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Sports betting & gambling addiction

Along with the risk of losing money is the risk of addiction when it comes to sports betting. It is an addictive thing to get involved in. You are constantly chasing money, competing against a bookmaker to try and beat them, biting your nails until the final minute of a game to see if someone scores to earn you a victory. There is a rush involved, a thrill of winning but when a bad patch comes along and a loss knocks you for six, or you can’t get out of a losing streak, people get desperate and try and bet their way out of financial problems.

Risk of addiction

Unfortunately, the risk of addiction from sports betting is high. It is a legal pastime which makes it easy to access and if you are watching sports on a constant basis then you are going to be bombarded with promotions and media advertising. Betting should never be treated as fun, but it should be approached with caution, care, and a will power. It’s because it is so easy to do and most punters will find themselves thinking that they can beat the odds no problem. However, when it reaches the point that a person unquestionably believes that they have the answer to all betting, that they have a foolproof system to beat the odds, that is a sign of addiction. Realty has been put aside. There is no foolproof way to win.

Signs of gambling addiction

People will often have tells that indicate that they are in some degree of trouble with gambling. These can be anything from asking for money a lot of times through to some signs of irrational behaviour when not having access to betting. Even when a person can afford to gamble there is still an addiction there. Having access to more money will probably lead to addiction more quickly than someone who can’t really afford it.

There is a fact that adolescents are actually at higher risk of addiction than adults are and that more than half of all compulsive gamblers will commit crimes to pay for gambling debts.

  • Unhealthy preoccupation with gambling
  • Needing to place increasingly larger wagers to get a rush
  • Irritability and impatience when trying to quit gambling
  • Trying to win back losses with more gambling
  • Lying about the extent of gambling activities
  • Seeking financial assistance from friends and family to support gambling activities

There are the physical sign of someone being moody because when an addict can’t get what they want, they get desperate and go through some withdrawal symptoms. A gambling addiction can lead to big problems such as strains on relationships, the ruination of finances and putting a home and job at risk. There is the risk that in order to fund betting needs crime will be turned too, even if it is stealing from friends or family and there is the big danger of maxing out credit cards as well. It can quickly turn into a slippery slope.

Betting Addiction Treatment

Bookmakers do post Responsible Gambling information on their sites in an attempt to try and protect people. A lot of bookmakers are linked up with Gambleawre.co.uk who offer clear advice and guidance about gambling and how to stay in control. They offer a link to the national helpline ran by GamCare at 0808 8020 133 in the UK or you can talk online to someone there. Face to face counselling is also available. There are valuable resources like a gambling calculator to really see how much you are spending and a quiz to take to see if you have a gambling addiction. There are treatments and the NHS is a good place to find help, putting you in touch with Clinics and organizations to help you. Most common side effects of gambling addiction are low self-esteem, anxiety and depression and cognitive behavioural therapy can help.

What should I do if I think I have a gambling addiction?

Contact someone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask a family member or a close friend for support and GamCare is a great place to get some confidential help.