For many Aussie players and gamblers worldwide, gambling is seen as a fun, occasional indulgence. For most gamblers, it remains an activity that is seen to be a hobby, with the focus being on entertainment. However, there are players out there it is not simply an entertaining activity. Some people get a rush off of the thrill of winning money and this can result in a gambling addiction. A gambling addiction is a very serious issue which can ultimately wreck families and leave your finances a mess.
So, What Is a Gambling Addiction?
Gambling addictions are easily comparable to any other impulse-control disorders. Impulse control disorders are when a person is unable to control their actions which could harm others and themselves. Therefore, gambling addiction can be grouped under the same umbrella as an alcoholic or a pyromaniac (someone who sets fires compulsively).
Keep in mind that there are different types of gambling addiction, and not all gambling addicts are addicted in the same way. Below are three of the core gambling addictions, along with a description on how to identify them:
This is when a player acts as a compulsive gambler but only periodically. By doing this periodically, they give the impression that they do not have a gambling problem. These gamblers can go for extended periods of time without gambling, but when they do gamble, they act in the same manner as a compulsive gambler.
This is the type of gambling addiction that most people think of when speaking on the topic. Compulsive gamblers have no control over their gambling and will continue to gamble regardless of the consequences. In the case when they are unable to fund their bets they will make excuses and continue to place bets that they are aware they will not be able to repay if they make a loss.
- This form of gambling is considered the lesser of the evils. Problem gambling is when a person is not completely addicted to gambling. Although these gamblers may not be considered compulsive gamblers, their gambling does still cause problems in their life. People with problem gambling have the following tell signs: A gambler will chase their losses.
- They start lying to their families and friends.
- A player will realise they are gambling more often than not.
- They cannot or do not want to stop gambling.
Is a Gambling Addiction Common?
It is difficult to quantify a gambling addiction, as it is only addressed when the person or their family members are aware of the symptoms. However, many studies have been conducted and they all seem to come to a similar conclusion:
- Between 2% and 3% of players are problem gamblers.
- Compulsive gamblers are more rare, affecting approximately 1% of players.
It is important to note however, that these statistics are different in parts of the world where gambling is more prominent. For instance, Las Vegas has more problem gamblers than mainland China, where gambling is illegal.
Best Ways to Identify a Gambling Addiction
It is not always as easy as some may think to identify a person with a gambling addiction. This is because it often goes unnoticed. This could be because players attempt to justify their problem, which could assist in concealing the issue.
Listed below are symptoms to keep on the lookout for to identify a person with a gambling addiction:
- Gambling, and when to gamble next, fills the players’ thoughts.
- Bets are increasingly higher so that the player can get the same thrill.
- When trying to cut back on their gambling, they get frustrated and annoyed.
- These players often gambling as an escape from the real world.
- Will lie to family and friends to hide their activities.
- A gambler might use friends and family to fund their gambling, or cover their gambling losses.
- A player repeatedly tries and fails to stop gambling.
Gambling addiction is an issue that should not be taken lightly, as it can put you or your family as financial risk. If you, or someone you may, know displays the above symptoms it is highly recommended that you seek immediate help. With countless helplines available globally, there is help available where ever and whenever you may need it.
Gambling Addiction Help
A recommended centre to contact is the Gambling Help Online Organisation. This is where Aussie gamblers are able to reach their 24/7 toll free help line: 1800 858 858. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.