When The Fun In Gambling Is No Longer Fun

Gambling is all fun and games until you hit the point where you cease seeing the fun in it, or you become irredeemably addicted.

Admittedly, most people do not see it coming. They start gambling for very noble reasons including,

1. The need to take time away from work and family pressures
2. Escape route from depressing thoughts on other issues.
3. Hopes of winning a fortune and living lavishly ever after
4. To bring a tinge of excitement into their otherwise dull lives
5. A chance to go out there, socialize and make new friends.

As you can see from the above points, no one anticipates that gambling will grow into the Frankenstein that now threatens to push them off the sanity cliff. A lot of people are able to keep their gambling under rein. They do it for fun, to pass some time and to socialize. Others lose it completely. They become slaves to online and offline gambling. It throws their lives off-balance. They start putting more time and money into gambling, and they gradually neglect other aspects of their lives.

At this point, problem gamblers look back at their lives and get surprised at how and when it happened. For a lot of people, the problem starts with a shift in mentality. A big loss or a big win, and you are hooked. You start gambling more money than you had planned to spend on gambling, you invest a lot of time in the casinos and before you know it, you are a slave to gambling. You can’t eat, sleep nor breathe without thinking gambling.

To help you understand how gambling addiction works, I have analyzed some of the most common factors that pull people deeper and deeper into addiction.

1. Illusion that You Can be in command of Chance
No one can control chance. It doesn’t favor anyone, smart or otherwise. Unfortunately many problem gamblers think that they can manage to overturn their luck on the tables through sheer power of the mind. They have this skewed illusion that they can win if only they can learn the tricks of the game. They spent hours on end in the casinos trying to perfect their game. They fail to acknowledge the fact that gambling is 100% chance and not something to be learned. There are no tricks and knowledge that will all of a suddenly overturn the tables to your favor.

2. The Lure of the Jackpot
Winning a few hands on the tables can make you feel unconquerable. Everyone loves winning, and science has proved that people remember their victories more than they remember their losses. Fortunately, or probably unfortunately in this case, new gamblers have what is commonly referred as ‘beginner’s luck’. They begin their gambling hobbies on the right foot. They become obsessed with the idea of winning the jackpot.

3. Faith of Changing Luck
In life, we are encouraged to get up after every fall. We will make it in the end. We will accomplish our goals if we do not quit. After all, who wants to quit while the gold vein could be just a few inches away. There is only one place where this advice does not apply. If your quests are governed by pure luck, there is very little chance that you will ever make it. The statistics are open for anyone who wants to take a look. Gambling only ends up in massive losses, debts and frayed social relationships. There is no better time to quit than now. Lady Luck will not smile at you anytime soon.

How To Know If You Are Addicted To Gambling
Although there are clear pointers that indicate you are going down the addiction lane, it can be extremely difficult to identify them if you do not know what they are. This is probably the saddest thing about addiction. We never know we are addicted until we take a step back and look at ourselves in hindsight, at which time the damage has already been done.

In this section, we will discuss the 5 major red flags to watch out for.

1. You Just Can’t Stop
Remember the wise Gambler who Kenny Rogers sings about? Every wise gambler knows when to hold and when to fold. Compulsive gamblers on the other hand do not have limits. They will gamble everything they have thinking that they are having bouts of fun, when in actuality they are driven by compulsions beyond their control.

2. Gambling with Money Not Meant for Fun
Problem gamblers will gamble with money that they can’t stand to lose. They do not have a set gambling budget and will often risk money meant for important things such medical bills and other utility bills.

3. Gambling to Win or to Recover Losses
If you find yourself gambling more for the sole purpose of hitting the jackpot than for fun, you need to reevaluate yourself. Same case applies if the main driving force behind gambling is to recover losses that you had suffered earlier.

4. Obsessively Thinking about Gambling
If you eat, drink and sleep thinking about gambling, you might already be too deep in the trench.

5. Borrowing to Finance Gambling
Have you ever borrowed money to finance gambling? Chances are if you have, things are not looking so good.

What other key pointers do you think indicate a problem with gambling? I believe that you know them better. You know what triggers that red flag and siren at the back of your mind. A lot of gamblers realize the symptoms that point to problematic gambling in their lives, yet stopping becomes a quagmire.

The Truth About Online Gambling and Credit Cards

The credit card companies lobbied for laws governing online gambling with credit cards, although one would think that people would be the ones hesitant to their credit or debit cards online.

