Online gambling is a multi-billion dollar industry. It has been around for decades, but only recently have we seen the proliferation of online casinos and other forms of gaming like the NFL Lines betting on the Internet. The growth in popularity of these sites has led to many questions about their addictive nature.
Is online gambling addictive? What are the signs that someone may be addicted to online gambling? How can you tell if your loved one is at risk of becoming an addict? Read on to find out more.
The Addiction Question
Addiction is defined as “a chronic relapsing disease characterized by compulsive seeking or use of something despite harmful consequences.” To understand addiction, it’s important to first define what it isn’t.
Addiction simply means a physical dependence on certain substances or activities. This can happen with any substance or activity, including betting, food, sex, shopping, video games, etc.
Signs That Someone may be addicted To Online Gambling?
There are several warning signs that someone may be developing an addiction to online gambling. These include:
- Loss of control over time spent playing
- Spending money on the site even though finances are tight
- Feeling guilty after spending money on the site
- Losing sleep due to excessive gambling
- Failing to meet obligations such as work, school, family, etc. because of gambling
- Trying to hide how much time and money they spend on the site
- Making excuses not to go to work or school because of gambling
- Developing a tolerance to gambling
- Suffering withdrawal symptoms when trying to quit
- Being secretive about their gambling habits
Why online gambling is more addictive
Online gambling is different from traditional casino gambling. With traditional casinos, gamblers can leave whenever they want. They don’t need to worry about losing their jobs or paying bills.
However, with online gambling, gamblers must remain connected to the Internet 24 hours a day. If they lose connection, they will lose all of their winnings. Gamblers also face financial penalties if they exceed their allotted playtime per week.
This makes online gambling more addictive than traditional casino gambling.
Is gambling an addictive disorder?
Gambling stimulates the brain’s reward system and may lead to compulsive gambling behavior. However, this doesn’t mean that gambling itself is an addictive disorder.
It’s possible to become physically dependent on gambling without being addicted. For example, some people who gamble excessively may develop a problem with alcohol or drugs.
However, gambling does not cause chemical changes in the body like those caused by alcohol or heroin. Therefore, it is considered a behavioural addiction rather than a physiological addiction.
How to prevent gambling addiction?
If you suspect that your loved one has developed an addiction to online gambling, here are some things you can do to help them overcome this problem.
Talk to your loved one
Letting your loved ones know that you care about them is key to helping them get through this difficult time. You can talk to your loved ones about the problems they’re experiencing.
You might consider talking to your loved ones about these issues before they become too involved in online gambling.
You could suggest that they seek professional counselling for gambling-related problems.
Give your loved one support
The best way to help your loved one recover from an addiction to online gambling is to provide emotional support.
Try to understand what is going on inside your loved one’s head. Are they depressed? Do they feel remorseful about gambling?
Ask your loved one’s questions to find out why they feel so bad. Try to figure out whether something else is causing your loved one’s depression.
Don’t be afraid to confront your loved ones about their gambling habit. You must let your loved one know that he or she needs to stop playing online games.
Gambling addiction is a serious issue because it affects many people. The good news is that it can be treated successfully.
To treat your loved one, you’ll need first to determine if they have a gambling problem. This means that your loved one should experience significant distress over gambling.
They should also show signs of continued involvement in gambling even when confronted with negative consequences.
If your loved one has a gambling problem, you can encourage them to seek treatment.