The average gambler enjoys an online casino as they were meant to be enjoyed, as a potentially profitable way to while away a few hours. Most never have problems associated with gambling but sadly, a small percentage can’t say that. Responsible gaming is a good rule for everyone to follow, not just those with a tendency to overdo it.
Reputable online casinos are known to put in an effort to keep it fun for their players and also throw in a little caution by promoting safe (responsible) gambling. On most landing pages there should be a help section posted in a place of prominence so those with gambling issues have easy access to the data they need for control.
Follow a Few Simple Rules and Keep Gaming Fun
There are steps you can take to avoid developing an obsession and taking all the fun out of the whole online gaming experience. If you feel that you can’t follow these steps or that they must be meant for other people, it may be time to use that contact information posted on the next site you visit.
• Monitor Your Time – The online world may be loads of fun, but in reality, you can’t live there. If you are neglecting other area of life to play, set up a particular time of day for gaming, and stick to it.
• Limit Deposits – Use the option that allows you to watch your spending more carefully. It’s far too easy to spend an amazing amount of money online, set limits and then respect them. You can always remove them but remember, they are there to help you avoid major problems with over-spending.
• Keep Records of Activity – This is a really helpful option. Instant access to data that shows exactly how much you’ve spent or withdrawn will help you stay in control.
• Autoplay Controls – Those that enjoy the auto-play feature can take advantage of being able to select stake and loss limits before gaming begins. This feature even allows for a pause in the game when you hit a jackpot to help safeguard your winnings.
• Back Away Periodically – Have you ever noticed no matter how much you enjoy doing something (or how well you do it) too much of a fun thing dulls the shine or kills the excitement? Taking a day or few weeks off from online playing now and then helps keep the game fun and fresh.
• Self-Exclusion – If gaming becomes an issue in your life, you do have the option of excluding yourself for however long it takes to gain control again.
How to Know When You’ve Got a Problem
There are questions you can ask yourself, and if you answer them all honestly, they will let you know if you have reason for concern. You may not feel as if you need to ask yourself anything, but if your gaming isn’t as fun as it used to be maybe you should think again and ask anyway. If you can answer yes to any of the following questions, it’s not just a game anymore and time to seek help from the many sources available online, or possibly seek private counseling.
• Do you take time away from necessary things like work or family obligations to spend gaming time alone with your computer?
• Are you upping your bets more and more to maintain a certain level of excitement?
• Are you subject to mood swings, and become angry or nervous when you can’t gamble?
• Answering this one honestly couldn’t be more important. Do you gamble to get away from other issues in life that you can’t control?
• Have you ever lied about winning? Do you tell people you think are judging you it’s okay because your winning when in fact, you are losing?
• Have you tried and failed to spend less money gambling?
• Have you ever been dishonest to get more money for gambling?
• Do you ever lose online and then go back another day intending to win back what you lost?
• Do you avoid talking about your gambling around people who mean something to you? Do you hide it from them?
• Have you borrowed money you couldn’t pay back because you lost it gaming or been in a position where you couldn’t pay expenses because you lost the money on a bet?
• Have you sold personal possessions (yours or someone else’s) to get money for gambling or to pay gambling debts?
• Do you break promises to family or friends, or lie to them because you’d rather be gambling?
If you answered yes to any of the above, and accept that you have a problem, don’t let pride or fear stop you from getting help and regaining control. You must confront an issue to beat it, and that is especially true for gambling problems. Maybe you can do this on your own, or maybe not. That is another question that must be answered with 100% honesty.
Practical Steps Toward Control
You may need to give up free-will for a time and allow others to help you win the “addiction” battle. Yes, gambling can be very addictive and for those unfortunate few, they are usually well hooked before they even realize there is a problem. Compare it to substance abuse if you like, some can drink or smoke with no ill effects of any kind, then there are those that can’t.
There is no shame in it unless you know the problem exists and do nothing about it. That’s when shame enters the picture. It’s not mission impossible. Try doing the following and regain control the same way so many others have had to do:
• Ask another person to handle your finances for a certain amount of time. Get help setting up a budget and make sure your helper has the power to enforce the plan whether you want to stick to it or not.
• Gaming sites have tools that allow you to limit spending, use them, they are there to help you
• It’s funny how extra money shows up in the budget after a certain amount of “gambling free” time. Use the extra to treat yourself or loved ones to a bit of computer free fun.
• When nothing is working, and your gambling issues aren’t getting any easier to control, USE THE OFF SWITCH and self-exclude yourself from all gaming sites.
• Visit www.gamblock.com. Should you decide to use it (highly recommended) it will help you prevent access to any online gaming sites for those days when it’s hard to say no.
Hanging a printed calendar in a place where you can’t fail to see it every day is very encouraging and helpful. As you mark each day you haven’t gambled all you have to do at a low moment is look up at your calendar to see the progress you’ve made, and it gets easier every time you do.