Online Betting, How Do You Keep It Fun?

Before we look at how to spot excessive betting at non GamStop bookmakers, let’s see what is known about the phenomenon. Someone who spends too much money or time on betting or has to think about it all the time can be diagnosed by healthcare providers with a so-called ‘gambling disorder’. Gambling disorder is the official psychiatric name for what is popularly known as gambling addiction or betting disorder.

This last name is quite accurate because a betting disorder has been classified as ‘addictions’ in the DSM 5, the diagnostic manual of psychiatry, for several years now. Many scientists, practitioners and problem bettors welcome this recognition. However, the label can also have a stigmatizing effect: few like to see themselves as ‘addicted’. Therefore, the term ‘problem bettors’ is often referred to in the literature.

Money is Not the Most Important Pillar at Non GamStop Bookmakers

What you may have noticed is that it is not the amount of money or time spent on betting at non GamStop betting sites that is seen as an indicator of addiction, but the negative impact that betting has on his or her life. This is an important fact that sometimes comes as a surprise. For example, the player who only bets a few tenners a week on three matches at the weekend, but loses sleep over it all week, performs worse at work and has a fight with his partner about betting, has a bigger ‘problem’ with betting than someone who bets a hundred euros every day but is lucky that this does not affect his personal, social and professional life.

Three Types of Players

In addition to this subdivision based on problem severity, a commonly used system is to divide players of non GamStop bookmakers into three types: recreational players, risk players and problem players:

The Recreational Player

For the recreational player, betting is a fun leisure activity, he or she has full control over the betting and can stop whenever he/she wants to

The Risk Player

The risk player does not always have control over his or her betting behavior and may already have (starting) problems

The Problem Player

The problem player has major problems, possibly in multiple areas of life, and no longer has control over his or her gambling

Now that we know the players, we can look at the so-called prevalence figures: how many people can be classified as recreational players, for example. American figures show that problem gamblers or ‘pathological gamblers’ make up about 1 to 2% of the total population.

What Do the Britons Play?

Particularly lotteries seem to be popular in the UK, betting on sports competitions is done by a smaller group. Please note: these figures are only based on legal games of chance, which probably produces a highly distorted picture (but that should come as no surprise to you). 

Help Is Offered, Not Always Sought at Non GamStop Sports Betting Sites!

It is also known for the UK how many problem players seek (professional) help in getting their gaming behavior under control:

These numbers may be a bit overcautious, as they don’t account for players seeking support in other ways, such as turning to support groups. What is clear is that only a minority seeks help (based on the above figures, between 3% and 11%). Known barriers to seeking help.

These numbers may be a bit overcautious, as they don’t account for players who seek support in other ways, such as turning to support groups.

What is clear is that only a minority seeks help (based on the above figures, between 3% and 11%). Known thresholds when seeking help are underestimating the seriousness, embarrassment and (perceived) distance to care providers. Researchers have therefore been developing online interventions for some time to remove these barriers (for example, take a look at this website). Particularly problematic is that a significant percentage of players relapse after a quit attempt: only 36% are in treatment for the first time. Solutions are also being sought for this (take a look at this Canadian study, for example).

How to Recognize Problematic Gambling?

Here, we will discuss how to recognize problematic play. Already curious? Then you can take the short test below. This so-called ‘screener’. If the answer is “yes” to any of the questions, further screening is advised.

1. Has there ever been a period of two weeks or more where you spent a lot of time thinking about your betting experience, making plans to bet, or thinking about ways to raise money to bet?

2. Have you ever tried to stop or cut back on betting, or try to control your betting?

3. Have you ever lied to relatives, friends or other people about how much you bet or how much money you lost?

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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