It’s always tricky admitting that you might have a problem, but what do you do when you find yourself spending just a little too much time playing slots, or losing more money than you’re comfortable with at your favourite online casino? How do you determine if it’s a problem, and who can you speak to to get your gambling and life back under control?
This is something you can only answer for yourself, but we’ve provided a list of websites that can give you the tools to answer that question. Each website has a self-assessment quiz that will let you know within a few questions whether you should be concerned about your gambling habits.
This is a 10-15 question quiz – a really helpful tool if you are concerned about your gambling habits. It lets you know if you are at risk of developing a gambling problem, dealing with the beginnings of a problem, or would likely be diagnosed with a gambling addiction by a medical professional.
It is important to note that these tests should only be used as indicators and are not an official diagnostic tool. You would need to see a medical professional to receive a reliable diagnosis.
There are several useful online resources, both national and international listed below, that can give you the information you need to assess and address your gambling behaviour. These include information on treatment options, alternatives to gambling, how to deal with the urge to gamble, career and credit counselling, and self-help options like self-exclusion.
Self-exclusion is a legislated programme where you can choose to exclude yourself from any gambling pursuits. This is most often a government-run operation, like in the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and Sweden. However, some individual casinos have their own self-exclusion scheme. There is also a paid service called GamBan that is an option for gamblers in countries without a national self-exclusion programme.
Once a request for self-exclusion is processed, you would be legally banned from all land-based casinos taking part in the scheme. You also cannot register to pay to play with any licensed participating online casinos, as this requires filling in information that would identify you as a member of the programme. The voluntary exclusion period can be set between 6 months and 5 years, depending on which option you choose.
If you would prefer to look for help closer to home, you can always speak to your GP, who will give you a referral for a mental health professional specialising in addiction and rehabilitation.
There are also support groups like Gamblers Anonymous which work on a variation of the 12-step program and will help you find either a local or virtual meeting.
https://www.ncpgambling.org/ – USA specific but also has good information
https://www.ncpgambling.org/5475-2/ – A list of international gambling help contacts