You may have chosen to open and read this article because you have a gambling problem, or perhaps you are trying to help a family member, or one of your friends?
Most gamblers will have come across the expressions “responsible gambling” or “problem gambling” but, not everyone will know the true meaning of this term. Indeed, actually recognising and admitting a problem may be quite a challenge.
The following questions are provided by Gamblers Anonymous as a test to help an individual decide whether or not he or she has a compulsive gambling habit. We reiterate that this is not a Soccerwidow test.
To use the test, please count the number of times you answer YES to the following 20 questions, and we emplore you to be completely honest with yourself:
- Have you ever lost time from work or missed an appointment due to gambling?
- Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
- Has gambling ever affected your reputation?
- Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
- Have you ever gambled in an attempt to win money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Has gambling ever lowered your ambitions or efficiency?
- After losing, have you ever felt you must try and win back your losses as soon as possible?
- After a win have you ever had a strong urge to carry on and try to win more?
- Have you often gambled until your last credit is gone?
- Have you ever borrowed to finance your gambling (e.g. used credit cards or an overdraft)?
- Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever been reluctant to use “gambling money” for normal expenditures?
- Has gambling ever made you careless about the welfare of yourself or your family?
- Have you ever gambled for a longer time than you had planned for the session?
- Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
- Has gambling ever caused you difficulty in sleeping?
- Have arguments, disappointments or frustrations ever created within you an urge to gamble?
- Have you ever had an urge to celebrate some good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling activities?
If you answered seven or more of the above questions with YES, perhaps it would be advisable to check out one of the following links:
- Gamcare (UK)
- Gambling Commission (UK)
- GambleAware (UK)
- Gamblers Anonymous (US)
- National Council of Problem Gambling (US)
Whilst the majority of people do gamble within their means, for some, gambling can become a problem. It may help you keep control to remember the following:
- Gambling should be entertaining and not seen as a genuine or guaranteed way of making money (believe us, in order to become a professional gambler it will not only take up huge amounts of your time, but it requires a great deal of knowledge which is probably more difficult to obtain than a proper university degree in any subject)
- Never chase losses
- Only gamble what you can afford to lose
- Keep track of the time and amount of money you spend gambling