Online Gambling Problem Information by

Compulsive gambling is the dark side of gambling. Compulsive gambling is sometimes also referred to as addictive gambling, pathological gambling or simply a gambling problem. Some people can get addicted to gambling - including gambling online at casinos and poker rooms.

Information About Pathological Gambling Online

Gambling - when the fun stops

For many people gambling is a fun past time that offers the chance for players to win a bit of money. Sure - some people could became massively rich through gambling but most players realize they are unlikely to win that life-changing jackpot. Instead, players have a flutter at a casino, in a poker room or by backing a sports team simply for the fun of betting and to partake in an entertaining activity. However, for some people gambling can become a nightmare where the compulsion to gamble overrides any other feeling often with harmful consequences.

The reason why some people develop a gambling problem whilst others can gamble all their lives without issue is still relatively unknown. However, many people with gambling issues tell similar stories.

Many people that develop a problem with gambling will tell of an early big win. Big wins can create a false perception that winning money through gambling is easy. Any game can be beaten in the short-term (thanks to a lucky spin or throw of the dice, for example). However, no gambler can sustain long-term wins even when following perfect strategy. Nevertheless, some people become fixated on recreating that big win scenario.

Similarly, any big win is likely to create a huge buzz within the body. Much like drugs or alcohol, people can become hooked on the feeling that gambling creates. However, again much like drugs people find that they need more and more of their 'fix' to create the same feeling. For gamblers this means betting more and more often or betting with more money.

Whatever it is that leads to a gambling addiction, the key is recognizing early on that gambling is perhaps getting out of control. It is vital that people seek help as soon as they think they have a problem - all too often people take months or years to seek the help they need by which time an immense amount of damage could have been done. People with addiction often find themselves in debt which in itself can be a massive problem to overcome, particularly if those debts lead to people losing assets such as their house. The breakdown of relationships can also be a common occurrence for gambling addicts where deceit or loss of time become key factors in the breakdown. Gamblers are very good liars and are often able to hide their addiction to friends or family.

The early warning signs of a gambling problem can be easy for a player to ignore. However, should a player ever find that they are betting with money they cannot afford to lose, are chasing losses or are spending more money or time gambling than they intended to then this can be a sign of a developing addiction. Gamblers should never find themselves gambling on credit. It is interesting that some people may develop a gambling addiction having shown no signs of addiction before, although addictions can be transferable meaning people that have had problems with other addictions may be more likely to suffer from a gambling addiction than others. Similarly, it is known that it is possible to be hooked on only certain types of gambling - people may be betting their house at the Blackjack table yet able to watch sporting events without any need or desire to back the action with money.

A good way to impartially test whether a person is showing signs of addition is to undergo the '20 questions' test often used by gambling self-help organizations. These questions explore a person's habits and can be used to identify whether an addiction is present or is developing - problem gamblers usually answer 7 or more questions affirmatively. The 20 question set can be found below

Ultimately, it's vital to stress the importance of people listening to their own heads. It is highly likely that people will recognize in themselves when a gambling compulsion is starting to take hold. However, it is vital that people take hold at this time rather than let the addiction get the better of them. All too often addicts in recovery say 'if only I'd stopped years ago', a warning that unfortunately often is unheeded until too late by many unsuspecting players.

Think you have a problem with gambling? Read the article entitled: Gambling out of control? How to get things back on track. This article can be found below.

Twenty Compulsive Gambling Questions

Gambling is supposed to be a fun activity. However, for some people the desire to gamble or the amount of money they choose to gamble with becomes uncontrollable. This is known as compulsive gambling or addictive behaviour and is a recognized illness.

As mentioned above it is unknown why some people develop an addiction to gambling whereas others can gamble their whole lives without problem. However, addictions are often 'transferable' meaning people that have suffered from other forms of addiction may develop difficulties with controlling their interaction with gambling. Having said that, some people develop gambling addiction having shown no previous addictive traits.

For some people an addiction to gambling is triggered after a big win where a 'need' to win big develops. For others it is simply passing of time whereby players need to gamble more and more to achieve the same 'buzz' that was previously experienced. However gambling addiction occurs though it is important to recognize the 'symptoms' and to seek help when needed.

The following 20 questions are often used to assess whether somebody is a compulsive gambler. Most players with a problem would answer 'yes' to at least 7 of the following questions.

  1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
  3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
  4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
  5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or solve financial difficulties?
  6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
  8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
  9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar was gone?
  10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
  11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
  12. Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
  13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
  14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
  15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry or trouble?
  16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
  17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
  18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
  19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
  20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

As mentioned above most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least seven of these questions.

