Responsible Gaming

Gambling is a thrilling adventure for many people. It's a good way to unwind the day's stress and have some fun. However, we have discovered that this leisure activity can be a source of concern if not properly checked. This is because people can get soaked up in gambling to the extent of losing control of themselves.

The irony, however, is that many of those involved in gambling addiction are not aware of this. Many of these punters do not know that they have a serious problem at hand. This has been a recurring issue in the gambling industry. That is why the call for responsible gambling is increasingly becoming louder day by day.

In this post, we want to dive into the various aspects of responsible gambling. We will be going deep into all about gambling addiction and how players can help themselves out of it.

But before we get started, here's a quick walkthrough of the pros and cons of gambling:

  • Pros

  • Fun and entertaining venture during leisure times
  • It is very easy to participate in gambling
  • Possibility of winning real money in return
  • Cons

  • It can cause a big problem, especially when addiction sets in
  • There's the chance of losing your money
  • The odds are mostly against the players

What is Gambling Addiction (Ludomania)?

Gambling addiction is a condition in which a person loses mental control of his/her gambling actions. They just can't help themselves to stop. It can be triggered by several things, including a long winning streak a string of losing bets, among many others.

Gambling addiction can surface in various ways, though there are three major types of gamblers. They include problem gamblers, compulsive gamblers, and binge gamblers. Let's take a closer look at these gambling styles:

Problem Gamblers

These types of gamblers can't seem to have full control of their gambling activities. They always go overboard when they gamble. Here are some symptoms common to problem gamblers:

  • Chasing losses by placing huge bets to make up for lost money
  • Not knowing when to call it to quit though they are losing money
  • Taking gambling as a regular venture to the extent of disrupting their daily life schedule

Problem gambling could arise in different forms with different people. However, one common thing is that they think they have all things in control, whereas the reverse is the case. They may even get to the extent of telling false narratives to cover their gambling habit.

Compulsive Gamblers

Compulsive gambling is also known as “pathological gambling.” It is a more severe form of gambling addiction. Let's outline the symptoms of this gambling form:

  • Compulsive gamblers are aware of the negative effects of their gambling style, yet they have an uncontrollable desire to gamble
  • They become so uneasy/restless when they make efforts to control themselves
  • They are not concerned about the possible effect of their gambling activities

Compulsive gamblers often have a mental disorder known as impulse control disorder. It is like they can't just stop though they are aware of the negative consequences of their actions.

Binge Gamblers

These are gamblers who can control their addiction and abstain from gambling for some time. However, they occasionally experience symptoms related to compulsive gambling. A clearer picture of the symptoms of binge gambling is as follows:

  • They can go for long without any indication of addiction in their gambling activities
  • They display signs of serious compulsive gambling at certain periods
  • Their gambling can quickly get out of control when they are on a binge

Binge gamblers seem to be in control most of the time. However, when signs of their addiction surface, it is always uncontrollable.

Signs of an Addicted Person

Addiction can present itself in various ways. The signs we'll be highlighting below are only pointers to the possibility of addiction. Players that detect these symptoms early should act on them quickly. This can help nip the problem in the bud before it gets out of hand.

Here's an outline of these signs:

  • Inability to stop gambling despite several strong attempts to quit
  • Continuous gambling even after obvious negative effects on finances
  • Uncontrollable obsession for gambling activities
  • Chasing after losses by placing unreasonably high bets
  • Taking unusual risks like using funds for important bills to gamble
  • Letting go of previous hobbies and activities that once brought joy because of gambling
  • Cooking up lies to cover for gambling losses and other related issues
  • Losing track of time spent while gambling
  • Preferring the company of gambling activities to that of friends and family

Disclaimer: You shouldn't conclude that you're addicted because you experienced any of the symptoms above. You need to visit a psychiatrist or therapist for a proper diagnosis of the addiction. Besides, these symptoms may be evidence of a different disorder that is affecting your gambling. You should, therefore, only rely on the information you get from trained mental health personnel before making any conclusions.

What Causes Ludomania?

Several factors can cause gambling addiction among players. It's not clear how much each of these factors plays, but they sure have their place in fueling addiction. Let's show you how these factors contribute to ludomania.

