Gambling addiction is a major problem at both land-based and online casinos. We want people to gamble safely and responsibly, staying as far away from the problems surrounding gambling addiction as possible.
For this reason we make extra effort to create a good source of information about this, and this is also the reason why this section has been created on our website.
Understand that gambling is NOT a way to make money
Constantly trying to hit the jackpot and wipe out your losses are two of the main symptoms of a gambling addiction. You just keep waiting for that jackpot and hoping to make back all the money you lost or even more.
But this "big break" never comes, and you just dig a deeper hole for yourself.
It is very important that you understand that gambling will not make you rich. Every online casino is organized in such a way that the casino always has an advantage. This casino advantage is known as the "house edge".
You can find more information about this in our articles on RTP and volatility. It only focuses on casino games, but it works in a similar way when betting on sports matches, bingo, scratch cards, the lottery and all other forms of gambling.
The house edge makes you lose a small percentage of any bet, making it virtually impossible to make money in the long run. Each game is set up differently, but they all have the same factor in common – you will eventually lose money if you keep playing.
Always keep this in mind as it may change the way you think about gambling now. Winning money or at least recovering the money that was lost is most likely one of the reasons you gamble.
However, many professionals agree that the real reasons for gambling are much deeper than that. For example, when it comes to gambling addiction, money is often not even one of the reasons. This is often about "feeding" the addiction, where money is a necessary ingredient.
Many gamblers also don't stop when they finally hit that jackpot, but keep playing until they've lost everything or until they realize they've got a big problem, after which they can start doing something about it.
The sooner you realize that gambling is not a way to make money, the better it will be for you and the more fun you will have playing.
Gambling Addiction Symptoms and Diagnosis
It is very important to be able to tell if the way you are betting is normal or problematic because if you don't know you can't act on it correctly.
A gambling addiction affects just about all aspects of life, so the symptoms also show up in different parts. Symptoms can range from minor mental changes to committing illegal acts to fund your gambling addiction.
It is known by many names; problem gambling, ludomania, gambling disorder, pathological gambling, compulsive gambling, gambling addiction. Even though these terms may differ slightly in precise definition, the "core" meaning is the same in all of them.
Gambling is seen as problematic when the person feels the compulsion to continue playing despite the harmful and negative consequences it entails.
You may see gambling as a harmless activity at the moment, but the moment it develops into something that has a negative impact on your life, the negative consequences can be disastrous.
The Three Stages of Gambling Addiction
Let's start with the three stages of problem (or compulsive) gambling, as described by Robert L. Custer, M.D., in his research on compulsive gambling and its recovery. This study also includes the three stages of recovery.
1. The winning stage
Gambling addictions don't always start with losing money, but with winning. The first time someone wins a lot (or even little) while gambling, it can make that person even more interested in gambling.
This often develops into a gambling problem or even a serious addiction.
Gambling becomes more common usually after the first winning experiences, combined with the fantasies about more winnings. A person may become very enthusiastic about gambling and enjoy winning, and gradually become more and more obsessed with it.
During the winning phase, gambling is generally not considered a problem by either the gamblers themselves or those around them. It is often seen here as a form of entertainment and it usually occurs as a group activity.
2. The losing phase
As has been mentioned countless times, it is not possible to keep winning money at online casinos over the long term. It is therefore logical that the winning phase will eventually come to an end. This is the starting point of the losing phase.
During the losing phase, the player may experience prolonged betting sessions without winning, begin to gamble alone, and become more and more involved. But with the fact that they are now losing money instead of winning (and not even breaking even), the gambling is starting to become a problem here.
Gambling starts to become a problem not only from losing money, but also from changes in your ersonality, absence from work, careless attitude, and so on.
We'll list more of these symptoms later in the article, most of which arise in the losing phase.
Money also becomes a major issue at this stage. It is difficult to keep getting enough "fuel" for a long-term gambling addiction, which is why people often start here by borrowing money or looking for alternative ways to obtain money with which to gamble (both legal and illegal). ). Debts are starting to pile up and it is also becoming increasingly difficult to pay them back.
3. The Despair Phase
The despair phase follows. The amount of time you spend gambling increases even more, and many people engage in illegal acts at this stage to get more money.
Feelings of regret and panic are common as players realize what they have done and how difficult they have made it to go back to their "normal" lives.
