Indicators of Problem Gambling, Part 1

Indicators of Problem Gambling, Part 1


Indicators of Problem Gambling, Part 1

This article outlines several habits that indicate problem gambling. This is part 1 of a two part series.

Responsible Gambling – Indicators of problem gambling, Part 1.

There are several signs that can indicate problem gambling. Some signs are easy to spot, like having an incessant need to gamble. This may extend beyond the casino and into their regular lives. Betting on outcomes in ‘real life’ situations can point to a problem at the tables.

Here are some clear indicators of problem gambling behavior:

Unable to Stop (chasing the win) – Medically speaking, going on a winning streak changes brain activity which can result in people chasing that feeling, chasing the win. This is problematic because reasonable thought process is inhibited by emotion.

Ceasing this behavior takes strong discipline and a realization of fact and reality. Winning is not based on rounds played, rather on careful and calculated decisions.

Obsession for Gambling – If it’s not daily, it’s close to it. The obsessed gambler is active very often, remembers his last gambling session, and looks forward to the next one. This type of gambler will do anything possible to obtain the funds to gamble including stealing from businesses or pawning valuables.

This behavior is troublesome as it can overwhelm the player and can have a negative impact on their mental health. Gaining control over this obsession rarely can be done solo – rather, a team effort may be required. This doesn’t have to be initiated by the gambler; interventions are a consideration or having the person accompany someone to a local peer group counselling session are two viable options.

Gambling due to Need – Similar to a drug or alcohol addiction, many gamblers become irritable, agitated, impatient, or tense when away from the action. Gambling consumes the thoughts which can lead to poor decision making when not at the tables.

As this can have a lasting negative impact on both family and relationships, it’s important to recognize these signs quickly and to determine a game plan to reduce them. As this can be difficult it can be helpful to talk to a gambling addiction counsellor or seek a local peer group. Thankfully, as the need to gamble ebbs, the reaction to the lack of action will as well.

Stealing to Gamble – Stealing property and/or money is a huge sign of uncontrollable problems with gambling. It can start small, like stealing money from a spouse or friend. But it can easily explode into stealing large sums of cash or possessions to support the gambling habit.

Further, some people have gone so far as to perform fraud or embezzlement. According to Marquet International, a study of publicly known cases of employee embezzlement in the States between 2008 and 2012 found that in one-third of cases in which the motivating factor was known, the individual reportedly had a gambling problem. Australia is sitting at just under 50% so this is a major problem.

While there are more indicators of problem gambling, the above are some of the strongest signs and should not overlooked or minimized. Seeking help is not a sign of weakness; rather, it’s a sign of empowerment and should be respected.

At GreySnowPoker, we feel everyone has a role in responsible gambling. You can read more about that by clicking this link:

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