Words by Anders Bergman, founder of QuitGamble.com. At QuitGamble, Bergman helps people find the cause of their addiction and a way to treat it.
In this article I’ll discuss responsible gambling and what it might lead to from a player’s perspective. Can you gamble responsibly? When does gambling become a problem, and what can we do when it does?
Let’s focus on gambling problems and gambling addiction. Is there anything like responsible gambling or Gamble with care? To me, it depends on how you define the word gamble.
If the definition of gambling mainly focuses on entertainment, then, the answer is YES. Then you can play responsibly. To clarify entertainment, we refer to gambling for fun or to give oneself some extra excitement in day to day life.
If the definition of gambling instead focuses on winning money, the answer is NO. Then you can't gamble responsibly in my opinion. If someone gamble to win, that person is treading on thin ice. To better explain that, I’d like to visualise connection between why we gamble the results it might get. I call it the gambling addiction curve.
The curve has three parts:
1. Gamble for entertainment
2. Gamble to win money
3. Gamble to win back money
To better understand the curve. Let’s begin by defining what gambling problems and gambling addiction are.
Definition of Gambling Problems
Someone with gambling problems has started to lose control over the gambling. Gambling takes up more and more time. The fun of the parts is still larger than the negative consequences, though.
Definition of Gambling Addiction
For a gambling addict, the negative consequences are more obvious; people around the person has started to react; both the finances and personal health are affected. The person focuses on finding new money to gamble with. The gamble is not fun anymore. Instead, the addicted is driven by a desperation to win back the money he has lost.
The two definitions characterise part 2 and 3 of the addiction curve.
I jump ahead, let's go back to gamble for entertainment. Even if I advise against all gamble, especially if you are in the risk zone of any addiction, there are some less harmful games.
To buy some tickets to support the local sports club
To buy a scratch ticket now and then.
To sit for 30 minutes at the blackjack table in a bar and loose €20 once a month.
To lose €200 in the casino on holiday in Las Vegas.
I don't recommend anything of the above. At the same time, life is about making fun things. Many dreams about visiting Las Vegas. Dream of taking a chance at the Roulette table. Bet €100 on 13, just to see what happens. Similarly, supporting the local sports club is not about winning money. You do it for the experience and as a nice gesture.
If the person is not at high risk of becoming addicted, then gambling for entertainment can be a lot of fun. Adding a bit of extra excitement to a premier league football match by betting on the game, or as an Arsenal fan I can bet on the other team to soften the blow when Arsenal loses the game.
What the player, and the people around that person need to be cautious of is when the WHY changes. When the reason I put a bet is to win, rather than to have fun or add a little extra spice to a football match.
In my next article, I’ll continue to discuss this matter. If you can’t wait until I publish the next article, I can recommend the following video above.
Following the successful launch of SiGMA Europe (Malta) and SiGMA Asia (Manila), we’re now launching the inaugural SiGMA AMERICAS, covering all three major timezones. The inaugural edition is set for September 22-24, 2020 with a virtual summit focusing on two themes: SiGMA AMERICAS for the Gaming industry and AIBC AMERICAS for the Emerging Tech industry. We wanted to provide fresh content, to help you navigate through these turbulent times. If you’re exploring Americas as a new frontier or wondering which tech solutions to embrace, we've got you covered: tune in on September 22-24, 2020.