Gambling is an enjoyable activity for many people. It is a way of having fun occasionally and is never anything more serious than the odd bet on a football accumulator or the horses. For others, their extent of gambling is playing one or two lines on the lottery each week.
For others, however, gambling ends up becoming a major problem. It ends up morphing into an obsession that consumes their life. Every spare moment has been spent either gambling or thinking about gambling.
If you consider the impact that gambling activities have on daily life, it isn’t hard to understand why being addicted to it is not good for health, finances, or even relationships. If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction or any kind of addiction and are based in Surrey then see ‘addiction counsellor Surrey‘.
The Rise of Gambling Addiction
Substances such as alcohol or drugs are where most people’s initial thoughts turn to when they think about addiction. However, the reality is that gambling addiction is a major problem in the United Kingdom. Worse still, it seems to be growing with each passing year.
The reasons why this is the case are many. Much has to do with the reality that gambling is now more easily accessible. Online gambling allows just about anybody to gamble from the comfort of their own home.
Gambling websites, on the other hand, offer free bets to entice new members, which helps to explain in part why people are increasingly choosing to try their hand at winning life-changing amounts of money.
The problem is that only a handful of people ever end up winning those life-changing amounts. Indeed, the vast majority will spend a small fortune attempting to secure that elusive win, especially those that develop crippling gambling habits.
The other major reason for the rise in gambling addiction is the presence of fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs as they are more commonly referred to), in just about all betting shops in the country. Each betting shop is allowed to have a maximum of 4 such machines, which have now been dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling.
While plans are currently underway to reduce the maximum stake per bet, these machines have until now been set to a maximum of £100 per spin. Since they usually spin 3 times per minute, a gambler may lose £1,500 in just 5 minutes. Furthermore, since the machines are designed to be addictive, campaigners claim that they prey on the most valuable members of society.
The Impact of Gambling Addiction
It is wise to consider why gambling addiction is bad for individuals, their families, along society when considering its impact. As you might imagine, gambling can have terrible consequences for the affected person.
People that find themselves addicted to gambling end up being trapped in the desperate cycle of gambling and attempting to find ways to fund their habit. Since it is an activity that requires a constant cash source, it can be difficult to keep on top of things, which is why many people start to get loans or borrow from credit card companies.
When they run out of options with regards to securing finance, they may even start borrowing from their family and friends or even stealing from them.
All this can potentially have a negative impact on many areas of a person’s life. Gamblers often try hiding what they are doing from their family and friends until they find themselves in a desperate situation.
Family members often fail to realise the extent of their loved one’s problems until it is at a critical stage. Some gamblers actually suffer greatly from mental health issues and are under a great deal of stress as they attempt to keep their addiction a secret.