Gambling Addiction And Responsible Gaming

Written by: Sadonna Price, OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker

OUSC Online United States CasinosWhat has been identified as a modern-day illness is actually a condition that has existed for as long as its cause has been practiced among the human race. Nevertheless, gambling addiction was recently officially identified as a disorder reflecting the unhealthy workings of the patient’s thought process.

Since then, medical practitioners, therapists, and addicts themselves have been constantly working to inform as many as possible on the causes, effects, and proper preventive measures to ultimately reduce its expansion.

Online United States Casinos takes great care in contributing to Responsible Gaming and implements all precautionary measures to protect our customers.

Playing Responsibly and Gambling Addiction

Playing Responsibly and Gambling Addiction
Addiction to gambling and gaming activities is known to be an actual disorder, a medical condition like any other form of addiction. This is practically compulsive gambling, coming from the fact that such gamblers are unable to control their inner impulse to engage in such activities. Once people suffering from this mental disease sense the urge to gamble, there is nothing to stop them from achieving their goals.

As frightening and absolute as it sounds, that is the reality of problem gambling. In order to maximize public awareness and the ability to cope with such conditions in their early stages, people need to be informed every step of the way.

Different Types of Gambling Addiction

Types of Gambling Addiction
Considering that you understand the concept of the condition that is problem gambling, i.e. gambling addiction, it is easy to note its constituent aspects – cause, signs, and effects, differing across the illness’ variants.

Game-Specific Addiction

One way of differing between gambling addictions is to focus on the specific game they target – slots, poker, blackjack, or even lottery and bingo. While the lottery and bingo are still considered simple entertainment rather than gambling, they can be just as destructive when out of control.

Financial Impact

Another type of gambling addiction is related to the addict’s financial demise. The appeal of fast and easy cash often appears to be the optimal solution to such issues, and despite most games’ payout potential, the risk and inconsistency factors ultimately get the better of the players.

The Gameplay High

Gambling addiction is also present in its purest form, as a source of a high, an adrenaline rush, or a feeling of empowerment. Research has shown that there are great similarities between the effects of drugs and those of gambling on the brain. Both provoke activity in most overlapping areas. Thus, many consider the state of gambling as true satisfaction rather than the process of winning or losing, which has resulted in yet a third form of addiction – a natural high.

Gambling Addiction – Statistics and Facts

Gambling Addiction Statistics & Facts
Prior to reviewing the statistical data regarding gambling addiction and its detrimental effects on people’s lives, it is good to be aware of its roots. So far, researchers and experts on the topic have been able to construct a Compulsive Gambler Personality.

The purpose of such a personality model is to help people in their surroundings determine the problem faster and respond correspondingly to reach optimal results. As illustrated above, there are multiple types of addiction, which leads to just as many different variants of the Compulsive Gambler Personality. Nevertheless, for practical purposes, medicine has been able to identify four predominant personality types with key traits, and a number of accompanying ones.

Type I Personality

These are predominantly described as disorganized and unstable on an emotional level, especially due to illustrating schizotypal personality features and constant change of attitude. Most often, this type of Problem Gambling Personality is recognized for added alcohol or substance abuse, all from a rather early stage in life.

Type II Personality

Alcohol and substance abuse is further noted in the second type of personality. Nevertheless, they don’t indicate any attitude or involvement in activities, aiming mostly to isolate themselves from social engagements in general.

Type III Personality

The focus of this type of addictive personality is the reward, the cash prize, and there are practically no means they wouldn’t resort to in order to obtain it. Thus, such people can be said to feature a strong drive for positive, victorious sensations and wild impulses.

Type IV Personality

No psychological or pathological symptoms have been identified in these personalities. Instead, type 4 gamblers may be some of the most socially-functional individuals you know.

Gaming Disorder as a Mental Illness

After careful and in-depth analysis, the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially made gaming disorder an illness under its standards. This has been decided at the 72nd World Health Assembly on Saturday, May 25, 2019.

Gambling Statistics in the USA

Gambling Addiction in USA
Across the different types of personalities most susceptible to such gambling disorders, the US has been able to draw up verifiable statistics on the issue. The country has only recently made a more liberal approach to iGaming, but the land-based industry has a long and established tradition that has taken its toll throughout the years.

