A responsible attitude to the game is crucial in the case of gambling entertainment. Currently, with the growing popularity and availability of online casinos, heated debates arise on the emergence of addiction and the protection of players from excessive addiction to the game. Although only a small part of the adult population faces dependency, it is impossible to deny the seriousness of the problem. Our guide contains all necessary information including methods of struggle against ludomania, tips for parents, and measures to prevent addiction.
Why do people gamble?
Let’s start with the reasons for excessive online gambling:
- An online site is open 24/7, and you can play without leaving your home.
- Online, a person can remain anonymous.
- It is difficult for players to notice the first signs of gaming addiction.
What is gambling addiction and how to recognize it?
Most people who play at an online venue enjoy the process without compromising their health or well-being. Problems arise when the game becomes uncontrolled: a person ceases to control the frequency and duration of the game and cannot resist the temptation. As a result, problems arise in social, work, material, and family relations.
Therefore, it is very important for the player to individually detect and recognize the first signs indicating the addiction. Remember that the earlier the problem is detected, the easier it is to deal with it.
To help determine whether you or your loved ones are dependent or not, we prepared a checklist:
- Do you often think about the game (think over the game)?
- Do you often play with large amounts to feel a sense of excitement?
- Have your recent attempts to control or reduce the game time failed?
- Do you feel annoyed or anxious when you have to finish the game?
- Do you try to win back money that you lost with new bets? Do you borrow money?
- Are you honest with yourself and others about the time spent in an online casino?
- Have you ever violated the law to get cash to pay off debts?
- Have your relationships at work/in the family deteriorated recently?
If you have answered at least five questions positively, we strongly recommend that you contact specialists for professional help.
A person who develops a gambling addiction goes through four stages associated with different emotions:
- Winning – A person feels euphoria from victory. He thinks that he can win even more, so the stakes and the duration of the game gradually increase.
- Loss – It quickly replaces the euphoria. The player begins to lose and begins to feel frustration, disappointment, mixed with the hope of winning back the lost money. The sum of debts is increasing, relations at work and in the family are deteriorating.
- Despair – A person completely loses control of the game. With a constant sense of guilt and shame, he cannot stop. At this stage, a person can proceed to law violations. Divorce, loss of work, and the first law violations are potential consequences.
- Hopelessness – It is associated with a lack of self-confidence or the effectiveness of receiving help. Many people may also suffer from addictions like alcohol, drugs – and even try to commit suicide.
How to deal with gambling addiction?
Almost all online casinos provide tools for limiting the game.
These may be betting limits or the duration of the game, as well as the exclusion of a player on the casino’s website or in the register.
In addition, most gambling establishments worldwide use identity and rights verification systems that identify youngsters when trying to enter the gambling website.
Protection of adolescents
According to most of the countries’ legislation, individuals under the age of 18 are not allowed to gamble. By gambling, they mean only online venues. As for betting on the results of sports matches and lotteries, there are other restrictions: 16 years.
In general, the process of registering and creating a gaming account on the licensed sites completely excludes the entry of underage visitors, as it requires an identification code and personal info. Bank data is also requested, and all documents are checked. We recommend that parents install special software on their computers that blocks access to particular sites. A good example of such a program is CyberPatrol.
This is a great measure for players who feel that it’s time to take a break. You may independently exclude yourself from the users’ list on the casino site. For a certain period, you won’t be allowed to log in to the account. After the expiration of the period, you can return to your game or optionally set a new limit. Note that the account will not be unblocked during this period.
Tax and Customs Department
Anyone can apply to the local CBIC and exclude themselves from the list of players. You can do this directly on the site for a period of 6 to 36 months: download the exclusion form on the webpage, enter the details, have it validated, and send it with a current photo of yourself to the department.
Measures of restrictions
An easy way to control the amount of money you spend on gambling is to set limits. For example, you can decide to allocate 100 euros as a budget for a week. Thus, if you spend all these 100 euros for 7 days, you won’t be able to play the remaining days.
- The maximum bet limit and their validity period start working immediately.
- The standard period is 7 days. This is because players must make a conscious decision about the amount of the limit and change it if necessary.
- You may also limit the sum of possible losses.
Where can I get help?
- Given you have any suspicions that you have an addiction, be sure to contact a specialist who, during a personal conversation, will determine the problem severity and outline further steps.
- If the proposed measures didn’t work, or the gambler refuses to limit himself, you can seek specialized help from official organizations like the Society of Gambling Addicts.