Know Your Limits
Most people around the world enjoy a good gamble. Gambling is meant to be a means of pursuing enjoyment and entertainment in a recreational fashion, much like going to the movies, a sporting event, theme parks, and other activities. For some people, unfortunately, gambling becomes problematic to the extent that it can even lead to an unhealthy addiction.
Since gambling is by definition an exciting activity, the “bells and whistles” associated with it can sometimes trigger unhealthy behavioral responses that can lead to an expectation of winning. While some games have skill-based components, like poker, others are purely games of chance, like slot machines. For some folks, however, the pursuit of this excitement becomes problematic, as it’s no longer within the bounds of just having a little fun.
That, in fact is the definition of “problem gambling” – in other words, when you stop gambling for pleasure but rather out of compulsion. Nobody is immune to such a development; it can happen to anyone when their gambling goes unchecked.
Signs of Addiction
It’s important to recognize the telltale signs of addiction that may manifest in the event you are a problem gambler, including:
- Spending more than you can afford
- Borrowing money to cover losses
- Gambling out of necessity instead of fun
- Gambling excessively
- Lying to conceal gambling
- Stealing to gamble
- Chasing losses
- Gambling to forget your problems
If you find yourself exhibiting multiple signs such as those listed above, you’ve likely developed problematic gambling habits.
Causes of Compulsive Gambling
One of the reasons people get addicted to anything is as a means of escape from problems they’re having. The adrenaline rush that gambling provides has a way of enabling people to forget their problems. Compulsive gambling can also be stress-induced, or caused by genetics or a personality disorder, anxiety, depression, or even just boredom.
Compulsive gamblers can be grouped into two primary classes: those who constantly gamble and those who binge. Both are equally as dangerous, as it can lead to heavy losses being incurred.
The dangers of gambling should be pretty obvious. Like any other addictive behavior, the repercussions can be very detrimental. Even if you gamble recreationally, you should be self-aware enough to realize if you begin doing so in a problematic manner. If you know others who gamble recreationally, you also out to keep an eye out for behaviors they may begin exhibiting at some point that could potentially indicate problematic behavior, such as mood swings, irritability, or suddenly strange money spending habits.
In serious problem gambling cases, the results can even prove fatal, with suicide rates among problem gamblers higher than those with other addictions like alcohol or drugs. It goes without saying that irresponsible gambling can be a catalyst for ruined relationships and other sorts of interpersonal breakdowns among friends and family.
If you start noticing problematic gambling signs in someone you know, you need to approach them about getting help, and in the event this doesn’t work, you ought to alert professionals who can assist them before things spiral out of control.
Self Exclusion and GamStop
One of the most helpful actions one can take if they feel they’ve got a gambling problem is to request voluntary self-exclusion from online gambling sites. Such an individual can directly contact an online casino, poker, or sports betting site and ask to be banned for 6-months or permanently.
Moreover, in countries such as the UK or Sweden, you can enroll in a self-exclusion program that automatically prevents you from signing up for a new account at online gambling sites. Moreover, there are also technological solutions such as Gamsop, BetBlocker, Gamban, and others, that you can install on your desktop and mobile devices that act to limit one’s ability to visit online gambling websites in the first place.
Get Help Anonymously
Some people with gambling problems may feel more comfortable addressing the issues anonymously. For that reason, a number of foundations and professional associations exist to assist people with problem gambling issues. You can usually reach out 24/7 via phone or live chat to experts who can help you with your gambling issue without you having to reveal your identity.
Global Gambling Assistance Organizations
There are a number of well-known problem gambling organizations around the world that you can turn to for aid, such as gamblersanonymous.org, responsiblegambling.org, and gamtalk.org.
Again, so long as gambling is done for fun and in moderation, it’s OK. If, however, it’s become a compulsive activity, you need to get help.
Cardplayerlifestyle.com is a poker media website. You cannot gamble on our website. We provide entertainment and information about the poker world, as well as poker strategy content. You are responsible for how you use our content.
It goes without saying that responsible gaming is of critical importance to us and that we encourage poker play only in a recreational or professional capacity (i.e., as a job), and not as a compulsive or destructive habit.
If you choose to play poker online, we recommend the following such that you can maintain the activity as a pleasurable, non-detrimental experience, and play safely without risking too much:
- Play for entertainment, and not as a way of making money.
- Play with money that you can afford to lose. Never use money that you need for important things such as food, rent, bills, or tuition.
- Set deposit limits and ensure you never deposit more than you can afford to lose.
- Never chase losses. If you lose money, don’t play higher stakes to try and recoup your losses.
- Don’t play when you are upset, tired, or depressed. It is difficult to make good decisions when you are feeling down.
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If you violate any of an online gambling website’s terms and conditions, specifically if you are not of minimum age to play, be advised that you will likely have to forfeit any deposited or won funds. You may also face criminal prosecution.
As such, our content is intended only for audiences age 18 and up. Moreover, our marketing efforts are also geared only at audiences aged 18 and older.