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Online gambling has become increasingly popular over the past decade. While many people are able to enjoy online gambling as a harmless form of entertainment, for some individuals, it can lead to addiction. In this blog post, we will explore the symptoms of online gambling addiction, provide a self-check to determine if you may have a problem, share statistics illustrating the severity of the issue, and provide resources for those seeking help.
Symptoms of Online Gambling Addiction
Online gambling addiction, like other forms of addiction, can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some common symptoms include:
- Feeling the need to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the same level of excitement.
- Feeling irritable or anxious when attempting to cut back or stop gambling.
- Lying to loved ones about the amount of time and money spent on gambling.
- Neglecting responsibilities such as work, school, or household duties in order to gamble.
- Continuing to gamble despite negative consequences such as financial problems or strained relationships.
Self-Check for Online Gambling Addiction
If you are concerned that you may have a problem with online gambling, there are several self-check questions you can ask yourself:
- Do I often think about gambling, even when I am not actively engaged in it?
- Do I feel the need to increase the amount of money I am gambling with in order to achieve the same level of excitement?
- Have I ever lied to friends or family members about the amount of time or money I spend on gambling?
- Do I feel irritable or anxious when I am unable to gamble?
- Have I ever missed work or other important responsibilities in order to gamble?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, it may be time to seek help for your gambling addiction.
Statistics on Online Gambling Addiction
According to a study by the National Council on Problem Gambling, approximately 2-3% of Americans struggle with problem gambling. Additionally, a survey conducted by the UK Gambling Commission found that approximately 0.7% of adults in the UK identify as problem gamblers, with an additional 1.1% at risk of developing a gambling problem.
Scientific References and Studies
Several scientific studies have explored the issue of online gambling addiction. One study published in the Journal of Gambling Studies found that online gambling is more addictive than traditional forms of gambling due to the ease of access and the ability to gamble in private. Another study published in the Journal of Gambling Issues found that online gambling addiction is linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression.
Resources for Those Seeking Help
If you or someone you know is struggling with online gambling addiction, there are resources available to help. The National Council on Problem Gambling operates a helpline (1-800-522-4700) which provides confidential support and resources for those dealing with problem gambling. Additionally, the UK-based organization GamCare offers free, confidential support and advice for those struggling with gambling addiction. Both organizations also offer online resources and support groups for individuals seeking help.
While online gambling can be a fun and harmless form of entertainment for some, for others, it can lead to addiction and negative consequences. If you or someone you know is struggling with online gambling addiction, it is important to seek help. By recognizing the symptoms of addiction, utilizing self-checks, and accessing the resources available, individuals can overcome their addiction and regain control of their lives.