Gambling Addiction: When it's no longer Safe to Play

roulette wheel

Can Gambling be safe?

Gambling is a popular pastime enjoyed by many. It contains its share of anticipation, thrill, and excitement, often fuelled by a unique psychological mix of optimism, self-belief, and compulsion. The result of this combination can sometimes end well - but it can also end badly.

There is a risk associated with gambling, but, within that risk there is real potential for reward. For some players, the risks and the rewards are kept in perspective and understood. These players know that to enjoy the thrills one needs to accept the consequences of losing; and to remain aware of the reality around them.

Unsafe Gambling

For other players, gambling is mostly about risk, and it can become all-consuming. It often takes on a life of its own. These individuals may become so focused on playing, spinning, rolling the dice – that they can no longer see the reality around them. What once was fun, has now become reduced to a behaviour, and the control is lost.

Gambling Addiction or ‘Gambling Disorder’ is a recognized psychological problem and here are just some of the symptoms or characteristics:

  • Gambling with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement

  • Feeling restless or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop gambling

  • Making repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop gambling

  • After losing money gambling, often returns another day to get even (“chasing” one’s losses)

  • Lies to others to conceal the extent of involvement with gambling

Gamblers who meet these criteria have often lost the ability to enjoy the experience of gambling, i.e., the excitement, the thrills, the fun, or even the entertainment. They take greater and greater risks and become vulnerable to greater losses – often putting their welfare and that of others on the line.

Help is widely available

For players who are no longer in control of their gambling, and who are facing the adverse consequences of their behavior; help is available. It is not too late to get professional assistance to deal with these destructive patterns and put a plan into place to recover from a gambling problem.

Resources for Gambling Problems:;

Dirk Hansen:

Dirk Hansen offers professional counselling in Warwickshire for common psychological problems, including gambling addiction. Click here for more information on Dirk's approach.