that other people can help you.
If you are facing any levels of the issues mentioned above, first and foremost rest assured that you are not alone. There are many people who face similar issues and sometimes just knowing you are on a boat with other people, makes you feel a little bit better already.
Not being alone means that there is support available for you in order to help you overcome your gambling problems and start taking actions in order to reduce your symptoms and take the necessary mediums to help you feel better.
Here is a list of platforms where you can get started by familiarizing yourself with the support that is available with responsible gambling.
BeGamble Aware is an independent UK charity which is an utmost priority is to help decrease gambling addiction issues. The platforms offer to all levels of players ( beginners, experienced, higher risk takers etc.) really useful tips to support players knowledge and decision when it comes to their gambling habits.
They will help players identify more in-depth the level of their issues with gambling as well as educate them with more secure ways where they can play safely.
Other types of support offered by the charity are personal treatment services, education events, and research initiations in order to raise the awareness and knowledge of the general public’s on gambling-related issues.
Another very trustworthy independent charity is called GamCare which was founded in 1997 by Adrian Scarfe and is one of the leading platforms on delivering counselling, information, help, and guidance on minimization of problems with gambling and also by providing necessary treatments for players. With available helpline services for counselling and also clinical support, this is also a good avenue you can rely on if you need support.
Unlike the charities listed above, Gamblers Anonymous is an Irish independent movement group that provides anonymous meetings for players who need help and they informally organize such support meetings across the country.
They call their initiative a unique spiritual movement where they believe if the players simply want to heal, that it will be possible by enhancing their core hum values such as generosity, honesty, patience, and humility. With a programme called the GA Recovery, players will become accepted depending on their core values and they can interpret these as they freely decided to. It is believed that the power of the will is able to help them and these movements focus mainly on facilitating that around the country. Visit their website for more information and how to contribute.
Primarily responsible for gambling regulations and superstition in the gaming law of the United Kingdom, the Gambling Commission is an executive non-departmental the UK Government and was created under the Gambling Act 2005. Moreover, the Gambling Commission also regulates National Lottery under the National Lottery Act 1993.
This platform is more useful for operators and service providers where they can use the channel as an informative place to understand how business is best to run on the gambling industry and all necessary entrepreneurial information and regulations that are needed in order to conduct and establish the gambling business in a regulated manner.
On their website, you can obtain more information about how they make their regulations and meet their objectives.
How to stay safe and in control online?
Here are some basic tips that will help you maintain your gambling habits fun and safe!
- Ask yourself everytime you play a game if you are actually having fun.
- Set up a limit of how much money you would like to spend and stick with your budget. There are mechanisms available today for you to prepare in advance and ensure you have a safe play experience
- Keep track of how much you have been spending on gambling versus what you have been winning. Then have a look at it in the next three months and ensure you are not putting your financial structure at risk. This is why setting up budgets is super useful and helpful.
- Monitor how much time you spend on playing. Make sure you track and if you notice the time consumption is increasing, take a break and give yourself a few days of rest.
- If you think gambling is becoming too much for you and you want to do something about it straight away, you can also opt for the “Self Exclusion” tool which will stop you from playing during 6 months to one or two years onwards.
- And most important of all, you know yourself better than anybody else and if you feel you are changing and is starting to notice you are not feeling well and might need help, do seek for help. Most players tend to hide and solve their problems by themselves by continuing to gamble and usually the time help is required their issues have increased so don’t hesitate and seek for help sooner rather than later. It can certainly pay you many debts.
How do Online Casinos Stay Responsible?
Here is a list of a few actions that operators and software providers take in order to help avoid gambling addiction:
- The implementation of the Self Exclusion option when playing is an extremely useful tool to support vulnerable players that tend to quickly get addicted to the games. Setting betting limits function is also very useful.
- No gambling for underage people. Companies check age before players start to play.
- Online criminal activities are avoided by service providers and operators ensuring their platforms are safe, confidential and take all the necessary measurements to avoid money laundering or other online criminal activities.
- All the marketing activities in the online industry are thoroughly ethical and extremely careful with how they promote their business to ensure it is not enhancing the increase of addiction