There’s not necessarily a ‘one size fits all’ definition of gambling addiction. The specifics will vary from person to person, as will the severity of the symptoms. That said, there are certainly some common signs that you may indeed have a problem. Here are the main examples:
If you do have a gambling problem, you can start taking steps to tackle it immediately. Here are some of the best ways to do so:
Perhaps the most important lesson you can learn here is that you don’t have to fight your gambling addiction alone. Even if you don’t want to discuss the issue with your friends or family, there are plenty of fantastic organisations ready and waiting to help out.
We want to stress again that there is absolutely no shame with suffering from a gambling problem. Not only is it not necessarily your fault; there are also plenty of other people up and down the country going through similar struggles, whether they actually admit it or not.
The UK Gambling Commission – whose job it is to license and regulate legitimate betting sites – provides some of the best and most reliable statistics about this. You can view the results of its most recent research here.
For starters, the UKGC’s stats show you just how incredibly widespread gambling is, with 43% of all people thought to indulge in some form regularly. The UKGC estimates that the problem gambling rate is at 0.2%, which might sound low, but – given that there are over 67 million people in the UK – actually still represents quite a few people.
The NHS puts a firmer number on this. For starters, it puts the problem gambling rate slightly higher than the UKGC, at 0.5%. After that, it clarifies that this represents around 246,000 problem gamblers in the UK, which is obviously a pretty significant number.
There is definitely some encouragement to be found, however. All the major sources we checked – including SBC News – agreed that problem gambling was dropping. The current 0.2% rate already represents a decline from 0.4% the year before, which could definitely represent the increase in ways to both identify and tackle problem gambling.
There are two main conclusions we hope you take from this article.
Firstly, if you believe you’re suffering from a gambling problem, you’re far from being the only one. Hundreds of thousands of other people in the UK are in the same boat, and there’s no shame in being among that number.
Secondly, if you are indeed struggling with your gambling, there’s plenty of help available. We’ve listed a whole range of services in this article which are free to use, and can help you in diverse but effective ways with your problem gambling.
Put simply, it means that gambling is an obligation for you, rather than a fun hobby. You feel compelled to carry on betting, even if it causes you financial, social, or health problems.
It’s estimated that around 0.2% of bettors have a gambling problem. In real terms, this equates to approximately 246,000 people in the UK alone.
There are a few different signs you can look out for. Some of the most common are betting beyond your means, feeling anxiety or stress about your betting, or taking on debt to fund your gambling.
There are steps you can take yourself, such as imposing deposit limits or self-excluding via GAMSTOP. One of the most reliable and effective ways to deal with the issue, however, is to simply talk to somebody.
It can be a great help to talk to friends or family if you’re experiencing problems with your gambling. If you’d prefer, however, there are plenty of great services out there, including several listed in this article, which provide you with free and anonymous assistance.