Gambling is defined as the act of risking something of value (like money, jewelry and any other assets) in the hope of gaining something of greater value.
Problem gambling is hard to define. How can you tell when it changes from ‘fun’ to ‘destructive’ to ‘a problem’? Gambling becomes a problem when it causes harm to the person who is involved in gambling or to others close to them such as partners and/or children. Research indicates cultural factors and personal circumstances often influence the likelihood of developing gambling problems.
Gambling problems can take many forms and have different impacts. For example, you may experience financial difficulties ranging in severity – from not being able to afford little extras or family outings, falling behind on the bills, to creating considerable debt and ultimately losing your home.
Gambling problems often lead to disruption or damage to family, interpersonal or community relationships. Negative effects to a person’s physical, mental and emotional health can also occur. This includes decreased performance in school or at work, depression, relationship difficulties and/or family violence.
The following changes in behaviour may indicate a problem with gambling:
- Spending more time or money than intended
- Arguing with family and friends after gambling
- After losing, having an urge to return as soon as possible to win back losses
- Feeling guilty or remorseful about gambling
- Borrowing money or selling assets to gamble
- Obtaining money to gamble through illegal means
- Missing work or other commitments to gamble
- Hiding the extent of the gambling
- Often speaking about winning but not about overall losses
Understanding Online (Internet) Gambling
Internet gambling offers fast access to millions of people via platforms like laptops, smart phone and tablets. With 24/7 accessibility from almost any location, continuous and fast-paced interactive gaming, solitary play or socially interactive chat and video features, it is easy to see why internet gambling revenues continue to increase. It is viewed by most as the future of gambling.
People need to be informed about the risks associated with this form of gambling, especially given the easy access from the comfort and seclusion of a bedroom or other private space.
For more information about online gambling go here.