Gambling Addiction, Symptoms, Causes and Help
Problem gambling, also known as gambling addiction, is a serious issue that affects a significant portion of the population in the United Kingdom. It is characterized by an inability to control one's gambling habits, leading to negative consequences in various aspects of life such as financial, social, and personal.
According to a 2019 survey by the Gambling Commission, approximately 2.7% of the UK adult population suffers from problem gambling, with the highest prevalence among young men aged 25 to 34. The same survey also found that problem gambling is more prevalent among certain groups such as those who are unemployed, have a lower level of education, and have a history of mental health issues.
The impact of problem gambling can be severe and wide-reaching. It can lead to financial problems, as individuals may spend significant amounts of money on gambling, leading to debts and bankruptcy. It can also have negative effects on relationships, as the individual may prioritize gambling over their personal and social commitments, leading to conflicts and strained relationships. In severe cases, it can even lead to criminal activity such as theft or fraud in order to fund the gambling habit.
There are various factors that can contribute to the development of problem gambling, including genetics, environment, and personal characteristics. For instance, individuals who have a family history of gambling addiction may be more prone to developing the disorder. Similarly, those who live in an environment where gambling is highly visible and socially acceptable may be more likely to develop a problem. Personal characteristics such as impulsivity and a tendency to take risks may also play a role.
What are the different types of gambling in the UK?
There are various types of gambling that are available in the United Kingdom. Some of the most common forms of gambling include:
Casino gambling: This involves playing games such as roulette, blackjack, and slot machines in a physical casino or online.
Sports betting: This involves placing bets on the outcome of sports events, such as football, horse racing, or tennis.
Lotteries: This involves purchasing a ticket with numbers on it and hoping that the numbers on the ticket match the numbers that are drawn in the lottery.
Bingo: This involves playing a game in which players mark off numbers on a card as they are called out, with the aim of being the first to complete a pattern or line.
Online gambling: This involves playing games such as poker, blackjack, and slots on the internet.
Skill games: This involves playing games that require skill, such as chess or backgammon, for money.
Arcade games: This involves playing games such as pinball and video games in an arcade for the chance to win prizes.
It is important to note that gambling is regulated in the UK and all forms of gambling are subject to licensing and oversight by the Gambling Commission.
What is the attraction to online gambling?
There are various factors that may contribute to the attraction of online gambling. Some of the most common reasons why people might be drawn to online gambling include:
Convenience: Online gambling is convenient because it can be done from anywhere with an internet connection. This means that people can gamble from the comfort of their own home, or even on the go using a mobile device.
Wide range of games: Online casinos offer a wide range of games, including traditional casino games such as roulette and blackjack, as well as slot machines and other games. This means that there is something for everyone, and people can try out different games to find the ones they enjoy the most.
Bonuses and promotions: Many online casinos offer bonuses and promotions to attract new players. These may include free spins, match bonuses, and other incentives that can make the experience more rewarding.
Social aspect: Some online gambling platforms offer a social aspect, such as the ability to chat with other players or participate in tournaments. This can make the experience more interactive and enjoyable for some people.
Anonymity: Some people may prefer online gambling because it allows them to remain anonymous. This may be particularly appealing to people who are concerned about privacy or stigma associated with gambling.
It is important to note that while online gambling can be a source of entertainment for some people, it can also be addictive and lead to negative consequences if not enjoyed responsibly. It is important to always gamble within one's means and to be aware of the risks involved.
What is the demographic makeup of individuals who play online bingo?
According to a 2019 survey by the UK Gambling Commission, the demographics of people who play online bingo in the UK are as follows:
Age: The majority of online bingo players are over the age of 35, with the highest prevalence among those aged 45 to 54.
Gender: Online bingo is more popular among women, with around 60% of online bingo players being female.
Education: Online bingo is more popular among individuals with lower levels of education.
Employment: Online bingo is more popular among those who are retired or not in employment.
It is important to note that these demographics may vary depending on the specific online bingo platform and the type of bingo games being offered. It is also worth noting that while these statistics provide an overview of the typical online bingo player, they should not be taken as representative of all online bingo players.
