Giving your money a spin on casino games is supposed to be a fun and exciting experience. Something that should leave you with pleasant memories and satisfaction. But the fun and games can quickly spiral out of control if you fail to control your bets and burn through your bankroll.
Responsible gambling is not just the ability to move your money through casino games with proper management. It’s also about self-control and self-awareness.
The step from gambling as a hobby to compulsive behavior is very short and easy to make if you’re not careful. Having a problem with gambling is not always evident. Players can become vulnerable if these topics are not widely discussed, and they’re unable to find support.
We’ve made our best to go over the most common pitfalls that online gamblers face.
- It’s a Hereditary Condition
Addictions are often inherited in the family. Children of people with a known history of addiction are prone to developing an addiction of their own. If that’s your case, you should be very careful when taking up gambling, and you should be aware you’re at risk and acknowledge that risk.
- You’re Hyped About Winning
Gambling is not just a fun hobby, it’s a lifestyle for some people. Professional poker players make tons of money through gambling. We all watch tournaments and live with the games.
That can create unnecessary hype and unrealistic expectations of what can be achieved through gambling. Many people burn through their bankroll quickly hoping to make one big hit. Compulsively burning through your gambling money is a worrying sign.
- Not Walking Away
Scoring a big win can feed your addiction. You can always place one more bet and one more bet because you have money to burn through, right?
You should always walk away after a big win. That will give you the chance to cool down and make more reasonable decisions about your money. And you won’t go down a spiral that might deplete your balance.
- You’re a Risk Taker
Gambling is a thrilling hobby that makes you excited and can elevate the spirits. Risk-takers and thrill-seekers like to bet in order to get the excitement from betting. With many risk-takers, money management is often neglected because it’s not the balance that’s most important.
Seeking the thrill can be a real pitfall that can burn through your money quickly. Thrills can be addictive, and remember that the adrenaline high can lead to huge losses.
- You’re Bored & Isolated
Social isolation and boredom can easily be replaced by the thrill of online gambling. Players can happen to seek refuge in playing online from anxiety, responsibilities, the lack of social contact, and so on.
Especially in the case of live gambling, players often associate the real land-based experience with that and replace real-life social interactions. That can easily turn into an escape from reality and make you a vulnerable player.
When combined with the hope and expectations of landing a huge win, financial troubles can tip you over to addiction. Some people believe that it’s just the one big win they need. But when that win doesn’t come, you’ll find yourself losing money constantly.
Don’t believe that all your financial troubles will be solved with that one big win. Big wins don’t come often, and you need to acknowledge that in order to avoid even more financial troubles.
How to Recognize the Problem?
Self-awareness is extremely important when gambling. That can help you realize you’re a vulnerable player, allowing you to take action before your addiction deepens. Here are some questions you can ask yourself and signs to look for to catch your condition in time:
- How do you feel when you’re gambling?
- Do you often think about gambling?
- Do you prioritize gambling over other activities?
- Do you have mood swings or are you agitated when you’re not gambling?
- Do you plan your gambling activity?
There are several things to note. If you’ve noticed you spend more time or money when gambling, or significantly increase your bets after a loss, if you gamble on credit, if you hide your activity and isolate yourself from friends and family in order to gamble, you should seek help.
Gambling addiction can be handled. If you think you’re a vulnerable player, don’t feel ashamed to seek help. Help is available, and seeking it is the responsible step to make.
How to Apply Prevention of Addiction?
Gambling addiction can be prevented. Of course, when you start placing bets, you don’t think you’ll get addicted. Sometimes it happens. If you think you might be a vulnerable player, here are some things you can do to protect yourself from addiction:
- Budget your money – pay the bills and don’t gamble on credit;
- Do not prioritize gambling over current debts and financial responsibilities;
- Do not fall for high expectations and hype.
- Stay social, don’t isolate yourself from friends and family.
- Engage in other activities, practice more hobbies.
- Do not feel ashamed to ask for help and talk about the problem.
How to Limit Your Gambling?
Some players decide to take preventive measures in order to control their actions while gambling. There are several things you can do to control your gambling habits:
- Set Up Limits – you can define deposit and loss limits to restrict yourself from betting more than you can afford to lose.
- Cool Off – the cooling-off function offered by casinos locks your account for a certain period of time and prevents you from betting, usually for 24 hours.
- Casino Blocks – if you feel like things are going out of control, you can use your browser settings to block your access to selected casinos.
- Exclude Yourself – self-exclusion is a very radical step that closes your account. From 6 months to up to 5 years, you can self-exclude from both land-based and online casinos, and they won’t accept you as a client.
How Can You Get Help?
Compulsive gambling and gambling addiction can be handled. You should never feel ashamed or afraid to seek help, and you should be honest with yourself. Realizing there might be a problem is a huge first step that’s crucial. From there, you have lots of ways to get help and get better.
GamCare is a UK charity organization that helps problem gamblers get the help, advice, and treatment they need. This is one of the largest institutions you can turn to if you feel the need.
BeGambleAware is probably the most popular organization that works to help people manage their compulsive gambling and addiction. They offer tools and guidance, and mentorship to get you on the right path to handle your condition.
If you need people to share with, Gamblers Anonymous provides you with a community that can help you heal and get things back under control. This is another well-known organization you can turn to for help.
Be a Responsible Gambler
If you want to enjoy gambling as a hobby, get the thrill of the game and the adrenaline of the win, you need to do it responsibly. Responsible gambling doesn’t require a lot of you to do. Some very simple steps and rules can help you stay on the safe side of gambling and enjoy only the fun its meant to bring.
If you feel like you need help, guidance, or assistance, don’t hesitate to ask for it. Otherwise, you’re risking going down a spiral that’s very hard to come back from. For your sake and the sake of those closest to you, gamble responsibly.