Responsible Gambling

Gambling is always perceived as fun and entertainment, spiced up by the adrenaline and thrill of winning real money. Millions of people take part in gambling and betting, and approach it as a game where you bet small and have a chance to win big - or lose when losing is not a big deal.

Play Responsible with Casinos Hunter!

Responsible Gambling Casinos Hunter

However, scientists and even casino operators have already agreed on the fact that gambling can be addictive, and it in fact is extremely addictive for some people. This has little to do with personality or will power. Being prone or insensitive to addictions of any kind is rooted more in chemistry of our brain, and to some degree - in psychological and sociological peculiarities of each person’s life.

Responsible Gambling, in its turn, is a set of rules and practices that allow the punter to play is safely, keep the entertainment within safe and healthy borders, and prevent negative effects of problem gambling. Responsible Gambling practices should be pursued both by the player and by the venue they make bets at. In other words, operators and businesses in the niche also has their own guidelines to enable Responsible Gambling practices for their customers.

If Responsible Gambling protocols are not enabled, or the customer is especially vulnerable to addictions, gambling addiction may develop.

What Is Gambling Addiction

Gambling addiction is a mental health condition, which is characterized by similar symptoms as other addictions (for example, drug addiction) and certain psychological disorders (like phobias). The simple description of addiction is that the person is unable to control or change their behavior patterns connected to the source of addiction, even when the person is already aware that the behavior patterns are harmful or dangerous for themselves or their social circle.

There are different reasons for addiction development, and in fact, various symptoms signaling about it. So, it is hard to identify addiction unless one reveals it clearly, or by checking side effects (like financial problems or avoiding work). To make the picture clear, let’s discuss the potential causes in the first place.

What Causes Gambling Addiction

The combination of factors that together can eventually contribute to the development of gambling addiction is unique for every single punter. Therefore, one cannot be blamed for developing a gambling addiction because they have financial issues and were trying to win some money, while others develop similar addiction being financially secure.

However, there are three main categories of causes that contribute heavily to developing a dangerous addiction to punting.

Biological Causes

One of the main set of causes is biological predisposition. Different people react differently to the same events or things - while some get excited, others are indifferent, etc. Each person’s brain is triggered by different factors. This is the reason why some person falls in love with you while others don’t, or why some people develop addiction to alcohol while others do not, even if they consume the same quantities of liquor.

With biological predisposition to gambling the story is the same. Researchers state that compulsive gamblers’ brains react to casino games as if the person consumed a chemical drug - the body released the hormones of happiness, excitement and even euphoria. Addiction to gambling may seem weird, as the person does not literally consume anything like it is with alcohol, drugs, or chocolate. However, the point is that the punter is addicted not to the game itself, but to the chemicals released by their brain when they are gambling.

Some scientists even state that predisposition to compulsive gambling can be genetically inherited - which is reasonable, because it means that the brain chemistry can be triggered by this or that activity in a certain predictable way. Biological causes of gambling are actually the most powerful.

Psychological Causes

While biological causes are pretty much direct in contributing into addiction development, psychological causes have indirect effect which is harder to track. The main reason here is the punter’s distorted thinking and their belief into the myths of gambling. If the person believes that they will be able to earn monthly income by playing slots at an online casino, they will proceed with playing even if the statistical data of their losses and wins shows that their plan was impossible.

Another side of the coin is that it is punter’s psychology that prevents them from admitting they have a problem, and getting help. They tend to be over confident, minimize their losses and boast about their wins, and deny the development of problem behavior altogether. Distorted patterns of thinking do not allow compulsive punters to recognize their loss, and they do not accept they could be wrong about their gambling presumptions. Their desire to win the lost money back is stronger than their self-preservation instinct that tells them to stop and take a pause.

Social Causes

A certain social circle, or lack of it, can also make an indirect but significant input into problem behavior development. When a person has issues at work or at home, when they experience troubles and face low to now support from their family and friends, they may envision escape from reality into gambling addiction. Real money betting can be both an escape from problems, and a desired way to “prove them all” that t

the person is worth something - when this person wins tons of money on jackpot.

The other potential social cause is simply one’s social environment. If everyone around is playing, the person is more likely to also give it a try at least once. If other factors contribute, or if there is a biological predisposition, a new compulsive gambler arrives. Moreover, social environment does not allow the person to stop problem behavior, because it means being dropped out of the circle and lose support of like-minded people. Social circles of gamblers often support myths and false beliefs about gambling, that influence the belief system, thinking, and psychology of other potential punters.

