Posted February 12, 2014 by John Baintree in News

Signs you are a gambling addict

Problem gambling
Problem gambling

With the increased opportunities that now exist for gambling it is, perhaps, unavoidable that gambling is becoming a problem for some. For the majority it represents a source of fun and spending time at a weekly card game, on the slots or even taking a punt on the stock market can be a valuable source of relaxation. For others though, gambling can take a more sinister place in their lives and in extreme cases it can even lead to financial ruin.

The national Council on Problem Gambling maintains that 1 percent of adults  can be classified as “pathological gamblers”, having a need to bet more and more frequently whilst a further 3 percent can be classed as “problem gamblers” who show some but not all of the signs of pathological gambling habits. If you are concerned about your own gambling or that of someone close to you are there any signs you can watch out for?

You just can’t stop

Any experienced poker player will tell you that the way to stay ahead in the game is know when to fold. Gambling for fun is all about knowing your limits and not going beyond them while problem gamblers spend more money and more time on their habit.

You gamble with money you don’t have

In a problem gamblers eye, money is never an issue. They use money that is put aside for other purposes to feed their burgeoning habit. Money for bills, for the mortgage, holiday or even the kids gets plundered.

Your bets are no longer about fun

The early fun dimension gets lost for problem gamblers. What started out as a bit or light hearted fun, often in the company of friends becomes a lonely pass time. Problem gambling can often be driven by a need to escape from other problems and issues.

You try to cover your losses with more gambling

Problem gamblers will often see their gambling as the means to recover losses they actually have made through gambling.  Placing ever larger and more frequent bets as a way of stemming their losses merely exacerbates the problem for them.

Your gambling costs you more and more

Like most forms of addiction, larger and larger stimuli are needed all the time. In order to experience the same rush from gambling, stake money is gradually increased over a period of time until the size of the stake becomes a problem in itself.

You will try anything to secure funds for more gambling

Problem gambling also fails to see a lack of cash as a problem. When the bank account dries up funds can be replaced with the proceeds of petty crime such as theft, even from loved ones.

Gambling takes over from more important activities

A gambling habit that takes over from other parts of a person’s life is a problem one. When gambling takes the place of family and career it is time to call a halt.