Online gambling should be a fun way to keep you busy and entertained. However, there are times when playing becomes more than just fun and the fun stops. Then it's time to take a break or consider quitting altogether.
At Lucky7Bonus, we encourage responsible gambling. All casinos, poker sites and sports betting sites we partner with offer the possibility to set deposit limits or automatically exclude themselves for a set or permanent period of time.
We are not medical professionals, but we have gathered information about responsible gambling and gambling problems below. Take a look, think about it and ask for help if you think you need it!
How to play safe
GambleAware is the UK's leading non-profit organisation dedicated to educating and fighting gambling damage. Their list consists of ten tips for safe gambling:
- Don't think of gambling as a way to make money.
- Play only with money you can afford to lose.
- Set a money limit in advance.
- Set a time limit in advance.
- Don't try to make up your losses.
- Don't gamble when you are depressed or upset.
- Balance gambling with other activities.
- Don't bring your credit card with you.
- Take breaks.
- Don't drink or use drugs when you gamble.
While the list may be more for casino enthusiasts, it also has merit among online gamblers. We strongly recommend that you use online casino deposit limits and time limits.
Clues that you are gambling in a problematic way
The definition of problem gambling, addiction or disorder varies by country and source. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) calls it a gambling disorder and defines it as follows: "gambling disorder involves repeated gambling behaviour that causes significant problems or distress".
According to the APA, a diagnosis of a gambling disorder requires at least four of the following in the past year:
- Need to play with increasing amounts of money to get the desired excitement.
- Agitated or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling.
- Repeated and unsuccessful efforts to control, reduce or stop gambling.
- Frequent thoughts about gambling (e.g., reliving past gambling experiences, planning one's next gambling moment, thinking about how to get money to gamble).
- Frequent gambling when in distress.
- Coming back frequently to bail out money after losing it through gambling (this is called "wanting to bail out").
- Lying to hide gambling activity.
- Jeopardizing or losing an important relationship, job, education or career opportunity because of gambling.
- Relying on others to solve problems caused by gambling.
If you have ever felt or done any of the things listed above, you may need to take control of your game. BeGambleAware has an anonymous online test that may give you additional insight into your gambling habits.
You are not alone
A review of the literature published in the Journal of Behavioral Addiction (2016) suggests that the prevalence of gambling problems worldwide is 0.12% to 5.8%. According to a well-cited old study published in 1998, the prevalence was 4.7%.
Whatever the current prevalence, you are not alone. Millions of people worldwide suffer from gambling addiction.
Where to find help
According to the Canada Safety Council, these are the confidential local helplines, 24\7, on addiction:
British Columbia 1-888-795-6111
Manitoba Gambling Helpline 1-800-463-1554
New Brunswick 1-800-461-1234
Newfoundland and Labrador 1-888-899-4357
Nova Scotia 1-888-347-8888
Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut 1-800-265-3333
Prince Edward Island 1-888-299-8399
Montreal and surroundings 1-800-461-0140 and 1-866-767-5389
If you need urgent help, please visit your local emergency service or call 911.
For your personal development and for more information, visit http://www.problemgambling.ca/