We all know that bingo can be a fun hobby but there are dangers to players that are susceptible to a gambling addiction. You may not think you fall into this category, but take a read over our guide so you know what to do, just in case.
What can you do to Eliminate or Minimise the Risk of Addiction?
The jury is out on what makes some players more prone to developing an addiction; with everything from genetics to lifestyle a possible contributor. The main thing that anyone can do to stop themselves falling into this trap is to monitor themselves and be truthful. If you think that you might be headed in this direction then it’s best to give up gambling altogether.
When you play online, statistically speaking, you are more likely to develop a problem. The choice is yours if you want to play online anyway or if you’d rather just keep it to the bingo halls.
What are the Warning Signs?
Just like many other addictions, it can be hard for someone with a gambling addiction to realise that they have one. Some of the most common warning signs include:
- Lying about your habit
- Playing obsessively
- Your friends and family pointing out a possible addiction
- Secretive behaviour
- Issues if you try to quit
Of course, not all of these mean you definitely have an addiction but if you think a few apply then you should take it further. These can vary in severity and some can be shrugged off but when you examine your own life you may find they ring true.
If you spot these signs in one of your fellow roomies then you can chat with them about it confidentially. Providing another person with information can be helpful, though make sure you feel comfortable enough with them to do so.
What can you do if you Suspect you’re Losing Control?
If you do feel like your bingo habit is getting out of hand then you should confide in a friend or professional body. Bingo addiction help is available and all you have to do is take the first step to get it. Then, they will advise you on how best to cut down or quit playing completely, depending on the severity.
Taking steps like limiting your spend or stopping playing entirely can be a starting point, as it shows you’re willing to make a change. This brings control back into your own life and shows that you’re in charge, not an addiction. When some players do this, they miss the socialisation factor but you can switch to free or social bingo games to bring this back, depending on whether you feel this is suitable.
What Precautions do Bingo Sites Employ?
It’s not unheard of for bingo sites to be accused of making addiction gambling too easy. Those with a commitment to responsible gambling will identify players with a problem, when this happens they may:
- Ask if you wish to self exclude – this means that you don’t want to be able to log into your account and you don’t want any further communication from the site.
- Provide you with contact details and literature on helpful charities
- Limit how much you spend
- Advise that your level of spending is not sustainable
You wouldn’t think that bingo sites would want to discourage their players but many of them care about player welfare. Many sites are part of trusts and committees to figure out how best to help players with problems and what to do when they identify them. A gambling addiction is a very serious problem and even those providing games want to eradicate it.
If you think that a bingo site is behaving irresponsibly then you can always get in touch with the Gambling Commission. They can investigate cases of self exclusion and bingo sites making it difficult for their users to give up.
How do you know when you need Professional Help?
If you’ve seen the signs and spoken to a loved one for help then you may feel like a weight has been lifted. Professional help can assist you further and make sure that you have the tools to fight a gambling addiction. Many think that just talking about a problem is enough but seeking a professional opinion will reduce the likelihood of a relapse.
Who can you Contact for Professional Help?
Seeing a professional or talking to an expert can be hugely beneficial, here is a list of groups that you can get in touch with:
Gambleaware (a.k.a Responsible Gambling Trust) (http://www.gambleaware.co.uk/)
Gamblers Anonymous (http://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/)
GamAnon UK (http://gamanon.org.uk/)
NHS National Problem Gambling Clinic (http://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/cnwl-national-problem-gambling-clinic/)
Getting in touch with one of these groups will help you to curb your addiction and they won’t judge you. Just make sure you look out for yourself when you play online.