Online gambling is reaching its peak with every passing year as the standard of gaming is only on the rise. The graphics and the gameplay have been thoroughly improved with the help of newer and stronger technology. This invites players from all over the world to indulge in online wagering from time to time. The use of mobile-compatible software on online casinos has increased the thrill of gambling all the more.
Just like the increase in the ease of gambling, there has been an increase in the number of problem gamblers as well. Now, what do we mean by problem gamblers? Problem gamblers are players who fall prey to the risks of gambling by overusing the games on online casinos. Players who develop an addiction or end up over-gambling to an extent where it affects them adversely are people whom we categorize as problem gamblers. But why is there a direct link between a greater reach of online gambling and problem gamblers?
Since there is more of an opportunity to play from one’s comfort instead of having to line up outside a brick-and-mortar casino, there is less effort required to gamble online. Thus, people all over the world tend to indulge in online gambling with lesser obstacles and effort altogether. In order to combat this, gambling platforms have come up with partnerships with self-exclusion programs like GamStop combined with strict regulations. Let us read some more on that.
What is GambleAware?
We just mentioned the concept of self-exclusion programs like GamStop. Similarly, GambleAware is another organization that works independently as a charity organization keeping the best interests of problem gamblers in mind. The areas on which Gamble Aware works include research, treatment, and education and awareness programs which aids in the reduction of gambling-related damages. GambleAware, however, is not a body that provides any separate services but only functions as a grant-making body.
GambleAware provides support to players who are facing issues regarding gambling and offers them online counseling sessions as well. For players who wish to take face-to-face counseling sessions, there is a provision for that too. A 24×7 toll-free helpline number lets people report their problems, assist a friend or family member who is going through difficulties regarding gambling or take suggestions to combat the issue.
GambleAware offers a 30-second test that will also help gamblers judge their position with regard to gambling online. With the results of the test, they can determine whether they should continue gambling with non GamStop casino operators such as Non Stop Casino or they should register with GamStop exclusion and stop for a while.
Details of Survey
As we said that GambleAware extends their hand by conducting research on problem gamblers as well, their annual survey – GB Treatment and Support Survey, suggests that there has been a significant increase in the number of problem gamblers.
However, a larger number of gamblers are taking help for their problems as the year’s pass. In 2019, a total of 54% of gamblers were found to take help from GambleAware. Compared to 2020, there were 63% of the total gamblers resorting to help self-help programs online.
It is to be noted that the number of gamblers has decreased from 39% to 44% from 2019 to 2020. The percentage of problem gamblers who have resorted to help through support services has increased from 39% to 48%. The treatment services accounted for 53% of the problem gamblers. Furthermore, the percentage of mental health services showed a rise from 12% to 19% in total.
How to Prevent Problem Gambling?
There stands a large percentage of gamblers who have identified problems with their gambling patterns. A few conscious steps in understanding gambling addiction can help alleviate the problem. Let us take a look at a few tips.
- Having an understanding of addiction and tendencies related to it.
- Avoid giving in to temptations.
- Get help from a support group.
- Seek help from professional mental health practitioners.
- Fill up your day with mindful activities such as reading, meditation, volunteering, and traveling.
- Speak to loved ones to have a chat.
Even though there has been an increase in problem gamblers over the years, there has been an increase in the number of people taking help from online programs that promote responsible gambling.