Though online casino gambling is hugely popular and a great deal of fun, there are sadly some inherent risks with all forms of gambling. Problem gambling is a blanket term for various levels of gambling addiction, where players become addicted to the excitement of gambling and the risks. While this is certainly not limited to online play, it can be harder to control online because of how easy it is to access. Online casinos work to prevent problem gambling and offer help for those in need. Always speak to a site’s support team or organisations like Gamcare if you feel that you need help managing your play. The focus should always be on fun!
Just as with many forms of addiction, identifying and acknowledging the problem is the first step. This goes hand in hand with prevention, because once you know the risks, you’re more aware of changes to your behaviour (or to changes in the behaviour of friends and family). Like any addiction, problem gambling is characterised by uncontrollable urges to play more even when you know rationally that it’s a bad idea. Slipping into this behaviour is a very subtle process and it can be extremely hard to notice, which is why being aware of the risks is vital.
There are a few ways in which a person can unknowingly become addicted to gambling, or even present the same symptoms without an actual addiction (problem gambling is not always about literal addiction, but can simply be a case of failing to play responsibly). Chasing losses is perhaps the most common, a situation where you lose some money on a casino and decide to deposit more, in the hopes of winning it back. After attempting this a few times, you can easily find that you’re spending a lot of money with no return! If this is more money than you can afford to lose, it is therefore problem gambling, even if you don’t suffer an outright addiction.
To combat this, online casinos take measures to prevent problem gambling, just as traditional casinos will eject or bar people with these issues. All the best sites have guidelines and support for this problem, so speak to your site’s support team if you feel that you have any issues with spending too much. Sites can ban players in extreme cases, or they can simply utilize account controls. Many casinos, for example, can limit how much you’re able to deposit in a week period. That way, you cannot spend out of control. You can always seek out organisations in your country which offer anonymous advice about gambling addiction. There are many people in the world who suffer with problem gambling, so always remember that you are not alone and that there are support forums and organisations available. Open discussion is always the best way to identify and tackle these dangers, so that gambling can remain a fun and safe pastime.