Gambling is a hobby that always starts for fun but can quickly spiral out of control. Even if we strive to provide you with unbiased and objective information where you can have the most fun experience, you should always keep in mind that you should gamble responsibly.
It’s our responsibility to help you stay educated, and your responsibility – as a player, to understand the risks and never allow things to spin out of control.
If you’re not careful, playing at an online casino can quickly turn from a hobby into compulsive gambling right up to an addiction. That’s a very sensitive topic that should be widely discussed and responsible gambling – promoted, as most people don’t even realize they have a problem. You should feel confident and supported and know that it shouldn’t be hard to seek help.
Here are the pitfalls of an otherwise extremely fun activity such as gambling:
- It’s Inherited
Compulsive gambling, like other addictions, can often be hereditary. Do you have a family member with a history of addiction? Then you should think twice before you start betting since you’re at risk.
The best thing you can do in that situation is to acknowledge that risk and avoid gambling in general.
- You’re a Risk-Taker
Risk-takers and thrill-seekers can be compulsive gamblers. They always seek out that thrilling feeling caused by the unknown to fuel their fire. As a risk-taker, money management can come second to the thrill.
Seeking out adrenaline can lead to huge losses, and you should acknowledge that. If you’re a risk-taker who wants to have fun at the slot machines, you should have a very strict money management strategy in place that won’t allow you to bet more than it’s reasonable.
- Hype & Unrealistic Expectations
Bagging that big wins waters everyone’s mouth. But expectations and reality are different, and you should be very careful when you approach gambling because you hope to make one huge score.
There will be ups and downs. You and your bankroll depend on chance and luck. Accept that and make sure you never bet more than you can lose. Keep in mind that hitting a big win fuels addiction, and striving to land one does so, as well.
- Financial Difficulties
That’s one thing that can push you over the line. Especially when you combine it with the hype of online gambling. You always think you need just one big win that will solve everything for you.
Reality is bitter. You’re more likely to lose your last savings than score a huge win that solves your problems. To avoid that pitfall, acknowledge the possibility of losing more than you can actually win.
- Social Distancing, Boredom, Stress
Gambling is often considered a hobby that fills up the free time of millions of people across the globe. But if you’re using gambling to compensate for other deficits in your life – lack of social contacts, fighting anxiety, avoiding stressful responsibilities, you might find yourself into a difficult situation.
Online gambling, especially live gambling online, gives a false sense of an active social life. You should be wary of that pitfall and never turn to gambling in order to escape reality.
How Do I Know I Have a Problem?
Given that the pitfalls are many and you can stumble into one with each spin of the slot machines, there are some signs you can look for to help you identify a potential problem with gambling:
- How does gambling make you feel?
- Do you plan your next gambling activity?
- Does gambling take priority?
- Does gambling occupy your thoughts?
- Do you experience mood swings, irritation or agitation?
If you feel like you’ve started betting more, in general or after a loss, if you avoid other responsibilities and spend more time gambling instead, if you borrow money to gamble and you hide your gambling activities from those around you, it is a good idea to seek help.
It’s never too late for that and it’s a crucial step to solving and handling a serious addiction.
Gambling Limits to Enact
Online casinos help players gamble responsibly to the best of their ability. You can make use of various tools that can help you manage your money and overall experience so that it doesn’t spin out of control. Some of these options include:
- Deposit & Loss Limits – to stop you from depositing and betting more than you have and can afford.
- Cooling Off – that’s a function that locks your gambling account preventing you from betting for a certain period of time, usually 24 hours.
- Block Casinos – using the settings available in your browser, you can personally block your access to given websites.
- Self-Exclusion – that’s a drastic measure the effectively closes your account. You can self-exclude yourself from 6 months up to 5 years from both online and brick-and-mortar casinos.
Prevention of a Gambling Addiction
No one starts gambling with the idea of becoming addicted. We’re all part of the industry for the fun and games. But some of us are more vulnerable than others. Here are some tips on how to prevent the formation of an addiction:
- Never gamble on credit.
- Always pay bills and other budget responsibilities before betting.
- Do not overlook your current financial situation.
- Do not overlook debts.
- Manage your expectations.
- Do not isolate yourself from your natural social life.
- Find other hobby-like activities to practice.
- Admit there might be a problem.
- Do not be afraid to talk about the problem.
- Ask for help!
How to Get Help?
Shame and denial shouldn’t stop you from seeking help. Compulsive gambling and addiction should not be ignored, and you should be honest with yourself. Once you achieve that, you have lots of ways to proceed.
Every gambler has heard of the organization that helps people handle their addiction. With them, you’ll get those tools and guidance, help, and mentorship that can get you on your way to correctly managing your condition.
If you feel like you’re alone with your condition, think again. Gamblers Anonymous will introduce you to a community that has taken upon itself the task of helping its members heal.
The UK charity GamCare strives to provide people with a gambling problem the necessary treatment, advice, and support. If you realize you need help, this is another institution you can turn to for it.
Gambling, in general, is a hobby that can be thoroughly enjoyed without the risk of losing control if you acknowledge it. It should remain a hobby if we’re to enjoy practicing it.
As a player, you should not feel shame or anxiety when it comes to asking for help. That’s the responsible way. No matter how great the casino you choose is, or how safe it is to put your money in, if you’re not responsible, the results won’t be good.
Gamble responsibly, and take that responsibility both for your sake and the sake of those around you.