Recognizing You Have a Problem

The hardest step is to recognize that the problem exists, and the person has run into trouble. One of the hardest parts is not to stop gambling, but rather to admit the person has failed to keep the situation under control. However, we already know that addiction has little to do with control - especially when the biological cause, or a combination of causes, have contributed.

Another obstacle to managing the problem is the reluctance of the punter to admit the problem, because they may consider gambling to be “the only joy in life”. The punter may admit that their punting patterns are too much, but in their opinion, there is nothing in their life that could replace this activity and be equally satisfying. The punters may also successfully rationalize their behavior and hide the problem.

Yet, it is easy to go through a reality check by looking through a list of potential symptoms that signal about addiction.

Problem Gambling - Symptoms

For different people, symptoms may differ, but the most common are:

Increasing investments

Increasing investments

the deposits and bets increase with time, to achieve the desired results
Irritation when no access to games

Irritation when no access to games

the person is irritated or restless if they cannot play games (for example, if they are offline and can’t connect to the site)
Failed control

Failed control

there were several repeated but unsuccessful attempts to cut on gambling or control it
Compulsive thinking

Compulsive thinking

the person thinks about their playing frequently (like decides how to get money for next deposit)
Chasing losses

Chasing losses

the person chases their losses - after losing money, they go back and play even more to at least “break even”
Escaping the reality

Escaping the reality

gambling becomes an activity to pursue when tired, depressed, or worried
Concealing gambling

Concealing gambling

the person hides their punting habits, the size of deposits, and size of losses, from significant others in their lives
Problems in life

Problems in life

the person experiences problems in relations or loses their job because of gambling habits
Borrowing cash to play

Borrowing cash to play

the person seeks financial help from others to finance their playing
Chasing money

Chasing money

entertainment is no longer pursued when gambling - the punter has a goal to win money
Making gambling a priority

Making gambling a priority

gambling becomes a priority among other daily activities

Almost each of these symptoms can vary in depth and power. There are three benchmarks that can help identify the severity level.

The Benchmarks of Compulsive Gambling

There are three main stages or types of addiction - binge punter, problem punter, and compulsive punter.

The combination of behaviors can show what benchmark has been reached by this or that punter. In fact, uncontrolled punting on any level of severity cause certain negative effects and may have serious long term consequences on one’s life.

Negative Effects of Problem Gambling 

Addictive punting usually leads to a whole array of problems - from mental health and self-confidence, to ruined families and lost jobs. The most common issues include: 

While playing games, especially online, seems as not something tangible, these negative effects are real and can be destructive. Therefore, it makes sense to learn Responsible gambling practices and play it safe. 

How to Avoid Compulsive Gambling and Play It Safe 

We recommend to honestly assess your predisposition to gambling addiction. If it is mostly biological - like, you become over excited about any game or dispute - or if you have had any cases of noticing substance abuse, or if you know that your close family has or had cases of substance abuse or other addictions, perhaps you should stay away from betting altogether. Biological predisposition is extremely hard to control, and it is safer to avoid the problem at the source than solve it later. 

In case you would still want to play casino games or makes bets from time to time, check out the following recommendations: 

How to Protect Minors 

Talking about addictive playing, don’t forget that not only adults are under the risk. If you have minors in the family, protect them from access to games in the following ways: 

While these measures may seem too strict, and parents may think that these measures show no respect to their kid’s personal space, in reality, it depends on the parents’ approach whether the kid will feel their personal space violated or not. In any case, these measures will for sure prevent serious issues for the child. 

Are Casino Operators Responsible? 

Overall, it is not an operator’s or casino’s fault that somebody cannot stop gambling, because casinos and betting entertainments have existed for ages, but not each and every person who has ever made a bet developed an addiction. Moreover, as any other business, online casinos exist to make money, so the operators try to entice the potential customer, and also their loyal customers, to gamble more. 

As a result, generally, it is the punter’s responsibility to control their behavior and punting habits. However, it is a general practice in the gambling niche that reliable, reputable, and respectable platforms for betting and gaming have to provide means for addictive gambling prevention. 

