Enjoy betting sensibly
If performed correctly betting can be fun, however, it can easily turn into a negative experience. We know it sounds boring but gambling addiction is a serious problem that affects many people. Our role at bettingexpert is to provide you with as much information as possible about online betting so you are best equipped to have a positive betting experience. Our advice cannot guarantee to that you will win however it will maximise your chances of success. It is important to recognise that a positive betting experience is not just about winning but that losing is also an inevitable part of betting.
It is important to recognise your level of betting ability as many gambling problems derive from people thinking they are better than they are. Unless you are a truly experienced or a professional gambler we don’t think earning money should be your main priority when betting. For the regular/casual gamer, your main priority should be to have fun. Money certainly adds to the enjoyment and the higher the stakes the higher the thrill but it is easy to get addicted to this thrill and allow your betting to get out of control. Be honest to yourself about your betting and make sure that your betting behaviour matches your experience and ability. Being open about your betting experiences to others can help keep your betting under control.
Remember: you should never bet what you can’t afford to lose. Make sure you carefully monitor how much you are spending on your betting and adjust your stakes accordingly. Bankroll management is a very important aspect of betting and you can read more about how to manage your bankroll in our academy.
Definition of compulsive gambling
Gambling addictions, also known as compulsive gambling, are characterized as an impulse-control disorder. Those diagnosed with gambling addictions cannot refrain from gambling, regardless of the financial consequences and strains on their relationships. Their behaviour results from the impulse to gamble, without taking into consideration the negative impacts of their behaviour. The intoxication of a “big win” produces a high which the gambler tries to obtain again. Compulsive gamblers also fall victim to the “gambler’s fallacy” in which they believe they can predict the future chance events based on past events, fuelling their compulsion and false-belief in future successes with gambling.
Gambling addictions can be sub-typed into two distinct categories:
- Type one is classified as Action Gamblers. Action Gamblers are drawn to compulsive gambling because of the “risk” involved, and usually prefer gambling around others and prefer games of skill.
- The second type of compulsive gambling is an Escape Gambler. These gamblers are compelled to gamble in order to escape some sort of pain, where they can numb their worries, loneliness and pain.
Early warning signs
Like most mental illnesses, sure signs of gambling addictions appear when one’s gambling behaviours begin to interfere with their ordinary day-to-day life and relationships. Since compulsive gambling is not a physical illness, the symptoms of gambling addictions are sometimes more difficult to detect. Furthermore, like most illnesses, the gambler tries to conceal their behaviour and keep their impulses secretive, in order to alleviate suspicions and concerns. However, some signs of compulsive gambling problems include: lack of money without income change, overdue bills, secrecy over finances, stealing, borrowing or selling things for extra dispensable cash, secrecy over time spent gambling, neglecting family and personal obligations, using gambling to celebrate, as well as deal with stress.
Addicted gamblers tend to go through a four phase process of addiction:
- Phase I is the Winning Phase where the gambler experiences “big win” which causes the gambler to attribute his/her win to their own personal talent, and strive to continue their success.
- Phase II is the Losing Phase where they, despite losing large sums, become more concerned with gambling and begin to ignore family, friends, work and the realization that they are losing.
- Phase III is the Desperation Phase where they lose all control over their gambling habits. Continually losing money, and hoping to win it back, causes them to realize their problem, but are unable to stop. Often times, their neglect of reality causes job loss, divorce, ruined relationships and financial and criminal troubles.
- Phase IV is the Hopeless Phase where the gambler has lost everything, even hope. They often resort to drugs or alcohol to deal with their losses and some even go as far as suicide or suicidal attempts.
Treatment and getting help
There are several methods to help an individual deal with their gambling addiction. All treatments however require the individual to first admit that they do in fact have a problem. Methods such as Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy and participation in recovery programs are the first steps to getting treatment and help compulsive gamblers rebuild their personal lives, finances and stability. For more information on treatment programs, as well as hotlines, diagnoses, and self-help programs, please see the following websites.
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Compulsive Gambling Help
- The National Council on Problem Gambling
- Gambling Therapy
Another suggestion to help treat compulsive gambling problems is to install programs which won’t allow gambling software to run on your computer. This removes the temptation to participate in online gambling and removes a significant contributor to secretive gambling. If you are worried that your betting is becoming a serious problem you should consider using this kind of program to help reduce the opportunity to bet. We recommend the software called Gamblock.
Remember to enjoy the excitement that betting incites and make positive choices in your gambling behaviour.
May you have happy, safe and enjoyable betting experiences!