Online gambling should be an enjoyable way to spend your free time. Unfortunately, for a few, it can become a terrible addiction. Thankfully most gamblers will never have to worry about the negative effects that problem gambling can cause, but playing in a responsible way is the way everyone should be approaching online gambling. It’s not just for those that are addicts or at risk of becoming one.
Our websites dedicate a lot of time, effort and marketing to guide our customers and ensure they are having a great time in a safe and sensible way. Losing control can lead to serious consequences so we have a checklist that can help you keep your gambling in perspective.
Take note of the amount of time you spend gambling online. It’s easy to get carried away and it’s not difficult to slowly keep increasing the amount of time you spend without even realizing it.
Set a limit and stick to it. It's good to have a daily, weekly and monthly limit so you know exactly how much you can afford to lose. That way you won't be likely to get yourself into a financial crisis.
Your Gambling History
By checking this out periodically, you can see your gambling pattern and if you’re increasing or decreasing your bets and expenditure.
If you feel you’re getting too attached to the slots or online games, try abstaining for a while and take part in other activities that you enjoy. It’s best to do this before a problem sets in so you won’t find it so hard to stop.
Only necessary if you feel you have lost control and can’t be trusted to stop yourself from spending time and money online. You can request online or land-based casinos to exclude you temporarily or permanently from playing.
If you like to use this feature when playing games you can pre-set your stake and loss limits as well as automatically being stopped after you hit a jackpot, that way you won’t continue playing and go through all your winnings.
Are there any warning signs?
When gambling stops being fun and instead becomes anxiety-filled and stressful.
Now is the time to ask some serious questions:
- Do you spend too much time gambling online by yourself and in particular when you should be working or doing something else that’s important?
- Are you betting higher and higher amounts in order to satisfy your gambling urge?
- Have you been feeling irritable, agitated or in a bad mood when you’re away from the casinos?
- Do you find yourself gambling to forget about day to day problems you’re having at home or work?
- Do you lie to your close family and friends about whether you’ve won or lost?
- Have you been unsuccessful when trying to curb your spending or time at the casinos?
- Have you ever broken the law in order to fund your gambling habit?
- Do you ever keep gambling even when you’ve lost more than you can afford, to try and win back what you’ve lost?
- Have you ever tried to hide your gambling from your close friends and family?
- Have you had to take out a loan and put yourself in debt that you can't afford to pay back?
- Have you had to sell off any valuable possessions of your own, or those of your family, to pay off debts or fund further gambling?
- Have you deceived your family and friends and broken promises to those you love in order to keep gambling?
If these questions sound in any way familiar to you then it’s time to take action. There are confidential quizzes you should take to work out if indeed you do have an addiction, and if so what the next course of action should be. A good quiz is on the BeGambleaware website and the quiz is called ‘Worried about your Gambling’. There is also a gambling calculator which is also very helpful in ascertaining the severity of your gambling.
If I have a problem what should I do?
Firstly you need to admit the problem and genuinely want to get help for yourself. That's the most important hurdle, just realizing that you need help, advice and support is a huge step on the road to making a recovery. The last thing you should do is feel embarrassed. If you are too ashamed to ask for help, you’ll never improve.
- Ask your partner, spouse or close relative to take control of your finances for a period of time. Taking the source of gambling away is a powerful step towards quitting.
- Limit your amount of time online or stop entirely. Unfortunately, if you have a severe gambling addiction the only way to stop is to remove the temptation entirely.
- Give yourself rewards for ‘Not Gambling’ imagine the money you’ll save! A trip with family or friends, just invest in something that will bring you some joy.
- As mentioned above, self-exclusion may be the only way you can keep off the casino sites as well as land-based ones. That way you won’t be able to gamble even if you try.
- You can also visit the website www.gamblock.com which completely blocks your access to all gambling sites on the internet.
- Keep a track of how well you’re doing. No matter how small your progress, it’s still progress, and step by step you’ll achieve your goal and return to a normal life.