For a while now, problem gambling has become a crucial issue in society. Many organisations and charities have focused on how to help people with their gambling addiction, advise them on how to seek help and also how to properly look after their mental health.
Players not only need to protect themselves when gambling online but also need to understand that there are some online casinos that they should not bet on, ones that don’t have players’ best interests in mind. Many casino review sites include useful information for players on the best online casinos, ones that are not recommended to play on, and blacklisted casinos that should be avoided.
As gambling is so easily accessible today with mobile devices and Wi-Fi, many gamblers might find that they are spending too much time placing bets and chasing wins. With better education on the signs of gambling addiction and how to manage gambling habits, more vulnerable people and players can be protected.
The important signs of gambling addiction
In some cases, gambling addiction is classified as a ‘hidden illness’ because it doesn’t result in any clear physical indicators or symptoms like other addictions do. Additionally, those suffering with gambling addictions might minimise or deny the problem exists, whether consciously or unconsciously. Needless to say, understanding gambling addiction becomes more important every day. Here are some signs that a player might have a gambling problem:
- Gambling makes you anxious, irritable, depressed, guilty, or deeply worried
- You spend more time and/or money on gambling activities than your financial situation allows
- Gambling causes you to ignore your responsibilities or if gambling often takes priority over your other responsibilities
- It is difficult for you to stop or to try and manage your gambling activity
- You are unable to pay bills, start selling possessions, or are borrowing money to help pay for your gambling
- Gambling takes over most of your thoughts and conversations
- You find yourself hiding your gambling habits from your family and friends
Addressing the issue of problem gambling
There are a variety of different ways that people can address problem gambling. Casino review site thepogg.com covers this quite well in this article. To help everyone become more aware of the growing issue, it’s useful that we effectively educate ourselves on the problem. One useful way that gamblers can reduce the amount of money they spend on gambling, and also limit their betting frequency, is by utilising gambling management tools that are available.
Time Outs: Gambling operators are also expected to include a timeout feature on their websites. It’s a feature mainly intended for use by the most vulnerable players in the society. While it will enable the player to take a break from gambling, it isn’t as intrusive as the self-exclusion feature which has set durations.
Self-Exclusion: As part of a UKGC responsible gambling initiative, the GamStop scheme was created to introduce a self-exclusion option for players. It’s a free online self-exclusion tool that puts players in control of their online gambling activities. If a player wishes to, they can register their details with Gamstop and restrict themselves from registering with an UK-licensed online casino with those details.
However, highlighted by some casino review websites, there are also non-GamStop casinos that will still accept players even though they have restricted themselves. Other free tools such as BetBlocker can be used as well to block all non-GamStop casinos. Available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and more, once installed it can block players from visiting thousands of gambling sites. The useful tool can be used for self exclusion or parental control to help better control online gambling.
Financial Limits: According to a report from the UKGC, in 2018 financial limits were the most commonly used tools by problem gamblers. It’s estimated that close to eight per cent of those using online betting sites used them as a way of limiting how much they spent. If a player happens to worry about how much they are spending on online gambling activities, setting financial limits is advisable.
Reality Checks: A time will come when players need to conduct a reality check for themselves and be honest with their answers. Sometimes it might not be clear to players just how much their gambling is affecting their everyday life. If they are skipping work, missing social events, or spending more time alone than with family and friends to gamble instead, then the problem needs to be addressed. If players want to find out how safe their gambling really is, they can take the anonymous GamCare test to find out.