Dealing with Problem Gambling

Problem gambling is seldom discussed in the online casino world, but it's one that we think you need to know about. Other so called "casino experts" will often shy away from talking about problem gambling for fear that it will alienate various parts of their audience.

However, here at RouletteOnline.com.au we realise that people playing beyond their means can sometimes become an issue. Therefore, our mission is to ensure that none of our roulette faithful spend more money than they can afford to and this means outlining exactly what is meant by problem gambling.

For some, the idea of problem gambling is simple: you play casino games too often. However, the situation is much more complex. Everyone has different goals and tolerances when they ante-up at one of our Aussie roulette tables, so it's impossible to define what "too much" is. In fact, problem gambling for one roulette player could simply be a normal day's play for someone else.

So, with this in mind, let's breakdown the tenets of problem gambling so that you can spot it (either in yourself or someone else) before it becomes a serious issue.

What is Problem Gambling?

While some casino and betting experts often try to create a "one size fits all" definition of problem gambling, the "problem" with this approach is that every gambler is different. For example, Gambler A might have the means to lose $1,000 in a session, while Gambler B can only drop $100. Because of this it's not possible to put a monetary amount on "problem gambling".

Essentially, a player can be described as having an issue with roulette or gambling is general if they crossover a predefined line. As a responsible gambler you should set yourself limits based on your personal circumstances and the moment you go beyond these limits you could be facing a problem.

A serious roulette player must know how large their bankroll is before they join the table, so consider this scenario:

Let's assume a player has $2,000 to play with. At this point it would be a problem if they blew it all on a single session instead of dividing it up into small chunks. Fortunately, our gambler knows this and allocates themselves $100 for each session (20 sessions in total) of online roulette they plan to play.

If the player sticks to these conditions, then it doesn't matter whether they win or lose, they don't have a problem with gambling. If anything, they are displaying the virtues every responsible roulette grinder should abide by. In contrast, if our plucky player was to lose their $100 and then chase their losses and blow their rest of the bankroll in just a few sessions, then it would certainly be a problem.

The reasons why a player loses control and drops their discipline will be different depending on the person. However, once they've gone beyond their means and traded emotion for logic, then they can be classed as having a gambling problem.

How to Spot Problem Gambling

If we accept that problem gambling in Australia is caused by an abandonment of logic in favour of blind emotion, then the causes for it can be as numerous as the people suffering with the affliction. However, while it isn't possible to outline every reason why someone develops a gambling problem, we can offer some general pointers:

Tilt - When you experience something that upsets you emotionally it's known as going on "tilt". Once you're on tilt you're more likely to act illogically and destructively. If this regularly happens when you play online roulette you could be described as having a gambling problem.

Sustained Losses - A succession of losses can cause gamblers to lose their head. One of the most common reasons why people develop a problem is that they go on a losing stretch and want to win their money back. By forgoing the virtues of disciplined play and chasing losses, it's possible to develop a problem. Of course, sometimes you may all into this trap. That's not an issue. However, if it becomes a common theme at the roulette table then you should seek some help.

An Addictive Personality - People with addictive personalities are more likely to develop an issue than someone who doesn't. What starts out as a few casual sessions at the table can quickly turn into an all-consuming venture for someone who isn't able to know when they've had enough. In fact, even if someone is able to financially sustain their gaming activities, if the pursuit starts to take over their life, then it should be classed as a problem.

Lack of Information - The final reason why someone may fall into the trap of problem gambling is a lack of information about the industry in general. As we explained above, the key to becoming a successful roulette player is to follow a distinct set of bankroll rules. This means only playing with money you can afford to lose.

Players that aren't aware of this can often wander blindly into the industry and come out the other side feeling somewhat jaded after they've lost all their cash. To avoid becoming an unwitting victim of problem gambling, our advice to you is to learn as much as you can about the strategies all successful gamblers use.

Problem Gambling: The Numbers:

  • Australians wager around $19 billion each year on live and online gambling, including roulette.
  • In 2009, 70% of Australians participated in some form of gambling.
  • Around 500,000 Aussies are at risk of problem gambling every year.
  • One in six people have a serious addition to pokies.
  • Only 15% of gamblers seek help for problem gambling.

Tools for Beating Problem Gambling

Aside from arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible, there are a number of useful resources for dealing with problem gambling. One of the most recognised organisations that can help with gambling addition is GamCare. Based in the UK and operational since 1997, this free service provides information, advice, support and counselling with anyone who is having issues with online gambling. Anyone who suspects they have a problem with online gambling can visit www.gamcare.org.uk for a host of free resources.

Another resource that's been designed specifically for Australian's is www.problemgambling.gov.au. Backed by the Aussie government and stocked with facts, figures and advice, this free service is one we highly recommend.

For those that want to protect themselves, all our recommended Australian online casinos have responsible gaming features. Allowing you to set deposit limits, betting caps and restricted access conditions (you can block yourself from playing for a certain period of time), these tools are a great way to help you stop problem gambling issues before they start.

Problem gambling might be a small area of the industry, but it's an important one. If you've feel you have any issues then take on board the advice in the article and make sure you address it before things spirals out of control.