Are online games an addiction like drugs?
For the vast majority of people, most popular casino games never becomes a problem, but it can have serious consequences when it does. Many people can gamble responsibly without developing a problem. Learning the gambling strategy of a game or figuring out the best team to place a bet on can be fun. But a report from The Gambling Commission in December 2017 found that 25,000 children in the UK are ‘problem gamblers.’ Many children learn to bet via social media, and video games, particularly on eSports and through the trading of skins.
What are skins in online games?
Skins are in-game items, such as weapons or accessories. They have effectively become currency that players can collect, trade, buy and sell within games. Like chips in a casino, some websites allow skins to be used to bet instead of cash. Because players can then convert their winnings back into cash, betting with skins is basically the same as using real money, but you don’t have to prove you are 18 to use them.
Under-18s aren’t generally allowed to gamble for real money (with some exceptions, including buying National Lottery tickets) but the rise of online gambling via casino websites and apps has made it easier for young people to do so.
Who is likely to develop a gambling problem?
Anyone of people can develop an online casino gambling problem. Two factors that seem to put young people at risk of developing a problem are a history of gambling in their family and the age they started gambling themselves. The earlier people start, the more likely they are to experience gambling-related problems later on.
Should I be worried about gambling on social networking sites and in free play?
Social online games can teach you how to play popular casino games like poker, roulette but it’s really important that players understand that the odds offered are often not the same as those of real gambling games; they’re usually at least a little better. This means that you may be more likely to win on social gambling games, but could lose much more frequently in real gambling games. There is no clear research yet into whether this activity is a gateway to gambling for real money.
Is gambling an addiction like drugs?
Being addicted to gambling can seriously damage your physical and mental health. Gamblers with a problem can miss out on exercise and suffer from stress; they sometimes eat a lot while gambling. A gambling problem can result in the loss of social relationships, poor outcomes at school and, in severe cases, people commit crimes in order to fuel the addiction.
Gambling is often called the hidden addiction: it can cause people to think, feel and act differently although it has few of the more obvious warning signs that come with alcohol and drug abuse. A problem gambler might suffer from depression and anxiety, be unable to account for money they’ve spent, lie about their whereabouts, and spend less time with friends and family.
What are the warning signs of gambling drugs?
- Significant interest in gambling and gambling-related activities.
- Problems in school, such as a loss of interest or unexplained absences.
- Changes in personality or behaviour.
- Changes in relationships (new friends and acquaintances whilst ignoring old friends.)
- Changes in mood.
- Explosive bouts of anger.
- Displays of anxiety and stress.
- Spending more time and/or money gambling than intended.
- Wanting to stop gambling or betting but thinking it’s too hard.
- Telling lies about winnings.
- Having arguments with family or friends.
- Returning to win back money or possessions that have been lost.
- Regularly missing or being late for school or work.
- Borrowing money and not being able to pay it back.
If you like to play casino games, then follow simple rules and you will never become an addicted player:
- Play only for your money;
- Play for the amount of money, the loss of which will not bring a big loss to you and your loved ones;
- Follow the bankroll management rule;
- Use free no deposit bonuses;
- Use no deposit free spins at online casinos;
- Take part in free online casino promotions;
- Remember that gambling is just entertainment.