While there is definitely a lot of merit to the debate about whether poker is gambling or not, there is no denying that it contains certain elements of other gambling games. Because of these elements, it can be equally as dangerous as any other casino game if it isn’t approached in a reasonable and responsible manner.
Gambling addiction is a serious problem around the globe, and it can happen to almost anyone. Many people tend to believe it is something that only happens to others and they’re somehow immune to it, but the reality of the situation is that anyone who’s exposed to a gambling environment is at risk to some extent.
What Causes Gambling Issues?
There are many underlying causes that can trigger a gambling addiction, and they vary from one person to another. While the path to the addiction may be different, actual triggers that help it develop are very real and physical in nature.
The adrenaline rush that is connected to almost all forms of gambling is the very feeling that people with the addiction chase after. It isn’t as much about winning and losing as it is about reliving that experience over and over again. It is a very powerful feeling, and modern medicine has finally recognized that there are actual physical reasons that make it very hard for gambling addicts to give up their habit.
How to Recognize a Problem Gambler?
One of the most sinister things about gambling addiction is that there are no clear physical indicators that could help those closest to the person with the problem recognize there is something going on. For that reason, problem gamblers often go years without anyone truly knowing about the extent of their problem.
Some of the more common tells that can help you identify if someone close to you has been gambling excessively are things like:
- They’re spending a lot of time in the casinos
- They avoid giving you a straight answer when asked about their losses
- There are unpaid bills piling up
- They have been asking you or others you know for loans
- When challenged, they claim to have it under control but refuse to stop
These are some of the more common signs to pay attention to and, if you recognize them, your first course of action should be to try and talk to the person. However, you need to be aware that this is a real addiction, and they’re very likely to put up resistance. If a person has a serious gambling problem, they’re not likely to get rid of it without seeking professional help.
Where to Get Help?
There are several organizations you can turn to if you or someone you know is experiencing problems with gambling.
- Gamblers Anonymous is a global organization that provides support and advice to problem gamblers, and they’re available around the clock
- GamCare is a UK-based organization also dedicated to helping people overcome their gambling addiction
Keep in mind that gambling, in all its forms, should be a fun activity. If you ever feel overwhelmed or like you’re spending more than you should, these are first indicators that you might have a gambling problem. Don’t be afraid to turn to one of these organizations and have a chat with them. Like all addictions, gambling addiction is easier to fight off if you tackle it early on.