Responsible Gambling | Tips & Resources

There is a massive responsibility when it comes to playing poker online. Addiction is something many people struggle with in one form or another, and online poker rooms are no exception. It is important to understand what a gambling addiction is, what to look for, where to get help and how to stay responsible.

What is a Gambling Addiction?

By definition, a gambling addiction is the uncontrollable urge to continue gambling despite the toll it takes on one’s life. It is the most common impulse control disorder worldwide and is addictive because it stimulates the brain’s reward system.

Types of Gamblers

People gamble for different reasons. Below, you can find some reasons why people gamble and their identifiers.

Social Gambler: Physical and digital players, they enjoy the company of the other players.

Dreamer Gambler: Consistently thinking about how much their life would change if they could win big.

Seer Gambler: Sometimes superstitious, these gamblers believe they can see patterns and estimate game outcomes.

Thrill-Seeking Gambler: There for the adrenaline rush.

Expert Gambler: Studies and seeks knowledge that will benefit their game and enjoy games where this is the possibility to count cards.

Escapist Gambler: Using gambling as a way to unplug and deal with their problems; uses it as a means to forget for a while. This can be problematic.

Winner Gambler: If they lose, they will usually play until they win. They want to show everyone else who is best.

What are the Types of Gambling Addictions?

Compulsive Gambling: Probably the most serious type of addiction – they are unable to control their need to gamble. If they can’t afford it, they will place bets and take risks no matter the consequence.

Binge Gambling: Similar to compulsive, but they will only reveal themselves at certain times. They may appear to be in control, but the second they get triggered, their desire will take over.

Problem Gambling: Usually a sign of addiction, these players will chase losses, lie to people closest to them and they have a lot of issue controlling their impulses.

Warning Signs and Identifying the Problem

There are warning signs to look out for that will demonstrate whether you or a loved one is addicted to gambling:

  • Feeling restless and angry when you can’t gamble
  • Jeopardizing relationships, work, school, etc. because of gambling
  • Getting money back by gambling more
  • Asking others to help out of with financials because you lost all your money gambling
  • Gambling to escape problems or provide some type of relief
  • Lying to those around you about the extent of your gambling, whether it be how much you spend, how many hours you play, etc.

There are questions to be asked that will help identify whether or not there is a gambling addiction present. Answering yes to any of the following could indicate there is an issue, and one should consider seeking help.

  • Do arguments and frustrations tempt you to gamble?
  • Has gambling ever affected your ability to sleep?
  • Have you ever borrowed money, stole, or sold things to pay for gambling?
  • Have you lost drive, productivity, and/or motivation because of gambling?
  • Have you considered breaking the law to fund gambling?
  • Has gambling ever cause unhappiness at home?
  • Have you missed things you should be doing (e.g., school or work) in order to gamble?

Where to Get Help

To get help immediately for gambling addiction in the United States, call (800) 522-4700.

Tips for Playing Responsibly

There are four important tips to help encourage and maintain responsible gaming:

  1. Practising responsible bankroll management – don’t bet more than you can afford to lose and never bet money needed to cover day-to-day necessities.
  2. Take advantage of the daily limit options that online poker rooms offer. You’ll be able to set a limit for how much you can bet, how much time can be spent on a site, and even exclude yourself from playing for a period of time of your choosing.
  3. Don’t win back lost funds by playing higher stakes – also known as, chasing losses, don’t do it.
  4. Do not play poker or gamble when you’re upset, have been using drugs and/or alcohol, or when you are depressed. These are the basis for bad habit/addiction development.

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