From poker to blackjack, from sports bets to just about anything you can bet your money on. It’s true that online gambling is widespread and the gambling sites are so easy to find.
But, as many of you may ask, how is online gambling harmful? After all, you are just on your phone, right? It’s not like spending that much time and effort going to casinos.
Well, to put things in perspective, online gambling addiction is real. It’s a real problem many people struggle with on a daily basis. it’s a real problem that families of online gambling addicts have to deal with as well.
In fact, online gambling is diagnosed according to the same criteria as the traditional “in-person” gambling such as going to the casino and actually placing your bets on the table or in the slot machines. The 24/7 availability of online casinos make it even more harmful as players tend to develop addiction faster and more intensely. Furthermore, overcoming that addiction, or even getting out of problematic gambling habits, can also prove to be more difficulty. Online casinos are ubiquitous and easy to play in, not to mention hide, so many are easily hooked.
Let’s break down the dangers of online or internet gambling.
Dangers of Online Gambling
- Easily accessible so players can gamble 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Players can gamble in their own homes undetected and unnoticed
- The absorbing nature of these games make people easily lose track of time
- The accelerated speed of play makes players play more hands and therefore bet (and even lose) more
- There are illegitimate gambling sites that take advantage of problematic gamblers, so they may take one’s money and shut down or fail to play the winners
- Credit card and bank account details may be exposed and may be captured by cyber criminals
- Internet gambling may also be prone to invasion of privacy as player information may be used for other purposes
- There is a risk for children to find these sites and use them
The four qualities of internet or online gambling, which make them highly addictive, were found to be the following:
- There’s no limitation on the availability. You don’t have to dress up and travel. You can do it anywhere and anytime.
- There’s no limitation on playing time. You can play for hours and hours and for as long as you want
- There’s no limitation on money. With a credit card or your account linked to your debit card, topping up or betting is as easy as a few seconds of clicks.
With all these said, it’s important to be wise when it comes to gambling, especially when it’s online.
Consider These Tips for Responsible Online Gaming
Keep these in mind:
- You’ll lose money. Online gambling operations are in the business to make a profit. They take in more money than they pay out, no matter how big the jackpot appears to be.
- Only spend what you can afford to lose. There is a thin line between recreational gambling and problematic one.
- Keep track of the amount of time you play. You may want to decide on a time limit and stick to it.
- Keep track of your spending. It’s easy to lose yourself and just keep on betting, but that’s why you have to be all the more vigilant.
- Remember: The numbers on the screen are real money. They are your money, money that could be better spent on something else.
- If you are a parent, keep your password safe and prevent your kids from accessing your sites or software.
- If you, or someone close to you, think that you have a problem, chances are you may really have a problem. Consider cutting down.
- If you tried to cut down but are having a problem doing so, perhaps you need to seek help.
At Bridges of Hope, we also treat gambling addiction, including internet and online gambling problems. Talk to us to learn more.