Gambling is everywhere, the Lottery in Louisiana, scratch cards in Seattle, greyhound racing in Galena, fruit machines in Florida, casinos in Carolina, horse racing at Kentucky, Bingo online, Football in New York, and online gambling wherever you are, we could go on.
Gambling is now accessible from anywhere, with today’s technology we can even take part in each of these activities from the comfort of our own homes, through the internet or interactive television, or just by picking up the telephone. Gambling has for some people become a way of life, for others it has ruined their lives.
It sounds exciting doesn’t it, it can be, but for those people who lose control there can be devastating effects.
The latest Gambling problem is the surge in online gambling, especially from smart phones. Gambling related anxiety and depression are on the increase, particularly in women.
A brief history of gambling
2000 BC Egyptians used knucklebones as four sided dice
1500 BC in China, spinning discs were used to play an early roulette game
210 AD the first recorded rorse race took place in England
1588 the first Lottery was approved in Britain by Elizabeth I to raise money to repair the cinque ports
1895 Charles Fey, a mechanic from San Francisco produced the first slot machine, or bandit.
1906 Gambling in public was prohibited by the Street Betting Act
1926 the first greyhound race in Britain was held in Manchester
1926 Winston Churchill imposed a betting tax (abolished three years later)
1960 the Betting and Gaming Act legalised betting Shops in Britain. Before this there was widespread Illegal Gambling
1964 Gamblers Anonymous was founded in the UK (having originated in America)
1994 the National Lottery was launched
1995 Lottery Scratch cards were introduced
1996 for the first time betting shops were allowed to have (a maximum of two) fruit machines, or bandits.
Signs and Symptoms of a gambling addiction
If Gambling is having a negative effect on your life, this is a clear indication that it is a problem. An early warning sign for the gambler may be an experience of euphoria in the event of winning (often accompanied by an urge to win more) and an increasing low when losing. The cycle usually begins when the gambler begins chasing the perceived loss.
Those around the gambler may experience subtle changes such as Mood Swings or more disturbing indications i.e. increased demands for cash or social withdrawal. This can be quite frightening for both parties. It’s normal and often appropriate to feel anxiety around these issues as this is often the catalyst for dealing with the problem pro-actively. Now may be the time to talk to an online counsellor with experience of gambling addiction.
Some more signs that might indicate problem Gambling may include:
- Mounting Debt/in debt
- Increased Borrowing
- More time spent away from usual activities, i.e. Family Time, Hobbies, Homework.
- Preventing others from retrieving post/mail such as Bank Statements / Telephone Bills
- Sporadic Generosity.
- Selling of Possessions
- Criminal Activity
Physical and emotional symptoms may include:
- Loss of Motivation
- Increased Lack of Concentration
- Weight Loss
- Unusual Aggression or Extreme Elation
- Depression and Anxiety
Why do we gamble?
The motivation to gamble. We all understand that gambling offers the chance of winning money or prizes, but have you considered some of the other reasons why people might choose to gamble?
- Risk taking It is human nature to feel Excited when taking Risks and the positive feeling gained from Gambling is no different. “Will my Numbers Come Up?” “Will my Team Win?” The sense of anticipation creates a natural high, an Adrenalin Rush, a feeling that very many of us seek when looking for fun and Entertainment. A feeling that some people believe they cannot live without.
- Escapism The Gambling Environment can provide an Escape from everyday life. Whether it be the glitzy Casino Environment, a loud and exciting Amusement Arcade or even an Online Betting Company, for the time that we are taking part we can be surrounded by different people, different sounds and emotions, all of which Stimulate and Arouse our Senses.
- Glamorous The Media and advertising often portray a Stylish, Sexy, Fashionable Image of Gambling. In film and TV we see characters enjoying a night at the Casino or an afternoon at the Races. There is often a suggestion of ‘High Society’ and attending at ‘a place to be seen’.
- Social Gambling is accepted as part of this country’s Culture and as such is widely participated in (with varying frequency) by the majority of the population. Some young people are introduced to Gambling by learning to Play Card Games with their Parents at home, maybe we go the Bingo with friends on a Friday night or meet after School at the Amusement Arcade. We may become interested in dog or greyhound racing, horse racing, poker, football betting, or any of the online gambling options.
Professional and experienced Online Counsellor (Therapist) and Online Life Coach Paul Parkin’s Gambling Counselling experience.
I am an experienced, professional online counsellor, with over 15 years experience working as a counsellor (therapist) and life coach offering confidential, affordable counselling online to clients anywhere in the world.
By living a simple life and working from home I have reduced my costs enabling me to reduce the session fees for clients, making counselling online more accessible to people seeking counselling online.
I have worked in the field of gambling counselling and therapy for several years both face to face and online counselling. I have helped Thousands of clients who struggle with gambling addictions and the subsequent difficulties which can affect peoples lives, focusing on the underlying life issues which contribute to addictions like gambling problems, helps clients to learn to live a life free of the need or desire to gamble.
If gambling is becoming a problem rather than a pleasure or thrill then you need help. Talk to Paul who will help you change the destructive behaviours and help you get your life back on track.
I am addicited to fruit machines i spend one thousand pounds a week and I am in a mess with everything. I owe money to everybody, I sell my body to fund the addiction, it’s getting worse everyday. I might be losing my house, my husband has just found out whats been happening he does not know how to cope with it, he just cries all the time because I am hurting him.
I am in a big mess, I dont know how to stop, I think only way out is in a box, I just cry all the time, I tell my husband I am going to stop but I just cannot help my self.
How do you stop going on bandits i just dont know what to do anymore, I just cry all the time I am just in a mess.
Please help me.
I am sorry to hear of your plight. Fruit machines or (bandits) are designed to get you addicted, all those flashing lights, jingles and the the promise of huge payouts. There is a lot of clever people working on creating those machines so that they are addictive so please do not feel ashamed ok.
The first thing I suggest is go to your local Citizens Advice Bureau, they will be able to help and advise you re your debts and may even be able to stop any interest payment on money you owe. It is very important to take this step, then I suggest an open and frank discussion with your husband, it will help your relationship.
Your husband loves you and the best thing you can do is tell him what is happening, hopefully he will support you in kicking the habit and you can go back to enjoying your life. It is sometimes the case that certain peronalities are more prone to adictions so I would like to explore this with you.
If you would like to talk to me about anything, please feel free to email me again.
You may find this link addictions useful in the mean time.
Best wishes Paul, online counsellor (therapist) and online life coach.