Responsible Gambling

Gambling comes with its consequences and is a terrible calamity. We know how exciting, lucrative, and engaging this hobby can be. Yet, these very positive attributes can cost us everything if we are not careful. 

Gambling, day by day, is becoming more and more conceivable and reachable. Its invisible hands extend to every computer and phone. It becomes a convenient catch. And this happens in a matter of minutes, but for most, seconds. 

Gambling addiction can have a negative impact on your mental, financial, and social well-being, regardless of the type of game you play. Problem gamblers tend to overlook the negative impacts of their behavior and continue to play irrespective of the situation, whether they are poor or rich, happy or unhappy, euphoric or depressed. 

Uncontrolled ADHD, sadness, burnout, anxiety, and bipolar illness are all symptoms of gambling addiction. Learn more about gambling addiction symptoms, causes, and harmful repercussions in the following sections.

Peter Burton - iGaming and Online Gambling Professional Peter Burton Last update: Jun 14, 2022

Gambling Addiction - What is it?

Gambling addiction, also known as ludomania, is a condition of impulse control characterized by compulsive wagering at the price of one's self-esteem, financial security, and relationships with others. You may divide gambling addiction into three distinct categories: Let's look at each one.

Problem Gambling

Problem gambling is an impulsive and obsessive attitude towards gambling. This problem becomes a routine disruption in your daily life.

You may find this disruptive behavior in intense gambling activities like wagering for a prolonged time with excessive money, consecutively losing recklessly. According to sufferers, they have received much castigation from their close ones, family, friends, and even strangers online. 

It is easier to judge them for their irrationality despite being adults. But you should know that they are not in control of whatever they do because once it becomes a  problem behavior, it can no longer be considered little whims. Normalcy in life quickly runs out at this rate.

In some cases, you may even expect the gamblers to cross the legal border only to step into forbidden territories.

But let’s not worry because problem gambling is only the first stage of enduring addiction. If you are self-conscious, you may be able to prevent it from spreading.

Compulsive Gambling

An uncontrollable need to continue betting even when it hurts your personal, financial, or social life is compulsive gambling. Compulsion gamblers sometimes put all they own at stake to win more money in the long run. This erroneous assumption has various unfavorable effects.

On the other hand, gambling addiction is a deadly disease that takes people's lives. Gamblers who can't stop themselves from playing wind up racking up debt, spending their resources, and even resorting to thievery to feed their habit. When they're not gaming, compulsive gamblers are quickly annoyed and antsy.

Binge Gambling

Binge gamblers don't follow a set pattern for gambling. They bet regularly and lose control of themselves throughout each session. Binge gamblers may go long periods without gambling, only to relapse at any time without caution or hint. Once the need has passed, they may self-exclude, but there is no telling how long they will be clean.

Excessive gambling may adversely affect a person's emotional, psychological, economic, bodily, and interpersonal well-being. Therapy, medication, and self-help groups are all common forms of treatment. One must be patient and persistent to conquer this phase of the gambling problem.

Symptoms of Gambling Addiction

With alcohol and substance addicts, you find relics of abuse in their physical appearance, but with gambling, this form of the cue is often missing.

Furthermore, chronic gamblers try to lie and disguise their addiction, making it exceedingly more challenging to spot the signs and symptoms of gambling addiction early on. Ten warning signs and symptoms of gambling addiction are outlined here.

Disclaimer

There is a fine line between identifying some of the symptoms and the confession of having a gambling addiction. You should get help from a mental health professional if you have one or more of these symptoms. 

We advised you to avoid self-diagnosis and medication to prevent potentially dangerous side effects. You may get aid from reputable self-help organizations and addiction helplines. Registering as a benefactor is a great way to speed up becoming clean.

Lying

Compulsive gambling is no different from other addictions when lying about your behaviors. When it comes to feeding their addiction, addicts will go to any level to satisfy their compulsions and obsessions. If you recognize the pattern, it's possible that you're not conscious of your attachment.

Spending more than you have

One of the most common symptoms of pathological gambling is an inability to resist the impulse to bet. Gambling addicts will continue to gamble even after squandering large sums of money. Despite all of this, gambling addicts continue to descend into a deeper and deeper hole of misery.

