The most important thing to remember when gambling is that it should always be done responsibly. For many people, this is not a problem, but gambling can be highly addictive and for some, it can cause a serious problem.

What is Pathological Gambling?

Pathological gambling refers to the habitual gambling patterns that can prove harmful to those affected. In this case, gambling is more than just a game as it becomes part of a lifestyle and tends to take priority over work, family, finances, and even health, all of which suffer as a result. Long-term gambling can have devastating effects on an addict's personal life, as well as their friends and families.

Gambling can lead to large amounts of money being lost, but there are many who continue to gamble to win it all back, often obtaining additional funds through any means necessary, whether taking out loans, borrowing from friends and family, or even stealing. But the the only realistic result is a staggering amount of debt.

Gambling costs not only money but also time, which often means other important things are ignored. This means work is missed, jobs are lost, families are neglected, and personal lives fall apart. Pathological gambling has been officially recognized as a serious psychological disorder in the international classification systems DSM-IV and ICD-10 since 1980. But the good news is that professional help is available.

How to Gamble Responsibly

Responsible gambling requires willpower and discipline but if you are strong you can play safely by sticking to these rules:

  • Gambling should only be for entertainment and never used to earn money.
  • Set yourself a limit in advance and stick to it. Once this amount has been lost, stop playing.
  • Set a winning limit too. If you manage to win this amount, quit while you are ahead and walk away.
  • Set a monthly budget that you will use for gambling. Only gamble what you can afford to lose.
  • Only play with a clear head when you can concentrate and think rationally. This means no playing when you are tired, stressed, depressed, or under the influence of alcohol.
  • Take regular breaks.
  • Keep track of how much time and money gambling takes up.
  • We have standard deposit limits, but it might be wise to set a lower amount as your personal limit.
  • If gambling is causing any problems with family, friends, or other aspects of your personal life, you should stop.

Are You at Risk?

While the only way to be sure of whether you have a gambling problem or not is to be officially diagnosed by a trained professional, there are certain signs and symptoms you should look out for. You may be at risk if any of the following apply:

  • You gamble more than you can afford to lose.
  • You gamble because of depression.
  • You begin to lose interest in your family and friends.
  • You lie about how much time and money you spend gambling.
  • You realize that all your money goes towards gambling and no other forms of entertainment.
  • Your family or friends criticizes your gambling habit.
  • Your gambling begins to affect your mood negatively, especially when you lose money.
  • You consider the criminal activity as a means to fund your gambling.
  • You spend all your time gambling, either in casinos or online.

If you can keep a level head, learn to recognize these signs, and deal with them appropriately, there wasn’t a problem. As long as gambling remains a fun activity, you do not spend more than you can afford and you can walk away any time, you are a responsible gambler.

Underage Players

It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to play our games but if you are worried that any underage players are using your computer to play our games, you can try the following steps to prevent them from playing:

  • Install child protection software to keep them out. We recommend Cyberpatrol, Cybersitter, and K9 Web Protection.
  • Do not leave your computer unattended when logged in.
  • Do not share your credit card or bank account details with any under-18s.
  • Do not use the “Save Password” option when logging in.
  • Create separate profiles for everyone who uses your computer with appropriate security settings applied to each one.

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