Online gaming can be fun, entertaining and enjoyable. However, it can also become problematic and affect a player’s mental health, among other things. In this article, we’ll talk about the connection between gambling and mental health, and what you can do to gamble responsibly.
What Can Gambling Do to Your Mental Health?
There are three key aspects of online casino games that can make them particularly damaging for someone’s mental health. They are summarized below:
- Games are designed to take money from you in the long run; each casino game has an RTP that shows how much of an average bet gets paid back. No matter how high a game’s RTP is, you can still have both short and long-term losses. Some players are tempted to play high RTP games, but unless you’re lucky, you’re going to end with less money than what you started with.
- Games are numerous and there are always new ones being developed. The typical online casino has a huge number of games – usually in the hundreds or even in the thousands. Players have a very big choice and can easily spend too much time and money trying out all the games that appeal to them.
- Games are compatible with mobile devices. Because most online casino games are playable on mobiles, they’re very accessible indeed. Players have quick and easy access to countless games on their phone or tablet.
It’s easy to become addicted to casino games. After all, there’s so many of them and they’re so easily accessible. For most people the problem of becoming addicted is all about real-money gambling. So if you can describe yourself like a hot-tempered or too venturous person, you should play for free. The graphics, music effects and all the features are the same, the difference is that there are no risks for your finances. You can find a lot of free slots and demo versions of the most popular real-money games on the site https://www.slotozilla.com/free-slots.
Winning – even if it’s just a small amount of money – can give players a positive feeling. They feel good when they win and they want to experience this again and so they carry on playing. The good feeling intensifies when a large sum of money has been won. For many players, it’s the thrill of winning that keeps them playing.
With casino games, there’s always the temptation to keep on playing, and keep on spending. Even if you win and make a profit, there’s the temptation to play and win more money. Many people are able to moderate their gambling and know when to stop. Some, however, don’t. They find themselves unable to resist the temptation and can develop problems such as:
- Low Self-esteem;
- Suicidal Thoughts.
This is in addition to other things that can happen as a result of excess gambling, such as financial problems, debts and problems with physical health. Relationships with others can also be affected.
Protecting Your Mental Health When Gambling Online
Online gambling can become problematic and since it’s so accessible, it’s easy for anyone to end up spending too much time and money playing casino games. Thankfully, there’s a lot of help available and gambling online can be a safe and risk-free activity.
The online gambling industry is heavily regulated and as a player, you’re very well protected. In the UK, the main authority is the UK Gambling Commission. This organisation has several purposes and the main ones include regulating the country’s gambling and ensuring that players are protected.
The UKGC has very high standards and only hands out licences to casinos that meet those standards. If you sign up to an online casino that’s licensed by the UKGC, you can be assured you’re in safe hands and that you’ll be protected. To earn a licence, a casino has to meet many requirements. One of them is taking necessary steps to promote responsible gambling, i.e. not overdoing it and keeping gambling in moderation.
Whenever you visit an online casino, you’ll find a page on responsible gambling. This highlights what the casino does to help prevent gambling addiction and what it does to help those who have problems with gambling. Here is the brief information making it detailed:
How It Can Help
|Links to charities||Enables you to get in touch with an organisation that can offer support and resources to help treat your addiction. Some of the main charities are GamCare and BeGambleAware.|
|Self-questionnaire||Ask yourself these yes/no questions and if enough of them are ‘yes’, you should seek help.|
|Self-exclusion||This is where you ask a casino to completely block you for a set period of time. It’s a useful option for anyone with a serious gambling problem.|
If you visit a casino’s responsible gambling page, you should be able to find the help you’re looking for. Help is available to everyone. Even if you’re not properly addicted to gambling but it’s still affecting your mental health, you’ll still be able to get help and speak to people who can assist you.
The most important thing to point out is that you shouldn’t be ashamed to seek help. If your mental health is being affected by online gambling in any way big or small, you have every right to get things sorted. No one you speak to will judge you for the position you’ve found yourself in. If you do speak to someone, he or she will do their best to get things sorted and deal with your situation sensitively.
Online gambling can easily lead to a number of mental health issues. It’s something that can easily become addictive and can cause a number of different problems if you don’t keep in control of it. The good news is that help is readily available if you need it. Whatever your concern and no matter how severe your problems are, there’s always someone to talk to. Online casinos may seem to be all about gambling, but the people running them don’t want their players to be negatively affected by it.