The measures and options can differ, but the most popular means include: 

When you choose a web casino for punting, pay attention to those features and options. Contact the Customer Support for more information if you lack it. Even if you are not a compulsive gambler, checking this aspect is a good way to check the reliability of the site and operator altogether. 

How to Practice Responsible Gambling at Casino 

Depending on the tools provided by each particular platform, you will have a set of options for limiting your gambling, and setting the boundaries to spending or losses. The most popular things many customers do include: 

How to Get Help with Problem Gambling 

First and foremost, go through a reality check and analyze whether your punting habits have already shifted your priorities, or have already influenced some aspects of your life negatively. If yes, your next three steps are among the most complicated ones: 

Recognition of the problem is part of the solution, but merely admitting you have issues, and then doing nothing, is not solution. So, your next step is to take action: 

How to Help Someone with Gambling Addiction 

While gambling addiction has a powerful negative effect on the life of the punter, and their family’s life, it can be very difficult to recognize specifically compulsive gambling behavior, and not cheating, for example. If you believe your loved one has issues with gambling, consider these points for reality check: 

In case you suggest your loved one demonstrates some of these behaviors, take it serious and offer help. However, avoid one of the main mistakes that 99 percent of relatives do - avoid being judgemental and accusing. We understand your feelings about that, especially if your life is being ruined with someone else’s playing habits. However, the main task during your first steps is not to scare the person off. 

To avoid being judgemental, educate yourself on the problem, causes, and approaches. Moreover, you can take it a bit further and reflect upon potential circumstances that could lead to addiction. Maybe you remember when or how it all started, or recall a specific benchmark in life when gambling appeared. 

There is no guarantee that when you offer support to compulsive gambler, you will be able to persuade them to seek treatment, let alone get treatment and manage the problem. At least, don’t expect immediate reaction to your approaches. Unless the punter is your child, you have no power to convince an adult person to accomplish what they don’t want. 

One of the most popular strategies is family / friends intervention. The family and friends have to express their concern about one’s playing habits. However, this should not be done in a judgemental way. Moreover, before organizing an intervention, relatives should seek advice and counselling from an expert. This will enable them to build their strategy in a way that increases their chances to get into ear. 

Again, don’t expect immediate reaction. The first step is to make the person aware that their playing habits become unhealthy, and sometimes, this makes the person actually aware about that for the first time. As we have already mentioned, many binge or compulsive gamblers are very good at rationalizing their behavior. 

After the punter is aware of the situation and concern, offer your support, and let them assess the options. Ideally, the person should ask for further assistance and support on their own, but in most cases, you are the one who seeks therapy groups, therapists, etc., and then offers options to the punter. Please keep in mind that pushing the person to action is unlikely to have effect. The same is about financial help or help with their work/job - if you solve their problems without their effort, this will only support their belief that their playing habits don’t have consequences which are that negative for them. 

Gambling Addiction Resources for Canada 

In case you or your loved ones need counselling and assistance, please check out the following resources available in Canada: 

Global Gambling Addiction Resources

Global resources on education and assistance with compulsive gambling include: 

Gambling is fun and should be pursued as fun. With these resources, playing games and making bets can be pursued without harming one’s health and life.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I can afford my spendings on gambling, can I face negative issues?

Uncontrolled punting causes not only financial issues, but may ruin your relationships, or your health. So do not consider financial factor as the most crucial one. Losing a family because of gambling addiction is as critical as losing funds.

I play casino games from time to time, but when I do, I can’t stop. Is that addiction?

This looks like binge gambling. You may not feel much interest to playing most of the time, but your episodes of uncontrolled gambling can become more frequent. If they do, you are facing the risk of serious addiction.

Do only weak and irresponsible people develop addiction to gambling?

As we have already discussed, there are many factors that contribute to the development of addiction. If the main cause is a biological predisposition or brain chemistry disorder like depression, the power of will or responsibility has little to do with managing addiction.

Do only adults suffer from gambling addiction?

Children and teenagers are as vulnerable to mental health disorders as adults are. Moreover, with time, and technology development, more and more children and teens actually get exposed to gambling activities, so the risks increase.

Can I help an addicted loved one by paying their debts or providing for them if they lost a job?

This is one of the worst way to manage the situation. If the compulsive punter feels his problems are managed by someone else, they are not likely to change their unhealthy behavior. If you are not sure what steps to take, get a counselling with therapist.