Responsible Gambling

The game should be something that brings excitement and enjoyment in your free time. You can try your luck and win prizes, while also being aware of the risks and benefits involved. However, excessive gambling can lead to problems. People who gamble too much and allow it to affect other areas of their life often suffer from a gambling disorder.

If you think you have been gambling too much lately and want to learn more about the risks of gambling addiction, keep reading the complete guide on gambling disorder.

Causes of compulsive gambling

There is no definitive answer to the exact causes of gambling addiction. What we do know is that each person is affected differently and that there are many factors that can influence how a person is affected by gambling. There may be some cases where gambling behavior is caused by greed and the pursuit of losses, but the majority of cases are caused by the following:

Financial struggles

Many of the people at greatest risk of developing gambling behaviors are those who have financial difficulties. If you struggle to make ends meet, the idea of quickly winning a lot of money can be very appealing. Gambling is something that offers big winnings based on luck, and some players can win huge amounts of money in a short amount of time. Therefore, someone with financial difficulties may choose to gamble the little money they have in an attempt to increase it.

Unfortunately, winning does not happen regularly and cannot solve financial problems, except in extremely lucky cases. A player who is not doing well financially can keep coming back to try to win more and more without ever reaching the amount they need. This creates a vicious circle that can trap you in an endless struggle.

Escape from reality

Those who have many concerns in their life, a lot of stress at work, relationships or education, often turn to entertainment to escape them. Everyone likes to relax and unwind after a long day, but if this starts to negatively affect your life, you may have a problem. Compulsive gamblers will prioritize gambling and other forms of escaping reality over the most important aspects of their life, such as eating, work, sleep, etc.

A compulsive gambler often loses track of time while playing and can spend hours playing the same game over and over again. This form of escapism from reality is definitely unhealthy and can cause serious problems in their life if not controlled.

Thrill seeking

Casino games and gambling are a great way to regularly experience excitement. There is nothing more thrilling than placing a large bet and crossing your fingers, hoping that luck is on your side. Many people enjoy the adrenaline rush, but like with other pursuits, when it starts negatively impacting your life, it becomes a problem.

Like other adrenaline-seeking behaviors, gambling involves risks and it is important to limit gambling to avoid risking too much. It may be tempting to bet large amounts every night to feel the adrenaline rush, but after a while, you will be chasing your losses.

Symptoms of compulsive gambling

Millions of people enjoy gambling, but for some of us it can lead to problems and addiction if not controlled. If you think you or someone you know may be developing a gambling disorder or have issues with gambling behavior, check for the following symptoms:

  • New or unpaid credit cards: credit cards are a great way to manage your finances and have many advantages if used correctly. They can also be incredibly harmful to your finances if not kept under control. You should always make sure that you can pay off the outstanding balance each month to avoid incurring additional expenses and interest. Never accept credit cards with limits higher than what you can pay off in a month.
  • Not sharing gaming activities out of fear of being judged - If you have trouble explaining your gambling habits to your friends or family, you may have a gambling problem. Gambling in moderation is fun and enjoyed by millions of people, but if you are gambling too much, you may feel uncomfortable telling someone about it.
  • You have discussions about money with your family - Financial problems are something that affects almost everyone at some point in our lives. It's okay to have a problem, but gambling is not something you should do to try to solve it. If you regularly have discussions with your family about gambling and finances, then it may be time to seek help.
  • Difficulty concentrating at work or studies: if you suffer from a gambling disorder, you may regularly think about your next gambling session. If you need to focus on work or studies, this can be very distracting. If you believe that gambling may be affecting your ability to work or study, you may have a gambling problem.
  • You can't imagine not playing even for a single day - For many people, playing every day is quite normal. However, if you can't imagine not playing at least once a day, you may have a problem. You should be able to stop and take breaks from the game whenever you need to.
  • Consider the possibility of breaking the law to have money to gamble - If you are thinking of committing crimes like theft or fraud to have enough money to gamble, then it is definitely time to seek help for your behavior. These types of actions will only lead to worse problems in your life.
  • Abandoning your hobbies - Hobbies are a great source of fun in our lives. It is important to have a healthy hobby, especially ones that promote socialization and exercise. If you have noticed that your gambling addiction is causing you to spend less time on these activities, you may need help to combat a gambling disorder.
  • Believing that the next gaming session will be different - It can be tempting to always look forward to the next gaming session and think about all the ways it could alleviate your money problems. However, this kind of thinking is dangerous and can lead to excessive gambling and compulsive disorder.

What can you do to protect yourself from gambling addiction problems?

Of course, not everyone is at risk of developing gambling addictions, but it is impossible to know for sure until it happens. However, you can take steps to prevent developing a gambling disorder. If you believe you may be at risk of developing problematic gambling behaviors, it is best to stay away and not take the risk. People who experience financial problems or have issues with escapism and thrill-seeking behaviors are the ones at the highest risk.

Here are some measures you can take to ensure that you are protected from developing a gambling addiction:

  • Set a gambling limit on your account - Most online casinos will allow you to set some kind of limit on your account. This means that the amounts you can deposit and bet each month will be limited to the amount you have set. It's a good way to control exactly how much you are betting and make sure that gambling doesn't take too much of your budget. Everyone who enjoys gambling should set an account limit.
  • Enable the reality check option - Many online casinos will offer you the option to set a reality check that will appear after a certain amount of time. This feature allows you to set the time you want to gamble. It will appear once the time you have set expires, letting you know how long you have been playing and giving you the option to stop. Reality checks are a great feature if you lose track of time while playing.
  • Self-exclusion: individuals who have developed signs of gambling addiction and need to take a break can establish a self-exclusion. This allows you to block access to your account at a casino for a specified period of time. Most casinos have options to block your account for anywhere between a week and a year.
  • Visit websites that promote responsible gambling: If you need more resources to address your gambling issue or simply want to learn more about this condition and how to prevent it, there are many resources available online.


Play well

Playing well is the main provider of information, advice, and free support for anyone affected by gambling addiction. Their services are confidential and non-judgmental.

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Responsible gambling

It is a platform created to promote responsible gambling in recreational activities. Here you will find tools to prevent health problems associated with gambling.

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At BeGambleAware, you will find advice and gain access to free and confidential assistance both online and by calling the national gambling helpline at 0808 8020 133.

Visit BeGambleAware


GamCare is the leading provider of information, advice, and free support for anyone affected by gambling addiction in the United Kingdom. Their services are confidential and non-judgmental.

Visit GamCare