At CasinoUSA.com, we remain committed to helping US gamblers gain access to a safe and secure online gambling environment. Therefore, we along with our partners consider the issue of responsible gambling very seriously. Our experts are always willing to help highlight the facts and risks of problem gambling, and the resources available to anyone who feels they, or someone they know, are addicted to gambling.
Whether you play at a land based casino or online, gambling ought to be a fun and rewarding experience rather than a stressful one. It is important to be aware that gambling is about luck where you win sometimes and lose at other times. Winning brings with it plenty of thrills but every player ought to be aware that with it comes the risk of addiction and the urge to play more and even chase losses in the hopes of hitting the big pot sometime. All this can be avoided by playing responsibly. All the casinos we recommend have a Responsible Gambling policy as well as a self-exclusion policy to help players avoid gambling addiction. This includes tools to monitor wagering patterns with a player’s best interest in mind.
What is gambling addiction?
Gambling for many is a hobby that they enjoy. However, some individuals are unable to control their gambling habits after a while. Whenever gambling goes beyond mere enjoyment and becomes an obsession it could lead to serious problems in the individual’s life. In such cases, the addiction reaches a level where even if the person realizes he or she is hurting themselves or their loved ones they are unable to stop their behavior.
A gambling addiction or a problem has many facets where not everyone may suffer the same symptoms or experience a similar intensity. Compulsive gamblers are those who are unable to control their desire to gamble and will continue to do so regardless of whether they win or lose and even if they cannot afford to lose. On the other hand, binge gamblers exhibit the symptoms of compulsive gamblers but only over a period of time. They may have the ability to refrain from gambling for a week or month at a time but eventually go back to gambling compulsively for long stretches.
Problem gamblers are individuals who may not be addicted but have the habit of gambling that can potentially disturb their normal life. They are the ones who begin to chase losses, gamble with money that isn’t their own, steal to support their habit, or lie to their loved ones about their finances and betting habits.
Gambling addiction in the US
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, as many as 2 million adults in the country are candidates for pathological gambling. In addition, 4 to 6 million are considered problem gambler. The silver lining is that most adults that gamble do so responsibly. Some problem gamblers do not seek treatment and suffer from some level of problem gambling for several years. However, CasinoUSA.com urges everyone to seek immediate help from resources that can be found right here on our site.
Recognizing Problem Gambling
To begin with, it is important to understand that every individual is different and may exhibit varied signs and symptoms of a gambling problem. Often, gamblers as well as those around them fail to pick up certain signs. According to the American Psychiatric Association some of the signs and symptoms include:
- Constant urge to gamble at any time during the day or night
- Chasing losses in the hopes of winning
- Using gambling to escape from problems
- Showing signs of depression/anxiety
- Conflicts with others over money issues
- Hiding financial details from spouse or family
- Frequently borrowing money or asking for advances
- Jeopardizing significant relationships to gamble
Pathological gamblers may exhibit several of the symptoms above. However, it is always advisable to seek help even if you experience one of the above symptoms.
How to be a responsible gambler
We recommend that every gambler pay close attention to the following:
- Determine a realistic amount you can afford to gamble.
- Do not place large bets in the hopes of winning big.
- Assign only specific hours to gambling and quit even if you are on a winning streak.
- Don’t chase your losses.
- Never risk all your money. Keep a certain percentage as your bankroll and separate winnings.
- Gambling is not a shortcut to financial success.
- Seek help immediately if you worried about gambling problems.
Seek help from professional organizations
Fortunately, the casinos that we list are serious about responsible gaming and partner with a number of institutes and establishments that promote responsible gaming. If you or someone you know need help, there are plenty of resources available. Most importantly, treatment and help for gambling addiction is available in many different forms. Some people may be able to overcome their problem with a single type of treatment while others may require multiple methods.
Some of the alternatives include group meetings with people who experience similar problems, professional counseling, advance therapy sessions, and treatment by doctors. Here are some of the organizations that are valuable resources to help fight gambling addiction.
National Council for Problem Gambling: (http://www.ncpgambling.org) The organization offers extensive programs for those affected by problem gambling. They have a comprehensive list of counselors throughout the United States and can be contacted through the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network (1-800-522-4700).
Gamblers Anonymous: (http://www.gamblersanonymous.org) – The Los Angeles based organization has an extensive global network. Anyone with the desire to stop gambling is welcome to join one of the local groups available all over the country. They conduct a 12 step program to help problem gamblers. They also have a special network (Gam-Anon – http://www.gam-anon.org/) for families and friends of problem gamblers and for children of problem gamblers (Gam-A-Teen) as well.
Other resources include:
Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc. (http://www.azccg.org) Helpline 1-800-777-720
California Council on Problem Gambling (http://www.calpg.org) 1.800.GAMBLER (426-2537)
Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling (http://www.ccpg.org) Call (888) 789-7777 or Text “CTGAMB” to 53342.
Nevada Council on Problem Gambling (http://www.nevadacouncil.org) Helpline: 1-800-522-4700
Delaware Council on Gambling Problems (http://www.deproblemgambling.org) Call 888-850-8888
Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ (http://800gambler.org) Call +1 609-588-5515)
CasinoUSA’s staff has extensive experience in the casino and gambling industry. However, this article is purely informational. For comprehensive help on problem gambling we strongly recommend that you contact a professional counselor or one of the organizations listed here.