Play Responsibly

While gambling can provide excitement and the allure of a big win, it also carries risks that shouldn’t be overlooked. Betting can lead to addiction-like behaviors, known as compulsive gambling or gambling disorder.

This condition compels individuals to continue gambling despite negative consequences, impacting their mental, physical, and financial well-being. It’s crucial to understand the signs of compulsive gambling and play responsibly to avoid harm.

What Is Compulsive Gambling?

Compulsive gambling, or gambling disorder, is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to gamble, often at the expense of one’s health and relationships. Similar to substance abuse, compulsive gambling can lead individuals to prioritize gambling over other important aspects of life, despite negative consequences.

The addictive nature of gambling stems from the brain’s response to winning. Winning money triggers the release of dopamine, the “feel-good” neurotransmitter, reinforcing the behavior and leading to a cycle of continued gambling to experience the same euphoria. While gambling doesn’t cause physical dependence, the psychological allure of winning can be equally compelling.

The Symptoms of Compulsive Gambling

Recognizing the symptoms of compulsive gambling is crucial for responsible gambling.

Warning signs may include an inability to stop gambling despite losses, neglecting responsibilities at work or home, loss of interest in other activities, conflicts with loved ones, and physical symptoms such as anxiety or insomnia. Being aware of these signs can help individuals address the issue before it spirals out of control and regain enjoyment from gambling responsibly.

  • A compulsive need to keep playing even after consecutive losses or when facing unfavorable odds;
  • Trouble sticking to commitments at work or home, such as being late, missing deadlines or appointments, etc.;
  • Losing interest in other activities and hobbies you previously enjoyed;
  • Getting into more conflicts with friends and family, relationship problems;
  • Feeling like you need to lie or misrepresent how much time or money you spend betting;
  • Decreased mood, higher anxiety, stomach issues, trouble sleeping, and more.

While this list isn’t comprehensive, it can help you recognize potential signs of gambling addiction in yourself or a loved one. If you suspect an issue, consider reaching out to the following resources for support and assistance:

GamCareĀ 

National Council on Problem Gambling

Gamble Aware

Priory Group