Responsible Gambling Information

Responsible Gambling

Gambling has existed throughout history in one form or another, and to this day it’s a pastime enjoyed by people all over the world. For many, it’s simply a form of entertainment or something they do for fun. There are others, however, who take it very seriously. There are even professional gamblers who make a living from it.

It does have some downsides, though. Most notably, the nature of gambling means that it’s possible to become addicted or to lose control. Many believe that problem gambling is only a concern for those with addictive personalities or with little willpower, but this is not at all true. While people in these categories are certainly more at risk, the fact is that anyone can get addicted to gambling or encounter difficulties with it. Although the majority of people who engage in gambling activities are able to do so without any issues, the subject of responsible gambling is one that everyone should be aware of.

On this page, we look at problem gambling in more detail. We look at some of the causes, and some of the signs that suggest a problem. We offer advice on what to do if gambling becomes a problem for you or someone you know, and we provide some tips on how to gamble responsibly.

If you feel that you are not in control of your gambling, or that you might lose control, then please take the time to read all this information carefully.

What Causes Problem Gambling?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as gambling can become a problem for people for any number of reasons. It ultimately depends on an individual’s characteristics and their circumstances. There is a common assumption that all compulsive gamblers are either greedy or desperate to win money, but this is not always the case. For many compulsive gamblers, it is not about the money at all.

Gambling can provide a huge emotional rush, both highs and lows, and it is very often the “buzz” that people get addicted to. The money is almost irrelevant to them. Some people use gambling as a form of escapism or some kind of coping mechanism to deal with other things in their life that are not going well. This can lead to them becoming dependent on gambling, in much the same way that some people become dependent on alcohol or drugs.

Problem gambling can also be caused by financial issues, of course. Sometimes people with money worries turn to gambling to try to get out of trouble, only to end up making things worse. Sometimes people will gamble with money that they can’t really afford to lose, and this can result in losing even more when trying to recover the initial losses.

In some respects, what causes problem gambling is not important. What is most important is recognizing when gambling is becoming a problem, and dealing with it.

Identifying A Gambling Problem

Anyone who has become addicted to gambling or is having some kind of gambling problem is likely to show certain signs. The following is a list of signs that suggest you have an issue and need to seek help.

  • Thinking about gambling frequently.
  • Feeling the need to gamble all the time.
  • Lying about your gambling.
  • Gambling with money you can’t afford to lose.
  • Not wanting to spend money on normal things.
  • Not being able to stop gambling.
  • Getting frustrated or angry when unable to gamble.
  • Gambling to forget about your problems.
  • Borrowing money to gamble with.
  • Gambling to pay bills or debts.
  • Feeling depressed after gambling.
  • Increasing how much money you gamble with.

If you recognize any of the above in your own behavior, then you really need to stop gambling right away. It won’t necessarily be easy, but if you can just bring yourself to tell a friend or family member about it, then they may be able to help you get through it. There is also professional help available, and you should explore those options too.

Below, we have listed some of the signs you should look for if you suspect a friend, family member, or loved one has a gambling problem.

  • Evading the question or lying when asked about their gambling.
  • Asking friends and family for money.
  • Being secretive about money.
  • Arguing about money.
  • Being chased by debt collectors.
  • Unexplained financial problems, unpaid bills, new loans or credit cards.
  • Spending an increasing amount of time gambling.
  • Seeming stressed or worried.
  • Refusing to stop gambling.

If you recognize these signs in someone you know, then you should try to get them to stop gambling immediately. The first step, and probably the hardest one, is getting them to accept there is a problem. Once they have accepted that, you can encourage them to seek some help.

Help for Problem Gambling

There are a number of places that you can get help if you feel that your gambling is out of control. Please remember, though, that you have to try to help yourself, too. However hard it may seem, you need to stop as soon as you feel that there might be a problem. You might want to believe that you can get things back under control, and it’s possible that you can, but giving up completely is usually the best option.

If you’re finding it really difficult to stop, then don’t be ashamed to seek help. Gambling addiction, like any form of addiction, is not necessarily easy to beat. There are many organizations that can offer you the resources and assistance you need to get over your addiction. We have listed some of these below, along with their websites, where you can find more information.

Gamblers Anonymous

This organization has members all over the world, and encourages problem gamblers to share their experiences and help each other.

National Council on Problem Gambling

This United States organization seeks to increase the general awareness of gambling addiction and help problem gamblers and their families get treatment.

Based in the United Kingdom, Gamcare offers support and counseling to those suffering with a gambling problem.

It’s worth noting that gambling sites have a duty of care to their customers, and are therefore obliged to help you if you have a problem. If you find it difficult to resist temptation but want to stop, you can ask to be permanently excluded. This means that your account will be locked and you will be unable to log in and deposit money. Alternatively, you can ask sites to set limits on how much you can deposit.

Tips for Gambling Responsibly

Most people who gamble do so perfectly responsibly. As we have mentioned, though, it’s possible for anyone to get addicted to gambling. There are a number of causes that can lead to problem gambling, and you should never think that it won’t happen to you. Every gambler should be aware of the importance of responsible gambling.

The majority of gamblers lose money, but losing money doesn’t have to be a problem in itself. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy yourself even when losing, providing you have the right mindset. Here are few tips that should help to ensure that you have fun when gambling and don’t run into any trouble.

  • Always remember that gambling should be fun.
  • When it stops being fun, it’s time to stop.
  • Only ever gamble with money you can afford to lose.
  • Be aware of the danger signs.
  • Consider your losses as a cost of entertainment.
  • Never borrow money to gamble with.
  • Set strict limits for how much time you spend gambling.
  • Set strict limits for how much money you spend on gambling.
  • Never gamble with money you need for other things.
  • Don’t ever chase your losses and try to recover them.
  • Always be honest with yourself about your gambling.

Remember, if you have any worries at all that you’re gambling too much, then try to stop right away. At the very least, take a break and think long and hard about what you’re doing. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you think you need it.