|This article will take us through the history of gambling including the reasons that people partake in this activity in present day that originated in the 17th century, while focusing on ways to gamble responsibly. The benefits of gambling can range from stress relief to healthy socialization and, of course, the chance to win big.
Taken in its purest form, gambling can be a fun pastime to spend your time, yet taken to the extreme, it can become an addiction with serious mental health consequences. We will also discover some warning signs of gambling addiction and resources that can help maintain a healthy relationship with this activity. Let's dive in to the article and learn more!
Please note: This article does not contain legal, healthcare or therapeutic advice. If you are concerned about your health or well-being, speak with a health professional or visit your nearest medical facility in an emergency. This is a collaborative article.
What is Gambling?
Gambling needs to be understood before one participates in it. And because of the many myths surrounding gambling, it is imperative that it is defined in the context that connotes the real meaning devoid of fictions. The truth is that many people are oblivious of what gambling entails. They gamble without understanding how it works. And in fact, sensationalism of gambling has taken another dimension and has corrupted many people about what gambling is not. When you take part in a game in which you risk a monetary value so that you win money or prizes, you have partaken in gambling.
Just so you know, your winning odds are a function of chance. What this means is pretty simple. You can come out of gambling richer or poorer, all depending on how the odds favour or disfavour you. On a lighter note, if the odds work for you, you make more money and it means you are richer than before you participated in it. If the odds work against you, you lose money, meaning you are less rich than before you participated in it. This has a high chance of leading the player to what is called gambling addiction.
It is right to say that one great determinant in gambling success is chance.
Why do People Gamble?
Gambling is composed of many games and the period during which those games were discovered differ. Playing cards was discovered in China in the 9th century AD while poker, which is a derivative the Persian game from dates back to the 17th century. Like history tells us, gambling houses can be traced to the 17th century in Italy. The Ridotto, which was established in 1638 in Venice, was for the provision of a gambling environment that was controlled. Not until the 19th century did any form of gambling or casinos appear in Europe.
The reasons why people play vary. At times, they range from the sublime to the ridiculous depending on whose evaluating the rationale. The reasons may appear weird to some people. For some people who consider some stuff crazy, think of people being eccentric in character. The fact is weirdness, norms and conventions are all relative with no solid connotation because they change from clime to clime. Now, getting to understand why people gamble is quite interesting and amazing.
Alleviation of stress is one reason why some people in gambling. What does this mean? Our professions and what nature thrusts on us are capable of stressing us to the limit. This stress could stem from inability to get to the nitty-gritty of a particular problem, or could be as a result of a particular challenge defying solutions. Natural occurrences which can be unpalatable can instill stress in us. So for some people, gambling does a good job of helping them take their minds off their problems.
For some, the urge to socialize brought them into gambling. And of a fact, gambling provides a veritable platform to socialize with friends and trigger good feelings of euphoria. This, according to many research, helps the brain. The big dream of hitting it big is another great reason why people gamble. Some people view themselves as good with predicting odds and just feel they could make money from their predictive skills. Some gamble to test how good they are with predicting odds.
On a broad term the reasons why people gamble can be categorized into entertainment and profiting.
How to Gamble Responsibly and Legally?
Gambling responsibly and legally is the best thing to do in the midst of the plethora of gambling platforms that have dotted the internet. It also poses a challenge especially to new players as they may not be able to distinguish legality from illegality and responsible gambling from irresponsible gambling. To gamble legally and responsibly, the tips explained below will suffice.
Start by gambling on platforms that are licensed and registered by the authorized agencies. This is very important because gambling on unauthorized platform is the beginning of illegitimacy and can be tantamount to perform an act of illegality. When you encounter hiccups as you gamble on illegitimate platforms, the degree of such resolution is low because they are not under any regulatory body that can sanction or compel them to act rightly. Canadian casino comparison sites such as casimoose.ca do a good job in filtering the licensed and regulated casinos from rogue ones.
