When the Fun Stops: How Problem Gambling Can Affect Your Daily Life
Gambling can be a fun and exciting way to spend your time, but when it becomes excessive, it can have serious consequences on your daily life.
In the UK, the gambling industry is heavily regulated to ensure that players are protected. However, it’s still important for individuals to take responsibility for their own actions and understand the risks of problem gambling.
First and foremost, it’s important to stay safe while gambling. Only gamble at licensed and regulated establishments, both in-person and online. The UK Gambling Commission regulates all gambling in the UK, and any establishment that is not licensed by them should be avoided. Additionally, make sure to set a budget and stick to it. Gambling should never interfere with your ability to pay bills or meet other financial obligations.
‘I can easily walk away’! The risks of problem gambling
It’s easy to tell yourself that you can walk away if you feel like you’re losing beyond your means. However, chasing losses can sometimes prove too hard to escape from. Unfortunately, this can spiral out of control quite fast and lead to excessive, or ‘problem’, gambling.
Excessive gambling can lead to financial problems, as individuals may gamble away their savings or accumulate crippling debt. This can develop into problems with relationships and work, as the individual may struggle to meet obligations or hide their gambling from loved ones. Additionally, problem gambling can lead to mental health issues, including depression and anxiety.
Tips to avoid problem gambling
We’re not saying gambling is a one-way ticket to financial, mental and emotional ruin. Gambling can be one of the most exciting, fulfilling activities to partake in. It’s about knowing how to keep it responsible, fun, and free. So, how can you gamble responsibly and avoid problem gambling?
Firstly, set limits on your time and money. Only gamble for a set amount of time, and once that time is up, stop playing. Similarly, set a budget for your gambling and never exceed it. It can also be helpful to take frequent breaks while gambling and to not let gambling become the only activity you participate in.
It may also be wise to monitor how often you gamble. Remember if you gamble online, the websites must provide access to your account activity. Having information about when you have gambled, how long you have spent gambling, and how often you log in will help you to control your gambling habits and make informed decisions based on your recent gambling activity.
Another tip to avoid problem gambling is to think about the reasons why you are gambling. For example, is it a social activity you only partake in when out with mates, or has it turned into a habit? If your main reason for gambling is for financial gain or to escape debt, perhaps you should speak to a financial advisor and take a break from the casino.
Problem gambling resources
If you’re concerned that you or someone you know may have a problem with gambling, there are resources available to help.
The National Gambling Helpline, run by the charity GamCare, provides free and confidential support to anyone affected by gambling. Additionally, there are self-exclusion programs available, which allow individuals to ban themselves from gambling establishments or websites for a set amount of time.
The UK gambling industry is heavily regulated, with measures in place to protect players and prevent problem gambling. For example, gambling establishments are required to provide information on responsible gambling, and to provide resources to those who may be struggling. Additionally, the industry has implemented strict age verification processes to prevent minors from gambling.
When the fun stops…
To conclude, gambling can be a fun and exciting way to spend your time, but it’s important to understand the risks of problem gambling and gamble responsibly. By setting limits on time and money, taking frequent breaks, and seeking help if needed, you can experience all the joys of gambling without it negatively impacting you and the people around you.
Remember, when the fun stops, stop.
With an education from the University of Cambridge and while working with iGaming for the last 6 years, Stephen has obtained a lot of knowledge about the industry. He usually writes about the different types of online casinos, casino bonuses and various gambling strategies.Read more about the author