Playing online responsibly
Playing Casino, games, lottery, keno, and scratchcards, just like any other games of chance, were made to be a fun and exciting form of entertainment. But, for some these games turn into something destructive when they develop into a harmful addiction. Dangerous over-consumption can happen with other habits – even some that start off as completely positive and helpful.
This article will focus on playing lottery games responsibly – enjoy the gameplay and avoid developing a dependency.
Gambling addiction is a serious issue and if it is not corrected quickly it can have a negative effect on every aspect of one`s life. The illusion of easy money can quickly lead not only to financial ruin, but to job loss and even suicide.
What Causes a Gambling Addiction?
Gambling addiction is the urge to gamble without regard for the consequences. There are many factors that need to be closely inspected to determine the reasons why a person develops an addiction to gambling. As we said before, one of the main factors is the illusion that gambling can solve every problem they have. Little do they know that every attempt to get a large sum of money leads to more losses than wins.
The desire to experience thrills and highs can also contribute to gambling addiction. Even though they win a massive amount of money in just one spin, that win can hardly cover what has already been lost.
Some people can even have a genetic predisposition toward addictive behaviors. One of the reasons gambling can be so addictive is the fact that winning triggers dopamine in the brain, a chemical that sends a pleasurable experience to our body and mind.
Stress can be a major factor in gambling addiction. Whether you have work-related stress or you are dealing with relationship issues, gambling can provide temporary relief. In the long run, gambling can cause even more stress, especially when you start losing big amounts of money.
Elderly people are vulnerable too. After the loss of their life partner, they feel lonely and usually try to fill a void and be in the company of others. With plenty of time in their hands, they can easily adopt a gambling addiction.
What Does ‘Play Responsibly’ Mean?
If you do not prepare yourself to play responsibly, gambling can turn out to be a very stressful activity. So, what do we mean when we say ‘play responsibly’?
The first thing everyone who wants to indulge in online games should do is set a limit. We do not think only of money here, but also of the time that you want to spend gambling.
Money Limit – there is a great chance that you can win money while playing games, but at the same time, you need to be comfortable with losing all your money too. While you do not have the power over the cards you are dealt or the dice you roll, but you have the power over your money. Once you set your limits you can play stress-free and prevent yourself from going overboard. It is a good idea to set a win limit too where you can allow yourself to win more than the limit but does not allow to fall back below it.
Time Limit – Games are made in that way that you lose track of time while you are playing. If in case you have developed gambling addiction you will get highs from your winnings and you will believe that you cannot lose. You find yourself encouraging yourself to believe in fictitious strategies. Setting a time limit for each session can help you be responsible for other priorities in your life.
The 10 Rules of Responsible Gambling
Have in mind these 10 simple rules to make sure that gambling is kept fun.
- Gamble only for entertainment purposes.
- Learn when to leave.
- Set a time limit and respect it no matter if you are winning or losing.
- Set a budget limit and never go overboard.
- Accept the fact that you are going to lose and consider your loss as a part of the game.
- Educate yourself about gambling addiction.
- Always gamble with the money you can afford to lose and never borrow money to play.
- Do not let gambling interfere in your social life.
- Never chase lost money.
- Playing games should be only for fun and never to help you cope with some emotional issues.
Self Asses a Gambling Problem – Know the Signs
At the beginning, it can be very difficult to find out whether you have a gambling addiction or not. You may suspect that gambling is affecting your life and if you do you should ask yourself the following questions to determine your suspicions:
- Can you control your gambling impulses?
- Are you spending all your money on gambling?
- Are you spending all your time on gambling?
- Do you see gambling as your main source of income?
- Are you chasing your losses?
- Do you see gambling as an escape for your problems?
- Are you spending more money just to feel some thrill?
- Do you feel the need to lie in order to conceal the extent of gambling?
If you have even one ‘yes’ as an answer to these questions then you may have a gambling problem. The good thing is you can recognize the signs of your addiction so you can seek help.
Online Safeguards and Tools
Any approved online gambling site must feature social safeguards and tools to protect its players. Among those safeguards, only adults aged 18 or 21, depends on the country they live in, will be allowed to open an account. Also, every time you try to log into your account you have to go through an authentication process and this way underage gamblers or other people will be prevented to use someone else`s account.
Players should indicate the amount of money they want to transfer to their account and in case they go over the limit they will not be able to transfer more money.
In order to prevent addiction, players could be shown warning messages of gambling addiction risks and reminders such as a time counter which will indicate the time spent.
Many players can lose track of their gambling habits if they do not keep an eye on their money. Likely, there are different apps that can help you control how much you spend. These apps are easily accessible since we all have our phones on us all the time. You can check your monthly budget whenever you want.
Time Out Period
If you want to take a break from gambling but you keep coming back to check whether there are new games you can play or just have a short session just so you can end up playing for hours. In these cases, you can contact the Customer Support team and ask them to temporarily limit your access to your account. You can start with 24 hours but if you feel that you need a longer break you can limit access up to 6 weeks.
When you ask for a ‘time out’ period you will receive a confirmation email within 48 hours.
Once the time frame is complete your account will be automatically be reopened.
If you realize that your gambling habits can turn into an addiction then you should exclude yourself from gambling for an extended period of time. You can contact the casino where you play and request for self-exclusion.
You will then receive an email within 48 hours that will inform you on how long your account is being frozen. You will also receive an email about responsible gambling that has some really useful information. During this period you will not be able to access your account and any money you deposit will be returned to you.