The person's reputation is often negatively affected at this stage as other people begin to notice the problematic gambling habits. Work and social life are also starting to suffer.
Because it is difficult to take responsibility for what has already happened, it is quite common for the gambling addicts to blame other people for the setbacks they experience from problem gambling.
After the despair phase, the gamblers hit rock bottom. This is characterized by hopelessness and that they become more and more isolated when the person does not have enough money to continue gambling.
Furthermore, alcohol and drug use are quite common here. Also, seeking illegal ways to earn money is very common along with being arrested for these illegal acts. Most emotional breakdowns and suicidal thoughts also occur during this time.
How to treat and overcome a gambling addiction
Once gambling has developed into a problem or addiction, it is not easy to get rid of it.
However, it is possible to get over your addiction, and there are several methods that can help the gambler with their battle against problem gambling, pathological gambling, gambling disorders or a gambling addiction.
The three stages of recovery from gambling addiction
Robert L. Custer, M.D., a psychiatrist who has pioneered research into the treatment of pathological and problem gambling, established a model consisting of three phases of compulsive gambling and three phases of recovery.
It has been decades since these three phases were first described and the gambling industry has changed a lot in the meantime, but the core principles remain the same.
The three stages of compulsive gambling are; the winning phase, the losing phase, and the despair phase. After a person has gone through these three phases, they really hit the bottom.
Responsible Gambling Resources
Gambling addiction is a major problem in the online gambling world. Due to the fact that an online casino is available almost anytime, anywhere, many players have a hard time keeping their gambling habits at a healthy level.
Responsible Gambling is an initiative of online gambling providers, regulatory authorities and other bodies that investigate gambling habits. The aim of the initiative is to provide players with all the resources they need to regulate their gambling habits.
This is done, for example, by being able to set different limits, self-exclusion options and other means, which ensures that the players can gamble responsibly and safely.
Online casinos offer different ways for players to stay safe while playing casino games:
If you do not want to set a limit on your access to an online casino, it is also possible to set the maximum amount of money that can be deposited into your account.
This ensures that you regulate how much you spend on gambling as you can only deposit a certain amount within a selected period.
Limits on amount of loss
Many casinos also offer the option of limiting the maximum you can lose during a selected period. This limit works in many ways the same as the deposit limit, only this limit also applies to the money that the player already has in his account, which the deposit limit does not.
The wagering limit is also very similar to the previously mentioned limits, however this limit limits the amount you can wager within a certain period of time. On this limit, the result (winning or losing money) alone has no influence.
Session length limits
Some casinos also have a limit on the length of a gambling session, where you can only gamble for a predetermined amount of time within a certain period of time. Once you reach this limit you will not be able to continue gambling until the time period has expired.
Bet Size Limits
If you don't want to limit yourself in the amount you can play and the size of your deposits, but you do want to set a limit on the size of your bet, there is also an appropriate option for this. This form of limit is very self-explanatory – you cannot bet more than the limit you have set beforehand.
A reality check is also a useful way to regulate yourself while gambling, but it works differently than the previous limits.
A reality check does not set limits, but gives you useful information about your gambling session after you have played for a certain time.
This is not directly related to playing, but it is still very important. Many casinos give players the option to stop receiving emails.
By using this option, the players prevent the casino from sending them promotional emails and messages, calling or emailing them, and so on.
We composed an article about How to Quit Gambling here (Link)
Renowned aid organizations in the gambling industry in Canada
In Canada, there are several organisations you can consult if you have a gambling problem or you think you might have a problem with gambling.
The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is responsible for the issues that involve responsible gambling:
RGC Mailing Address
411 Richmond Street East, Suite 205,
Toronto, ON, Canada M5A 3S5
Phone: +1 (416) 499-9800
Fax: +1 (416–499-8260
Also, there is a Responsible Gaming Network that is effectively operating in Canada. They take care of the players offline and online under email: email@example.com.
Also, in every region of Canada, each Commission is directly responsible for the players to have the safety and professional help. Even in different state, you can contact these organisations:
Ontario Gambling Commission - Call 1-866-531-2600 or go to ConnexOntario.ca
Lotto Quebec - Call 1800- 461 - 0140
Remember that gambling is very addictive and you need to be aware of the consequences. You do not need to be ashamed if you see some signs in yourself. The help is very close and it is reliable and anonymous.