Nowadays, researchers and statisticians have estimated that about 2.6% of the total population in the US is facing some kind of gambling addiction issue. In numbers, this adds up to about 10 million people –both adults and minors– resulting in a massive economic tax burden of up to $73 million calculated for 2016.

The Impact of Technology

Once online gambling was introduced as a legal practice across various states, the effects gained further intensity. Gambling became available via diverse devices. PCs and laptops took the lead portion of the industry’s traffic with over 40%. The rest is almost equally spread out between smartphone and tablet online gamblers.

Geographic & Demographic Factors

To break down the matter even further, statisticians looked at gambling habits and problems across a number of additional factors.

  • By State

    For example, when analyzing the situation on a state-by-state level, it was discovered that compulsive gambling was most present in Nevada, particularly in the vicinity of Las Vegas.

  • By Gender

    A different factor –sex– taken as the basis of problem gambling statistics illustrated higher rates in males versus females. Nevertheless, with the new technology and increased accessibility, this demographic is bound to undergo certain changes.

Compulsive Gambling

Compulsive Gambling
In order to properly understand the condition known as compulsive gambling, it is crucial that people are aware of the main causes, symptoms, and resulting effects. With it being a growing menace to everyday social life, it is crucial that everyone is able to identify problem gambling in themselves or someone in their closest surrounding and help accordingly.

Most Common Causes of Problem Gambling

There is no saying what the exact cause of gambling addiction is, much like any other addictive condition people tend to develop. Still, some instigators seem to prompt a kind of an existing urge to gamble, also known as risk factors.

Compulsive Gambling Risk Factors

  • Age

    While someone’s age may not be directly related to their developing a gambling addiction, it is definitely true that younger and middle-aged people are far more susceptible to its influence.

  • Gender

    As mentioned earlier, for the US, it is a general tendency for men to develop gambling addictions much more often than women. However, this was largely the effect of previous social norms and habits that restricted this activity to the male sex and is most likely to balance out soon enough.

  • Existing Mental Disorders

    People who are already suffering and being treated for a different mental disorder, such as ADHD or OCD, are more easily caused to develop addictive gambling habits than others.

  • Existing Addictions

    Those addicted to alcohol or substances –or even video games– additionally have greater chances of developing a gambling addiction. Such addicts have already felt the ‘satisfaction’ of indulging in the object of their addiction and seek other ways to relive that experience.

  • Strong Surrounding Influences

    A surrounding dominated by vices and addicts is a rather likely cause for developing the same habits in the remaining inhabitants. Up to 15% in children and 50% in spouses of gambling addicts in the US are estimated to have experienced some kind of abusive behavior and trauma. This alone is enough cause for them to seek refuge in something familiar, in this case, gambling.

  • Specific Personality Traits

    It has been shown that people with certain personality features are more inclined to gamble and similar risky situations that depend on chance alone. These include individuals who are prone to impulsive, competitive, and workaholic behaviors, among others.

OUSC - Warning Signs of Problem Gambling

How to Identify a Compulsive Gambler – Signs and Symptoms

Addicts of all kinds usually develop different strategies to keep others out of the loop. At first, both parties may be unaware of the presence of a problem, but once it surfaces, there are numerous signs and symptoms that indicate a gambling addiction, including.

Warning Signs of Problem Gambling

  • Being Secretive About Your Gambling

    Most gamblers try not to draw attention to their bad habit and may often end up being overly secretive about where they’re going or what they’re doing online. You can notice them rather easily, as they tend to get restless when asked about it.

  • Being Unable to Control Your Gambling

    Gambling addicts themselves often start to feel dominated by the urge to gamble, especially when they can’t hide it, afford it, or stop it. Changes in behavior commonly accompany this symptom, especially when addicts are directly faced with the drive to gamble.

  • Experiencing Troubles in Everyday Life

    Gamblers often experience financial, work-related, and relationship issues due to their compulsive behavior. Seeing someone close to you risk money they can’t afford to lose definitely points out a gambling problem in the making.

  • Worrying Your Closest Friends and Family

    A problem gambler will inevitably cause concern among their closest friends and family members. The greater it gets, the deeper the gambling problem it indicates.

Problem Gambling – Effects, Myths & Misconceptions

Gambling Addiction Myths
Gambling can have a variety of destructive results on people’s overall lifestyles, depending on their daily habits and surroundings, as well as their social, financial, and marital status.