Is it possible to win gambling?
It is possible to win at gambling, but it is also probable that you will lose. Gambling is a form of entertainment that involves taking risks with the hope of winning money or other prizes.
However, the outcome of gambling activities is often unpredictable and is determined by chance. This means that it is not possible to consistently win at gambling, and it is important to remember that gambling should be done for fun and not as a way to make money.
It is important to approach gambling responsibly and to understand that it carries risks and can be addictive. If you decide to gamble, it is important to set limits for yourself and to stick to them. It is also important to understand the odds of the games you are playing and to only gamble with money that you can afford to lose.
People who hide their gambling addiction from their loved ones.
Gambling addiction can be a difficult issue for individuals to talk about, especially if they are hiding it from their loved ones. People who hide their gambling addiction may do so for various reasons, including fear of judgment, shame, or a desire to maintain the appearance of normality.
There are several common signs that someone may be hiding a gambling addiction from their loved ones. These may include:
Withdrawing from social activities: A person with a gambling addiction may start to withdraw from social activities that they previously enjoyed, in order to hide their gambling habits.
Lying about their activities: A person with a gambling addiction may lie about where they have been or what they have been doing in order to cover up their gambling activities.
Financial problems: Gambling addiction can lead to financial problems, such as debts and bankruptcy. A person with a gambling addiction may try to hide these financial problems from their loved ones by hiding bills or making excuses for their financial struggles.
Changes in mood or behaviour: A person with a gambling addiction may experience changes in their mood or behaviour, such as becoming more irritable or anxious. These changes may be a result of the stress and guilt associated with hiding their gambling addiction.
What are the chances of winning big in the national lottery UK
The chances of winning a big prize in the National Lottery in the UK depend on the specific game you are playing and the specific prize you are hoping to win.
For example, the chances of winning the jackpot in the Lotto game, which is the main National Lottery game in the UK, are currently about 1 in 45 million. This means that the odds of winning the jackpot are very low, and it is important to remember that the chances of winning any prize are also relatively low. In fact, if every person in the UK were to purchase a lottery ticket, there would be less than 2 jackpot winning tickets and that is if the jackpot is actually won at all in that draw.
In general, it is important to understand that the National Lottery is a form of gambling and that the chances of winning a prize, especially a big prize, are relatively low. It is important to approach the National Lottery, and all forms of gambling, responsibly and to understand that it is not a way to make money. Gambling should be done for fun and within your means.
What are the chances of a big win on scratchcards?
The chances of winning a big prize on a scratchcard depend on the specific game you are playing and the specific prize you are hoping to win. Scratchcards are a form of gambling that involves revealing symbols or numbers on a card to see if you have won a prize.
In general, the chances of winning a big prize on a scratchcard are relatively low. This is because scratchcards are designed to be a form of entertainment, and the chances of winning a prize, especially a big prize, are typically low. The odds of winning a prize on a scratchcard are usually printed on the back of the card or are available from the retailer or the manufacturer.
It is important to approach scratchcards, and all forms of gambling, responsibly and to understand that they are not a way to make money. Gambling should be done for fun and within your means. If you decide to play scratchcards, it is important to set limits for yourself and to stick to them. It is also important to be aware of the potential risks of gambling, such as the risk of becoming addicted.
Help and Solutions.
Acknowledge that you have a problem: This is the first and most important step in seeking help for a gambling problem. It can be difficult to admit that you have a problem, but it is necessary in order to move forward and seek help.
Identify the signs of a gambling problem: Some common signs of a gambling problem include feeling the need to gamble more often or with more money, feeling anxious or stressed when you are unable to gamble, and hiding your gambling from others.
Reach out for support: It can be helpful to talk to someone you trust, such as a friend, family member, or a mental health professional, about your gambling problem. They can provide you with emotional support and guidance on how to get help.
Seek professional help: There are many resources available to help individuals with gambling problems, such as therapy, support groups, and rehabilitation programs. Consider seeking the help of a mental health professional or joining a support group to work through your gambling problem.