Various clinics that help people suffering from a gambling problem can be found all over the country. At these clinics professionals try to guide problem gamblers back to a normal life teaching them how to control their desire for gambling. If in doubt you could contact

Players that feel they have a problem with gambling can find a number of support organizations online. Reputable online casinos will also close a player's account on request or allow an account to be suspended for a set amount of time. Finally, software can be downloaded that blocks access to online gambling sites - e.g.

Gambling out of control? How to get things back on track

Gambling is supposed to a fun activity, but for some they can develop an uncontrollable desire to bet, a desire than can have hugely damaging consequences. This article explores the steps to take if gambling seems to be getting out of control.

The first step is actually the most difficult and once out the way can really help in paving the way back to being in control - admitting there's a problem! Many gamblers will know in themselves that something needs to be done, but many are reluctant to address the issues. When there's still a desire to get back lost money or to return to gambling, not much is going to improve. A person needs to fully commit to solving the issue at hand.

The next step is usually to continue with the admission stage by talking to others. For some people this may be by talking to people close to them - friends, family or loved ones. However, some people will find this step too much and so will choose to talk to unfamiliar people. This may be online via support forums, via the telephone by using helplines or face-to-face through attendance at self-help groups. Nevertheless, no matter what the course of action is the saying "a problem shared is a problem halved" is definitely applicable in this case - the process of simply unloading the issue can be of massive help and benefit to the problem gambler. This stage is not easy, particularly if opening up to those close to you. However, many people will not judge and the support that is offered can be vitally important.

The next stage is really to put in place a plan of action to get things resolved. For some people gambling might simply be an outlet for emotion - perhaps a bereavement or clinical problem (e.g. depression). As such, it's important to recognize what the route cause of the gambling is. This can be a difficult, particularly if feelings or issues have been suppressed over time. As such, it can be worth speaking to a doctor or medical practitioner to understand if counselling or other psychological treatment may be beneficial.

Physical barriers to gambling can also be hugely beneficial, although it's important to recognize that physical barriers alone are not enough. This may be through self-blocking accounts at casinos. Any reputable casino will allow you to suspend or close an account - simply emailing customer support with account details and a request to close the account due to problem gambling should be enough to get an account closed. Do not be tempted to accept any account closing bonuses that may be offered by some less than reputable casinos - addicted gamblers will know that any win will not be enough and the buzz of gambling again may quickly result in players losing yet more money and time.

To aid with stopping gambling online further, it may be beneficial to install gambling blocking software. Companies such as GamBlock ( sell software that will stop gambling websites and gambling software from functioning. This can be a life saver for gamblers, particularly during the early stages of recovery. Whilst the cost of the software (approximately $30) may be off-putting, many gamblers should recognize this is nothing compared to the hundreds or thousands of dollars they have perhaps lost in the past.

It may also be worth joining support groups. Many groups exist, both online and in the real world where people can meet people with the same issues. These groups can be hugely beneficial, particularly since every group member will have had many common experiences. Whilst speaking to non-gamblers can be useful, many people find discussing issues with those that have experienced the destruction of gambling to be massively helpful.

Finally, it is important to recognize that a compulsion to gambling is not going to be fixed over time. Gambling behaviour can become deeply engrained and it can therefore take a lot of time to overcome. It is important that people take each day at a time - setting unrealistic goals or targets can be damaging and can result in setbacks if not achieved.

Of course, there's no easy guide to solving problem gambling and indeed what works for one person may not work for another. Ultimately though, perseverance is hugely importance. It's important to remember that no matter what the situation a problem gambler should never feel alone. Many people have been there before and many people will be there in the future. With a wealth of both online and offline support, anybody can get that control back. It just takes time and the confidence to make that first step.

Useful contacts


National Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-522-4700

Hot Line Number for Northern California 1-800-287-8670

Hot Line Number for Greater L.A. Central 310-478-2121

Hot Line Number for Palm Springs 760-325-2808

Hot Line Number for Greater San Diego 1-866-239-2911

Gam-Anon, International Service Office 718-352-1671

Compulsive Gambling Institute 1-800-GAMBLER

Council of Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey 1-800-GAMBLER or 1-800-426-2537

Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling 1-800-426-4555

Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-34-NOBET

NICOS Chinese Health Coalition Problem Gambling 1-888-968-7888 (Mandarin and Cantonese)

UK :

Gamblers Anonymous 0870-050-8880

Gamcare 0845-6000-133, Gamcare Website and Forum

CANADA: British Columbia Partnership for Responsible Gambling 1-888-795-6111

GERMANY: Anonyme Spieler 040-209-9009

FRANCE: AdicTel 0-870-334-8706

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