Are You Experiencing a Gaming Problem?
In most instances, Canadian casino gamers enjoy their online casino games, winning or losing their wagers as they play. Usually this is not too much of an issue and most players will move on to the next wager or the next gaming session and try their luck again. However, for a relatively small percentage of the Canadian gambling population, this may not be the case. Based on findings conducted by the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario, around 3.2% of the adult Canadian adult population experience a gaming problem.
In other words, instead of online casino gaming being a fun and rewarding activity, it begins to develop into a more serious issue. There are a number of reasons for this development, including an excessive or unhealthy number of hours spent gambling online (or in brick and mortar casinos too), significant and even unsustainable financial losses, a loss of interest in pursuing fun and healthy activities with family or friends and, in extreme cases, all of these and more.
In very extreme cases, law abiding and intelligent citizens may even turn to crime in a bid to sustain their gambling addictions. This can include stealing from work or from family members, embezzlement and attempting to cheat various casino games. Naturally, the result of these actions can lead to time spent in the prison system as well as other legal and social ramifications.
Problem gaming is not something that should be underestimated, either by the person experiencing the problem, or by those closest to them. If you, or someone you know is experiencing any stage of problem gaming, our resource is designed to help you in solving some of your questions, finding the solutions and support that you or a loved one may be needing.
For many, the first hurdle to overcome is the shame and the stigma that is often associated with addiction, a key to finding the right sort of addiction therapy center that will best suit your particular needs. There are plenty of great gambling addiction programs available throughout the country, and we urge you to continue reading and to find the help you need to avoid potential depression or the destruction of vital family relationships, work situations, and potential litigation or jail time.
Who Suffers the Most from Problem Gaming?
To understand where the biggest problems lie as far as gambling addiction is concerned, we first have to look at the demographics pertaining to Canadian gamblers in general. As mentioned earlier, around 3.2% of the adult Canadian gambling population currently experience some form of gaming problem. However, of that 3.2%, around 2.2% are made up of Canadians between the ages of 15 to 24 who are adversely effected by gambling related issues.
This may come as a surprise to some, but if an underage internet user (under the legal gambling age of 18) makes use of various computer tools to mask their identity and age, they can circumvent any of the protocols that have been put in place by responsible gambling sites. In addition, the effects of gambling addiction can be felt beyond the gambler themselves, adversely effecting family members, friends and other social circles and work team mates. This includes neglecting family duties and responsibilities, missing work days, and even worse, taking money that is not theirs so that they can pay off gambling debts. Most gamblers will also use that money to make more wagers, in an effort to ‘win their way out’ of their debt, but will inevitably only make more gambling debt for themselves.
How to Tell if You or Someone You Care About Shows Signs of a Gaming Problem
Before we delve into the signs of a gambling addict, it is important to understand that gambling addicts are not found in just one specific socio-economic group, which means that there is no effective way to grade addicts based on this theory. Gambling addiction is prevalent amongst all age groups and in all financial spheres. As far as the amount of money is concerned, those gambling addicts with more money, will simply take a bit longer to hit bottom than someone with a more limited budget.
In fact, it is common for gamblers in either group to suffer from the same set of consequences which can include depression, a loss of self-worth, divorce and even suicide if left untreated. The bottom line is that gambling addictions, and the reasons for them, are as diverse as the gamblers themselves. While some gamblers begin gambling as a way to escape their daily existence, many end up ‘chasing’ their losses, inevitably increasing their gambling as a way of making up their perceived losses.
Getting addicted to gambling is also not related to any specific games and, while some gamblers love playing penny slots, others are drawn to higher stakes games of blackjack or roulette. Still other gamblers love to chase that elusive ‘pay day’ by playing progressive jackpot games. In summary, there is no ‘root cause’ that once can use to determine whether someone will become a gambling addict or not.
What Can You Do if You, or Someone Close to You Needs Help?
Fortunately Canada is blessed with an abundance of solutions for gambling addicts, both land based and online. All adults that are feeling the effects of gambling addiction, either personally or via a friend, family member or colleague, can research the perfect solution for their needs. A good place to start is with the Responsible Gambling Council, one of the leading gambling addiction resources and solutions in Canada. The RGC is a non-profit organisation and is independent from government. The Responsible Gambling Council is dedicated to assisting gamblers who have lost all control over their gambling habits. In addition, the RGC is also designed to help anyone who feels that they are beginning to lose control, thereby preventing the worst from actually happening.
So, for most gambling addicts, the Responsible Gambling Council is the ideal starting point and, if they are unable to help you directly, will most certainly be able to recommend more than a few options that may best suit your needs or particular set of circumstances. If you are looking to get started on the road to recovery immediately, visiting www.responsiblegambling.org will give you a wide range of resources and options to help you on your way.