We believe that casino gambling is a fun activity and, according to many published research studies, in about 98% of instances this statement is true. The vast majority of people who gamble in casinos are part-time players who enjoy the fun and excitement of gambling.
These players know that they won’t always win because casinos have a mathematical advantage over them and, in the long run, they will probably have more losing sessions than winning ones.
They also understand that any losses they incur is the price they are paying for their fun and they only gamble with money that they can afford to spend on this leisure time activity.
In other words, they realize that casino gambling is a form of entertainment, just like going to a movie or an amusement park, and they are willing to pay a price for that entertainment.
Unfortunately, there are also some people who go to casinos and become problem gamblers.
Some of the factors that can contribute to this condition include: the desire to experience thrills; desperation for money; the entertaining atmosphere of the gambling scene; and the social status associated with being a successful gambler.
Signs you might have a gambling problem, include:
- Gambling when you can’t afford it
- Losing time from work due to gambling
- Gambling makes your home life unhappy
- Gambling affects your reputation
- Remorseful feelings after gambling
- Friends and family intervene and express their concern over your gambling
- Gambling to get money with which to pay debts or solve other financial difficulties
- Feeling the need to be secretive about gambling
- Feeling you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses
- Finding it difficult to control your gambling habits
- After a win, having a strong urge to return and win more
- The need to gamble with increasing amounts of money
- Borrowing to finance your gambling
- Restlessness, or irritability, when you cut down or stop gambling
- Gambling to escape worry or trouble
Problem Gambling Resources in the U.S.
If you think you could have a gambling problem you should be aware that help is available from several sources.
The National Council on Problem Gambling, Inc. is probably the best organization in the country for problem gamblers and it is headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was formed in 1972 as a non-profit agency to promote public education and awareness about gambling problems and operates a 24-hour nationwide help line at (800) 522-4700, plus a website at www.ncpgambling.org. Anyone contacting that organization will be provided with the appropriate referral resources for help with their gambling problem.
Another good source for help with a gambling problem is Gambler’s Anonymous. They have chapters in many cities throughout the U.S. as well as in most major cities throughout the world. You can see a list of all those cities on their website at www.gamblersanonymous.org Their phone number is (213) 386-8789.
A third program, Gam-Anon, specializes in helping the spouse, family and close friends of compulsive gamblers. If you are adversely affected by a loved one who is a compulsive gambler, then Gam-Anon is an organization that may benefit you. Their website is www.gam-anon.org and it lists the cities where you can attend their meetings. You can also call them at (718) 352-1671.
Problem Gambling Resources in the U.K.
Support for anyone affected by gambling problems across Great Britain can call their National Gambling Helpline and get free treatment.
To speak with an adviser for free: call 0808 8020 133, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also visit their GamCare website at https://www.gamcare.org.uk/ for more information.
Problem Gambling Resources in Europe and Elsewhere.
There is a website at https://www.problemgamblingguide.com/find_help___europe1.html which has a wealth of information for contacting problem gambling agencies and support groups throughout Europe, as well as the rest of the world. We would suggest that you take a look at their website if you seek further help for any problem gambling issues.
In conclusion, we sincerely hope that none of you will ever have a need to contact any of these worthwhile organizations, but it was an issue that we felt should be addressed.