Biological Factors

Studies have shown that many of those who suffer from gambling addiction have certain biological issues. For instance, people with low levels of some important hormones like serotonin and norepinephrine could become compulsive or problem gamblers. This is because serotonin has a link with the feeling of happiness, and norepinephrine is linked with the sense of stress and danger.

Therefore, when these chemicals are at low levels, people may resort to artificial activities like gambling for help. The goal is to boost their happiness and fulfillment with activities like this. Also, people with certain genetic issues may be prone to several addictions.

Psychological Factors

Psychological issues can also make people susceptible to gambling addictions. These issues could arise from personality and temperamental disorders. For instance, higher levels of impulsivity and negative urgency have been found to increase the chances of addictions in people.

Also, people with low self-esteem or negative self-perception may be more likely to be addicted to gambling. They may find this venture to be a consolation or a means of shutting themselves out of the world. Likewise, they may hope to gain confidence in the number of wins they can gather. This could lead them to place huge bets to make up for previous losses, thereby steering towards addiction.

Social Factors

Gambling addiction can also be closely related to the social environment of people. It won't be unlikely to find addiction in a person that has been around addicted gamblers for long. The social atmosphere of a person's environment can greatly affect their disposition to gambling activities.

That said, people who face constant stress and always try to relax with gambling may become addicted over time. Also, compulsory isolation from family and friends because of a disease or other issues could fuel the desire to gamble more. This could negatively impact gambling habits and possibly lead to an addiction.


Exposure to other forms of addictions can also influence gambling addiction. For instance, players who are into alcohol or substance abuse may be very susceptible to addictions with gambling. Also, the presence of certain behavioral disorders like anxiety or depression could largely contribute to addictions among gamblers.

Negative Effects of Gambling

Constant gambling has several side effects. Let's show you the most common of these problems.

Mental Health Problems

Gambling addiction can cause serious mental health issues. Gamblers with this condition are very prone to severe mood swings and other related disorders. Besides, they can easily fall into depression and anxiety. Punters may also begin to nurse suicidal thoughts and eventually give in. All these are but a few of the negative health effects of gambling addiction. However, the severity of these mental challenges could vary depending on other underlying health issues.

Financial Problems

Problem gamblers are not far away from financial debts. They are likely to get carried away to the extent of losing more than intended. Moreover, these gamblers often place wagers with important funds. Losing such money often has a huge toll on their finances. Some even go as far as gambling with borrowed funds. All these can push them into severe bankruptcy.

Family and Relationship Problems

Addiction often cuts the victim from their immediate world. This is known to cause big relational issues between the addicts and the people closest to them. Gambling addiction can also make people increasingly unfaithful about their finances. This is because they are trying to keep their losses secret. Fathers involved in such would most likely be unable to meet the important needs of their wards. All these could trigger bigger issues in the family and society at large.

Trigger for Other Addictions

It is common to find gamblers getting caught up with other addiction problems. Due to the effects outlined above, many gamblers try to find solace in other addictive habits. This could include incessant alcohol, drug, and substance abuse. These could be products of an underlying addiction to gambling or vice versa.

Is Gambling Addiction a Common Problem?

Research in Canada revealed that about 2% of people 15 years and older are experiencing gambling problems. The numbers are quite lower when we consider specific regions like Ontario. In this region, the problem of gambling addiction is just among 0.4-0.8% of all the population.

From the above data, we could probably make any of the following conclusions:

  • Gambling is not much of an issue since the numbers of addiction cases are very low
  • The real numbers may be higher because not many people turn up for help
  • The problem of isolation and self-exclusion among problem gamblers restricts access to the true situation of things

The most likely conclusion would be that the real numbers are way higher than what is reported. This is because not many people are aware that they have gambling problems. For instance, binge gamblers may never realise that they have problems because they only have occasional issues. Moreover, the absence of much info about what gambling addiction is and the proper diagnosis process has contributed to the gross ignorance on this subject.

Therefore, we could conclude that gambling addiction or problem gambling is a common problem. The numbers seem to go up in regions where gambling is largely unregulated and areas where much info about addiction symptoms is not available.

How to Get Over Gambling Addiction

Gambling addicts can overcome this problem if they take the proper measures. Here's an outline of possible steps to take.

