Safer gambling is an important subject. FREEbets. org.uk will be publishing a series of articles looking at this subject. This week we look at the signs that may indicate that you have a gambling problem.
Signs that you may have a gambling problem
One of the most important tasks in dealing with a problem is accepting one exists in the first place. When that situation is achieved, you can start work on getting help for it. Actually realising that you have a gambling problem isn’t the easiest of tasks. There are signs that can indicate that all is not well with your gambling behaviour. Let’s look at these signs.
How long do you spend gambling?
The amount of time that you spend gambling is highly important. Online betting is now 24/7 and there are betting opportunities available all day long. In-play betting is a continual presence on top gambling sites. Even if there aren’t many live games, there’s the virtual sports section and odds available on future events.
It is important that you set yourself limits on how long you gamble. It is easy to lose track of time as you follow all the action. Just because there are betting opportunities available all day, it doesn’t mean you have to be betting on them all.
There is a lot of coverage of sports events in the USA and South America. This can mean late-nights if you want to be placing bets on these events, especially in-play. If you find that you are staying up all night just to gamble, that’s not a great sign. It is beginning to take over your life and that’s not healthy.
How much do you think about gambling?
Do you find that you can’t stop thinking about gambling? This isn’t a healthy sign if that is the case. It’s not good to go to bed and lie there thinking about the gambling session you’ve just had and looking forward to the next time you log into your favourite site.
If you find that your thoughts are dominated by the next accumulator you are going to place, that’s not a great situation to be in. Don’t let gambling take over your life, there are plenty of other subjects to be thinking about.
When you check your phone or switch your computer on, what’s the first site you go to. If you are instantly logging into a gambling account, rather than checking personal emails, you may well have a gambling problem.
How truthful are you about your gambling?
Not everything uttered about gambling is true. Even winners often overestimate the size of their latest success. It’s a similar case with gambling losses. If you lose £50, it’s not something you want to brag about. You can either say it was a smaller amount or convince yourself the loss didn’t happen at all. That’s not a great situation to end up in.
If you find yourself hiding bank statements for fear of your losses being revealed, it’s not going to help you. Be truthful to yourself and others.
Do you borrow money so you can gamble?
Gambling can become an addiction and if that is the case, it can affect your behaviour. A desire to keep on gambling, even when losing is not ideal. If you find that losses are affecting your finances, what do you do?
The answer to your problem may be to ask someone to lend you some money. It’s unlikely that you will go up to a friend or family member and ask to borrow some cash to put on a dead cert at Cheltenham. The odds are that you will lie to them in order to get your hands on the cash you wish to use for gambling. More lies may be on the way when it’s time to repay your debt. It’s a slippery slope and might even lead to stealing money in the future so you can continue gambling.
Do you chase losses?
We all place losing bets at some point, it’s the nature of gambling. How you behave in that situation is vitally important. It’s not good at all if you go £20 down and concentrate every effort on getting back level. What if the next bet you place is a loser too and then you’re £30 down? Chasing your losses is never a good idea, there is always the chance that you will just dig yourself a deeper hole and make your financial position even worse.
Do you never quit when you’re ahead?
The other side of this coin is not quitting when you are ahead. If your first few bets leave you say £50 up, that’s a great position to be in. Why not quit at that stage and enjoy your winnings? The problem is that at that stage some players think they are invincible and continue betting. Not long after they may find that not just has their profit been lost but they are now losing money. We probably all do this at one stage but if you keep doing it, then it is a sign you may have a gambling problem.
How do you feel when you’re not gambling?
A sign of a gambling problem is how you feel when not gambling. You may well reach the stage when gambling dominates your life. When you aren’t gambling, you may become anxious, depressed or lose your appetite. Gambling is your life and when you’re not doing it, your life just isn’t the same. Look at how you act when not gambling and how you feel the minute that you start again. Ensure that gambling doesn’t become a hindrance to your life, not something beneficial.
Do you gamble money that you shouldn’t?
We all have financial responsibilities, such as paying our food and rent bills. They are the top responsibility that you have but it may be that your gambling takes over. Using money for gambling that is supposed to be used for something else isn’t good at all. You may win on occasion but other times you might lose and then find yourself struggling to feed yourself or pay the rent. If this is the case, you really need to get some help with your gambling.
Does Gambling affect your daily life?
If gambling is becoming addictive, it will affect all areas of your life. Again, look at how you behave when not gambling. Are you day dreaming at work about your next gambling session and not get that report finished on time?
How are our relations progressing?
Do you find you spend more time thinking about gambling than helping friends and family, if so, that’s not good? You might have other hobbies in your life that now fade into the background. Instead of going to see a football game, you’ll become more interesting in being in front of your computer placing bets on the game.
The Betting and Gaming Council : https://bettingandgamingcouncil.com/
Gamble Aware : https://about.gambleaware.org/
Gamcare : https://www.gamcare.org.uk
Telephone Numbers :
The National Gambling Helpline is 0808 8020 133.