Online casinos present players with a great way to enjoy cash games from home, but they also are an open door to gambling problems. By learning about these problems, players can avoid developing an addiction and can learn where to get help if needed.
Problem gambling is a very common issue for players who access online casinos. One of the main reasons this has become an ongoing problem is because many gamblers online are unable to set strict casino budgets. Making a cash deposit to a casino account is also extremely easy and will often lead to players depositing more than they can afford to lose. Unfortunately, this can present gambling problems and players need to know their limits when playing at these sites. Gambling problems can be indicated by the uncontrollable urge to continue playing even after suffering losses. Many players have the misconception that they can win back losses, but this seldom happens and this thought process can lead to more problems in the long run.
For those that have developed a gambling problem, there is help available. There are a number of sites online that will offer assistance to players who have an addiction. These sites can offer informative articles and tutorials on proper money management and can even offer counselling sessions to help players get back on track. Another way that players can get help is by contacting their online casino. Some sites will be able to set a limit on the amount that is deposited to an account, removing the ability to make deposits when it is not affordable.
Problem gambling can be disastrous if it is not detected early and if players feel they are not in control of their gambling habits, they should consider seeking help before things get out of hand. Many online casinos will be enticing to players, but without the ability to control what is spent and knowing when to quit, these sites will often attract gambling addicts who are always looking for the rush of cash gambling. Online casinos are designed to provide for a positive experience and those with problems should seek help as soon as possible so they can start having a great and safe time when they visit their favourite online casinos in the future.
National Responsible Gambling Programme
The National Responsible Gambling Programme (http://www.responsiblegambling.co.za/) is the only public-private sector initiative of its kind in Africa. This initiative formed in June 2000 and the main operational components include a Lifeskills program for schools, Grades 7 – 12, as well as Research, Treatment and Counselling, Public Awareness and Prevention, and Training for Regulators and Industry Employers.
The National Responsible Gambling Programme (NRPG) has been supervised by the SA Responsible Gambling Foundation (SARFG) since March 2009 and is funded by 0.1% of the South African online gambling industry’s Gross Gambling Revenue (which is basically 0.1% of the operators’ profits).
The NRPG is a reputable South African responsible gambling foundation which also offers support to problem gamblers. So if you, a friend or a family member needs counselling, you can call a friendly and professionally trained member of staff on 0800006008. You can also send a ‘please call me’ sms to 0766750710. The international telephone number is 0216745830.
These telephone numbers are toll free and they can be reached 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Alternatively you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for free, confidential and professional help & advice. For some people, gambling can become an uncontrollable addiction which can ruin people’s lives.
If you feel as though this is happening to your or to someone you know, you can actively take steps to change this downward spiral. The types of things that you can expect from one of the NRGP counsellors include a professional, confidential and free service for problem gamblers. You can also find plenty of useful information, together with a thorough assessment of your gambling issues and other related issues, plus you will also receive a referral for face-to-face counselling with a mental health professional.
Gamblers Anonymous South Africa
The other major organisation, Gamblers Anonymous South Africa (http://gasouthafrica.wordpress.com/), is basically a support group for recovering problem gamblers. Both men and women share their experiences in the hope that they will be able to overcome their common problem and also help others to overcome their problem gambling.
This support group is only aimed at those who really wish to stop gambling. The Gamblers Anonymous membership is free and this non-profit organisation is self-supporting through its own contributions. The main function of this well-known fellowship is to try and prevent gambling among its members and also to try and help others give up their addiction as well.
Specific details about individual meetings that you can attend can be found over at the main Gamblers Anonymous South Africa website. Meetings currently take place in and around the Western Cape, Gauteng and Kwazulu Natal (KZN), so if you would like to join one of these meetings and see what it’s all about, just follow the secure link above to be redirected to their website. You can also call the Gauteng Hotline / National Hotline on 078 789 0868 or 078 528 6583. If you seek immediate help, call this Hotline now.
When you visit the website, take a few minutes to complete the simple questionnaire which is comprised of 20 ‘yes’ or ‘no’ questions. Most compulsive gamblers will answer yes to at least 7 of the questions. Gamblers Anonymous South Africa offers a Recovery Program and a Unity Program and it is managed by a supportive and professionally trained team.
Gamblers Anonymous is known around the world for its support groups and the first group meeting of its kind was actually held back in 1957 in Los Angeles. If you or a friend is suffering because of excessive gambling and if you are based in South Africa, please try and get in touch with one of these organisations that we have listed for you in this section.