One of the best things to come out of the online gambling industry over the last few years is the attitude to responsible gambling, even though it is now a legal requirement and monitored by the UK Gambling Commission.
Whilst some casinos make more of an effort regarding responsible gambling than others, any casino which is licenced by the UK Gambling Commission will have a range of tools and advice to help anyone who is struggling with their online gambling activities.
These resources range from setting time limits on the length of time that a player can stay logged into an online casino to a set limit of how much a player can deposit into their account over a given time.
The casinos should also make it easy for a player to close their account and to stop receiving any promotional emails.
What is gambling addiction and problem gambling?
Gambling addiction and problem gambling can creep up on anyone, even more so due to the solitude which goes hand in hand with online gambling.
It comes in many forms, it could be that someone has experienced a big win previously and as a result, they are continually trying to replicate that win but end up gambling with more and more money.
Another recognised form of problem gambling is chasing losses.
A player might be showing a loss on their account but carry on gambling with money which they cannot afford to lose to recoup those losses.
Some players will gamble when they are bored, when they are sad, when they are drunk, you name it, if someone has a gambling problem, they will use any excuse to gamble.
How to recognise an addiction
Players with a gambling addiction will do their best to hide it.
They will probably gamble in secret or have several casino accounts set up to disguise how much money they are gambling with.
When questioned about the length of time they are gambling or how much they are spending, they will often become angry and agitated, trying to deny what they are doing.
Any addiction is a big problem but because there is always money involved with a gambling addiction, the consequences can be devastating.
If you think that you have a gambling addiction, the best thing you can do is not bury your head in the sand.
At the very least, take advantage of the responsible gambling recourses which are available to you but depending on the severity of your addiction, take advice from one of the excellent gambling charities who are there to help without charge.
How gambling addiction affects you
Gambling addiction starts by affecting people in a small way such as always looking for excuses to log onto a casino account to start playing but the problems will snowball so that the effects are devastating.
For example, if a casino player is in a relationship, they might have a joint bank account and it is often the case that a person with a gambling addiction will gamble with money which has been put aside to pay the mortgage, bills etc.
They will cover their tracks by telling their partner that the bills have been paid when in fact, they haven’t.
As this charade continues, the debts get bigger and by the time everything comes out in the open, the player and his partner are in massive debt with the obvious problems which goes hand in hand with that situation.
This can then put a strain on the relationship so before you know it, that initial problem of spending too much time playing at an online casino has turned into something which is nothing short of tragic!
3 helpful hints to stop gambling
It must be said that problem gambling only affects a very small percentage of online casino players with most people playing for enjoyment.
With that in mind though, here are 3 helpful hints to stop gambling.
Understand the problem
The first thing to remember is that there is nothing to be ashamed of and accept that you have a problem.
Accepting this is the first step on the way to recovery and nothing can happen until you accept that you have a problem.
Think about the consequences
If you know you have a problem, depositing more money into your casino account and playing a few spins on a slot might not seem like much but don’t kid yourself.
Think of what the situation will be in an hours' time if you have lost a few hundred quid.
It really is not worth it.
Find alternatives to gambling
When you get that familiar feeling that you want to start gambling, notice it and get away from your laptop and leave your phone at home.
Go for a walk or anything to get a change of environment to get your mind off gambling.
In the longer term, start a hobby or do some volunteer work, anything like this will help.
Where to find help if you have a problem with your gambling
If the recourses available at an online casino don’t help with your gambling, there are various charities which offer help and advice.
A well renowned charity which has lots of experience in helping players with a gambling problem.
They are available to be contacted 24 hours per day and can be contacted by telephone and live chat and promise that you can start to regain control after just one phone call.
Gamcare is another charity with a very good reputation.
24-hour support is available along with forums and recourses to help problem gamblers get on top of their problems.
They offer clients a blocking software which can be installed to prevent any form of online gambling to take place.
Gamblers Anonymous is more of an offline resource where people with gambling problems can attend an actual physical meeting which can be booked through the website.
This is a long-established charity which has been around since long before the advent of online gambling.
The National Problem Gambling Clinic
This is a resource which is aimed at problem gamblers who have tried other methods to tackle their gambling problem.
It is run in conjunction with the NHS and help people whose gambling habits are related to mental health problems.
Any of the charities mentioned above.
Admit to yourself that you have a problem and seek help.
Making excuses to gamble, chasing losses and gambling for longer and with more cash than you intended.