It is useful to use a free gambling site blocker application to restrict your access to unwarranted and unsafe gambling sites. This will create a kind of shield from unwittingly navigating into illegal gambling platform. Before gambling, it is best to check if the website has pre-commitment tools in place so that you can set limits for playing. By that, you can gamble responsibly and avoid the tendency to become addicted.
In addition, gambling under stress should be discouraged. Indeed, this form of game needs relaxation of the mind and so playing under stress or when being upset robs one of the excitements that comes with the experience. Alcohol is also to be avoided when gambling. The intoxication effects of alcohol may delude one into playing off limits. Your brain is affected after alcohol intake which may distort your thinking process of winning. It is advisable to take frequent breaks when playing. Avoid gambling with money that is not yours.
Gambling is based on chance; you cannot be so sure you will win. Other recreational activities must be balanced with gambling to ensure continuity of fun. When you have gambled and lost, try not to win back your lost money. One last advice: stop playing when gambling ceases to be fun for you.
The Dangers of Gambling Addiction
For every activity that makes us feel good, dopamine is released in our brain and it communicates with our brain on the need to continually indulge in it, which, if not managed, can become unstoppable. Gambling addiction is dangerous. In fact, you stand a great possibility to experience mood swings when you become addicted to gambling. This brings feeling of irritability, disdain, depression and withdrawal on days that you are supposed to be in high spirit. Note that all this could affect your rate of performance and productivity on your other endeavours.
On the other hand, financial responsibilities suffer greatly because they are often neglected when one is addicted to gambling. It has been a documented experience that people who are addicted to gambling go to the extent of asking for money from friends and families frequently. And when the bills get so high, it could lead to eviction from houses and loss of one’s property. Gambling addiction is so dangerous that it can make one skip going to one’s place of work or school.
Because of the strong affinity for it, you will not have any qualms exchanging other legitimate and useful endeavours for gambling and then the frequency of such exchange can be high. This can lead to firing from work or dropping out of school. It can also usher in the use of drugs and alcohol, all in the bid to replace them with gambling when the opportunity does not suffice.
What are the Warning Signs of Gambling Addiction?
Partaking in gambling is okay if buffers and cautions can be applied. However, it is a common occurrence that most gamblers do not tend to know when they are about to cross the line of moderation to addiction. That is why it is necessary to watch out for some signs that may signal that one is becoming addicted without quickly realizing it.
Uncontrolled spending of money on gambling is a great sign of addiction. When you find out that your spending on gambling knows no limit and frankly does not get you bothered, this can be a sign to pay attention. This colossal spending may be associated with experiencing the rush that gambling is associated with. Those addicted to gambling experience the feeling of irritability when the chance to gamble does not present itself. They may feel annoyed and exasperated when you try to dissuade them from gambling. There is this feeling of gross non-satisfaction and incompleteness when they do not gamble.
Let’s be real, some people have attempted to stop patronizing casino and gambling outlets and platforms, they have just been unsuccessful as their resolution of not going was only temporal. So, to sum it all up, you should know that you have become addicted to gambling when you cannot control your impulse for this activity; rather gambling controls you. Continual thinking about gambling is another sign and this may entail strategizing on how to get money for your next gambling escapade. Not recovering from losing, rather wanting to gamble as fast as possible with the thought of winning is another warning sign.
Problem Gambling Support
As bad as gambling addiction is, it is quite possible to break away from such addiction. This starts with the recognition of being addicted to this activity. This makes the recovery process much smoother once you have come to this conclusion. Depending on the root cause and the vulnerability the individual, there are many treatment options for gambling addiction.
Psychotherapy has been found to be effective while treating gambling addiction. It may be in the form of individual counselling and it has the potency of dealing with gambling triggers. Cognitive behavioral therapy is another tool that can be used. For Canadian players, here are a few Canadian gambling support websites to access if you are worried about yourself, or a loved one:
The gambling market has not reached its peak and will continue to grow in both patronage and value for a long time. It is therefore of the essence to warn players and potential players against getting addicted to gambling through responsible gambling. Stake wisely!
Related: How to Recognize Addiction
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