Whether it be playing at online casinos, spinning those slots or simply buying a lottery ticket, it is gambling and whilst we all like to gamble once in a while, it can become really addictive without actually realising it. The thrill of placing bets and winning cash rewards is what makes gambling so much fun and exciting, so knowing when to stop is vital.
When you think about gambling, you know that you can’t carry on winning forever, which means the thrills and excitement will be short-lived, the odds are always staked against you in the gambling world, so it’s always important to remember that. If you find yourself disliking what you do and you are not getting as much excitement as you used to, then this is a sign that you have a gambling problem.
Ask yourself these questions
There are a few important questions to ask yourself, these will determine whether you have a gambling problem or not, but don’t panic, because we have a list of things you can do to stop you spending more than you can afford.
- Do you find yourself skipping work or important commitments due to gambling?
- Do you place consecutive bets to make up for the cash you’ve previously lost?
- Are you angry and upset after placing a losing bet, but feel the need to gamble more to recover your losses?
- Are you easily irritable after losing your bets?
- Do you find that you are placing bets after having arguments or disagreements?
- Lying to family members or friends about where your money is going?
- Are your finances struggling because of your betting habits?
If the answer to these is yes, then you know that your gambling has become an issue.
Gambling has a way of coming between you and your life commitments and when you feel that you can longer live your life how you used to, maybe because of a last-minute bet that is a sure winner or because you have ploughed a lot of cash into a slot machine so it’s bound to pay out, then acting on this is vital. Whatever you do, don’t lose your family like
Tips that may help avoid a gambling addiction
There is a great deal of organisations that are anonymous and will help you overcome your gambling problem, but if you feel that you are not quite at the point of contacting help such as GamCare, you can follow a few simple steps to help you control what you are spending;
- Set a limit: all online gambling companies have an option where you can put a deposit limit on your account, as soon as you try to deposit more than the stated amount, your account will be locked.
- Debit card: use a basic debit card for online gambling transactions, this allows you to place bets with the amount of money that is sitting in your account. Credit cards are a way of spending way more than you can afford, but by using a debit card, you can only spend the amount you wish to lose.
- Self-exclusion: again, all major online gambling companies offer a facility where you can exclude yourself from playing for a set amount of time. Freeze yourself out of the website that you are prone to spend too much cash at and you will find that you can’t even log in, let alone deposit money.
- Happy bets: never place bets when you are agitated or in a bad mood, because this will lead you to place irrational bets. Only play when you are happy, because this way you are in complete control.
Responsible Gambling Self-Exclusion
Whether you’re struggling to overcome a gambling addiction or just want an extra layer of protection, self-exclusion is one method that can help. Licensed online gambling operators enforce strict responisble gambling policies but unfortunately unlicensed companies will do anything to keep you playing. Gamstop is one of the tools you can use to self-exclude from gambling sites.
If you’re looking to limit your gambling, GAMSTOP’s self-exclusion is a good starting point. Sign up for free and be prevented from using websites or apps run by licensed companies in Great Britain. Self-Exclusion varies in duration from 6 months to 5 years. The length that is best for you depends on how long it takes before you feel confident that you won’t gamble again.
Other Services you can use
There are a number of organisations that can provide you with advice on how to overcome your gambling problem for free and without any judgment. We have listed a number of national and international organisations below.
- BeGambleAware.org : This organization offers advice on responsible gaming as well as free confidential consultations by phone or online.
- Gamcare.co.uk : Problem gamblers are welcome to call, live chat online or visit this charity for confidential support.
- Gambling Therapy : A free service offering practical advice and emotional support to anyone affected by problem gambling, this international organization also provides information on how it can help.
- Gamblers Anonymous : If you’re looking for a Gamblers Anonymous meeting in your area, then check out the list of websites that list meetings by country.