Many things that are fun can become addictive. Shopping, wine, tobacco, food consumption – the list goes on. Since the Internet itself already has a certain addictive potential, online gambling is of course doubly tempting. But what many people still ask is, what are the symptoms of a gambling addiction and what can you do if you have a gambling addiction? We clarify.
Please note that gambling can be addictive. If you find yourself addicted, you should either close your account, contact help centres, or join the Safer Gambling Week initiative.
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You probably know best whether you are more prone to addiction or not.
If you tend to always overdo the things you like a little – for example, if you eat more than you should, if you feel guilty after a long shopping trip, if bottles of wine seem smaller every time – then you should be consciously mindful; especially with gambling. Let's now take a closer look at gambling addiction's causes and indications. Also, a view if you show symptoms of gambling addiction.
Gambling Addiction Causes
There is a good reason why many people still stay away from non gamstop casinos UK today. Some still find it unsafe because all you see is games behind the computers, others think the risk of becoming addicted to gaming is too high. You can't even argue much with that.
For many casino players, there is a difference between going to a casino and playing at an online casino. To go to a casino, you have to get dressed, leave the house, take the train or car to the nearest casino and then travel the whole way back. Of course, this is not important for a gambling addict, but if you show symptoms of a gambling addiction, these can be obstacles that you don't want to overcome, even if the gambling addiction is strong.
Things look a little different at online casinos. As the name suggests, an online casino is accessible on the Internet. There are no casino labels that you have to follow, you just have to sit down in front of an internet-enabled device, log in and you can get started straight away.
This means you can quickly lose track of time and get lost in casino games, which can cause gambling addiction. In addition, online casinos offer many offers such as bonuses and free game rounds, which tend to push the feeling of gambling addiction into the background. You also lose track of your own budget more quickly because there is no option to pay in cash. The money is online, so it's not intangible. This also applies to possible payouts, which, depending on the payment option, only appear in the account within two to five days. Many gambling addicts would like to deposit again during this time and will then simply no longer pay out and instead gamble away all their winnings.
But online casinos are also informed about all of this, not just protection sites. That's why they have their own ways to protect their players from gambling addiction.
How Online Casinos Combat Gambling Addiction?
You can say what you want, but online casinos also care about the safety of their players. They have all the responsible gaming pages and are happy to direct their players to help centres if they ask.
In addition, most casinos' customer service staff are trained to ask players about their well-being and recognize signs of gambling addiction. If you as a player often ask about bonuses or complain about high losses, this is seen as a symptom of gambling addiction and it is suggested that you set limits or close the account for a certain period.
According to the Safer Gambling Week initiative, combating gambling addiction is mandated by online casino licensors and casinos are penalized for allowing players to gamble who have closed their accounts.
How Casinos Combat Gambling Addiction?
Casinos are also trying to combat gambling addiction. They require proof from the player that shows that he is not playing beyond his means. However, this only applies if gambling addiction is suspected and signs appear. Players can also have themselves blocked in casinos.
When Does Gambling Become a Problem?
Many behaviours can be signs of gambling addiction. Take a look at the list below and see which behaviours match yours. If several of these apply to you, then you may have a serious problem. But at least be honest with yourself that would be the first step in the right direction.
Am I Addicted to Gambling?
Check how many of these behaviours apply to you:
- You spend more money on gambling than you planned.
- You become annoyed or irritated when disturbed during a game.
- You try to make up for your losses with profits.
- You lose track of time and spend more time playing than you planned.
- You are not honest with family and friends about gambling.
- Instead of quitting when you win, you only leave when you've lost all your money.
- You firmly believe that you will hit the jackpot and win big.
- You think you're losing because you're not playing well enough.
- You only think about gambling and spend more time gambling than doing other things.
- You have to play for higher and higher stakes to get the same excitement out of the game.
- You spend more time gaming than you admit to your friends.
- Playing is more important to you than family, friends and work.
If several points apply to you, you are either already addicted to gambling or are on the way to it. However, only an expert can give you an exact diagnosis. You can contact certain help centres to combat gambling addiction.
Important to note: it's fun to play, but don't play with your health!
How Can You Protect Yourself From Gambling Addiction?
You often hear the statement: “The best way to stop is not to start.” This is a piece of wisdom that has been around for years and can also be easily applied to gambling addiction.
So, before you go to a casino or register at an online casino, you should memorize the following ten points to prevent the causes of gambling addiction. There's no guarantee that you'll be able to stick to all of them, depending on how addictive you are, but it will help to question certain decisions before making a big bet.
Split Your Budget
You should set a certain limit with which you can go to the casino. If you exceed this amount, you go home or turn off the computer.
Adjust Your Bet to Your Budget
If you have set a budget, you shouldn't gamble everything away with two bets but only go as far as you can afford to lose.
Be realistic About Your Winning Chances
If you try playing a slot machine, you have to realize that you can never achieve 100% profit. That's why there is an RTP. This is also the case with roulette or blackjack – you cannot avoid the house edge. You should assess your chances of winning accordingly.
Only Play for a Set Time
Instead of just starting, it helps to set a time. For example, once you have played for an hour, you put the online casino aside.
Putting Winnings Aside
Whenever you win, you should put some of your winnings aside instead of gambling it away too. This way you won't be tempted to make up for a loss because you can always look back on a profit.
Only Place Bets That You Can Afford
If you place bets that you cannot accommodate in your budget or have already reached your set budget with two games, you should think again. You can win even with small stakes.
Only Increase Stakes Slightly
If you are currently on a winning streak, you should only increase the stakes slightly. If your luck suddenly leaves you, you would otherwise lose too much to bear.
Change Your Strategy After Losing Five Bets
After a while, you notice that the chosen strategy simply isn't working. Then you should change them or end the game, as nothing will result but frustration.
Don't Play When Tired
You often hear it: don't drive when tired, don't go for sports when tired, and so on. So you can keep this in mind in the online casino too. The ability to make judgments is poorer and you are quicker to think “Yes, there is something else that can be done”, even if nothing is possible anymore.
Stop When It's at Its Best
The streak of luck may not end and you just win. This is exactly the time to draw a line in the sand! If not, you'll get ahead of yourself and bet too high – and sooner or later you'll lose more than you won.
And don't forget: have fun!