Jerry W asks a very important question,
“What is the difference between a gambling addict and all these gambling channels. Are you all compulsive gamblers? Or can you stop at any given moment? Can you all stop gambling for a month? What do you tell viewers who have a gambling problem?”
I will not speak for others, but I do promise to be as open and honest as possible and to provide as much education as I can. I am not an expert and so have researched and provided links below.
The Mayo Clinic classifies compulsive gambling (or gambling disorder) as
the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. Gambling
means that you’re willing to risk something you value in the hope of getting something of even greater value. It can stimulate the brain’s reward system much like drugs or alcohol can, leading to addiction.
According to them, Symptoms include:
Personally, I do not have an addiction. I enjoy gambling responsibly and have learned the limits I need to set for myself over time. That wasn’t always the case however. When I was younger, I would sometimes gamble too much and I found myself gambling to make back the money I lost. That is a sure way to come away a loser every time, because when you win, you feel invincible and keep gambling…until it’s all gone. A jackpot is never big enough.
Some tricks I personally use to ensure it does not become a problem and that I recommend:
Casinos should be used as a form of entertainment, a place to hang out with friends or to just get away and have some excitement. It is NOT a place to go and get rich or to help you pay the bills. If the fun stops, so should you. My favorite saying is from the Ontario Lottery Gaming: Know your Limit, Play within It.
For more information or if you think you may have a problem, I encourage you to reach out to friends and family and to visit these suggested places as outlined on HelpGuide.org :
The National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline – Offers a confidential, 24-hour helpline for problem gamblers or their family members in the U.S. Call 1-800-522-4700. (NCPG)
Gamblers Anonymous – Twelve-step Gamblers Anonymous program, an international support network of meetings to assist people who have a gambling problem. Gam-Anon for the problem gambler's spouse, family members, or close friends. (Gamblers Anonymous)
Gamcare – Offers support, information, and advice for those with a gambling problem in the UK. Call the helpline 0845 6000 133. (Gamcare)
Gambling Help Online – Provides 24-hour helpline in Australia for counseling, information, and referrals. Call 1800 858 858. (Gambling Help Online)
Canadian Resources for Those Affected by Problem Gambling – Find help and information on problem gambling in your area of Canada. (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health)
What Is Problem Gambling? – Learn about the gambling continuum and the key differences between recreational gambling and problem gambling. (British Columbia Responsible & Problem Gambling Program)
Freedom from Problem Gambling (PDF) – Self-help workbook for compulsive gamblers, with tips on how to avoid relapse and fight gambling urges. (UCLA Gambling Studies Program and California Department of Public Health)
Choosing a Treatment Facility – Learn what treatments are appropriate for problem gambling and what questions you should ask when look at facilities. (National Council on Problem Gambling)
Problem Gamblers and their Finances (PDF) – In-depth guide for treatment professionals on how to help a problem gambler cope with financial problems and pressures. (National Endowment for Financial Education)
Help for Family, Friends, Employers, and Co-Workers – Learn how gambling addiction affects family and friends and what you can do to address the problem. (Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services)
Personal Financial Strategies for the Loved Ones of Problem Gamblers (PDF) – Designed to help families deal with personal financial issues due to a loved one's problem gambling. (National Council on Problem Gambling)