At gambling-world, we play the role of a mediator, connecting online casino games with their users. Our website is a treasure trove of game guides and reviews for the top online casinos and betting sites. Recognizing that gambling can spiral into an addictive and compulsive activity for some individuals, we take it upon ourselves to provide our readers with vital information on responsible gambling, gambling addiction, and contact details of specialized organizations that can offer assistance.

What is responsible gambling?

Games of chance such as casino games and sports and lottery betting are referred to as games of luck because they rely solely on luck. While these games may require some knowledge and skills from players, ultimately, the player still relies on their luck to emerge victorious.

Responsible gambling is the mindset with which players wager their money in games of chance, encompassing certain behaviors and habits that make this activity a healthy and enjoyable leisure pursuit, one that does not compromise the player's physical, emotional, and social well-being. Let's explore some habits that players should adopt to ensure that gambling remains solely a recreational activity:

  • Do not play or gamble under the influence of alcohol or other substances that impair your ability to make conscious decisions.
  • Maintain control over the time spent gambling and never exceed a reasonable time limit.
  • Responsible gaming does not consume excessive player time and does not impact their monthly budget.

How to engage in gaming or betting responsibly.

Although gambling games and casinos are prohibited by law in South Africa, the online casino and betting industry operates through a legal loophole in South Africa: as they are not physical establishments, they can function to receive bets from players worldwide. These platforms, accessible on any internet-enabled computer and even on mobile devices, must take responsibility for providing information and precautions against compulsive gambling. To comply with South African law, these online platforms are required to implement measures to prevent minors from accessing their services and to offer resources for individuals struggling with gambling addiction.

If you, any relative, or someone you know frequently engage in online betting or gambling, it is essential to educate yourself about the risks of gambling and the behaviors of compulsive gamblers. To keep gambling an enjoyable activity, it is crucial to play responsibly. Below, we have compiled the key factors that players should pay attention to in order to maintain a healthy and responsible relationship with online gaming and betting:

  • Being over 18 years old is a requirement. It is crucial that children and teenagers never have access to gambling games.
  • Having access to accurate and appropriate information regarding the terms and conditions of casinos and online betting sites.
  • Understanding the mechanics of games and bets, as well as the odds of winning.
  • Viewing gambling as a fun activity rather than a means to earn money, avoid troubles, or settle debts.
  • Understanding your limits (time, income, etc.) during the game.
  • Do not play solely to try to recover previously lost money.
  • Do not gamble with money you don't have.
  • Do not gamble more than you can afford to lose.
  • Do not gamble money that should be used for basic needs, such as food and other essential expenses.
  • The game and bets are made with the knowledge of family and friends, and never in secrecy.
  • Do not spend the majority of your time playing or thinking about playing games.
  • Betting as a means of entertainment.
  • Knowing the rules of the games you bet on can increase your chances of winning with tips and strategies.
  • Being aware that games of chance are based on luck and that losing is a part of it, often inevitable.
  • It only makes bets on safe online casinos .

What is compulsive gambling?

Compulsive gambling is also referred to as pathological gambling or ludomania. In the past, the medical community approached gambling issues as a compulsion rather than addiction or dependency. However, starting in the 1980s, pathological gambling was included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM, used by specialists) as an impulsive disorder, alongside similar disorders like kleptomania. The recognition of gambling as an impulsive disorder shifted the understanding and treatment of compulsive gambling within the medical field.

This newfound understanding of the issues surrounding compulsive gambling has been brought to light by extensive research in the field, encompassing the treatment and prevention aspects of the disorder as well, by specialized psychiatrists. For individuals afflicted with pathological gambling, receiving treatment is crucial, as it can adversely impact all facets of their social existence.

Recent research indicates that issues pertaining to compulsive gambling are becoming increasingly prevalent in today's society due to the growing presence, accessibility, and social acceptance of gambling activities. The studies conducted thus far have demonstrated that individuals with a pathological gambling disorder and those addicted to substances share similar genetic predispositions towards impulsivity and a proclivity for "thrilling" situations.

Just as individuals addicted to drugs require increasingly higher doses to feel satisfied, compulsive gamblers are constantly seeking higher risks, which manifest as bets they cannot afford. Additionally, based on the same studies, both experience withdrawal symptoms when they do not indulge in their addiction.

In recent years, there has been a shift in our understanding of compulsive gaming, leading researchers to reimagine the concept of addiction and dependency. Previously, addiction was believed to be solely tied to chemical substances. Nowadays, addiction is seen in a broader light, encompassing the pursuit of thrilling and exhilarating experiences that come with severe consequences. This new perspective has prompted a redefinition of addiction, acknowledging its multifaceted nature and the potential risks it entails.

Dangers of gambling

The primary hazards that a player may encounter during their experience with casino games and online betting do not involve the games themselves, but rather the player. It is the player's responsibility to assess their attitude and approach towards gambling, as well as to comprehend the mechanics and rules of each game and website, as well as to understand how gambling can impact their life. The casinos themselves should provide information about the dangers of gambling, and some even offer sections that address the topic, but the visibility remains limited.

Not all players will experience the hardships of compulsive gambling. Several factors may influence whether or not an individual is prone to this issue:

  • Age - young people are more susceptible to stimuli like these.
  • Sex - a large portion of the casino audience consists of males.
  • Emotional state - individuals with emotional or psychological disorders.
  • History of addictions - alcoholics or drug addicts are more likely to harm themselves with gambling, among other things.
  • Financial state - individuals burdened with debts often find themselves desperate for an effortless solution to their problems; however, more often than not, they end up further indebting themselves through gambling endeavors.

We advise individuals who are more prone to developing compulsive gambling issues to avoid unnecessary risks. Prevention is crucial in these instances, as these individuals can easily develop clinical conditions of compulsive gambling. It is highly recommended that they refrain from engaging in activities that may trigger their gambling tendencies. By being mindful and proactive in avoiding situations that could potentially lead to problematic behavior, they can safeguard their well-being and minimize the risk of succumbing to gambling addictions.

According to experts, there are three types of players, classified based on their behaviors. These types are:

  1. Social players, who engage in gaming without experiencing any issues during gameplay.
  2. Players who experience some consequences of the game.
  3. Compulsive players, individuals with gambling disorder, or ludomania.

What makes a player become a compulsive gambler?

The compulsive gambler experiences an overwhelming need and urgency to continue betting on games of chance, such as bingo, even though they are fully aware of the negative consequences of their actions. Their desire to stop is often forgotten at the sight of the first bet. Numerous factors may contribute to the development of this addiction, including the aforementioned elements like desperation for money and a thrill-seeking inclination towards gambling, among others. Unfortunately, identifying compulsive gamblers and providing effective treatment can be challenging and time-consuming.

Compulsive gamblers typically lose significant amounts of money through gambling and persist in playing, using the excuse of trying to recoup their losses. Regrettably, even when they manage to regain something, it is far below what they have already spent.

The connection between gambling and compulsive players

Gambling is all about randomness, luck, and chance, with varying odds of winning and losing. In other words, the outcome is not heavily dependent on the player, whose experience, practice, and skill in the game play a limited role. It is the element of mystery that makes gambling so captivating to certain individuals.

Casino games are inherently characterized by placing a wager, which essentially involves a financial investment on the part of the player. Placing a bet entails the potential risk of losing the invested money or potentially winning an even greater sum. Ranked only behind alcoholism and smoking, compulsive gambling currently affects approximately 1% of the South African population.

But what sets apart a regular player from a pathological player? How can we distinguish between them? Typically, the actions of these players themselves provide the answer to that question. The compulsive player doesn't play for entertainment or leisure; they play to chase after lost money, driven by their addiction to the thrills of gambling or as a means to escape from other aspects of their life.

The issue of compulsive gambling deserves attention.

For those who are mere spectators of this scenario, it can be challenging to comprehend the behavior of a compulsive gambler. After all, if a person has already lost so much money gambling, how can they believe they will recoup that amount through the game? It often occurs in individuals with gambling disorder, a selective memory: they forget all the money they have lost and only remember the times they came out ahead. In other words, if at the end of the week the compulsive gambler wagered $600 and won $300, they will only recall the amount they won, failing to realize that they actually lost $300. They only become aware of the negative balance when there is a shortage of money for other expenses.