Borrowing and Stealing Money

Addicts have a propensity for borrowing money. And they'll continue to use all of the options available to them, including borrowing money from family and friends, taking out credit loans, or even taking out a second mortgage. Addicts to gambling may resort to theft as a last resort to feed their habit.

Going into Debt

Because of their addictions, gamblers will continue to rack up debts until there is nothing left to lose. As a result of their addictions, some people have blown through their paychecks, life savings, and even their children's education money.

Gambling addiction is a global problem, and it's becoming more and more common.

Desperation for a Cure

Chasing is a mental condition that often affects those addicted to gambling. Over time, gambling addicts succumb to a delusional belief that one more wager would make up for their losses. While gambling, addicts suffer from the illusion that they are doing something good for themselves.

Compulsion

Impulsiveness characterizes Pathological gambling as an obsessive need to wager. The gambler can only alleviate anxiety about winning by giving in to the obsession's demands for more sustenance. Over time, these intrusive and uncontrollable ideas may take over your life.

Lack of interest

For the most part, gambling is a kind of amusement. You've got a problem the minute you stop seeing it as pure fun. Most people who get addicted to gambling do it for personal reasons, such as coping with stress, worry, or depression. And there is no happy ending in this story.

The main priority

If you like gambling in your leisure time, there is no harm in doing so. But don't make it a daily priority. As soon as you see that you prefer gambling over other things, including a job, hobbies, or spending time with your family or friends, it's time to act.

Unstoppable

The first and most crucial gambling rule is to never go over your allotted funds. The issue arises when participants go over their allotted budget and start spending their own money. Some people would borrow, steal, or sell their things to support their gambling addictions.

Worrying family

When it comes to disguising your gambling tendencies, even the best among us gets told off by our loved ones. This might have annoying effects, as well as more significant ones. An addict's first step toward recovery is admitting that they have a problem with gambling.

Causes of gambling addiction

Gambling addiction may be caused by various variables, including genetic, social, and environmental ones. Most of the time, ludomania brings a confluence of issues that lead an individual to lose all sense of self-control and wager beyond their financial means. First, let's take a look at some of the most critical aspects of this situation.

Genetics and Biology

A persistent brain disorder affects the addict's ability to regulate their senses. There are several neurological similarities between gamblers and drug abusers. Deficiencies in serotonin and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters connected to stress and pleasure, may be blamed for this compulsion.

Psychologists refer to this kind of behavior as "motivated behavior" because our brains are wired to encourage us to engage in pleasurable activities like eating, drinking, and socializing. Unchecked gambling may develop into serious addiction since it releases a comparable feeling. It's best to avoid casinos if someone in your family has a history of gambling addiction.

Psychology

Psychological factors play a role in the development of gambling addiction.

An individual's attitude to gambling may factor in whether or not they get addicted to the activity. According to experts, compulsive gambling may be explained by the Gambler's Fallacy. Uninitiated people may fall victim to the Gambler's Fallacy, which is the misconception that the probabilities of one occurrence influence the outcome of another.

If a fair coin falls on heads five times in a row, the following flip will still have a 50% chance of losing on tails. If you believe the gambler's fallacy, the coin will land on tails in the following five Spins. You have to understand how absurd that is! Because they refuse to give up hope, addicts fall deeper into depression and despair.

Social Instigators

Various external influences influence a person's psychological well-being and behavior, the most prevalent of which are social pressures to gamble. Stress, whether at home or work, is often the cause of this issue. 

Some individuals, for example, think that gambling would get them out of their financial binds. We cannot emphasize enough how detrimental gambling is to one's well-being. You should only use gambling as entertainment, not a way to make money. 

Only a professional poker player who has won international events can make a living playing it as a significant source of income. Other social factors include a sudden loss in the family, problematic relations, a stressful work environment, and more. Any combination of these variables may trigger gambling addiction.

Comorbidity

Addicts to gambling often have co-occurring mental health issues. Substance abusers, depressives, and those with mental problems are more likely to get addicted to gambling. Research has shown that various mental health issues increase one's chances of being addicted to gambling. 

