We take problem gambling seriously. Not only is it a problem for the industry, it's a problem for us too. Remember that online casinos certainly do not want you to have any kind of problem with gambling in the same way that pubs and bars do not desire that you become an alcoholic. There are three reasons why we take this subject very seriously:
Many people who don't gamble view all gambling in a negative light. We can do our best to educate these people but some views will never change irrespective of what they hear or read. However, our goal is to address the problem head on, help people that are affected, and to prevent others from having the same problem.
Sometimes it can be unclear if there is a problem that needs addressing. If a person gambled with $5000, that doesn't necessarily mean there's a problem. A person could be gambling with $50 and have a problem but a person who bet $5000 might not, it isn't about the amounts wagered but how it is affecting your life away from gambling.
If you answered "yes" to just one of them then you may need to seek assistance.
There are specialised help centres groups for people that are affected by problem gambling. Thankfully, most cases of are minor and can be fixed with a few little alterations to your wagering activity.
Our purpose is mainly one of prevention rather than cure. This is for the simple reason that most people either don't have a problem or their problem is minor and can easily be corrected.
It's far better to address a problem when it is still small than when it grows. So just what steps can you take to either prevent yourself from ever developing a problem or altering small issues that you may have with gambling?
If gambling does become a problem that could develop into addiction, then you will probably need some outside help. It is much like any other addiction, in that the worse it is the harder it is to go it alone.
There are numerous help groups available, and admitting that you have a problem is a big positive step towards curing it. It takes strength to pick up the phone and seek help but there are people out there willing to help you, you're not alone.
Gamblers Anonymous are another organisation that is designed to give players help and support from the effects of problem gambling. Gamblers Anonymous offer telephone help and counselling from dedicated professionals. They have a question and answer page on their website where people can anonymously find out if they have a problem or not.
Quite often the best advice will come from local help groups near to where you live. These people will feel closer to you and be more personal than perhaps someone on a phone or from another part of the world. If you visit your local casino, any responsible gaming manager will help you. For New Zealand players there is the PGF organisation. PGF New Zealand stands for "Problem Gambling Foundation" and is the premier organisation for problem gaming in New Zealand. They have a good website, confidential phone lines as well as doing seminars, fact sheets, and newsletters.
Gambling must never be seen as an avenue to pay off debts or fix other financial problems. It is merely a recreational activity, just like going to the cinema or a concert. The amount that you lose (worst case scenario) is merely nothing more than a "payment for services" or purchasing a "product" in the same way that you pay for anything else.
The house edge ensures that you make that "payment". Always remember to act responsibly at the table, you cannot gain an edge in most casino games and you are there just to have fun. If you keep these facts in mind then you will be just fine.
If you, or perhaps someone you know, are struggling with gambling and feel it may be a problem then please seek help: