The explosion of online and mobile betting has many Australians literally gambling with their lives. What often begins as harmless fun can quickly turn into a devastating disease. Learn the risks and signs of gambling addiction.
- Gambling addiction is a house of cards to our finances, relationships and health. Learn the risks and signs before you lose it all. #gambling #addiction #risk
- Are the stakes getting too high for Australian gamblers? With the explosion of online and mobile betting, the odds of becoming addicted to gambling are stacked against you. #gambling #addiction #danger
Australians have always had a penchant for gambling and spend more money wagering per capita than anywhere else in the world. Over 80% engage in gambling of some kind and the nation’s favorite pastime can be found on multiple platforms. Online wagers and mobile betting are used for games, horse racing, greyhound racing and sporting events. In fact, sports betting is the fastest growing gambling product in Australia with an increase of 30% between 2013 and 2015 and 50% in 2016, according to figures from Australian Gambling Statistics.
Pokies, which first appeared in 1895, are still incredibly popular. Despite their mass appeal however, these machines can drain your pocket in rapid time with losses of over $1,000 per hour. It is startling to note that a recent study found that Australians comprise about 0.3% of the world’s population but can access 2.5% of its gaming machines and 18% of its poker machines.
In 2015-2016, Australian punters lost a record 24 billion dollars to chance, an average of $1,200 per person! This statistic not only has financial consequences, it is devastating to a growing number of lives and families. Widespread access to multiple gambling outlets has turned many a hobby into a compulsion or worse, an addiction. Today, the risk of developing a gambling addiction in Australia has never been higher.
Quitting gambling is not easy. As with any addiction, gambling is not a failure of will, it is disorder in the brain that is best treated by professional care and support. If gambling has had negative effects on your income and well-being, you can start a new life today. The Cabin Sydney is dedicated to your success in a life free of gambling and offers confidential, outpatient services led by a team of experts.
The Risk of Online Wagers
With modern conveniences comes modern problems. Betting online gives us 24/7 access to a worldwide stream of wagering options and Australians are estimated to account for 5% of its global market. Bettors navigate through hundreds of choices that can easily feed an addiction. These sites retain customers through free bet offers, bonuses and daily promotions. They lure new customers through incentives such as cash back guarantees and deposit matching schemes.
Placing bets online is also as mobile as carrying a smart phone. Today there are a myriad of betting apps to choose from. Placing bets through mobile apps has seen a four-fold growth in popularity over the past six years. These mobile betting apps offer privacy where users can hide their gambling habits more easily. Theis type of portable temptation can be virtually impossible to resist. Particularly vulnerable are young adults with many users still in high school. It is estimated that one Australian teen in every high school class has an issue with gambling.
Am I Addicted to Gambling?
Any type of gambling has its risks, not just financially but behaviourally. As with other addictions, it targets the desire and reward area of the brain so that the pattern becomes habitual and then, sadly, addictive.
David Nutt, a British neuropsychopharmacologist best known for his drug and brain change studies, has also studied how gambling changes the brain. He found that the visual system in the back of the brain becomes intensely activated to the stimuli of games of chance. In addition, the emotional response to “Will I win, won’t I win?” signals the brain to produce dopamine and endorphins. Dr. Nutt found that waiting for the win is as activating to the brain as the win itself and produces the same highs and cravings found in substance and alcohol abuse.
Signs of Gambling Addiction
How do you know if you or a loved one are addicted to gambling? Gambling addiction is the urge to gamble continuously despite harmful negative consequences. Here are some of the main signals that your gambling may be out of control:
- You can’t stop
Gambling becomes compulsive when betting takes over your life and attempts to stop fail.
- You “chase your losses”
Promising to stop once you’ve regained your losses is a downward spiral that causes you to gamble more.
- You hide or lie about your gambling
Deceiving friends and family to hide your habit is a red flag that should not be ignored.
- You hatch schemes to acquire more money to gamble
Gambling beyond your means can result in borrowing, theft, forgery and other crimes.
- Your emotions have become negative
The emotional rollercoaster of gambling can cause irritation, frustration, hopelessness, loss of ambition, depression and anxiety.
- Your loved ones are worried
Despite your best efforts to conceal your gambling, friends and family are worried and concerned about the changes in your behavior.
If you can relate to any of these signs, you may have a problem with gambling. Seeking treatment now will stop further destruction to your financial and emotional health.
Why The Cabin is the Best Choice for Gambling Addiction Treatment
Gambling addiction can be effectively treated with inpatient or outpatient settings. Deciding between the two may seem like a difficult decision but speaking with a qualified professional on gambling addiction will help you know which is best.
The Cabin Sydney offers a flexible outpatient programme that allow clients to live at home and maintain their regular professional and personal routines all while receiving the highest quality gambling addiction treatment possible. Therapy sessions are scheduled outside of normal work hours allowing clients to fit treatment into even the busiest of schedules.
The Cabin Chiang Mai offers superior inpatient treatment particularly suited for those with a severe gambling addiction who are unable to manage their addictive behaviour within the context of their regular environment. Addiction treatment at a residential rehab facility allow an individual to focus completely on their recovery in an environment free from the stress and triggers inherent in their daily life.
It is possible to break free from gambling and live the life you were meant to live. The most important thing you can do at this time is to reach out for help. Our highly trained and experienced professional are here to help you explore the options available to you today and develop your plan for success. Contact us today and begin your journey to recovery, for you or a loved one.