For most people, gambling is simply a way to make sporting events more interesting or a part of an annual trip to Las Vegas. However, for some, gambling can be a dangerous addiction that ruins marriages, ends careers, and can result in bankruptcy and even suicide. Gambling addictions have become so prevalent that the American Psychiatric Association now identifies “gambling addiction” as a psychiatric disorder that affects one to three percent of American adults. With the increasing popularity of online gambling sites, these estimates may continue to rise.
So what is the appeal of online gambling? Well, the most obvious answer is convenience. Players no longer need to travel to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, as the Internet provides access to gambling 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with complete anonymity. Furthermore, online gambling occurs without the exchange of real or immediate money. It’s easy for participants UFABET to lose sight of the fact that they are actually playing for real money! Other attractions include the ease with which people can set up accounts and the escape associated with spending hours playing online games.
So when does interest in gambling reach the point of addiction? In general, three criteria are used to diagnose an addiction of any kind. The first and most important thing is that the word “addiction” implies a loss of control of the behavior. Those who are addicted simply cannot control their gambling. What may have started out as a quick game of poker can turn into an all day and all night game of chance. Second, addicted gamblers often develop a “tolerance” for gambling in the same way that an alcoholic becomes increasingly tolerant of alcohol. Addicted bettors will require higher and higher stakes to get the maximum they want. Finally, the extent to which a behavior interferes with one’s functioning is often used as a diagnostic criterion for addiction. In the case of an addicted gamer, he or she can empty bank accounts, sell valuable relics, or accumulate huge amounts of money. In extreme cases, an addicted gambler may steal from her friends and family to finance her addiction or even become clinically depressed after a devastating loss.
So how do you know if you have a gambling problem? The anonymous game suggests asking questions like these:
1. Have you repeatedly missed work or school due to gambling?
2. Have you ever felt guilty as a result of your gambling?
3. Have you ever gambled to get money for bills or debts?
4. Have you ever gambled until you ran out of money?
5. Have you ever played for longer periods than you planned?
6. Have you ever gambled with more money than you originally planned?
7. Have you ever thought about committing suicide because of gambling?
This list is not exhaustive, but if you answer “yes” to any of the questions above, you may want to speak with a professional advisor about your game.
Fortunately, there are a variety of resources to help those suffering from gambling addiction. Twelfth