Please be advised – gambling can be an addictive activity, leading to serious social and psychological issues, possibly ruining the life and family of problem gamblers. A responsible gambler is an individual capable of maintaining control over their gambling habits and their spending, considering this activity an entertaining pastime, and not letting themselves be carried away.
Gamblers Anonymous is an international organization offering support to individuals characterized as problem gamblers. They have compiled a list of 20 questions that, if answered truthfully, can indicate a gambling problem. Here are a few of them, as a sample:
Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
… and so on. If you feel like you are getting carried away, if you feel that gambling has a too important role in your life, please contact Gamblers Anonymous, or another problem gambling support organization and seek professional help before it becomes a real issue in your life.
GamCare, the UK based organization, has published a list of tips for avoiding gambling to become a serious problem in your life:
– You’re buying fun, not investing your money
– Before playing, set strict limits on how much time and money you’re going to spend
– Quit while you’re ahead
– Only gamble with money you can afford to lose
– Don’t spend more money on gambling with the hope to win back money that you have lost
– Keep up other interests and hobbies – don’t let gambling take over your life
– Don’t gamble in order to escape from stress or boredom
– Gambling in moderation is okay
– The key is… if you choose to gamble, gamble responsibly!
If you consider that gambling is a problem for you, please contact one of the organizations listed below:
– Gamblers Anonymous
– GamCare (UK)
– GambleAware (UK)
– National Council on Problem Gambling (USA)
– ProblemGambling.ca (Canada)
– International Centre for Youth Gambling