Like any pastime, gambling can be a source of fun and entertainment her you will find the major signs of gambling addiction, in addition to offering advice on how to recognize and deal with addictive behaviour. I will also explore the role of the internet in relation to gambling, and how to effectively manage your time online.
Although a great number of gambling addicts may realise they have a problem, the impulse to recreate the ecstasy of winning is infinitely more powerful. Addiction is most often associated with substances such as alcohol, nicotine and various other prescription or illegal drugs. On a very basic level it can be attached to any activity or substance that is consumed or carried out to an unhealthy level. Addictive activities include shopping, eating, video gaming or even competitive sport. It also comes in the form of month-long gambling binges in front of a computer into the early hours of the morning.
Real-life gambling addictions
Becoming an addict is not a conscious decision. It can be caused by a number of different factors, including genetic vulnerability, social pressures, personality characteristics and psychiatric problems. In a lot of cases, it starts with one seemingly harmless action. In the case of gambling, this could be placing a small bet on a winning team.
Knowing when to stop
The internet has added yet another level of addiction for those who do not manage their activity.
In tandem with this, online gambling has allowed the gambler to escape into an insular world where there are seemingly no boundaries. The combination of these technologies has meant that the gambler or potential gambler should take control from day one to prevent fun from becoming destructive.
Staying in control
Online gambling has, to a certain extent, put control back into the hands of the gambler. It has created greater freedoms. It cuts travel costs completely, allowing people to play from any location within reason. Some gambling websites also have monetary limit features so gamblers are able to keep track of their spending. However, in a lot of cases these are not advertised well enough, going relatively unnoticed.
Given the current online and offline gambling climate, and based on current research, the best way to stay in control is to set personal spending limits from the moment you start. The ideal time to do this is from the very first moment you place a bet, go online to gamble, or engage in any form of activity where there is money and odds involved. Don’t spend more than you can reasonably afford to lose.
Noticing the warning signs
To work out whether you or someone you know is experiencing difficulties due to gambling, try answering the following questions:
Check your score below:
3-4 problem gambling
5 or more compulsive gambler
Other things to consider
Responsible gambling doesn’t stop with the points mentioned above. There are other factors to consider, especially as an online gambler. These are:
Codes of practice
If asked, the majority of people wouldn’t spend money for no good reason. If not managed properly, responsible individuals gamble away. Remember to plan ahead before you gamble.