Online casinos are gaining popularity not only in Canada but all over the world. Most people engage in gambling just for fun, to try their luck playing favorite games. But there are those who, in pursuit of big wins, do not notice how they are drowning in the abyss of thrill. This is how gambling addiction appears. Why do people play in the casino, and what are the pitfalls of this entertainment?
The advantages of gambling are:
- Itâ€™s a great way to have a high time
- Large choice of games to suit any taste
- You can experience the fascinating atmosphere of a real casino
- You have the opportunity to win money
Now meet the disadvantages of gambling:
- You cannot win all the time
- Probability of both winning and losing big moneyÂ
- Your loved ones may not like your hobby
- Risk of addiction
As you can see, gambling is a mixed blessing, and it depends only on you what it will lead to. Our task is to warn you about the dangers of online casino abuse. So we will tell you what gambling addiction is, how to recognize it, and how to get your life back on track!
Gambling Addiction: What is It?
Gambling addiction or ludomania is an addiction that develops as a result of excessive passion for casino games. In the later stages, it turns into a real psychiatric disorder that requires complex treatment. Ludomania amounts to other addictions such as kleptomania, drug use, or pyromania. And the inability to control oneâ€™s gambling behavior leads to serious financial, physical, and social problems. Like any mental disorder, gambling addiction is easier to prevent than cure.
But itâ€™s still possible to overcome the problem.
Signs of Gambling Addiction
It may be difficult to recognize a gambling addiction in yourself or your loved one. After all, you do not even need to leave your home to make a bet. You can deposit a casino account through any electronic service. And if you have no money, the Internet is full of companies ready to provide you with a loan instantly. That is, a gambler can hide a dire financial state until the moment when their friends or family start receiving threats from collectors.
Gambling addiction often develops in men and women without obvious external manifestations, but still, there are some signs that allow you to identify the problem at an early stage. So, you are addicted if:
- You spend most of the time remembering past games, planning future bets, and thinking about how to find the money for the next game;
- When you play, you get excited and raise the stakes;
- You have difficulty trying to control or stop playing;
- You feel anxious or irritated when you need to limit bets or stop the game;
- You play casino games to escape from your problems or cheer up (to cope with guilt, anxiety, and depression);
- You make attempts to win back your money the same or the next day after the loss;
- You deceive family members or a therapist in order to hide the true extent of your involvement in the game;
- You commit illegal acts such as forgery, deceit, theft, or embezzlement to finance the game;
- You reborrow money from others to pay off existing debts caused by continued losses.
Causes of Gambling Addiction
Itâ€™s important to understand the differences between a regular and a problem gambler. The first one is aware of how much time and resources they are willing to spend on the game and adequately reacts to wins and losses. But the problem gambler is not interested in anything except the game. It even happens that money plays only a complementary role, while the person is obsessed with the very possibility of winning.
What causes such behavior of an addicted person? Itâ€™s difficult to single out one specific reason, there may be several of them:
- Availability of online casinos and bookmakers, which are actively advertised in the media and on the Internet. The activities of gambling operators in Canada are legal, so players do not associate casinos with something dangerous.
- Possibility of getting â€œeasy moneyï¿½?. Lack of funds for what you want, loss of a job, or any other unstable financial situation may prompt a person to bet.
- Personal motivation. Itâ€™s possible to single out either the desire to satisfy the need for risk and domination (to be better, stronger, faster) or the desire to get away from unresolved problems, be it family conflicts, problems at work, etc.
- Psychic particularities. People with a short temper, intolerance of criticism, and depressive disorders are more prone to addictions.
Consequences of Gambling Addiction: Impact on Human Life
Thereâ€™s nothing good about addictions. They destroy human life and deprive you of the opportunity to enjoy simple little things. There are a lot of consequences of gambling addiction:
- Financial losses
- Worsening relationships with friends and family
- Job loss
- Deterioration of health, as many hours of sitting at the computer leads to problems with vision, spine, and nervous system
- Loss of cognitive abilities â€“ an addicted person loses their social skills
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
How to Get Rid of Gambling Addiction
If all of the above-mentioned signs indicate that you have a gambling addiction, you can try to get rid of this disorder yourself. And the recommendations of the California Council on Problem Gambling will help you:
- Decide in advance how much time and money you allocate to playing casino games.
- Make thoughtful decisions about your game â€“ consider randomness.
- Treat gambling as entertainment, not as a source of income.
- If you win big money â€“ rejoice. But remind yourself that this may never happen again.
- Do not gamble when you are tired, bored, agitated, or angry.
- Regularly write down how much time and money you have spent on gambling.
- Take your friends seriously. If they are concerned about your gambling hobby, they may see something you donâ€™t.
- Play only with your own money. Donâ€™t borrow.
- Realize that you do not have the opportunity to influence the outcome of the game, it is random.
- Take breaks â€“ go for a walk, meet friends.
- Keep your mind clear while playing, limit your alcohol intake.
- Balance gambling with other recreational activities.
- Donâ€™t make things worse â€“ donâ€™t try to win back your money.
- Set a time limit for the game.
- Do not use gambling as a way to avoid negative situations.
- If you are concerned about your gambling habit, talk to someone you trust or contact a medical professional.
Where to Get Help with Gambling Addiction
No matter what province you live in, every gambling addict can get help in Canada. Consider the following resources for 24/7 support:
Gambling Therapy â€“ this beneficial service offers free psychological support and useful advice to anyone who wants to deal with problem gambling.
GamTalk â€“ the service offers everything you need to overcome gambling addiction. You will chat with people who are fighting the same problem or have already overcome it, share your feelings and thoughts with others, and find a complete list of recovery centers in Canada.
RecoverMe App â€“ a convenient mobile application that helps fight gambling addiction using cognitive behavioral therapy and various support tools.
You can also get help by phone. So feel free to call these numbers if you need to talk to someone:
- Alberta: 1-866-461-1259
- British Columbia: 1-888-795-6111
- Quebec: 1-800-461-0140
- Manitoba: 1-800-463-1554
- Newfoundland: 1-888-899-4357
- New Brunswick: 1-800-461-1234
- Northwest Territories: 1-800-661-0844
- Nova Scotia: 1-888-347-8888
- Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut: 1-800-265-3333
- Ontario: 1-866-531-2600
- Prince Edward Island: 1-855-255-4255
- Saskatchewan: 1-800-306-6789
- Yukon: 1-866-456-3838