In an ideal world, we would all be able to play online bingo without any problems. It would be easy to log in, enjoy some games, then log out again, managing our bankrolls responsibly and not having the situation get out of hand. Unfortunately, this can’t always happen, and some people are unfortunately prone to becoming addicted to gambling. If you feel that online gambling is taking over your life, your behavior is becoming secretive or obsessive, and you’re experiencing financial or relationship difficulties as a result, it may be time to seek help. Here are some of the symptoms to look out for when it comes to gambling addiction:
- Hiding your gambling habits from other people. Maybe you wait until other people are asleep to gamble, or you lie about how long you’ve spent on a bingo site.
- Gambling despite not having the money. Sometimes you may find you’ve spent all of your wages on gambling and you take out credit in order to keep playing.
- Friends and family are worried or fighting with you. Gambling addiction can impact relationships, and those closest to you may be worried about your behavior, or drawn into fights with you, depending on how you’re acting towards them.
- Experiencing difficulties in other areas of life. Some people who are addicted to gambling will skip work or other commitments in order to wager their money, which has a negative impact on their lives and could lead to serious consequences.
The good news is that it’s possible to seek help if you think you have a problem with gambling. The main resource out there available to provide support to those who need it is Gamblers Anonymous. There are groups available in numerous locations, so it’s likely there will be one near you where you can meet others like you. Alternatively, you can use online resources to get help, and you can talk to people who know what it’s like to be in your shoes. Another resource is GamCare, which offers advice to problem gamblers, plus their friends and family. There is a free helpline, which is good for those who feel alone or that they can’t talk to people close to them, and who want to reach out to someone who doesn’t know them personally. The chatroom provides additional support, where you can speak to others going through similar situations.
If you know someone who you think is becoming addicted to gambling, there are steps you can take to help them. The first stage is helping them to accept they have a problem. It’s important to be sympathetic and tactful when first approaching them, and to be aware that they may not be receptive at first. The good news is that, once they do admit they have a problem, there are many ways to provide support. You can be there to talk to them, escort them to see a GP for further advice, and be around in case of a relapse.
All reputable online bingo sites will provide details of help and resources available for those who are experiencing gambling addiction. This is because all gambling sites are required to promote responsible gambling. There will be links to external resources, advice on separate pages on the site, and tools for players to control their gambling, such as timers to track the time spent on the site and self-exclusion for set periods of time.