Most of the things people do in their lives start with good intentions. You are working hard, giving your best at home, trying to find time for friends, unsuccessfully looking for a gap in a tight schedule to be physically active… life can be difficult from time to time. When it gets rough, the majority of people just want something to distract them, to chill out, have some light fun, and potentially bring in some money to ease the stress.
What’s easy, exciting, available, and can result in some extra cash? Gambling.
Naively you pick an online casino, register, provide all the necessary documentation, deposit some money, and the game can start! Sounds pretty easy, and it really is…
…but what happens when entertainment becomes an obsession?
Britain is home to big gamblers. Brits love to drop some pounds on video slots, table games, and progressive jackpots. There are thousands of games with exquisite visual experience, a variety of interesting themes, a frequently refreshed library, and best of all- a chance for “easy money.” It’s understandable why people love to gamble, but the problem occurs when that love becomes dangerous.
The hours spent in front of the screen feel like minutes, wallets becoming thinner, no time for family, problems with sleeping, depression…addictive gambling is not hard to be recognized, but it can be hard to solve.
Admitting the Problem
The first step to a solution is admitting to yourself that you are out of control. This is a breakthrough moment; after which everything comes easier. You seek help, and help will be given to you.
At this moment, Britain is facing a massive rise of people who are asking to be self-excluded from playing at online casinos. Spoken in numbers, 25% more players are looking for help than in 2020.
GamStop, a free service that prevents punters from using gambling sites and apps run by companies licensed in Great Britain, came out with bad news. During the period of six months, more than 40,000 people, addicted gamblers, asked to be banned from online casinos. The total number of registrants at GamStop is 218,000.
Who is most affected?
- 70% of those who registered with GamStop were male, 30% female
- 59 % of registered were aged between 18-34 years
- 58% of registered selected the maximum exclusion period of five years
- 75% were in full or part-time employment
- 63% had no children in their household
What Triggered the Crises?
The answer to many questions in recent months is the coronavirus pandemic.
It changed the lives of all of us on this planet and made us closer to our gadgets. Our relationship with computers and mobile devices evolved in the same rhythm as boredom and frustration during the lockdowns.
But, troubles never come alone. During the spring lockdowns in Britain, TV and radio stations were asked to lower down the propaganda for gambling. They agreed and kept their promise, but online commercialists made no such promise, so…
While the depression caused by a lack of social life was spreading, online gambling marketing teams were spending. The ads were everywhere, waiting for the vulnerable ones to step inside their trap. Many did.
When we put all these small pieces of the puzzle into one picture, we get a problem.
The problem affects not only those who are addicts, but the people in their lives as well. It is estimated that for each gambling addict, six other people are harmed in different ways.
Families break up, jobs are lost, houses are deprived, crimes happen.
In the worst-case scenario, lives are lost.
Believe it or not, the fun can be deadly, too. Play responsibly. If you feel you are losing control – ask for help.
“GamStop reports 25% year-on-year rise in H1 self-exclusions”, Fletcher, Robert, igamingbusiness.com, September 28, 2021.
The post When Entertainment Becomes Dangerous: The Rise of Gambling Addiction in Britain first appeared on RealMoneyAction.com.