The main reason behind the shift in laws is that too many people have made it a habit to create debt that they cannot repay. Lawsuits have pardoned the debt, paid lawyer fees in full and left credit histories untouched. This is good for the people in debt, but bad for the credit card companies who end up losing a lot of money.

Response from Credit Card Companies

Charge card companies have decided to exact stricter regulations regarding credit balances by amending the terms and conditions surrounding receiving a card. Now you find higher interest rates incurred for particular transactions, so hopefully the user thinks twice before creating debt in certain ways.

Avoiding Financial Difficulty

Many people struggle with gambling addiction and online gambling with charge cards make it easier to spend large amounts of money than when gambling at a land-based casino. Many land-based casinos even advise players to leave their cards at home, so that they are not tempted to spend more than they can afford. Visiting online casinos makes this discipline even harder because generally you access these games from home. It is best that you then have someone you trust take responsibility of your credit and debit card while you play so that you do not end up making rash decisions regarding your money.

What Does the Law Say?

Some countries and states have designated areas where gambling is legal and those where it is not. This means that you could easily be breaking the law when pursuing online gambling with credit and debit cards. Online gambling is already illegal in the United States of America and this has led to interesting convictions in courts whereby credit card companies are being persecuted for allowing the activity to take place instead of the player for gambling online.

No More PayPal

You can no longer use PayPal as a direct payment option for online gambling and the majority of accredited online gambling sites have removed any mention of PayPal. This means that players do not have the option of transferring money from their MasterCard or Visa to PayPal accounts in order to gamble online.

Credit institutions each have their own policies regarding online gambling with credit cards and it is best that you familiarize yourself with those that apply to you and your credit card company. American Express, for instance, offers credit services managed independently from other banking institutions, while MasterCard and Visa is affiliated with many different banks around the world.

If you still want to use your credit card for online gambling, some casinos have developed a method that bypasses PayPal and the credit card bans against online casinos. Simply put, you use your credit or debit card to buy a “gift card”. You then use the gift card in the online casino, and MasterCard, Visa or other card company sees a purchase for a gift card.

Online gambling first appeared on the internet in the mid 1990s. In 1994 Microgaming software was founded and still has the corner market today in many of the online casinos. Microgaming is chip software that runs the various machines found in land and online casinos. There is some debate as to who was the first casino to pop up on the internet and most would say InterCasino first appeared in 1996. However; there are others who claim that Microgaming’s Gaming Club was the first online in 1995.

From the first casino to go live on the internet, casinos continue to improve their operations online and tweak the software, servers and connections that cater to the players on the World Wide Web. Regardless of slow bandwidth causing connection problems for the players, the industry still raked in an estimated $834 million in 1998.

Intertops was the first online sports-book to appear in 1996; however they have been in operation long before that by taking phone bets since 1983. Intertops is still going strong today and is satisfying over 180 countries with their service.

Online poker first sprang up at the start of 1998 and was facilitated by Planet Poker. Following suit was Paradise Poker in 1999, Party Poker and Poker Stars in 2001. Planet Poker is still in operation; however they no longer allow real money to exchange hands. By 2008 Party Poker had lost the lead in the industry to Poker Stars and Full Tilt Poker, estimated by the number of players online.

The popularity of online gambling does not seem to be decreasing since its birth. With state of the art technology, online casinos have the ability of offering real time play and instant spin capability, thus satisfying all sectors of the gambling industry and increasing revenue. The casino software available today is not only advanced for the players utmost enjoyment but is completely secure.

In 2010 the online gambling industry grew by 12.5% with gross revenues of close to $29.95 billion, regardless of the perceived recession. The online casino sector grew an estimated 13.3% in 2010 and brought in an estimated $2.67 billion. The most money contributing to the gambling revenue online is generated by sports betting at about $12 billion.

Online bingo stole the lead in being the fastest growing sector for 2010, estimated at 28.4% growth and to the tune of $2.67 billion. Although poker is the most talked about, it was deemed the slowest growing online gambling sector which generated about $5 million.

In 2006 many of the online gambling companies decided not to allow USA players spend money in their establishments anymore due to the uncertainty regarding laws of offshore gambling, following the passing of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. There was a great debate regarding different states that were legally able to gamble and those who were not. Many of the casinos revised their policies regarding USA play since that time and now the majority of online gambling establishments will again accept USA players.

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