Seek Professional Counseling

Booking an appointment with a trained psychotherapist or psychiatrist could go a long way in helping to overcome gambling addiction. This is because these professionals can easily detect signs of this problem and other related issues. Anyone that thinks he's addicted shouldn't just conclude on that without visiting trained personnel for proper diagnosis and counseling. These measures have proven to be very helpful in overcoming gambling addiction.

Join Support Groups

Support groups give people the privilege of meeting and discussing with people who have faced similar challenges and have overcome them. There are several platforms like these today where gamblers can anonymously share their issues with others and get help. It is easy to pull through gambling addiction with help from people who have successfully handled it. Those who feel they are addicted can sign up to these platforms and get the needed help.

Go For Medical Treatment

Seeking medical treatment could be an option when the issue is very serious. Some medications have helped manage people with other forms of addiction. This includes drugs that help suppress depression or the urge to gamble. Medications like these can be useful in controlling gambling. However, the use of these medicines should be strictly based on prescription. Self-treatment with drugs can cause entirely different problems.

How Do You Help Someone Cope With an Addiction?

Helping someone who is an addict may be a daunting task. This is because the endeavor requires a lot of patience and constant care. However, with the right things in place, you can pull such a person out of the pit of addiction. This will be more effective if you're a close relative or friend.

So, if you notice that someone close to you is having some of the symptoms we outlined above, you shouldn't hesitate to help. But, you will have to tread softly. There are some things you shouldn't do in your quest. They include the following:

  • Don't use a harsh or confrontational voice when speaking to the addict. The person could totally cut him/herself off because of this.
  • Don't speak badly about their current situation to the extent of making them feel completely condemned. Such criticism could dampen your efforts to make them quit.
  • Lastly, you shouldn't expect the addict to change overnight. Overcoming addiction isn't an entirely smooth process, it takes time.

Instead of doing any of the above, you should focus on doing some other things. Consider doing the following when approaching an addict:

  • Building trust is very important. You have to get closer with the person and make the person trust you enough to open up.
  • With so much empathy, tell the person about the effect of their addiction on their life and relationship with you.
  • Be supportive and respectful. While helping, you shouldn't intrude so much on the person's privacy.

With all these in mind, you can now proceed to help such a person. Here are some practical things you can do.

Establish a Strong Communication Line

The first thing to do is to beef up your communication. This would help you know more about the challenges they are facing, and the possible trigger of the addiction. All these are important in determining the next steps to take to help.

You also have to skillfully let the addict know the effect of their addiction on their life and well-being. To do this, you need to provide empathy, speak positively, and make them convinced that they can overcome it.

Encourage the Addict to Seek Treatment

Having established communication, proceed to help the person seek treatment. The appropriate treatment method could vary depending on the severity of the condition. Therefore you should check out the various options and lay them bare before the addict. Such options could include therapy, support groups, or medication.

Join a Support Group

Joining a support group is very helpful. This is a group of people who have friends or families that they are helping out of addiction. Such groups can help you gain more insights on how to help. You'll also learn more on how to tolerate the addict and encourage yourself when it seems like your efforts are yielding but little.

How to Prevent the Suicide of Problem Ludomans

Suicide is sometimes an option for problem gamblers. This is more common with people with more serious conditions like compulsive gamblers. Therefore it is important that you are in close touch with such a person.

Suicidal thoughts often begin with depression and repulsive behaviors. When you begin to notice such signs, don't hesitate to reach out to the Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline on 1-888-230-3505 or visit the website here.

Alternatives to Gambling

To help a loved one out of addiction, you may need to provide such a person with alternatives. These are different routes to help resolve the root cause of gambling. Here are some popular reasons for gambling and simple alternatives that can be considered.

