For many people, gambling is a controllable and enjoyable activity that they can engage in when on vacation or during their free time. But like many other behavioural activities, it can get out of hand. Gambling becomes a problem when it starts interfering with your daily life or your family’s.
5 Symptoms That Show You May Have a Problem with Gambling
Problem gambling can arise from many personal and psychological issues. Some people become addicted because they are very competitive, and they try to win back all the money they lost. Others use gambling to escape from the stresses that life throws at them until it becomes a problem in itself. Let’s explore the five symptoms to look out for when you think you or someone you know has a problem with gambling.
Borrowing to Gamble
The first symptom that shows one may be a gambling addict is the need to borrow to finance gambling activities. Most casual gamblers count their losses and leave the casino table once they run out of cash. Some people go to the extent of taking bank loans, lines of credit or approaching loan sharks to catch up on their losses. Once you start taking loans to satisfy your lust for betting, you know that it’s getting out of control.
Missing Crucial Commitments to Gamble
You know gambling is a problem once it ranks as the most important thing in your life. Most addicts forgo crucial life commitments to gamble. They may miss the time that’s supposed to be spent with family and friends and instead choose to spend it in the casino. They may also stop going to work and university for the sake of gambling. It’s at this point where relationships begin to fracture, and they stop focusing on any other thing that has nothing to do with betting.
Spending Too Much Time in the Casino
Another symptom of problem gambling is spending too much in the casino. Gambling addicts can stay for hours, even days, in a casino. In most cases, they won’t notice time passing by. They will also most likely be alone. Once you start gambling on your own, it shows you are not there to have fun but win and make money. It’s a classic sign of problematic gambling since the intention is no longer to have fun.
Gambling More than Your Risk Tolerance
It’s not a wise idea to gamble more than you are willing to lose. Most casual gamblers will spend some money on bets, but they are ready to walk away once they lose more money than initially budgeted. If people have a problem gambling, they may continue to chase their losses even after losing all their money. They may also go into their savings accounts or use money planned for bills and other living expenses. At this point, they are past their risk tolerance since they can’t afford to lose this money.
Lying about Gambling
The last telltale symptom that shows problem gambling is lying about gambling habits. Addicts may lie to family and friends about their whereabouts when actually, they’re at a casino. One may also lie to themselves that everything is under control when it’s not. Lying shows that addicts are willing to go to extreme lengths to hide or sustain the habit.
To Sum Up
For some people, gambling is simply an entertaining and leisurely activity. For others, it can grow to be a recurring and uncontrollable habit. According to data highlighting problem gambling statistics, approximately 3% to 5% of gamblers get addicted. To maintain a healthy society, governments, as well as casino operators, have their own parts to play.