The top three competitors are depressive illnesses, personality disorders, and anxiolytic disorders. A study from the Swelogs Case-Control Study found that women are more likely to suffer from a gambling addiction than males. Gambling addiction signs appear three years sooner in males than women. Women's gambling addiction often precedes the beginning of any associated problems.

Repercussions

Besides the long-term consequences, ludomania has several temporary drawbacks. Here are the most typical side effects to watch out for:

Economic status

Addiction to gambling may lead to serious financial problems. When gamblers become addicted, they will rapidly accumulate debts that might wipe out their entire life savings and lead to poverty.

Those addicted to gambling may be forced to part with their valuables to fund their habit. They may even turn to thievery and other drastic tactics in the direst of circumstances.

Mental Health

Due to various circumstances, gambling addicts sometimes experience extreme mental stress due to their addiction. The consequences of the condition may have a lengthy impact on both personal and professional relationships.

When a person's mental health is in peril, several additional circumstances might lead to gambling addiction. Gambling addiction may lead to suicidal thoughts in severe cases.

Surroundings

Those who are addicted to gambling are not the only ones affected. Their loved ones, too, will have to live with the ramifications of their actions. Several studies have shown that households with at least one member addicted to gambling are more likely to harm their children and engage in other types of domestic violence. Children who grow up in a bad environment with Depression, anxiety, and behavioral issues may exacerbate.

Statistics about Gambling Addiction

People are more likely to get hooked on gambling now that it is legal in many countries. Gambling is addictive by its very nature. Thus, it may set off a wide range of reactions.

A glance at a few numbers can help us appreciate the scope of the situation.

  • Over $5.5 million is lost each day by New Zealanders who participate in the gambling industry. That works up to more than $2 billion a year in revenue. Pokies are where most of the money goes.
  • In New Zealand, 54,000 gambles at shady locations, while an additional 110,000 are in danger of being misled or forming a dependency.
  • At least once, 49% of people who regularly play pokie machines will get addicted to gambling somehow.
  • According to recent research, more than twice as many internet gamblers experience gambling-related suffering than non-players.
  • In 2018, more than 13% of New Zealanders aged 15 and over participated in internet gaming.
  • Every year, 20% of people over the age of 18 engage in gambling.

Treating Gambling Addiction

Ludomania is no exception when it comes to being challenging to overcome. There is no one-size-fits-all technique when it comes to gambling. As a result, we strongly advise that you seek the assistance of a specialist. Depending on the severity of the addiction, there are various treatment methods. The leading candidates are:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Changes in gambling behavior and thinking, such as erroneous beliefs or rationalizations, are the goal of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It teaches them how to control their cravings, handle their finances, mend their relationships, and return to work. Addiction treatment using cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may persist for the rest of one's life.

General Counselling

Counseling for families, marriages, and jobs may help individuals deal with the ramifications of problem gambling and build the groundwork for mending fences and relaunching lives.

Treatment for Underlying Conditions

There are several ways to address underlying illnesses such as gambling addiction and drug misuse, OCD and anxiety disorders, depression, and ADHD. An increased risk of problem gambling is linked with bipolar illness. To discover a solution, you'll need the help of an expert.

How can you help someone who is a gambling addict?

There are several barriers to the path to recovery from gambling addiction. These words of wisdom might be of assistance to someone you care about who is going through a difficult time.

Recognizing

Admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward rehabilitation. Gamblers often overlook their addiction, making it nearly impossible to go on to the next phase.

Despite the seeming simplicity of the situation, those suffering from severe stages of problem gambling may find it incredibly difficult to, according to recent research, more the adversary. Regaining control might be difficult unless you're an exceptionally determined person.

Discover the steps to recovery

Critical, reconstruction, and growth are all recovery phases. The first step is to reflect on what you've accomplished so far. Your choices have repercussions, and you're entirely accountable for them. You put an end to your gambling and begin to reason.

Rebuilding your life will be the next stage. There are some aspects to the process, including personal development, financial recovery, and interpersonal improvement. It's at this point that things begin to change. This is where you take advantage of additional chances to improve yourself.

