Responsible Gambling Resources

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With legal gambling expanding throughout the United States, it is important to know how to gamble responsibly. Luckily, many states use the revenue they receive through legal gambling to fund responsible gambling resources. But, if you do not understand how to access or use these resources, this guide will help you learn.

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There are many kinds of resources available to learn how to gamble responsibly or to help treat a gambling addiction. These range from in-person groups, help lines, and websites to state funded programs. It is important to find the type of resource that will work best for you.

RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING RESOURCE LIST

Here is a list of some of the resources that you should look into:

  • The National Council on Problem Gambling Hotline: ​​The hotline is available at 1-800-522-4700. It is open twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The hotline, which is confidential, is available not just for problem gamblers but also their family members.
  • Gamblers Anonymous: Similar to the well-known Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step program available for problem gamblers. Just like AA, this program comes in the form of support meetings.
  • Gam-Anon: This resource is similar to Gamblers Anonymous only it is for the family members of a person who is dealing with a gambling addiction.
  • Freedom from Problem Gambling: This is a free self-help workbook offered from the UCLA Gambling Studies Program. It helps problem gamblers work through their issues and learn new coping mechanisms.
  • The National Council on Problem Gambling Website: The organization’s website has a lot of information available on all aspects of problem gambling, from the resources to the legislation supporting the initiatives.
  • Legal Gambling Websites: Most legal gambling websites, from online casinos to online sportsbooks, have a section on their page that leads to resources for problem gambling.

WHAT IS A GAMBLING ADDICTION?

You may be wondering when a penchant for gambling crosses over into a gambling addiction. That is an important distinction to make in order to make sure you are acting responsibly. However, if you are worried that you have a gambling addiction, it is a good idea to take a step back and reevaluate your relationship with gambling.

Gambling addiction is labeled as an impulse-control disorder. It can also be called compulsive gambling, gambling disorder, or pathological gambling. Those with a gambling addiction are not able to control their compulsive need to gamble, even to the detriment of their lives or the lives of those around them.

Compulsive gamblers will keep gambling in spite of the negative consequences that they face, even in situations where they are broke or cannot afford to lose the bet. However, not all those who face an issue with gambling are compulsive gamblers.

Problem gambling is gambling behavior that has a negative or disruptive impact on the gambler’s life. This can manifest as gambling being at the forefront of the gambler’s mind at all times, spending large quantities of time and money on gambling behaviors, and/or continuing to gamble despite negative consequences.

Many people who face gambling addiction or problem gambling are facing another mental health issue at the same time. This can be ADHD, bipolar disorder, stress, anxiety, depression, and/or substance abuse issues. So, sometimes to treat a gambling problem, other mental health issues will need to be addressed as well.

GAMBLING ADDICTION SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

If you are wondering if you have a gambling addiction, you are probably curious about the signs and symptoms you should look out for. It’s important to understand that not all addictions will present themselves the same way in different people. In addition, many people who are facing a gambling addiction will be in denial, with others and even themselves.

Here are some of the signs you should look out for:

  • You are gambling in secret or minimizing the amount of gambling you are actually doing to others. This is especially true if you have begun to lie about your gambling.
  • You have a hard time controlling the urge to gamble or are unable to stop yourself from gambling. This can mean you only stop gambling when you have no money left to gamble.
  • Your gambling goes beyond your means. This can manifest by you gambling even when you cannot afford to lose a bet. Some problem gamblers will dive into funds set aside for bills or other necessities or even begin to borrow money to continue gambling. In worst cases, gamblers will sell their belongings or even steal to fuel their addiction.
  • Your gambling has started to worry others. Typically, when a behavior escalates to the point of where others are worried about you, this is a sign that something is wrong. Because many addicts will be in denial, even to themselves, it is important to listen to your loved ones if they voice a concern. Do not be afraid to ask your loved ones for help if you need it, they would not be concerned if they did not want to help you.

HOW TO STOP GAMBLING

If you have identified that you have a gambling problem, this is a great first step. The next step is to figure out how to treat your problem. Fortunately, there are a lot of resources that can help you stop gambling.

Here are some resources that you can use to stop gambling-

  • Support Hotlines: There are multiple gambling addiction hotlines that you can call, like the one listed above, to get support, resources, and next steps to treat a gambling problem.
  • Problem Gambling Support Groups: There are support groups that are available for problem gamblers, like Gamblers Anonymous. You can also find group therapy for addicts.
  • Start Therapy: Your gambling addiction may be a symptom of another mental health issue. To treat your gambling problem, you will need to address this mental health issue too.
  • Self-Help Gambling Treatment: There are self-help treatments for gambling problems. This can include online resources and workbooks.

GAMBLING ADDICTION TREATMENT

As with any addiction, the journey to recovery for a gambling addiction is ongoing. Lifestyle changes must be made and maintained in order for you to keep on the right path. You will not be magically cured one day and will need to stay away from your triggers after you have identified them.

Responsible Gambling FAQRESPONSIBLE GAMBLING RESOURCES FAQ

You may still have some questions about treating a gambling addiction and responsible gambling resources. This frequently asked questions section will help you address those questions.

ARE THERE PROBLEM GAMBLING SUPPORT GROUPS?

There are, including Gamblers Anonymous.

WHO CAN HAVE A GAMBLING ADDICTION?

People of all ages, jobs, and financial situations can face a gambling addiction.

SHOULD I SEEK THERAPY FOR A GAMBLING ADDICTION?

Therapy is a great resource and should definitely be utilized to treat a gambling addiction.

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