Nevertheless, among the most common effects, gamblers are bound to experience financial and relationship troubles – bankruptcy or divorce. Along the same lines, loss of work and social efficiency resulting in unemployment and isolation is another common effect, as well as poor physical and mental health.

Despite such signs and effects, there are still multiple myths and misconceptions connected to problem gambling. These often prevent the healing process and can actually make the situation worse.

Gambling Addiction Myths

  • They are gambling addicts, so they must be lazy and unintelligent.

    Gambling has been a common vice throughout its existence and can influence the lives of people of all backgrounds, statuses, and IQs.

  • Real addicts are only those who gamble every day.

    Gambling addicts don’t need to gamble daily to be diagnosed with the condition. Most of them actually tend to wait for the opportune time and circumstances.

  • We should help gamblers clear their gambling debts.

    Recognizing that they have debts is a step towards healing, but gamblers shouldn’t get instant help to clear them. This would encourage them to continue with the same pattern, ultimately only making matters worse.

How To Get Help For Gambling Addiction

How To Get Help For Gambling Addiction (2)
People can often find themselves challenged when someone close to them suffers from gambling addiction. This condition is much harder to cure than the common cold and requires a specific approach to get started with the healing process.

Gambling Addiction Recovery

Protect Yourself – Make sure you are safe and protected of any bodily harm that may come your way before getting started with your approach.
Get Help & Support – Make sure you have enough help and support from other close people. You can’t predict how the person will react, as compulsive gambling can provoke various behavioral changes.
Plan Your Strategy – Set up a strict strategy to handle financial matters. For example, getting authorization to manage the addict’s accounts, restricting their cash flow, and preventing online payments.
Prepare yourself for the consequences – Gambling addicts can get rather manipulative and even violent in order to satiate their urge to gamble.

Gambling Addiction Test

Gamblers Gamblers_Anonymous

Identifying the problem is difficult in itself, but experts in the field have ultimately devised a 20-questions Gambling Addiction Test to simplify the process. Inserting such inquiries into everyday conversation and getting intuitive answers is a simple yet sure way of identifying the possible problem in its grassroots stage.

Gambling Addiction Treatment

Gambling Addiction Treatment
The help of a loved one is undeniably potent, but professional treatments are bound to be the most effective. With addiction being recognized as a real medical condition, medical institutions have been set up all over the USA, providing assistance wherever necessary.

These establishments include various addiction centers across the country’s territory, including:

Some non-profit medical help organizations, the likes of Help Guide, also offer online assistance, with a fully equipped website and available support.