Alternatives to Gambling.
Reason For Gambling Alternative to Gambling
I gamble regularly to wind down on stress and free my mind. Instead of gambling to reduce stress, you can partake in simple exercises or yoga. Breathing deeply can also help with stress. Besides, you may consider getting a massage. All these are perfect substitutes for gambling.
I am always bored and lonely, so I gamble to keep myself busy. You can prevent boredom and loneliness by engaging in other activities that thrill you. What are you passionate about? Music? Sports? Nature? You can find out your passion for other things and focus on them when you're feeling bored and lonely.
I gamble because I love the thrill and adrenaline rush. Other engaging sports can give you a similar feeling. Sports like rock climbing, mountain biking, and several others can provide a parallel adrenaline rush. All you need to do is find one of those sports that you can easily engage in and try it out.
I gamble to distract myself from my worries and other unpleasant happenings. Gambling can worsen your worries, especially when it concerns finances. Therefore, instead of resorting to gambling to take off worries, try visiting a counselor or therapist. They are professionals at helping people with different internal and external worries. Online and offline resources on emotional intelligence can also help.
I gamble to quickly get money to solve my problems. The odds of solving your financial problems with gambling are very low. You are more likely to complicate your financial issues when you resort to gambling. To solve money problems, it is better to seek help from credit counselors instead of partaking in gambling activities.

There is always a good substitute for gambling. If you're looking to prevent or overcome addiction, you should try out these alternatives. They are healthy and can be easily done.

Myths and Facts about Ludomania

Myth: Getting addicted to gambling is not a possibility.

Fact: The thrilling effect of other forms of addiction like alcohol and drugs is similar to what gamblers experience. Therefore, there is a constant urge to continue in the activity. This can make it hard for gamblers to stop. Those that get addicted never seem to be comfortable until they engage more and more in gambling. It is then obvious that gambling addiction is very possible and is becoming increasingly common.

Myth: Gambling addiction isn't a problem for people that have enough funds to gamble.

Fact: The financial implication of problem gambling is just one of the many negative effects. Addicted gamblers face many other issues, especially with family and friends. These gamblers could totally isolate themselves from people around them because they spend all their time gambling. All these could negatively impact their all-round productivity at work and relationships with others.

Myth: It is only those that gamble every day that can become addicted to gambling.

Fact: Gambling addiction isn't only about the frequency of the activity. Much more is the effect that it produces (financial losses, strained relationships, depression, etc.). Some people only gamble once in a while, yet that occasional activity could be a problem. There is also the case of binge gamblers who experience compulsive gambling symptoms only once in a while. Such gamblers could easily conclude that they don't have problems, whereas they actually have an issue.

Myth: Settling an addicted gambler's debt is a good way to help them overcome the addiction.

Fact: When you pay off the debt of an addicted gambler, you have just added fuel to the fire. This could give him/her the needed confidence to continue gambling. Therefore, sorting the debts is not a good option if you want the addiction to stop. Instead, leading the gambler to get help is the right thing to do. This will help them with the psychological obsession and not just the physical, financial problem.

Myth: I can easily know when someone around me is involved in problem gambling.

Fact: Getting to know those that are involved in gambling addiction is not as easy as many think. This is because these gamblers are often very secretive about their activities. Besides, with the emergence of online gambling, it is increasingly difficult to know those that are addicted or not. Moreover, many addicted gamblers don't easily acknowledge their problems. All these contribute to making it hard to know those that are problem gamblers.

Helping Resources for Gamblers

There are several platforms and resources out there dedicated to helping gamblers with addiction. They are easy stops for those who want to get quick and professional aid. If you find that a friend or relative involved is losing control of their gambling, here are some organizations you can reach out to:


ConnexOntario provides help to gamblers in Ontario seeking to overcome addiction. They offer webchat and email options for those looking to reach out to them. They can help by providing useful information, helping to book professional treatment appointments and also assisting with strategies and support.

Centre For Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)

CAMH is the largest mental health teaching hospital in Canada. Their goal is to help people with various forms of addiction, including gambling addiction. The institution is based in Toronto, the capital of Ontario. Gamblers can easily book an appointment through toll-free numbers or call from the GTA to get help.


This is a Canadian-based platform set up to help those with gambling addiction. Families and friends of the addicted person can also seek help for the addict here. The great thing about the ProblemGambling service is that there is a local council for every province in Canada. Therefore, Ontario gamblers can reach out to personalized support services in their region.

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is a popular online platform that helps people stop gambling addiction. They have local groups around the world for gamblers looking to overcome the habit. Gamblers can also easily network with another person in their region and help each other. Also, there is a special group for the family and friends of the addicts.