Gambling is deeply ingrained in our culture, both as a pastime and an unconventional way to generate profit. As a widespread form of gaming entertainment associated with high addiction risks and a negative socio-economic impact, it is a subject of many controversial discussions about the advantages and disadvantages of gambling, the problems we encounter attempting to solve its complicated legal status, and the adverse effects the activity has on the well-being of consumers. Though it was always a sensitive issue, never lacking its fair share of opponents, our perception of gambling changed with the emergence of online casinos. Land-based casinos are no longer a necessity for most passionate players – now we can access almost any game with a click of the mouse, at any time we choose, from the comfort of our homes, or any other place should we opt to play on mobile devices. Having this convenient option significantly expanded our gaming horizons, but also gave a whole new dimension to the problem and compulsion gambling.
Unlike other related forms, games of chance and skill require a continuous financial investment and therefore are considered a greater potential hazard, despite the fact that all forms of gaming carry similar risk factors for compulsive and addictive traits to develop in individuals prone to such behaviors. Furthermore, slot, poker, blackjack or bingo players always bet against overwhelmingly disappointing odds of ever scoring a win. Can’t beat the house edge, or so they say.
While these common traits of all gambling games add fuel to the fire in the global backlash against internet wagering acceptance and regulation, there are multitudes of players who enjoy this pastime unharmed for years and have never succumbed to addiction or financial ruin. Responsible adults understand the risks and benefits involved, and can adequately assess and anticipate various effects the activity may have on their day to day lives, ultimately able to decide when to gamble, how much money to spend, and most importantly when to stop. As avid players, we can rely on our own common sense and experience to determine where we stand between fun and danger, but we can also make use of many helpful tools provided by reputable operators, as well as support and therapy services found both online and on land.
Before engaging in any type of activity that requires real cash stakes, players should first take time for honest introspection. Looking into oneself and evaluating our emotional and mental state is the first step towards safe and satisfying gambling. Commitment to honest self-evaluation is an excellent tactic to employ for both casual and dedicated players. Only through this process can we recognize and come to terms with having a real problem, and take the necessary steps to solve it. Likewise, introspection works as a prevention tool to promote responsible gambling in acceptable dosages. Can I afford to do this? How much money can I afford to lose? Am I the kind of person that can develop and maintain a healthy relationship with gambling? These are the questions to ask ourselves on a daily basis.
Despite a common prejudice, it is entirely possible for a gambler to control and direct the pastime so that it will not affect their social and psychological well-being in any harmful way. Like with any other hobby, it requires a firm attitude and set limits. It will be difficult at first, but the more we exercise our will, the stronger it becomes. Determine a budget and the amount to spend before each gaming session, and if the budget is tight on a given month, don’t play at all. Do not chase your loses – if you’ve lost some of your money, make terms with it and don’t try to win it back; it will only lead to a depleted balance. Find a freebie if you can, use a convenient promotion, or simply have fun in free mode. Make good use of the dry season to explore new games and casinos, develop another winning strategy, or browse gaming portals for more tips and tricks from experienced players. There are so many things to do and stay in the game without actually playing. Or here’s another thought: find some other way that has nothing to do with betting to spend quality time.
This is a scheme every respectable gambling provider has on offer. It is a welcome chance to make a break and cool off for a while if you feel you’ve had too much on your shoulders but can’t vouch for your ability to respect self-imposed boundaries. If this might be the case, self-exclusion is a foolproof method which guaranteed you won’t return to your current casino for a certain period of time. All you need to do is contact the management and as for this service. You will be restricted from access for at least six months, in addition to being removed from their marketing database, to ensure no advertising or promotional material will reach you during this time. Since there is no way to cut short the indicated timeframe of self-exclusion, once you agree to this it is a certain, albeit temporary farewell to gambling.
Knowing there are capable professionals on standby, ready to offer help and guidance to those in need is always a comforting thought. If you feel there’s an underlying issue with your need to gamble, and there’s a real chance you might cross over into the high-risk territory, or simply seek advice and someone to talk to about your hobby, there are qualified groups and individuals who specialize in this very field. They have knowledge, experience, training and understanding needed to act in your best interest, in accordance with your given situation.
Most casinos already have established support networks available on their landing page. Contact telephones, e-mails, live chat and websites are provided, so players don’t have to think about where and how to find them. Organizations such as ProblemGambling , BeGambleAware, GamCare and many others are national, government supported or independent charity services offering advice, guidance, education, counseling and therapy via toll-free hotlines and other channels. Correspondence is strictly confidential, so you don’t have to worry about anything other than the help you require and deserve.