Gambling is as old as time. Originally, it was a way of having fun, socializing, and perhaps earn a few coins. As the game progressed, the stakes got higher and the players became more serious about this “fun activity”. From the streets of the Roman Empire, modern casinos moved to over-the-top establishments meant to attract as many people and to keep them coming back hopefully every day. The word “gambling” itself has a Latin origin meaning “to be enslaved”. The phrase has never been truer than today.
Even though every individual is responsible for their behaviors, still a lot of blame has been put on casinos themselves with claims that they do everything in their power to play with people’s minds using manipulation and deceit. The bad rap was well-earned back in the 1960s when casinos were highly unregulated and were connected with all sorts of shady business.
To overcome a nasty public image and reestablish their reputation, more and more casinos today recognize gambling addiction. Some took a proactive stand with various implementing various features and limitations. Others are just business as usual. We are going to salute the ones who took some steps as much as they could to help out the people that took their gambling to extreme levels. Read on to learn the first signs of the addiction and the ways of how the casinos’ community along with your friends, family, and medical professionals can help.
Recognizing the problem
The gambling addiction will crawl in silently into your life and by the time you see the signs, it’s often too late to just quit cold turkey. It causes major disruptions in the life of a person and everyone else around him. This is a family affair that includes all family members and friends who are often the main enablers. Before you sink in deep into it, here are some first changes in behaviors that should be dealt with immediately.
- You can’t stop. Let’s expand this statement a bit. People who are addicted feel the uncontrollable urge to gamble. It’s not a superficial feeling of wanting to have a little fun, but rather a strong, intense need to log in to an online casino or to go to one. Everything else is put on the back burner until they satisfy the desire to gamble.
- Borrowing money. Once you go through your bank account, savings, credit cards, loans, children’s school fund, pawn jewelry, and other valuables and the rainy-day account to the last penny, the obvious next step is to borrow money from your friends and family. You are in deep trouble without seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Depression and desperation set in often triggering mental illnesses. At this stage, you are way overdue to see the problem and do something about it.
- Gambling in secret. At some point, you will find yourself hiding your phone if gambling online, or making up lies like having a last-minute meeting at the office while you’re gambling away in the casino. This is a classic sign of addiction, any addiction, not just gambling. Secretly feeding the monster in your head telling you that you need to gamble is just making things worse. Admitting to others that you have a problem and asking for help might be a hard thing to do, but it’s a step in the right direction.
Casinos took part in fighting gambling addiction in an attempt to be recognized as part of the solution and not a problem. Gambling is part of the entertainment industry and casinos want to be recognized as liable establishments. To achieve this, managements have implemented some limitations that can very well restrain gamblers or at least curb their need for playing to the last dime. Check out betenemy.com for some tactics and experienced forecasts in sports’ betting.
- Deposit limits are put in place in every reputable casino. Only a certain amount of money can be deposited into player’s accounts over a chosen period, day, week, or month. This will help some people to gain at least a bit of control over their spending and give them an insight into how much are they gambling away.
- Loss limits have the same purpose. Once a player hits the pre-set limit of how much he can afford to lose, he cannot place any more bets. In the beginning, this might be frustrating for hardcore gamblers, but in time many get used to it and even go a step further in controlling their spending habits.
- Time limits will reduce their time spent in the casino, but not the amount of money. This is a good tactic for those who don’t place large bets since a big-time gambler can lose thousands in a matter of minutes. So, be true to yourself, this might or might not be the right limitation that will affect your addiction.
- Wager limits are great for people who, in frustration of losing, place an enormous bet on one hand. Impulsive gambling is a common occurrence among amateur gamblers with a serious addiction. With limitations in place, they will be unable to gamble beyond their means and hopefully leave the casino at least for the day.
How to stay in control
Gambling is only part of the problem. The other half is where the addiction starts to show its ugly face – chasing your losses. One bad streak or bad beat should be accepted as bad luck and move on. Unfortunately, at those moments’ gamblers start chasing their losses so that they can even-out somehow their account. The stage is set for the perfect storm. Very few people are able to save themselves from the claws of addiction at this point. To avoid these situations, once you lose a hand, get out of the casino. Write it off as a bad day and just move on with your daily business.
Stop acting as a clairvoyant. No one can predict whether the roulette wheel is going to stop on red or black – no one. It’s a machine that works completely randomly and unpredictably. Don’t fall for the gamblers’ delusions that they can forecast the next number on the wheel or the next card in the deck based on the previous draws. It is not possible.
Don’t spend money that you don’t have. First things first – don’t even come close to being broke so much so that you have to spend money that you don’t have. However, if you came to that point already – stop. You’re down to your last dollar and it is past time to leave the table. If you still choose to go ahead, know that you’re just going to dig your own hole. Get ahold of yourself and walk away.