Even if you’re not a keen bettor, there are times when it can be very easy to get carried away while gambling. If you are out with friends or celebrating a big win, it can be all to easy to overspend your budget and arrive home with nothing but empty pockets. Whether it is a one off occasion or a regular occurrence for you personally, there are far too many cases of gambling addiction that go unnoticed due to denial or misinformation. If you are wondering if you or someone you know has a problem there is certain signs to look out for that will hopefully force you to stop, evaluate the situation, and if there is an addiction, seek help.
Responsible gaming has been a term used more and more as casinos and gambling establishments become more commonplace. In order to know when there is a problem you have to be able to define what is considered to be ‘normal’. The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board in the UK defines responsible gaming as:
“Responsible gambling occurs where operators provide socially responsible gambling products and players are able to control their play.”
Being able to discern whether or not you can control your play is sometimes difficult on your own, but there are tools that will allow you to get a better look at yourself. Tools like an anonymous test will give you an accurate viewpoint of your situation, but that’s only if you answer honestly.
If you aren’t interested in taking a test, there are some simple questions you can ask yourself to assess your wagering.
- Has your gambling caused you to have less money than you require to pay your bills?
- Have you tried to win back losses by returning to a casino or website multiple days in a row?
- Have you borrowed money to gamble?
- Has gambling caused you financial trouble of any sort?
If you answered yes to any or all of these questions you may want to seek out specialised help to determine the extent of your habits. One of the hardest things to do is to admit to yourself and your loved ones that you may have a problem. If you can overcome this hurdle you are already on the road to recovery. The people that you admit your shortcomings to will hopefully become the support structure and play a huge part in your recovery process.
While friends and family will be very useful in helping you fight your addiction; it may be necessary for you to also enlist the help of a trained professional.
There are many organisations that offer free help in the fight against gambling problems. In many cases, after assessing yourself and realising that this may be an issue, the first thing to do is to call the National Gambling Helpline. Their telephone number is 0808 8020 133 and they are available seven days a week from 8 a.m. to midnight. This is a free service and completely confidential. Don’t wait to call if you feel that you may have a problem.
While no one knows the exact cause of gambling addictions the path to breaking your addiction can start today.