Like most things in life, gambling can be great when done responsibly and in reasonable doses. In fact, for many, it’s a pleasant form of entertainment, much like going to a movie, or spending the afternoon at a football match.
The key is gaming responsibly. That basically means being able to treat gambling like any other hobby or pastime, and part of an overall balanced lifestyle. If you have no other hobbies, no other interests, or cannot concentrate on anything besides gambling, you might very well have a problem.
Although we at Gambling App Store all enjoy gambling on all sorts of activities – ranging from bingo to poker to slots and sports – we also feel it is our responsibility to keep our readers informed, and encourage a healthy attitude towards mobile gaming and real money betting.
Recognising Problem Gambling
There are many, slightly varying definitions for the terms addict and addiction, with the main premises being a lack of control, habitual dependence, and a compulsive need for a particular substance or activity.
Whilst not all problem gamblers are gambling addicts, it’s important to note when you’re on a slippery slope, and/or gambling is negatively affecting your life.
Simply put, if you find yourself wondering whether or not you have a problem, in all likelihood, this is something you should be exploring. Start by asking yourself some serious questions about how you’re spending your time and money.
- Are you spending more money on gambling than you would like?
- If you set yourself a budget, are you able to keep to it?
- How often are you gambling?
- Do you have frequent urges to gamble, and do you surrender to them?
- Does gambling interfere with the rest of your life? Keep you from other commitments?
- Do you have any other pastimes? Do other activities interest you?
- Have you dipped into your savings to gamble? How about your grocery funds?
- When you gamble, are you having fun?!?
Now think about your answers and what they say about your relationship with gambling.
In an ideal world, you should only be gambling as much as you can afford to lose, or more accurately perhaps, as much as you are comfortable losing. You should also be fully in control of how much time you spend gambling. If it’s something you’re thinking about on a regular basis, or distracts you from your family, job or any other form of commitment, you quite likely have a gambling problem on your hands.
What’s the Problem with Problem Gambling?
Many people with a gambling problem, like any other addiction, don’t see it as a problem per se. A fairly common response may be along the lines of, “So what? Who am I harming?” The truth is, besides yourself, likely everyone else in your life.
Problem gambling affects all those in your vicinity including your family, spouse, employer, co-workers, and friends. It is a major cause of divorce, loss of jobs, and ostracization from society. This is serious stuff!
Addressing Problem Gambling
If you think (or know) that you have a gambling problem, there are many places to turn for help. In addition to psychologists, social workers and trained religious clergy, there are also numerous organisations in the UK that have specifically been set up to help problem gamblers.
For starters, if you’re looking for more general resources, Gambleaware.co.uk is a good place to start. Here you can get clear advice and guidance about gambling, referrals to the appropriate help bodies, and tips for how to stay in control.
You can also appeal directly to GamCare, an organisation that offers free, non-judgemental advice, support and counselling by phone via its HelpLine service, or chat via its NetLine service.
Other support organisations include the National Problem Gambling Clinic, the Gordon Moody Association, and Gamblers Anonymous.
Safe Gambling Tips
If you think you’re about to hit the jackpot any moment now, you’re not alone. Pretty much every problem gambler thinks like this. The odds are, whilst we wish you the best, this is likely not going to happen. Play with that reality in mind.
In addition, as mentioned above, gambling is a leisure activity. It is not in lieu of a job. Please, do not think of it as a way to make money. Again, in all likelihood, it is not.
Other important reality checks: Set yourself limits in terms of time and money spent, only gamble what you can afford to lose, never chase losses, and keep in mind that gambling and alcohol really don’t mix.
In other words: Stay safe, stay in control, and have fun!