Our goal at Greataussiepokies.com is to promote responsible gambling and provide assistance to fellow gamblers who are battling gambling addiction.
As much as the advancement of digital technology has made entertainment in the form of online gambling more accessible, it simultaneously made the situation more difficult for problem gamblers.
Around 160,000 (roughly 1% of the adult population) in Australia are problem gamblers, while as many as 350,000 (2.1% of the population) are exposed to the risk of developing gambling addiction.
Gambling carries an inherent financial risk, and anyone who doesn’t exercise moderation can quickly find themselves in a rough situation. However, there are various mechanisms you can employ to keep the urge to gamble from consuming your life. Additionally, multiple organisations provide help to those struggling to shake off their unhealthy gambling habits.
In this guide, we will introduce you to those mechanisms, show you how to recognise signs of addiction, and point you to the right people you can rely on for help. If you want to gamble responsibly online, without worrying that your hobby might turn into an addiction, read on.
Signs of Gambling Addiction
As with any addiction, the person affected is unlikely to realise, let alone admit that they have a problem. Usually, at the point where they are prepared to face the truth, the issue is rather severe. So before things get out of hand for you, a friend, or a loved one, you should learn what the early warning signs of gambling addiction are:
- Gambling is always on their mind. They don’t talk or even think about anything else.
- Problem gamblers tend to neglect everyday responsibilities in favour of gambling. This can lead to missing school or work.
- They use gambling as an escape from real-life troubles and difficulties.
- They tend to chase after their losses, often losing even larger amounts in the attempt.
- Most problem gamblers will lie about their gambling habits and will be reluctant to talk about how much time they spent in a casino.
- Gambling doesn’t end when they run out of money. Problem gamblers will often borrow money to gamble, and in extreme cases — even turn to crime to fund their addiction.
- Problem gamblers may relapse if they abruptly quit gambling altogether.
These are just some of the signs that may help you spot the problem before it escalates. Still, it’s easy to notice the pattern of behaviour — it almost always includes lying, lack of desire to do anything but gamble, obsessing over losses, neglecting friends, family, and even oneself.
Tailoring Your Online Gambling Experience
The question now is what we can do to prevent it, or if the problem already took root, efficiently deal with it. Luckily, people involved in the online gabling community have recognised the need to enable responsible gambling and help those struggling with gambling addiction fight their way out of the unenviable situation.
As a result, online casinos themselves, as well as various other organisations, provide players with a multitude of tools that can make their online gambling experience a lot safer. Here’s what you can do if you want to gamble responsibly online:
Reputable online casinos allow players to set limits on their gambling accounts. This may include limiting the amount you can deposit weekly or monthly or how much you can wager or lose.
Aside from that, you should always determine a bankroll for every session. Needless to say, this shouldn’t exceed an amount you’re comfortable with losing. It may help to limit the time you spend playing as well. In addition, determine the sum you’d like to win and call it quits for the day if you reach it.
Another measure you can utilise while playing online is self-exclusion. Many casinos give their players an opportunity to give themselves a “time out,” so to speak. This involves contacting the casino’s support and requesting that you be denied access to the site for a certain period of time. This can be a week, a month, or even a permanent ban if you so choose.
You won’t need to explain yourself, and every casino that truly cares about their player base will honour your wishes.
Set Up Filters
Excluding yourself from one, or even a few casinos, might not do the trick. There are hundreds of online casinos out there. Being banned from one likely won’t solve the issue. What you can do then is set up filters that will prevent your access to gambling sites altogether.
There are plenty of tools you can use to block access to casino sites. We warmly recommend the following ones:
Seeking Help to Battle Gambling Addiction
If you feel your addiction is getting out of control and would like to seek professional help, you can always turn to one of the recognized organizations. Apart from international support groups, such as Gamblers Anonymous, Australian players have access to several national gambling help centers and associations:
- Gamblers Anonymous Australia — information, online resources, and support from fellow gamblers.
- Gambling Help Online — free helpline for anyone who wants to discuss their gambling problem and get actionable advice on the matter.
- Relationships Australia — provides free counseling for friends and family members of people struggling with problem gambling.