Online gambling should be entertainment and a fun way to spend your time. However, there are times when it becomes more than that and the Fun Stops. Then it is time to take a break or consider quitting altogether.
We at BonusFinder promote responsible gambling. All the casinos, poker sites and sports betting sites we partner with have the option to set deposit limits or self-exclude for a certain time period or permanently.
We are not medical professionals, but we’ve gathered information about responsible gambling and gambling problem below. Have a look, reflect and seek further help in case you think you need it!
How to gamble safely
GambleAware is the UK’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to educate on and fight against gambling-related harms. Their ten items list of tips on how to gamble safely is pretty good:
- Don’t think gambling as a way to make money
- Only gamble with money you can afford to lose
- Set a money limit in advance
- Set a time limit in advance
- Never chase your losses
- Don’t gamble when you’re depressed or upset
- Balance gambling with other activities
- Don’t take your bank card with you
- Take frequent breaks
- Don’t drink or use drugs when gambling
Albeit the list might be more for brick and mortar casino-goers, the list has merit amongst online gamblers as well. We strongly recommend utilizing online casinos’ deposit limits or playing time related limits.
Signs of gambling problem
The definition of gambling problem, addiction or disorder varies in different countries and sources. American Psychiatric Association (APA) calls it gambling disorder and defines it as follows: “gambling disorder involves repeated gambling behavior that causes significant problems or distress”.
According to APA, a diagnosis of gambling disorder requires at least four of the following during past year:
- Need to gamble with increasing amount of money to achieve the desired excitement
- Restless or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling
- Repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop gambling
- Frequent thoughts about gambling (such as reliving past gambling experiences, planning the next gambling venture, thinking of ways to get money to gamble)
- Often gambling when feeling distressed
- After losing money gambling, often returning to get even (referred to as “chasing one’s losses)
- Lying to conceal gambling activity
- Jeopardizing or losing a significant relationship, job or educational/career opportunity because of gambling
- Relying on others to help with problems caused by gambling
If you have felt or done any of the above, you might need to take control of your gambling. BeGambleAware has an anonymous online test you can try to get further indication of your gambling habits.
You are not alone
A literature review published in Journal of Behavioral Addiction (2016) suggests that gambling problem prevalence worldwide is from 0.12 percent up to 5.8 percent. According to an older and well cited research published in 1998, the prevalence was 4.7 percent.
Whatever the actual prevalence is, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from gambling addiction globally.
Where to find help
The National Problem Gambling Helpline Network can be reached from 1-800-522-4700. It is available 24/7 and it is 100% confidential. More information and further contact details can be found here.
According to APA, problem gamblers are at increased risk of suicide. It is very important to take any thoughts or talk of suicide seriously. For immediate attention, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
How To Contact Us
As a small team we only have so many hours in the day, which is why we always prioritise player emails over everyone else.
If you are a casino player and have a question, comment, feedback or request for help please email us at [email protected]
For press/media enquiries please email us at [email protected]
If you work for a casino or other gaming company and want to say hello or discuss partnerships please email us at: [email protected]