Learn to Deal with the Addiction

Mental assistance may not always be available from your loved ones. But that's no reason to go back to your old ways. It is possible to combat the impulse in a variety of ways. Begin by limiting your exposure to gaming. Subscribing for self-inclusion programs, restricting bet amounts, and deposit limits are all part of this. 

Be cautious not to succumb to a new addiction by reviving old pastimes or discovering new ones. Gambling isn't a means to make money in the end. As a result, the more you bet, the greater your losses.

Find a Support Group

If you need someone to talk to. There are some chat services, helplines, and support groups available. These are highly beneficial as they give rapid aid if you feel weak or simply want someone to chat to. 

Help from trained professionals, such as therapists and counselors, may enhance your well-being. Become a part of an individual therapy session to work through problems, overcome hurdles, set new objectives, and discover new perspectives. 

It's possible to benefit from therapy:

  • Gambling addictions may be controlled.
  • Recognize the dangers of excessive gambling
  • Recognize that you have a problem with gambling.
  • It's time to win the war against gambling addiction.

How to Stop Gambling Addicts from Committing Suicide?

Suicide rates among gambling addicts are 15 times higher than those of the general population. As a result, the situation compels government agencies to respond quickly. If you have reason to suspect that a person is suicidal, you should watch them. Ludomania should be detected as soon as possible if you have a loved one who is suffering from it. As a result, they'll be able to get the medical attention they need to get back on their feet. Make an appointment with a psychiatric professional and get them admitted to a hospital.

Limit the person's access to fatal measures, such as drugs or firearms, if they refuse to comply. If things start to spiral out of control, contact the Problem Gambling Foundation.

  • You may call 0800 664 262 for free.
  • Send a message to 5819.

You should get a family member accountable for the person if the danger of suicide is not imminent. A variety of methods may reduce suicidal thoughts. The following are the most popular choices.

  • Gambling addicts might benefit from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT).
  • Physically aided CBT is also an option.
  • A borderline personality disorder may be identified via dialectical behavior therapy and group therapy sessions.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy significantly improves Suicidal thoughts and treatment-resistant depression.

The solution should take precedence above the immediate dangers.

Substitutes of Gambling

Gambling addiction may be overcome only if you find a new activity to fill your time. Relapse is common among addicts who do not have any constructive activities to fill their leisure time. Gambling has many substitutes that you may experiment with.

Excitement

Adventure sports, on the other hand, have the same effect. Hiking, climbing, or swimming might become a pastime for recovering addicts in their place.

Socializing

Participating in an interpersonal communication class, counseling, or joining a social club accomplishes the same.

Distract unpleasant thoughts

Make an appointment with a therapist, go out with your pals, or locate someone who will listen to you. Keeping your attention off gambling is the best way to keep yourself focused.

Relaxation

hormones, and stress levels may be improved by only 15 minutes of exercise every day. A similar impact may be achieved via the practice of meditation and a variety of breathing techniques.

Unexpected enormous jackpots

Gambling has the drawback of always being a losing proposition due to the nature of the game. Finding another job or working part-time is better than depending on good fortune.

If you're eager to try something new, there are endless alternatives to gambling. Here are four terrific ways to pass the time that may be used in place of the originals.

Card Games

In addition to poker, there are other card games to choose from. You can play rummy, crazy eights, and various other card games. In the event that you're playing with a large group of people, Uno is an ideal replacement. If it doesn't work, pull out your smartphone and give an app a go.

Video Games

Unlike gambling, video games don't carry any financial risk. Play with your friends in person or online, or choose a game yourself like playing. If you've got kids, get in on the fun. Playing video games with your family may be a lot of fun.

Sports and Series

If video games aren't your thing, turn on the television and watch your favorite sport. You may reduce boredom by rooting for your favorite team. However, you must resist the temptation to make a bet. A Netflix membership might help you keep up with the newest shows and movies if that's too much for you.

Motorcycles

Fuel-burning is the best kind of remediation there is. As dangerous as motorbikes are, they may be safely navigated provided you adhere to the road's traffic rules.

