You've probably seen those beer ads that show the greatest party of all time. You hear bass pumping and see what seems like endless good times. You can't miss that river of booze flowing freely. Before it's all over a narrator chimes in and reminds you to drink responsibly. It's a fact of modern life that fun comes wrapped in a warning.
While “everything in moderation” is a good idea in theory, that philosophy doesn't work for everyone and in every situation. That's equally true in the world of gaming. Whether you play online or at traditional casinos, it's absolutely essential to be aware that gambling problems do exist. Playing within your limits will help you get the most out of the game.
Start With A Safe Place To Play
While many adults do have addictive personalities that don't mix well with so-called vices, everyone who chooses to play should enjoy their games in a responsible environment. It's important to use only licensed casinos that take your mental health seriously. All the most respected gaming operations do their part to reduce compulsive gambling.
Know The Warning Signs
It's important to spot the warning signs and take action if a problem is brewing, even at the early stages. Here are a few early indicators:
- You think and talk about gambling all the time.
- You go beyond your budget to gamble.
- Gambling takes time away from your work, parenting, and other responsibilities.
- You can't stop gambling, even if you know you should.
- You increase your gambling to rectify financial difficulties, especially those caused by your gambling habit.
- You attempt to integrate gambling into your vacations and business trips.
- You feel guilty about gambling.
- You lie about gambling.
- You gamble until you are out of money.
- You find yourself skipping social engagements and family commitments to gamble.
- You feel sad when you are not gambling.
- You believe that a massive win will justify all your past gambling and solve your problems.
- You lose track of time due to gambling.
- You rack up debt to gamble.
- You borrow money or steal to afford gambling.
Access Available Resources
Most sites have resources and help lines to combat gambling problems. You can also make use of the responsible gambling council in your province or territory for resources. There are excellent gambling hotlines available to help diagnose you and assist in controlling your behaviour.
Self Exclusion Explained
Live casinos, as well as reputable sites, offer self-exclusion, which is basically a self-imposed ban so you cannot play on a particular site. This is useful if you are functional but fear being unable to control yourself in a moment of weakness.
Reputable sites also have gambling limits. This includes preventing players from depositing excessive sums of money. They also give you the option of setting your own limits, which can also prove to be a valuable control mechanism.
The Age Of Majority
It's not just adults who can fall victim to gambling addictions. While you must be the age of majority to enjoy online poker and casino games, some irresponsible offshore sites don't play by these rules. We recommend steering clear of these unethical sites or any site that doesn't take responsible gaming seriously.
While most people can handle a little fun, sometimes excitement can take on a life of its own, giving way to unexpected darkness. That's why it's important to have the resources in place. It's a much more realistic solution than banning gambling altogether, especially since most people have no trouble enjoy a few hands of blackjack without it being a poor lifestyle choice. Just know there are plenty of lifelines when and if you need them.