What’s Responsible Gaming? How to recognize a gambling problem or how do you know gambling has become an addiction? Maybe you think your regular online casino visits are getting a bit ‘out of hand’ or you think someone near you might have a gaming problem. Or maybe you just want to know more about the subject… On this page you can find information about problem gambling, gambling addiction, how to recognize and prevent problem gambling and some tips for ‘Responsible Gaming’.
Problem gambling, gambling addiction, pathological or compulsive gambling, ludo mania (from the Latin word ‘ludere’, meaning ‘playing’)… They are all terms to describe gambling behavior that is harmful or has negative consequences for the player, the people around him or her and the community / society in general. The behavior that causes the negative consequences is the inability of the player to stop spending a lot of time, money and energy on gambling, which eventually will affect his or her personal, financial and social well-being.
Asking why people become addicted to gambling is asking the same question as why people become addicted to anything… unfortunately there’s no uni vocal answer to be given. It’s clear it depends on psychological, social and bio-medical factors regarding the player, as well as with the essence of gambling and gaming that triggers certain emotions, of which the most important are of course expectation, ‘winning’ (euphoria) and ‘losing’ (distress).
However, the reason why one player becomes ‘hooked’ and the next one doesn’t (in other words: which combination of factors has lead to compulsive and problematic gambling) is probably just as unique as there are individual players.
Although officially classified as a ‘compulsive disorder’ gambling addiction in many ways is comparable to an addiction to substances. That’s why it’s essential to recognize a (potential) problem as early as possible to be able to offer or get help and prevent worse from happening. Signs of problematic gaming can be:
Many websites about problem gaming and gambling addiction have their own list of signs indicating a possible problem. Some of these websites, of which the links with a short description you can find below, also offer a self-test by which a player can measure if a gambling problem has developed, is developing or might develop.
The ultimate way to completely prevent a gambling problem is of course to never play or bet at all. But regularly having fun while playing for real money in an online or land-based casino doesn’t mean you automatically run the risk of getting addicted to gaming. As a matter of fact, the vast majority of casino visitors and real-money gamers are perfectly capable of controlling their gaming habit, thus making sure casino gaming stays exactly what it should be; exciting and fun entertainment.
A way of ‘prevention’ could already be to take one of the self-tests available on the internet or read more about the possible signs of a gaming problem. This will make a player or his or her surroundings aware of the possible dangers of gaming and at the same time conscious about ‘what to pay attention to’ to recognize a possible problem.
In case a player is suspected by his or her surroundings to have a gambling problem it’s absolutely necessary to not condemn or judge the player or confront him or her with feelings of anger, betrayal, disappointment et cetera. As a matter of fact, probably the best thing to do is to do nothing right away, if it isn’t seeking professional help (see the links below).
Problem gambling is an extremely complex matter and the environment of a problematic gambler simply needs to learn how to deal with the gambler’s behavior. Besides this, many seemingly obvious and well-meant interventions of family and friends to help the addicted loved-one might turn out to have a disastrous effect and not only maintain the problem, but sometimes even make it worse for all involved parties. Therefore it’s best to immediately get professional counseling on how to deal with the gambler and the problem.
To help players keep their casino gaming and betting experiences fun and exciting and avoid any negative ‘side effects’ the concept of ‘Responsible Gaming’ was developed.
Responsible Gaming is a ‘code of conduct’ to which gaming and betting operators need to comply to uphold the highest standards of safety, reliability, player protection, fair gaming, information privacy, customer support et cetera.
Most online casinos, and certainly the Netent Casinos, are more than willing to honor the principles of responsible gaming as it’s in their interest to cater to ‘healthy’ and therefore returning players.
On the other hand Responsible Gaming also provides a ‘code of conduct’ to players, which is usually summarized in a set of ‘tips’.
Tips that can help to keep casino gaming and betting fun are:
There are several websites and organizations that provide more information about problem gambling and / or offer professional help for players with a gambling problem and their environment.
GamCare : GamCare is probably one of the best and renowned organizations dedicated to (resolving) problem gaming and providing assistance to problematic gamblers and their ‘entourage’. The independent charity is UK based.
Gambling Therapy : The online section of the British Gordon Moody Association aimed at problematic gamblers from outside the UK and with a website available in 29 languages.
NCPG-US : The website of the National Council for Problem Gambling (NCPG) of the United States of America. The site offers various self-assessment tests.
Australian National Problem Gambling Portal : Official National portal of the Australian Government regarding problem gambling issues with risk assessment tests, online self help tools, Live Chat, forums et cetera.
Gamblers Anonymous : The website of self-help group Gamblers Anonymous with all information about this organization and anonymous help.
Gam-Anon : The website of Gam-Anon, the support and self help group for family and friends of problematic gamblers (linked to Gamblers Anonymous).
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