Gambling Addiction Help – US Hotlines And Meetings

  • Birmingham Hotline Number: (205) 824-2473
  • Montgomery Hotline Number: (334) 399-6918
  • Mobile Hotline Number: (251)-378-5018
AlaskaThere is no local listing available at the moment. Check the Gamblers Anonymous Hotlines site for more info.
  • Arizona Spanish Hotline Number (888) 665-8346 (888 NO-JUEGO)
  • Phoenix Hotline Number: (602) 266-9784
  • Tucson Hotline Number: (520) 570-7879
ArkansasThere is no local listing available at the moment. Check the Gamblers Anonymous Hotlines site for more info.
  • California Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Palm Springs Hotline Number: (760) 325-2808
ColoradoColorado Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
ConnecticutConnecticut Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Delaware Hotline Number: Check Gamblers Anonymous Site
  • Tucson Hotline Number: (520) 570-7879
District of ColumbiaD.C. Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
FloridaFlorida Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Atlanta Korean Hotline Number: (678) 431-6600
  • Georgia Hotline Number: (404) 237-7281
  • Marietta/Douglasville Hotline Number: (404) 641-5327
HawaiiHawaii Hotline Number: (808) 284-8329
IdahoThere is no local listing available at the moment. Check the Gamblers Anonymous Hotlines site for more info.
  • Chicago Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Peoria Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Silvis Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
IndianaIndianapolis Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
IowaThere is no local listing available at the moment. Check the Gamblers Anonymous Hotlines site for more info.
KansasKansas Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
KentuckyKentucky Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Baton Rouge Hotline Number: (888) 502-5610
  • New Orleans Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
MaineMaine Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
MarylandMaryland Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
MassachusettsMassachusetts Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Grand Rapids Hotline Number: (616) 776-0666
  • Michigan Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
MinnesotaMinnesota Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
MississippiMississippi Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Eastern Missouri/Southern IL Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Kansas City Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Billings Hotline Number: (406) 860-8287
  • Helena Hotline Number: (406) 431-1663
  • Lincoln Hotline Number: (402) 473-7933
  • Omaha Hotline Number: (402) 978-7557
  • Carson City Hotline Number: (775) 882-8222
  • Reno Hotline Number: (775) 356-8070
  • Las Vegas Hotline Numbers: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
New HampshireNew Hampshire Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
New JerseyNew Jersey Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
New MexicoAlbuquerque Hotline Number: (505) 260-7272
New York
  • New York Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Albany Hotline Number: (518) 292-0414
North Carolina
  • Greensboro/Winston-Salem Hotline Number: (336) 681-8516
  • North Carolina Hotline Number: (919) 460-9039
North DakotaNorth Dakota Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Cincinnati/Dayton/Ohio Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Toledo Hotline Number: (419) 327-9514
  • Youngstown Hotline Number: (330) 505-5060
OklahomaOklahoma Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
OregonOregon Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
Puerto RicoPuerto Rico Hotline Number: (787) 257-2204
Rhode IslandRhode Island Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Hotline Number: (919) 460-9039
South DakotaThere is no local listing available at the moment. Check the Gamblers Anonymous Hotlines site for more info.
TennesseeMemphis Hotline Number: (901) 438-3695
  • Austin Hotline Number: (512) 860-2958
  • Dallas Hotline Number: (214) 675-0939
  • Fort Worth Hotline Number: (817) 371-0624
  • Houston Hotline Number: (855) 442-7105
  • San Antonio Hotline Number: (210) 705-4429
UtahSalt Lake City Hotline Number: (801) 758-8890
VermontVermont Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Northern Virginia Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Staunton Hotline Number (540) 447-4889
WashingtonWashington Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
West VirginiaWest Virginia Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Appleton Hotline Number: (920) 730-0353
  • Madison Hotline Number: (608) 283-5800
  • Wausau Hotline Number: (715) 297-5317
WyomingWyoming Hotline Number: 855-2 CALL-GA (855-222-5542)

Find A Meeting Near You

Gamblers Anonymous has helpful meetings all across the country in the USA. There are three types of meetings to choose from, depending on what your particular needs are.

  • Closed Meeting: People with a gambling problem and/or those who think they may have one who wants to stop gambling can attend and participate in this type of meeting.
  • Modified Closed Meeting: It’s the same as a “closed meeting,” but members can vote to accept certain other people who may attend, such as health professionals, guests of first-time members, and people with other addictions who need to go to a meeting.
  • Open Meeting: Relatives, family, significant others, and friends of the gambler can join and observe the meeting.

Responsible Gaming

Responsible Gambling
The concept known as Responsible Gaming is found in the entertainment industry, specifically at casinos and similar gambling content providers. These operators, both online and land-based, in the spirit of the concept of maintaining industry fairness, need to comply with certain provisions. What is more, separate gambling organizations put together events and promote the idea even further in order to raise awareness of the need for such standards to be upheld. These organizations include:

For the United States, the American Gaming Association tends to organize a Responsible Gaming Education Week. Here, participants are presented with a set of parameters dictating the proper approach to the matter, specifically:

Online Casinos Regulation and Compliance

While it is a broad and debatable topic, online casinos and operators need to comply with legal regulative. In the USA, betting sites need to comply with the gambling laws for each state. This includes the legal gambling age of their player community, unbiased software and platform, and reliable payment options. As for compulsive gambling, a specific set of preventive measures – deposit and withdrawal limits, account management and suspension, etc. – are further authorized by management.

All in all, even the most stringent restrictions are for the good of the industry and everyone involved. It is only by successfully preventing and remedying problem gambling that the online gaming industry is able to operate optimally, providing an entertaining and rewarding player experience.

Final Thoughts

Gambling and online gameplay are supposed to be fun. It is not intended to be a source of income or a way to escape reality. Only people 18 years of age or older should gamble, and this is a legal requirement at all reputable online casinos.

However, if you feel that you, or someone close to you, have a problem, make sure to find help. Keep an eye out for the warning signs and take the necessary steps –as advised here– to ensure gaming doesn’t become a hindrance in your life.

OUSC is here to help you find the best online casino sites in a responsible way. If you feel you might have a problem – or could develop one – there are resources available to help you.

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Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker

Sadonna is a former professional poker player. Passionate about writing and loves using her creativity to provide insight into the interesting gambling world.

Learn More About Sadonna