In the days before the Internet, gambling was a problem for many. Gambling problems were limited by the amount of time a person could spend at a casino. The growth of the internet means that people can now gamble from the comfort of their home, any time. The opportunity to win has increased, but the opportunity to lose has also increased.
Whether you think you’re a casual gambler, or are highly active in your gambling, there are risks of addiction. Gambling addiction can result from both winning and losing. The ‘buzz’ that people get when they win encourages more betting. There’s the hope of the future, as people think ‘what could I do with the money if I just had a little more’.Conversely, those who lose keep betting to try to win back losses.
· Be Aware of the Issue
If you realize you’re gambling too much online, then you’ve already made a step forward. Awareness of the problem is the first point to resolving it.
· Make Other Plans
When you have no firm plans for a day, the accessibility and attraction of online websites will draw you back in. To avoid this, make these plans a day or two, orseveral days ahead. When you wake up, decide to go ahead with these plans. Keep yourself busy. Remind yourself each time you succeed… Think to yourself “I’ve managed another hour without gambling… I’m managed another half day…” Use this self-encouragement to keep yourself away fromcasino websites.
· Find Other Things to do
Find something else that is satisfying and enjoyable to do with your time. For each person, the activity may be different. It may be physical exercise, cooking, or shopping. Make sure that what you’re doing changes your physical environment, so you limit your access to the computer (and therefore the casino).
· Remind Yourself of the Bad Outcomes
There may be a buzz from winning, but on the whole, everybody loses. Losing feels bad. Remind yourself of those bad feelings, and how much more frequent they are than any good feelings. Think of how often you've gone to bed worrying because of the money you’ve.Remembering those feelings may help you when you’re feeling tempted.
· Find Information about Gambling
There are many sources of information online and in your community. You’re not alone – others have had the same experiences, and have developed resources and information to help. Just looking will help you to identify that a problem exists. The information will also help you work through the problem, and break the cycle.
· Enroll in a Help Group
There are self-help materials on line, as well as books, and online courses. You aren’t alone in facing a challenge. Others have worked through the issues, and are there to help through the materials they’ve prepared, or in person. Support groups exist, both online and in your local area. Join one. While the first step is hard, having the support of others will provide much more strength than you’ll muster on your own. Gamblers Anonymous has a 12-step support program that helps you work through the issues you face in a rational and logical manner.
· Let Someone Else Handle Your Money
Gambling is much more difficult if you don’t have access to funds. If you’ve come to realize that you struggle with the temptation, let someone else have the responsibility for your money. If you can’t access it, you can’t bet with it. Over time your addiction will come to an end. Giving up the responsibility for your money will be hard, but you may find it to be well worth your while in the long run.