For many people, online gambling is a fun way to kill time on the weekends. It’s an exciting social activity that brings friends together. And for some, it’s a simple way to win money.
Unfortunately, online gambling is no longer a fun activity for thousands of addicted players. Instead, it’s a dark force that ruined their lives: finances, families, careers and social lives, to name a few.
So, should you play online casinos games or not? Before you decide, discover some of the perils of this seemingly harmless pastime below.
You might not borrow money to quench your gambling thirst. But it could still ruin your financial wellbeing immensely. Let’s say you play games of luck. And you wager £500 every week.
But after losing £4000 in two months, you double your stakes to chase your losses. Within four months, you’ll have lost £12000. If that were to go on, you would become bankrupt faster than the reels of slot machines spin.
Fortunately, today’s online casinos are designed to protect your financial wellbeing. They protect you through tools you can use to set weekly budgets or suspend your accounts temporarily or permanently.
Against that backdrop, look for problem gambling tools when comparing online casinos. You might think you won’t need them. But they come in handy when you want to limit your losses or budget your bankroll.
Neglecting Personal Responsibilities
When online gambling turns into an addiction, most people forget they had a life before they became gamblers. As a result, they dedicate more time to online casinos and less time to their businesses and families.
Someone who’s always provided for his families suddenly starts to withhold his money. And as you would expect, this cash is spent playing slots and card games. Married people become less committed, and once productive employees lose track of their careers.
Essentially, online gaming addiction can suck you into a dark world in which nothing else bar casino games matter. At that point, playing fruity slots and blackjack is no longer fun. Instead, it’s lonely and depressing.
Destroying your Work or School Life
The worst danger of online gambling is that it spirals you into a series of self-destructive behaviours. First, you get into debt. Then you become a liar to hide your problem. After that, you start to neglect your studies and work.
Before you know it, you stop attending classes or reporting to work. At that stage, most gamblers need intervention to get back things in order. If help is not offered, they quit school entirely or give up on their careers.
In other words, gambling addiction is one of the worst forms of addiction. That’s because it doesn’t just take away your money. It takes away your time, your friends, your career and studies. Put simply; it ruins your life.
Mood swings are an everyday experience for pregnant women. But for online gamblers, they’re a cautionary sign that you’re an addict. Usually, you become happy and excited when you win. And lonely and discouraged when you lose.
In all fairness, mood swings aren’t the worst emotions on Earth. But when the loneliness turns into depression and you get to a point where you get suicidal thoughts; it’s not an experience anyone wants to have.
As such, it’s essential to seek help you experience these signs. Of course, there are many signs that you’re a gambling addict. Mood swings are easy to spot, which could make it easy for your therapeutic process.
Spiralling into Debt
Many online gamblers lose their money. But guess what? Most of them don’t quit playing after they get into the negative. Instead, they chase their losses, hoping to win and recover their stakes at some point.
The problem with chasing losses is that it can lead you into substantial amounts of debt. That’s because when you deplete your budget, the next thing you’ll want is to borrow money to finance your gambling.
For many people, the borrowing process starts with friends and families. Then they turn to shylocks, payday creditors and banks. In the worst cases, they sell their possessions just to maintain their gambling habits.
Online gambling is illegal in many countries around the world. It’s also banned to people under 18 years. So, when you gamble online in a place where it’s prohibited—say the UAE—you risk prosecution or even jail time.
Luckily, not many countries prosecute players for gambling online illegally. Instead, they target casino operators. Take Canada as an example. It doesn’t license online casinos. And it doesn’t allow online gambling.
However, Canadians play slots and table games from all sorts of foreign online casinos. A handful of Canucks have even gone publicly after winning millions at slot machines. None of them is yet to be prosecuted. But we can’t promise the same for online casinos that set shop in the Great North White.
Criminal activity is another risk factor for problem gambling. It can occur in several ways. First, you could neglect your family duties so much that it turns into a crime. An example is leaving your toddler unattended for an entire day while you gamble in your bedroom.
The second form of criminal behaviour is turning into drugs and alcoholism to cope with the emotional distress of online gambling. At the worst cases, you could also become a thief or drug dealer to raise money for gambling or paying debts.
Unfortunately, most crimes committed by problem gamblers also affect their loved ones. Precisely, they will need to spend their money to get you help. Or they will have to sacrifice their time to take you to the hospital. Worse, they might also get emotionally and financially distressed after you spend family money.
Online gambling is a harmless pastime for a lot of these days. But once it becomes an addiction, it can cause irreparable damage. From financial and marital problems to health and work issues, gambling addiction can be devastating.