When the self-exclusion period is over you will need to contact the casino again, and if you wish to reactivate account you will be able to play again within 24 hours.
Just remember, if you have accounts with other operators you should do the same, exclude yourself from them too.
Can you Prevent Gambling Addiction?
It can be very challenging to prevent gambling addiction. Anyone can develop a lottery gambling addiction no matter of their age or lifestyle. We live in a modern society where gambling is simply part of everything.
For instance, if you develop a lottery gambling problem it would be difficult to limit exposure. This form of gambling is present everywhere, on TV, in newspapers and you can even find tickets at your local convenience stores too.
How Can You Deal With Gambling Addiction?
The first step to dealing with any addiction is to admit that the problem exists and it is not going to go away on its own. It needs time and lots of effort to overcome it.
If in case someone you care about has problems you can stage an intervention, for instance. Even though interventions work during the earliest stage, it can have positive effect at any stage since you are showing you care.
How Can You Spot a Gambling Addict?
Compulsive gamblers may not realize that they have a problem, and even if they do they will do everything that is in their power to hide their addiction from you.
So, if you believe that someone you care is dealing with gambling addiction you should be the one to try to help them.
Here is a list of the most common symptoms of a gambling disorder, and if you or someone you know has shown at least four then it is a good time to seek help:
- Spending a lot of money and time to experience the excitement of a big win.
- Always talking about gambling, for instance analyzing past wins, making plans on which games to play or exploring some strategies.
- Being defensive every time gambling is presented as a problem.
- Feeling guilty after playing games.
- Being secretive in order to hide gambling activities.
- Every time they feel stressed they use gambling as a form to relax
- Trying to recoup the money they have lost.
- Borrowing money to cover gambling debts.
- Can`t quit gambling even though they are at risk to lose their job or their relationship.
Different Types of Gambling Addictions
According to the international addiction treatment provider, there are 3 types of gambling addicts:
- Normal Compulsive Gambler
- Emotional Compulsive Gambler
- Biological Pre-disposed Compulsive Gambler
The first type of gamblers are regular people who start gambling socially but with time they develop a gambling addiction. These people tend to win back the money they have lost so they start playing more often and without realizing their habits turn into a problem.
Emotional compulsive gamblers are the most common ones. These players use games as an escape from the tough reality that they cannot deal with. Gambling is known to boost one’s mood, especially if they are winning so they find this form of behavior as self-medicating.
The third type of gambling addiction usually affects people who are easily bored and impulsive. They constantly feel the need to be stimulated so when they cannot find any form of entertainment they turn to gamble.
Different Phases of Compulsive Gambling
- A phase when you win – Once you win big you are hooked. The excitement of winning big amounts of money while having fun can eventually grow into a preoccupation with gambling.
- A phase when you lose – Once you reach this phase that means you have lost a good amount of money and you are trying to win back the loss, sometimes even with the money you do not have.
- A phase when you feel desperate – This phase is maybe the worst because gamblers start to do things that they normally do not in order to get money to feed their addiction. During this stage, gamblers can start having suicidal thoughts whenever they cannot find the money to play.
- A phase when you feel hopeless – During the last stage gamblers lose all the support from the loved ones and they are left on their own. They tend to isolate themselves and get into more problems by developing substance abuse problems.
You can get the best results if you seek help as earlier as possible, but remember you are encouraged to seek help no matter in what phase of gambling addiction you are, it can be more challenging but remember not everything is lost yet.
Where Can You Find Gambling Addiction Treatment Providers?
As with any other addiction, compulsive gambling addiction as well starts when the person admits the problem exists.
If you try to help someone who is not aware of the problem they have then you are only wasting your time without reaching any results.
Once you realize you need to change you can seek professional help, find a rehabilitation center near you, or join Gamblers Anonymous.
Surround yourself with people that can offer you support. They will understand what you are going through and be there in the time of need. Find a positive activity to pass your time so you will not think of gambling. Instead of going to a casino you can spend quality time with your family and friends in the park. Volunteering is another activity that will give purpose to your life. Invite your friends and help those in need. Explore your area, find the best places to hike or go for a run for instance. There are plenty of things you can do to occupy yourself and your thoughts.
How to Play Responsibly – Helpful Tips
Fortunately, there are some strategies that gamblers can follow in order to avoid any kind of problems. If you like to play games follow these tips so you can enjoy gambling without putting yourself at risk.
- It is very important to have the right attitude when it comes to gambling. You should gamble for fun and not see gambling as a way out when you are struggling with your finances.
- Always set a limit on how much money and time you want to spend playing games. It is very important to stay consistent and not change your limit while you play.
- Take the exact amount of money you want to gamble with you. This way you will not be tempted to reach out for your wallet.
- Familiarize yourself with both the risks and benefits from gambling.
- Do not prioritize gambling over other activates in your life.
- Do not gamble when you are depressed or lonely.
- Gambling and alcohol are a bad combination. People tend to make wrong decisions when they are under the influence.
In case you are one of those people that gamble every day it would be a good idea to keep track of the money you spend. Put a realistic amount of money that you want to spend and once you are done you can compare the amount that you have set with the amount you have actually spent.
Meta Description: Playing casino games can quickly grow from harmless fun to uncontrollable addiction. Know the early signs and take precautions to avoid becoming addicted.