Do you suspect or know that you have a gambling problem? If you aren’t sure, but think you might, then chances are that you do.
We all know that gambling is supposed to be a bit of fun, but we have also all heard of someone that has gotten carried away and gone too far. Lets face it, some people do become addicted to gambling, always chasing that next big win that is always “just around the corner”. That does not have to be you.
Warning signs of problem gambling
We would like to share with you a set of 20 questions posed by Gamblers Anonymous that you should ask yourself if you think you may have a gambling problem:
- Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
- Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
- Did gambling affect your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
- Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
- Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
- Were you reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
- Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
- Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?
Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.
Responsible gambling tips
So, what can you do to mitigate the risk of getting yourself into trouble? UK problem gambling support organisation GamCare publishes the following tips for gambling responsibly on their website:
- You’re buying fun, not investing your money
- Before playing, set strict limits on how much time and money you’re going to spend
- Quit while you’re ahead
- Only gamble with money you can afford to lose
- Don’t spend more money on gambling with the hope to win back money that you have lost
- Keep up other interests and hobbies – don’t let gambling take over your life
- Don’t gamble in order to escape from stress or boredom
- Gambling in moderation is okay
- The key is… if you choose to gamble, gamble responsibly!
The following software packages may be used to block access to gambling sites on your computer. Installing one of these programs is highly recommended as a first step to stopping gambling altogether.
- Gamblock: Commercial anti-gambing software for Windows, Android, and Apple IOS devices.
- Gamban: Commercial anti-gambing software for Windows and Mac OS X.
- BetFilter: Commercial anti-gambing software for Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and Apple IOS devices.
- Net Nanny: Commercial web filtering and parental control software for Windows, Mac OS X, Android, and Apple IOS devices that includes a gambling sites category.
- CyberSitter: Commercial web filtering and parental control software for Windows.
Help and support organisations
If you find yourself in a situation where gambling has become a problem for you, then you are well advised to tell someone and get some help as soon as possible. Following are some resources that provide help for problem gamblers in many countries:
Gamblers Anonymous: International support group for people with a gambling problem.
Gambling Help Online: 1800-858-858
Responsible Gambling Council: Canadian non-profit organisation dedicated to problem gambling prevention
British Columbia Responsible & Problem Gambling Program: 1888-795-6111
Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (BZgA): 0800-1-37-27-00
Caritas Addicted Gamblers Counselling Centre: (852)-1834-633
GambleAware Ireland: 1800-753-753
Stichting Anonieme Gokkers Omgeving Gokkers: 0900-217-7721
Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand: 0800-664-262
Careplay: 041 367 48 47
National Council on Problem Gambling: United States based national advocate for programs and services to assist problem gamblers and their families.
CA: California Council on Problem Gambling: 1800-426-2537
FL: Florida Council on Problem Gambling: 888-ADMIT-IT
MA: Massachusetts Council on Problem Gambling: 1800-426-1234
NJ: Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey: 1800-GAMBLER
NM: New Mexico Council on Problem Gambling: 1800-572-1142
NV: Nevada Council on Problem Gambling: 1800-522-4700
NY: New York Council on Problem Gambling: 1877-846-7369