Some Answers to Your Questions About Gambling Addiction

How Do I Know If I Have A Gambling Addiction?
You will know if you have a gambling addiction if gambling has affected your life negatively socially, emotionally, financially and spiritually. If you have gambled alone, and have missed work, lost more than you could afford, or lied about gambling, you more than likely have a gambling addiction. “Compulsive Gambling” is considered an impulse control disorder and is characterized by unstoppable thoughts and uncontrollable impulses to gamble. “Problem Gambling” is considered less severe than compulsive gambling, but it is still a very serious problem.

Someone in my family is addicted to gambling. What should I do?
There are many paths you could take when a family member is addicted to gambling. You can go to a gamanon meeting yourself to get 12 -Step support from other family members of gamblers.(Check links and resources). This might be a good first step in finding out how to approach your family member, since every situation is different. Please check resources page for more information on this topic.

I have a gambling addiction and I have lost a lot of money. I am in debt, and I do not know what to do. Can you help?
Going into debt is one of the biggest after-effects of a gambling addiction. It can effect the gambler long after he or she stops gambling and is one of the long-term consequences of gambling addiction. When you attend a Gamblers Anonymous 12-Step Group you can find support from trusted members on how to deal with your debt problems. Please also visit the links and resources page to find out more about debt and credit solutions as a result of your gambling addiction. Remember, gambling addiction is not a money problem.. it is an emotional and spiritual problem with financial consequences.

Can I have a gambling addiction if I go to the casino.. but mostly win?
Yes. There are 4 phases of a gambling addiction. 1. Winning Phase: Usually starts with a big win and a belief that good luck will continue indefinitely. 2. Losing Phase: More pre-occupied with gambling. You are gambling alone, missing work, lying about your whereabouts, and beginning to chase your losses. 3. Desperation Phase: This is truly characterized by a loss of control, preoccupation with gambling, defaulting on most debt, cheating or stealing,loss of job or primary relationship. 4. Hopeless Phase: You hit rock bottom. You may also start abusing drugs or alcohol. Suicide thoughts and attempts are common in this phase.

I gamble when I am lonely and depressed. How come?
You are most likely known as an “escape gambler” You gamble to escape emotional pain. Most “escape gamblers” can become addicted to slot machines, online gambling, and bingo. An “action gambler” is someone who enjoys risk taking and gambles on games of skill such as sports betting, the stock market, and cards. “Action-gamblers” have been traditionally male, however, the genders are becoming well represented in each group.

The Popularity and Risks of Online Gambling

People have gambled from ancient times, like China and Rome, to the current day. You see gambling everywhere you go. People seem to enjoy their chance at lotto, sweepstakes, horse racing, poker, to name a few. If you are not in, you can not win. In today’s age of the computer, gambling has taken an added direction of being online. The method of online gambling is very popular but it can have some risks.

Here are two reasons on the Popularity of Online Gambling.

1. You can gamble from the comfort of your own home. All you need is a computer, an active internet connection and a credit card. You do not need to go out to a casino or the horse races, which is great if it is freezing outside. For casino type gambling all you have to do is open an account and try your luck.

2. Online gambling provides the same thrill and excitement as you get with traditional gambling. And it can provide every type of gambling there is.

For example:

a. betting on the National Basketball Association (NBA ) or Major League Baseball (MLB) or National Football League (NFL ) finals if you like sports. In fact for sports betting you should find a lot of professional tips to help you make a decision on which team to bet on.

b. horse racing

c. online casino websites where you can get a buzz from playing blackjack, roulette, poker or slot machines, if you are keen on casino type gambling. If you like poker, there are some online casinos that let you play poker against other online players. The good thing about this is that you can practise with virtual or fake money to get a feel of the card game first. That is the “try before you buy” thought.

Here are two Risks of Online Gambling

1. Losing a great amount of money: Online gambling is gambling and if you are not sensible then you could potentially lose lots of money. A good idea would be to set a limit of money you are prepared to lose.

2. Becoming Addicted: When you win, it feels great and the urge to bet more money is tempting. Therefore you need to pace yourself so you do not go deep into debt.

So when you are home on that wet Friday night and have the urge to gamble, online be sensible. Give yourself a limit of money you are prepared to lose and enjoy the adrenaline of your heart pumping faster as you watch that horse race, sports team or have that flutter at the roulette wheel. Just imagine you win… or your loss.

What Countries Allow Online Gambling

The world of internet gambling is strictly regulated and it is important to first be aware of what countries allow online gambling before you start. Online casinos have experienced a steady growth in popularity over the past few years, with more and more people registering with sites in order to enjoy their favorite casino games.

You will find a few countries around the world where this practice is legal and many of them house servers that are accessible to people residing in countries where it is not. This means that if you live in a country where gambling online is banned, you might still be able to play by dialing into a server that is hosted outside of your country.

The United States of America

It is true that more and more countries are realizing the benefits of legalizing internet gambling and are actively taking steps toward this. However, the law governing the prohibition of internet gambling in America is somewhat unclear. The estimate is that approximately 70 percent of US citizens make up the internet gambling population and suffer little consequences because of it. It may be that the situation is difficult to monitor and regulate because gambling online happens in the privacy of your home and not in the public eye.

Online Gambling Around The World

You can do a simple search online to find out what countries allow online gambling. The list below reflects a few of these where online gambling is legal:

Australia
Belgium
Canada
France
Germany
Gibraltar
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Liechtenstein
Macau
Malta
New Zealand
Panama
Philippines
Poland
Russia
Scandinavia
Singapore
Spain
Switzerland

Countries like Argentina, Mexico and a few Asian countries have all started the process of legalizing online gambling.

Enforcement and Regulation

Although the internet gambling industry is heavily regulated, experts admit that it is difficult to monitor because of its fairly anonymous nature. This poses a problem where online gambling is banned because it is virtually impossible to pinpoint players in the country who sign on from their homes. This begs the argument that why ban online gambling at all if it is so easily accessible and difficult to monitor? Regulation remains easier than prohibition in most cases and the trend seems to show that more and more countries are realizing this.

It is best to properly investigate what countries allow online gambling to ensure that you are on the right side of the law when enjoying your favorite casino games. This will also guarantee that you get to keep whatever winnings you make online.