Make a plan: Once you have recognized your gambling problem and sought help, it is important to make a plan to prevent relapse. This may involve setting limits on your gambling, finding alternative activities to engage in, and seeking ongoing support.
So what help is available?
It is important to note that while it can be difficult for a person with a gambling addiction to seek help, it is essential for their recovery and well-being. If you or someone you know is experiencing problems with gambling in the UK, there are a number of resources available to help individuals overcome their gambling addiction and lead a healthy and fulfilling life. It is important for loved ones to be supportive and understanding, and to encourage the individual to seek help if they suspect that there is a problem.
One organization that provides support and assistance for people with gambling problems is the UK's National Gambling Helpline. This service is free and confidential, and is available 24/7. You can call the helpline at 0808 8020 133 or use the live chat feature on their website.
Another organization that offers support for people with gambling problems is Gamblers Anonymous UK. This is a self-help group for people who have a gambling problem and want to stop. Gamblers Anonymous UK holds regular meetings across the country, and also provides a helpline and online support.
In addition to these resources, many local authorities in the UK offer support and treatment for people with gambling problems. This can include counselling, therapy, and support groups. You can contact your local council or search online to find out what services are available in your area.
If you are experiencing financial difficulties as a result of your gambling, you can also seek assistance from organizations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau or the National Debt line.
It is important to remember that help is available if you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem. Do not hesitate to reach out for support.
Are there therapies that can help with gambling addiction?
Yes, there are several therapies that have been shown to be effective in helping people with gambling addiction. These therapies can be administered by trained professionals such as therapists, counsellors, or psychologists.
One type of therapy that is commonly used to treat gambling addiction is cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). This form of therapy helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to their addiction.
Other therapies that may be helpful in treating gambling addiction include:
Motivational interviewing: This therapy helps individuals explore and resolve ambivalence about their gambling behaviour.
Contingency management: This therapy involves using rewards or incentives to encourage individuals to engage in healthy behaviours.
Group therapy: This type of therapy involves participating in a group of individuals with similar issues, and can be helpful in providing support and accountability.
Family therapy: This therapy involves working with family members to address the impact of the gambling addiction on the family system and to develop strategies for supporting the individual in recovery.
Hypnotherapy: can be an effective treatment for gambling addiction. During hypnotherapy, a person with a gambling addiction is put into a trance-like state in which they are more receptive to suggestions for change. The therapist can then use hypnosis to help the person overcome their addiction by identifying and altering the underlying thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to the addiction. Some people may find hypnotherapy to be a useful addition to other forms of treatment.
Self-Hypnosis recording produced by a qualified Hypnotherapist.
Self-hypnosis recordings made by a qualified hypnotherapist can be helpful for some individuals in managing their gambling behaviour, particularly when used as part of a broader treatment plan.
Pre-recorded self-hypnosis sessions can be a convenient and effective way to practice hypnosis on your own. Some potential benefits of using pre-recorded self-hypnosis sessions include:
Flexibility: You can listen to the session at a time and place that is convenient for you, allowing you to fit hypnosis into your schedule.
Consistency: Pre-recorded sessions can help you maintain a consistent practice of hypnosis, which may be more difficult to do with in-person sessions.
Customization: Some pre-recorded self-hypnosis sessions are tailored to specific goals or issues, such as gambling addiction. This can be helpful if you have a specific issue that you want to address with hypnosis.
Cost-effectiveness: Pre-recorded self-hypnosis sessions may be more affordable than in-person sessions with a hypnotherapist.
It is important to note that different therapies may be more or less effective for different individuals, and it may be necessary to try a few different approaches before finding the right one. It is also important to work with a trained and licensed therapist or counsellor when seeking treatment for gambling addiction.
Using Self-Hypnosis for a Gambling problem.
Self-hypnosis is a technique that involves using visualization and relaxation techniques to enter a state of deep relaxation, often with the goal of making changes to thoughts, behaviours, or habits.
That being said, Self-Hypnosis can be a helpful tool for relaxation and visualization, and it may be used as part of a broader approach to help with you gambling addiction. Take a look at our downloadable session for Gambling Addiction HERE