How to Prevent Gambling Addiction?
Becoming a responsible gambler is challenging, especially if you are worried about your finances, relationship struggles, and other personal reasons.
It takes a toll on you, eating you up inside. Your mentality is affected, even your health. That is why people fall prey to excessive gambling to drown their sorrows away.
However, they do not need to. Understanding the problem, addressing it, and mitigating it should take the pressure off not only on the affected person but also on those surrounding them.
So for this OKBet post, we want you to become a responsible gambler.
Gambling can cause emotional stress, which makes it harder to become a responsible gambler. Emotions drive people to feel joy (from winning) or pain (when losing). It is also a key factor for poker players — becoming expressionless — thus, the term ‘poker face’ became popular.
However, the stress from losing a bet or a game, particularly with money involved, causes one to feel guilty. But this feeling is brief, as the idea of recuperating what has been lost comes to mind.
Such a mindset would only lead to more stress as losing becomes recurrent. This emotional stress builds up, which makes someone quickly annoyed, short-fused, and emotionally stressed.
Now, this is the time you feel the problem of excessive gambling.
Although the emotional stress might not occur as fast as one might think, there is a saying, “repentance comes later,” meaning a gambler will not realize the consequences of irresponsible gambling unless it is too late.
Thus, if losing stresses you out, it is best to cut back on the betting side and assert why you are playing in the first place. Your reasons may include the following:
- To relieve stress
- To enjoy and relax
- To earn money
Notice that earning money was the third reason for gambling. It is because gambling houses or operators were made to have fun and enjoy.
After all, it is a type of game that is supposed to be entertaining.
Countries regulate gambling, both physically and online. Authorities like the Philippines’ Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) issued licenses to gambling operators that comply with their rules and regulations. Unfortunately, there are illegal sites to keep people playing, whether they are just casual or addicted players.
Thus, it is best to check the websites before betting on them. Some were even imitating authorized gambling operators like OKBet to lure players.
Be wary of these malicious gambling sites. Illegal sites are used to scam other people and even commit credit card fraud or identity theft.
Gambling addiction, if not prevented, can cause harm.
The adverse effects of gambling are not just about money. It can also affect self-esteem, physical and mental health, and relationships. Not only that, but it can also destroy work performance and social life.
According to Gambler’s Help, these are the initial signs to look out for:
- Lesser time or money to spend on family and recreational activities
- Savings are reduced
- Becomes alcohol-dependent
- Have guilt or regret
When these symptoms occur, and if discarded, it may lead to:
- Relationship conflicts
- Work or study performance is hindered
- Financial difficulties become common
- Anger becomes the default emotion
- Shamefulness and hopelessness
If these problems are unchecked, they might lead to even more pressing matters, including depression and suicidal thoughts.
There are ways that you, the victim, can help yourself. If gambling is severely affecting your health and the people around you, you have three choices:
- Quit permanently
- Let go of one or more types of gambling
- Minimize gambling
Some find option number one to be the “safest option” for them. But if you are not planning to quit just yet, you need discipline and patience to make option number two work.
Letting go of your favorite game or games will be difficult. However, it is for your own sake, as it can be a form of rehabilitation.
If you stop playing the games, you play the most and switch to a different game, ensure that there is no recurring problem of excessive gambling.
The last option is the most challenging choice because it means you can still bet on your favorite games. Most people who choose this option tend to exceed the limit they imposed on themselves.
For example, J initially planned only to have a bankroll of P500 and a winning of P3000. He played roulette, his favorite game. When he reached his supposed max earnings, he continued to play. So when he loses, the feeling of regret, guilt, and shame will haunt him— and the problem will keep cycling.
Gambling is meant to be fun, relaxing, and recreational. It is not supposed to be addicting to the point that it destroys the lives of its players.
That is also why the PAGCOR regulates gambling in the Philippines, with only 17 authorized operators, including OKBet. These licensed casino owners strictly adhere to the rules and regulations that PAGCOR imposes—all for the sake of the welfare of Filipino gamblers.
Be a responsible gambler, and win responsibly.