Ever since the beginning of time, humans have loved to gamble. We used to gamble with our lives by hunting dangerous animals just to gather food to eat.
Even though these were gambles of necessity at the time, they were still gambles nonetheless, and it is human nature to want to take some chances once in a while in an attempt to improve your current position in life.
We then became more civilized and came up with games of chance where we would gamble against each other for fun or for money. After a while, casinos were invented, which offer various games of chance for money to anyone who wishes to enter their doors.
There are also various other areas of life where you can gamble, such as the stock market, sporting events, or horse races.
Over the centuries, it has become much easier for a human being to gamble without even leaving their house. With the recent advances in internet technology, it has become as easy as clicking a couple of buttons to do some gambling if you have the urge to do so.
The decrease in difficulty when it comes to finding something to gamble on has caused some really high hurdles for those who have a gambling problem to jump over on a daily basis.
Gambling is meant to be a fun activity that is used to pass the time and cure boredom for a small price. Once it turns into something more serious than that, you might need to admit to yourself that you are developing a gambling problem.
There are a lot of telltale signs that might indicate your gambling problem could be getting serious. The following list contains some of the bad habits that you should be looking out for:
Gambling away important money such as rent money
Thinking about gambling all day long
Lying to others about your gambling habit
Borrowing money from others just to gamble
Gambling at stakes you know are too high for your bankroll
Gambling to escape your problems while ignoring your responsibilities
Gambling more to pay off a gambling debt
Quitting your job or favorite hobbies to gamble
Being physically unable to take breaks from gambling
Spending less time with your family just to gamble more
If one or more of the items on the above list applies to you, then there is a high chance that you have a gambling problem. These signs are not present in normal people who just see gambling as a fun way to kill some of their spare time.
Once you have identified the fact that you have a gambling problem, one of the best ways to fix it is to understand what causes this problem to begin with.
What Causes Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is known in the medical community as an impulse-control disorder. This means that you will gamble at any cost, even if it takes food out of the mouths of your loved ones.
Some gambling problems are not this extreme, but it just goes to show you how far it can go if you let it go untreated.
Some gambling problems are based on an innocent misunderstanding about the house edge and the nature of most casino games. A house edge is defined as a predictable long-term advantage in the house’s favor that is built into each game.
You are not the house, and you do not have an edge. Therefore, you will lose in the long run. Simply misunderstanding this fact can cause a lot of confusion in some people’s minds, and it can lead them to develop a gambling problem.
The thing is, a lot of people with a gambling problem have a lot of desirable human traits that serve them well in some parts of life, such as determination and competitiveness.
Unfortunately, these traits are not any good in the gambling world because most forms of gambling are not beatable in the long run.
These characteristics are the root of gambling problems because gambling addicts are not used to giving up when they are defeated, even if the odds are against them.
The best thing to do is realize that there is a time and a place for this determination and competitiveness, and to set them aside when you are gambling.
The Need to Prove One’s Luck
Other people with a gambling problem just want to prove that they are unlucky. Lots of people think that they are unlucky and it is actually pretty rare to meet someone who admits that they have been lucky in life.
Some gamblers head to a casino just to prove that they are not one of the lucky few, and it feels good to them to wallow in their own sorrow.
Another thing that causes problem gambling is called results-oriented thinking. This kind of thinking is of no use in the gambling world because the results of each spin or hand are completely independent of previous results.
This is known as the gambler’s fallacy, and it is responsible for a large number of gambling problems.
Obsessing over what happened before when you won a lot of money and trying to replicate those conditions will not help anything and is a huge waste of energy.
Yet, for some reason, lots of people always do this, and they will even increase the number of hours that they gamble just to feel that sweet rush of adrenaline they got the last time they hit a huge score.
Help for Those with a Gambling Problem
After reading the above sections, you should have a good idea of whether or not you have a gambling problem. For those of you who do have this problem, we have compiled a list of websites that you can visit to get the healing process started:
This organization has members all over the world, and encourages problem gamblers to share their experiences and help each other.
National Council on Problem Gambling
This United States organization seeks to increase the general awareness of gambling addiction and help problem gamblers and their families get treatment.
Based in the United Kingdom, Gamcare offers support and counseling to those suffering with a gambling problem.
“HELPGUIDEORG INTERNATIONAL was established in 2012 as a California nonprofit public benefit corporation dedicated to charitable and educational purposes.” This guide covers everything from dealing with depression to tips on how to get better sleep.
There is no shame in admitting that you have a gambling problem and that you need some help.
There are millions of people all over the world who share this problem with you, and with the help of some experienced professionals, you have a better shot at trying to overcome it as quickly as possible than you would if you tried to do it alone.
On a side note, every gambling site has an obligation to protect their customers if they feel that they have a gambling problem. This means that each site has to permanently ban your account for good if you ask their customer service team to do so.
We highly recommend doing this for any gambling sites after you pull your money off of their site so that you can eliminate any temptation you might have to log in and play.
Tips for Gambling Responsibly
For those readers who feel that they have a gambling problem, but it is not serious enough to contact one of the above organizations, you should consider reading our tips for gambling responsibly.
These tips are not guaranteed to fix your problem completely, but there is always the chance that looking at things from a different viewpoint or doing some extra research on the side will naturally help you with your gambling addiction.
When it comes to beating addictions, whether it is gambling or any other, knowledge is power. The following list of tips should give you some extra power to resist your gambling problems by gambling responsibly:
Don’t gamble with money you need in the near future
Don’t gamble with other people’s money
Study the house edge for each game so you know what outcome to expect
Don’t expect to win; accepting a loss and walking away is fine
Think of your losses as a cost of entertainment
Set time limits on your gambling sessions
Set money limits on your gambling sessions
Ban yourself from all gambling sites if you have a serious problem
Try to have the maximum amount of fun per dollar that you spend
Take week-long or month-long breaks from gambling sometimes
Accept the fact that you will lose money; any other outcome is just a bonus
There really should only be two options to choose from. Either you gamble responsibly, or you don’t gamble at all. Tons of people have ruined their lives because of their gambling addiction, and you do not want to be one of those people.
By using our tips and gambling responsibly, you should be able to maximize the amount of fun that you have for every dollar that you spend.
This is the only thing that you should be concerned with because it is not possible to win money in the long run in games where there is a built-in house edge.
Nearly every form of gambling has a house edge or a rake of some sort, and the sooner you educate yourself about the mathematical improbabilities of being a long-term winner, the sooner you can take gambling lightly and just do it for fun.
Those who have a severe chemical imbalance that renders them physically unable to stop gambling should consider contacting one of the many associations on the internet that help with gambling addiction, such as Gamblers Anonymous or GamCare.
Anyone who finds themselves in this category should know that it’s never too late to seek help