In the last few years, the number of people addicted to online gambling has sky-rocketed. According to government figures, the online gambling business has boomed from the rise of addiction as nearly £2billion is spent on bingo and casino sites. A figure that’s almost doubled in the last six years as UK residents gradually get deeper into debt.
Why is it happening?
So you may be wondering why there has been such a massive increase in the number of people becoming addicted to online gambling.
Well, that can be down to a number of reasons, to start off a lot of these adverts are aimed at people who are at home 90% of the time. Whether that’s stay-at-home parents or anyone unemployed, these ads will always try to air at peak times where they think people will be clustered around a TV. A lot of these adverts are also aimed at women; since this traditional pastime has been notoriously associated with females.
For example, Kelly Nield, a 32-year-old mum of one, got into a £45,000 debt when she started playing on Foxy Bingo when she was signed off sick from her job as a Residential Childcare Worker. She initially saw the ad for the site on TV whilst watching Jeremy Kyle and was hooked from there.
Also, these sites are making it much easier to access online bingo games as you can set up an account and start gambling on multiple platforms in just a couple of minutes in some cases.
These websites also provide no-deposit bonuses that give users free bonus cash to play with and when you win with these funds you’re given more free funds to burn through. It essentially gives users their first taste of what it’s like to win in gambling games and that’s what normally hooks people.
How Easy Is It To Get Addicted?
It’s actually incredibly easy to develop a gambling addiction. To begin with, anyone that can’t exert a modicum of restraint when they’re playing a gambling game will inevitably develop an addiction.
There’s also the rush you feel when you line up a win on bingo or a hit a jackpot round on slot games. This rush can lead many to go to extreme lengths, like Jacqueline Balaam who was a Cambridge finance officer that forged financial accounts to cover up her £6million betting habit.
There’s also the problem of knowing when to call it quits which is how a lot of people end up in gambling debt as they continue to try and fail to win back their losses.
Are There Measures That Encourage Responsible Gambling?
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom as some, if not all, gambling websites out there do have a range of measures in place to ensure that their users do have options for responsible gambling.
These come in a range of different methods with most sites using the same systems.
For example, a lot of websites provide direct links to gambling advice pages, help groups and pages you can contact to seek help with your addiction. Gambling websites will also allow you to impose self-bans or limits on your account, so if you feel that you’re starting to lose control on your betting you can ask them to either close your account or set a limit.
Although there are lots of groups that tackle gambling addiction, it’s still a prevalent problem that won’t be going away for a long time. If you or anyone you know is suffering from it, seek immediate help before it becomes too late!