Gambling is one of the most popular hobbies for people in the UK and across the world. This fun pastime has been enjoyed for thousands of years, and over the past century, it has become a top hobby for many Brits. Bingo was one of the first forms of legal gambling introduced to the UK and now players have the option to visit either a bingo hall or to play online. While the vast majority can play bingo as a game of fun and see it as a hobby, for others it can become an addiction that affects other areas of their life, including their finance, relationships and mental health. It is important that if you find your bingo gambling is no longer fun and is becoming a serious issue in your life that you seek help. Gambling addictions come in many forms, and often people do not realise, so it is also important that help is available for friends and family.
To find out more about the signs of gambling addictions and what help is available to you and your loved ones, carry on reading.
What is Gambling Addiction?
Did you know that gambling addiction is classed as a mental health condition? For this reason, it is also treated like this, and most players will receive treatment for what is known as an impulse control disorder. This disorder describes the situation where players cannot stop their gambling, even when it is having a seriously detrimental effect on their family, friends, mental health, and finances. How serious a gambling addiction is can vary from person to person. However, even if you think you may be starting to develop a problem, it is best to seek help as quickly as possible to ensure it does not worsen.
Forms of Gambling Addiction in Bingo
There are many different forms that a bingo gambling addiction can take, including:
- Binge bingo gambling – do you sometimes feel that your bingo gambling is not under control? This may not be an issue for you, but it does pop up from time to time. This is usually the sign of a bingo gambling problem where you can stop playing bingo for a while, but when you do return to the game, gambling addictions symptoms start to show
- Problem gambling – problem gambling occurs when your bingo game playing is out of control. When you find that playing bingo is affecting your daily life, such as your relationships and finances, and you are continually trying to chase losses, then problem gambling could best describe your circumstances
- Compulsive gambling – is playing bingo overtaking everything in your life? When you lose the sense of caring about winning or losing and just have to gamble, this indicates that you have a gambling addiction and are a compulsive gambler. This type of gambler will tend to find that this is something that affects every aspect of their life and not just playing bingo
Whether you are at stage one, two or three of your gambling addiction, it is important to take it seriously and reach out for help as soon as possible to get it under control.
Problem Gambling Treatments
There are various treatments that players can undertake in order to treat their gambling problems. For some bingo players, there may be the need to try a combination of these treatments to see which one is the most effective. Here are some of the most popular gambling addiction treatments:
Therapy and Counselling
One of the most successful treatments for gambling addiction is therapy and counselling. This type of help can be found through many fantastic organisations in the UK and the combination of these charities working with you alongside the therapy is usually one of the best forms of treatment. With this type of treatment, addicts can speak with a professional councillor and psychotherapy can be undertaken. This form of treatment particularly successful because it goes beyond the surface level of the problem and really has addicts diving deep to see what underlying issues or root cause is triggering this disorder. When you can treat the root cause of the problem, it is much more likely to be maintained over the long run and will stop you from replacing your gambling addiction with another form of addiction.
Charities and Organisations
Many charities and organisations in the UK have been set up specifically to help those dealing with a gambling addiction. In the UK, GamCare is the best place to visit to find details for all the organisations that you can contact to get started on your treatment programme. At most of these charities and organisations, you will be able to speak with other people who are suffering from the same mental disorder as you. Visiting a therapist can initially be very daunting and so speaking with these organisations is a great first step until you are ready to undertake more professional treatment.
There are no medical treatments that are solely used to treat those suffering from addiction. In some instances, however, medication may be used as part of an overall treatment programme such as anti-depressants and anti-seizure medication. These can be used in such a way to try and reduce the gambling impulse of a problem player.
Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
Many symptoms can indicate a bingo player has a gambling addiction, and you may suffer from only a few or nearly all of the symptoms listed below:
- Getting money from family/friends to play bingo
- Lying about money problems and the amount of time you are gambling
- Not being able to resist the impulse to play bingo
- Always thinking about playing bingo
- Betting more to chase the thrill of the game
- Chasing your losses, even when it is past your budget
- Gambling is more important than your financial situation and personal relationships
- Trying to stop but starting playing bingo again and again
- Playing bingo to overcome sadness, depression or stress
- Feeling irritation when not being able to play bingo
All addicts are experts in hiding their problem, and it sometimes takes a family member, partner or friend to watch closely to see these symptoms. A professional therapist or a gambling addiction organisation will help treat those suffering from this type of addiction and can also help those around them who may also need help.
The Best Resources for Gambling Addicts
When your bingo habits are becoming a problem, it is time to get help from reputable charities and organisations in the UK, of which there are many. We would recommend heading over first to the NHS website, where you will find an extensive list of resources that will help you make the first step in this journey. Players can also visit the following resources to get the help they require:
- GamCare – problem gamblers can receive advice and counselling from this charity that is funded by the gambling industry by calling 0808 8020 133
- Gamblers Anonymous UK – you may have heard of alcoholics anonymous but you can also visit Gamblers anonymous for help with a gambling addiction. Here, you can join local support groups and friends and family are also welcome. Throughout this journey of recovery, gambling addicts will follow the reputable 12 step programme
- The National Centre for Behavioural Addictions covers the National Centre for Gaming Disorders and the National Centre for Behavioural Addictions. Those suffering from complex gambling problems may be directed towards this clinic
- Gordon Moody Association – players can contact this charity to help rebuild their lives through a gambling addiction. You can find out more about their residential courses by calling 01384 241 292 or you can get in touch via email at [email protected]
If you feel you have a gambling problem, do not wait any longer and get in touch with these organisations today to start your recovery journey. You can also visit the NHS website if you want to know more about each of these services and need help deciding which one will best fit you and your needs.
Getting Help for a Gambling Addiction
Once you have acknowledged that you have a gambling problem, there are various ways in which you can try and seek help, including:
- Speaking with family members and friends about your problem with gambling
- Finding other distractions to keep your mind off of gambling such as meeting up with friends or finding a new hobby
- Thinking about how it makes you feel if you give in to the temptation to gamble
- Players should try and use tools such as self-exclusion, time-outs and deposit limits that online bingo websites provide players to help them control their spending
These are just a few ways to help yourself with a gambling addiction, but if it is very serious, always seek help from a charity or organisation that specialises in gambling addiction.
Top Reasons to Quit a Gambling Addiction
Those suffering from gambling addiction will be missing out on the many benefits that they can experience from quitting. Some of the top reasons why you should quit your gambling addiction include:
- Finances – one of the most significant issues for problem gamblers is their finances as they no longer stick to any budget and do not care whether they win or lose, even if that puts them into financial ruin. Financial severe difficulties, including losing your home, falling into poverty and bankruptcy, are some of the most common issues that gambling addicts face. Quitting will allow you to prevent these situations from occurring. You can then focus your money on other areas of your life rather than spending everything you have on bingo games
- Relationships – the financial strain and secrecy around problem gambling normally also leads to a decline in personal relationships with partners, family and friends. Addicts are very good liars, and this can drive those closest to them away. When you overcomegambling addiction, you can hold on to your loved ones and improve on those relationships, rather than losing them
- Mental health – when you are constantly thinking about gambling, have lost your closest relationships and your finances are in ruin, this will, of course, lead to a massive decline in your mental health and wellbeing. Depression and stress are very common for problem gamblers and overcoming these addictions can add more peace, calm and clarity back to your life, which will overall improve your mental health
Do not wait any longer if you are experiencing the symptoms of gambling addiction. Get all these amazing benefits of quitting this habit by seeking out the professional help you need.