Today, compulsive gambling is now recognized by the medical community as a clinical behavioral disorder, though it took time for the field of medicine to acknowledge its existence. It is now understood to be a condition akin to alcoholism and drug addiction. It is crucial to emphasize that this disorder, like others, does not imply a lack of character or a desire for self-destruction. It is a treatable condition that should be addressed with the guidance of a professional in the field.

In most instances, the adverse effects of gambling disorder go beyond just the player's financial well-being, extending to their personal and professional lives as well. The repercussions caused by this condition can have far-reaching implications, impacting not only one's economic stability but also their interpersonal relationships and career prospects. It is crucial to recognize that the consequences of this disorder permeate various aspects of an individual's existence, making it necessary to address the issue comprehensively and seek appropriate support.

Signs and behaviors of compulsive gamblers.

Compulsive gambling disorder occurs when the act of betting transcends mere entertainment and spirals out of control. The gambler becomes oblivious to the passage of time and the money lost in bets, sometimes gambling for over 12 consecutive hours. Behaviors linked to this uncontrollable gambling habit directly impact the individual's relationships and professional life.

Compulsive players often have a selective memory, focusing solely on their winnings and conveniently forgetting about their losses until the debts pile up right before their eyes. Most of the time, even when aware of the harm they are causing themselves and their loved ones, compulsive gamblers simply cannot resist the allure of betting. This behavior can be scientifically explained since gambling problems are now recognized as addictions that affect the brain in a similar way to psychoactive substances like drugs and alcohol. When gambling, compulsive players experience pleasure, and it is this sensation that fuels their dependency. Gradually, the amount they wager increases because the higher the risk, the greater their pleasure.

Individuals facing gambling issues often conceal their condition, although the gambling disorder can typically be discerned by the player's actions and behaviors. The compulsive gambler tends to exhibit the following patterns of behavior:

  • He substitutes other activities he used to enjoy with playing the game.
  • Sometimes, individuals bet more than they can afford to lose, occasionally incurring debts to keep gambling.
  • He takes impulsive bets because he enjoys the thrill of taking risks.
  • His professional productivity is compromised as he spends his time gambling or contemplating gambling.
  • Your relationships and family life become shaken.
  • A bet to feel better about your life.
  • He fabricates lies or excuses to conceal his compulsion.
  • Bet money intended for basic needs.
  • He places increasingly larger bets, as small bets no longer satisfy him.
  • Loses personal belongings, such as cars and properties, due to gambling debts.

In search of assistance and treatment.

Treating compulsive gambling as an addiction is not just a theoretical matter for experts. Psychiatrists have found that pathological gamblers respond much more effectively to medication and the commonly used treatment for addiction, rather than therapies and strategies aimed at controlling the compulsion. Acknowledging gambling as a pathology has brought about significant advancements in understanding and addressing the issue.

Numerous studies also reveal that cognitive-behavioral therapy is another potential approach to treating gambling addiction, aiming to assist individuals in comprehending and altering their thoughts, habits, and behaviors. For instance, compulsive players can acquire the ability to challenge their irrational beliefs regarding gambling and grasp the detrimental impact it has had on their lives.

However, in order to seek treatment, it is essential for compulsive gamblers to first admit to the problem. Approximately 80% of compulsive gamblers never seek treatment, and a significant portion of those who do end up returning to the world of gambling. Therefore, it is crucial to prevent relapses and raise awareness about treatment options.

If you are someone struggling with a gambling addiction or if you know someone who is, do not hesitate to seek professional assistance. There are dedicated professionals available who specialize in treating gambling disorders and can offer the help you need. Look no further as below you will find information on experts who can provide the support and guidance necessary to overcome this challenge.

Support and guidance groups

Anonymous Players: Visit Anonymous Players.

Visit Gambling Therapy to seek assistance with your gambling issues.

Responsible gaming is conscious gaming.

We trust that this information has been helpful and informative. At gambling-world, we emphasize the significance of responsible gambling and the magnitude of the issues that can arise from games of chance. Always bet responsibly, with awareness and respect for yourself and those around you. Play for enjoyment.

Nelson Duarte
Nelson Duarte
(Brazilian Lawyer, 36 years of experience)
Approved and validated: July 23rd
Updated: July 23
Nelson Duarte is the legal consultant of The website's content has been reviewed and is in compliance with current Brazilian legislation.
The informative and educational content of this portal complies with Brazilian legislation.
Mr. Duarte
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