An estimated 20 million people worldwide gamble online at internet casinos. In 2007, Americans (who were technically prohibited to utilize online gambling venues) spent $34 billion on gambling in bricks and mortar casinos, and that number doesn’t include the quantity spent at Native American casinos.
There is no question that visiting a casino or gambling online is a thrilling activity. Many people play purely for entertainment, while some online gamblers take the necessary time to master the skills required for games like the many variations of online poker with the goal of winning money (at least more often than they lose it). For lots of people, there’s an absolute “high” related to risking money on games, qq online and for a small subset of those people, gambling becomes a full-fledged addiction that can cost them their livelihood, their family, and their entire way of life.
Problem gambling can be looked at as a spectrum of problems. While some people do become seriously addicted, others sometimes get carried away in the thrill of betting, lose additional money than they expected, and then stop when they realize the consequences of their actions. Others gamble when they’re anxious or depressed, coping with life changes and trying to take pleasure from a temporary distraction from the problems in their lives.
Many people can keep their gambling under control by simple measures such as for instance limiting their bankroll and practicing their own standards as to when to leave after having a certain level of loss (or gain, for that matter). But there are others for whom gambling shows signs of turning into an addiction. How could you tell if your online casino visits are no further an interesting diversion, but a real problem?
One serious red flag is each time a person gambles to obtain money with which to solve financial problems, such as for instance paying bills or debts. Borrowing money or selling important possessions to finance gambling is another strong indicator that the person’s gambling is going of control. If gambling causes a deterioration in a person or their family’s standard of living or general welfare, it’s a problem. And if a person does something illegal (or considers doing so) to fund gambling, meaning gambling went well beyond being an application of entertainment.
Resources are plentiful to people who think they may have an addiction to gambling. Counseling, peer-support groups, step-based programs, and even medications are used to treat problem gambling, though no medications have now been approved especially for treating pathological gambling in the US by the Food and Drug Administration. Gamblers Anonymous is really a 12-step program for treating gambling problems patterned following the 12-step program found in Alcoholics Anonymous.