Gambling addiction myths

Myth: Gambling may be a lucrative source of extra income.

Fact: The vast majority of the time, gambling is a simple method to lose money. Take a look at how many people have been addicted to gambling on the internet, and then compare it to the number of winners. As if we needed further evidence, the glaring discrepancy between the two ratios.

Myth: Tossing a coin has a predetermined consequence.

Fact: The outcome of each coin toss is a separate event. In this case, the product is unrelated to the prior one. As a result, the odds of landing heads are 50/50, making it hard to anticipate the impact accurately.

Myth: Predicting lottery numbers is possible with the use of technology.

Fact: Regardless of the numbers you pick, your chances of winning remain the same. When numbers are jumbled and rolled together, the selection depends entirely on circumstance.

Myth: Addiction to gambling does not strike teenagers.

Fact: Kids often bet with their friends because they aren't permitted inside regulated casinos. However, multiple studies reveal that 2% of students exhibit indications of gambling addiction.

Myth: A problem gambler engages in gambling daily.

Fact: Problem gambling does not need everyday gambling. There are several cases of infrequent gamblers showing signs of compulsive gambling.

Myth: Problem gambling is not an issue for those who can afford it.

Fact: Gambling addiction isn't the only financial concern. Excessive spending may lead to interpersonal difficulties, legal issues, mental health, and professional difficulties. Suicidal thoughts may arise as a result of compulsive gambling in extreme circumstances.

Myth: Loved ones often urge Problem gamblers to keep losing money.

Fact: Gamblers with a problem find ways to explain their unwillingness to cut down on their spending. When things go wrong, it's easy to blame others. Acknowledging and owning up to one's mistakes isn't always easy. Instead of pointing the blame at others, problem gamblers must come to terms with their dependency if they want to recover.

Myth: Gambling addiction may be characterized as irrational.

Fact: A large number of problem gamblers are well-respected members of society. Gambling addiction may strike even those with a lengthy and honorable history of sobriety. Problem gamblers may first seem irrational, although that isn't always the reality.

Myth: Homelife is challenging for problem gamblers because of the financial implications.

Fact: Money plays a vital role in every home, but it is not the primary cause of family dissolution. Most ex-partners of problem gamblers report that a crisis of confidence caused the breakdown of their relationship.

Myth: You can quickly identify the symptoms of problem gambling.

Fact: If you've ever wondered what "hidden addiction" means, you're not alone.

Furthermore, it is far more challenging to detect than those abusing drugs or alcohol.

In most cases, those with a gambling issue are either unaware of it or actively deny they have one.

Treatment Resources

Gambling addictions are complicated to overcome without help, as was previously stated. The fight against compulsive gambling isn't just yours. You may find addiction treatment centers and gaming-specific support groups worldwide.

All of the necessary equipment and resources are at the disposal of these specialized organizations. The helplines are always open for depleted addicts. These are some of our favorites if you're seeking inspiration.

Gamblers Anonymous

To unite in the battle against gambling addiction, an organization of problem gamblers called Gamblers Anonymous was formed.

There is a hotline for instant help if you need advice or just want someone to listen to what you have to say. Every week, a slew of conferences take place all around the globe. Enroll in a local meeting by going to the website.

Gambling Helpline

The Gambling Helpline is a free, round-the-clock hotline for anyone with gambling problems. When in distress, don't hesitate to call the hotline. To win, you don't need to do it alone. People are eager to provide a helping hand.

Problem Gambling Foundation

Free counseling for problem gamblers and addicts is available via the PGF Foundation, a non-profit organization. The group's goal is to positively impact the lives of gamblers and their families by working directly with them.

About the author

Originally from Sydney but after spending some years in Europe Peter is back at his home ground. With a fantastic view of bondi beach that everyone is jealous of, he writes the best content for you on aus.casino.

Peter is a leading igaming expert in casinos and casino games. He is the leading editor for this website and uses all of his industry experience to create high-quality and informative reviews and guides for Australian casinos and games.

Peter gained lots of experience at high profile gambling companies like Ladbrokes and Bet365 after which he switched to the affiliate side of this industry.