BE AWARE AND KNOW YOUR LIMITS!
Everyone speaks a lot about responsible gambling but if you asked a random man on the street what it is right now, he probably wouldn’t be able to tell you off the top of his head. Lucky for you, at CasinoGuide we’ve done our homework and we definitely have your back! Here, we will be covering all the measures you can take to be more aware, limit your gambling behaviour or simply just get some extra support.
What do we mean when we say Responsible Gambling?
In a nutshell, responsible gambling is basically being aware of your behavior when gambling. If you feel like you are spending all your time and your money on the internet then you probably have a problem. By monitoring yourself and your habits you can ensure that your hobby doesn’t become addictive or damaging to yourself or others.
What is Problem Gambling?
This question leads on from the previous answer in that the problem gambling is defined as behavior which people exhibit when gambling which can be harmful to the gambler or those closest to him or her. Of course, when we are speaking about harm, we are not only talking about the physical or abusive kind, we are also taking into consideration the mental and financial hardships which come with being out of control. If you have a family, for example, the outcome of you playing away all your money could be the possibility of your children going hungry. Of course, you might think that this scenario doesn’t apply to you but the truth is if you are putting yourself in a situation where you have no money at the end of the month to pay your rent because you’ve spent it all on slots then you need to seek help. Casinos are not only there to offer you games and hours of fun, if you feel like you’re spending far beyond what you can, reach out to your casino of choice and ask for help or get in touch with one of the local support services nearest to you for immediate help. As BeGambleAware stated just this year: “You should always be able to remain in control of your gambling and only ever bet what you can afford, not chasing losses or gambling when emotional”.
Are you in denial?
One doesn’t just choose to develop a gambling problem, it’s something which creeps up on you day after day and has a lot to do with different factors. Some people are literally made homeless by their habits and yet still don’t think they have an issue. If you find yourself wanting to gamble less but feel unable to do so, it might be time to admit that you have a problem and there’s nothing wrong with admitting that and asking for help. What you should be feeling at the moment is proud of the fact that you’re on this page reading and trying to find out whether or not you have an issue. Admitting it is always the first and most important step.
Things you can do to control your online gambling problem
There are certain steps you take in order to control your gambling habits. You can go through this list and assess if it is something you can handle by yourself, or if not, simply go to our ‘Ask for Help’ section below.
- Get rid of the toxic shame around your problem. Shame is a demoralizing emotion that spots many people from taking the steps to remedy from this problem. You can call your local therapist to learn how to handle this strong emotion. It always helps to have a safe person in your life you feel comfortable opening up to and talking about the issue as well as keep you accountable during your recovery.
- Casinos and poker rooms on the internet more often than not allow you t set spending limits for your gambling endeavors. You can choose to tell sites to block your user account to prevent you from falling for the temptation in a moment of weakness.
- If you find yourself unable to stop thinking about gambling, even when you can’t access your account, or else you look for other sites to sign up to, you need to take immediate action to control the source of funding your online casino accounts. Yes, you need to get rid of your credit cards, your payment option account and/or allow your safe person to manage your finances until you are able to do so without spending any of your money on online gambling.
- Be aware of the moods and events which lead you to gamble online. Is it anxiety? Boredom? Sadness? Rejection? You need to find an activity you enjoy to replace gambling, and whenever you start feeling these trigger emotions again, you can engage in your replacement activity.
- If the four steps above have not been helpful to you and you can’t control your problem, you would need to reach out to someone else for help.
Asking for Help
If you think your problem is significant enough and you can’t control it by yourself, there are many groups and organisations you can reach out to in order to help you through this difficult process of controlling your gambling problem. There are people who understand where you are at and they can actually help you out. For example, you can find a group of Gamblers Anonymous close to where you live. Pick up the phone and have a chat. It could make all the difference and change your life for the better. Acknowledging the fact that you have a gambling problem may be the first step, but your next step should be to select one of the numbers below to get starting on taking control of your life again. Remember, there is absolutely no shame in having a problem and asking for guidance, in fact, getting professional help is the kindest action you can take for yourself and for those around you.
Below you can find a list of people who know what they’re talking about and can help with your recovery from your addiction:
- National Council on Problem Gambling (Canada) Helpline: 1-800-522-4700
- UK GamCare Helpline: 0845-6000-13
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Helping Hand/ IGC
It is undeniable that playing games can be fun, but don’t play games with your well-being and the well-being of close, loved ones who are also harmed by your problem. It is within your power and your capacity to take control of your life and form a better future for yourself. Always remember, you are not alone.