Gambling can be a fun, legal form of entertainment, but when the highs and lows of winning and losing become addictive, gaming and betting can take a serious toll on the lives of gamblers and their families.
These days, gaming, wagering, and betting take many forms. At one time, bets were confined to racetracks, casinos, and organized or informal games. The stereotypical problem gambler was a male who frequented these venues and who also engaged in substance use or abuse. Today, gambling is recognized as a problem that affects individuals from all walks of life, encompassing all age groups and both genders. With the growing popularity of online gambling like live casino online malaysia, it’s not even necessary to leave one’s home in order to wager money.
Warning Signs of Gambling Addiction
Identifying the warning signs of gambling addiction is the first step in getting help. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to detect these red flags, especially if the gambler is in denial about the problem. For many families, the first sign that a member of the household has a gambling problem is the sudden loss of a large sum of money. However, there are other signs to watch for that may help prevent serious damage to a family’s welfare.
Unlike normal recreational gamblers, the problem gambler may display the following behaviors:
- Giving up favorite hobbies, recreational activities, or family events in order to gamble
- Opening up a new checking account or applying for new credit cards without any apparent need for more money
- Possessing large amounts of cash, which then disappear
- Acting secretive or defensive about one’s gambling activities
- Having difficulties at work or conflicts in relationships because of gambling wins or losses
- Loss of control over how much money is wagered in any given gambling session
- Attempting to stop gambling without success
- Placing increasingly large bets or taking increasingly dangerous risks (such as borrowing money from illegal sources or stealing from others)
- Expressing guilt, shame, or remorse about gambling yet being unable to stop
- Asking to borrow money from friends or family members, with no obvious need for extra cash
- Lying about activities or spending habits
- Spending a lot of time online and refusing to talk about activities on the computer