Problem gambling has existed in India for as long as the history accounts. The world’s oldest surviving religious text book still used today the Rigveda of Hinduism warns against it. The dangers are also properly depicted in the ancient Indian Sanskrit Epic the Mahabharata, where a great king loses his entire kingdom, wealth and wife over the inability to quit in a game of dice. We at Sports Betting both understand these ancient tails and have seen gambling addiction with our own eyes. It can destroy a person’s life so quickly, this is the reason we wrote this article and have it linked from every single page of our website. If you have a gambling problem please, please, and more please, I beg of you – please, get help!
What is Gambling Addition?
This is defined and well covered in Wikipedia’s Problem Gambling entry. While different people have different definitions of problem gambling, one given by the Australian government states:
Problem gambling is characterized by many difficulties in limiting money and/or time spent on gambling which leads to adverse consequences for the gambler, others, or for the community.
There is also such a thing as Pathological gambling, this is a much more severe psychological issue. This can all be read about in the Wikipedia entry on problem gambling. For the most part though if you’re reading this article with interest and are a gambler, you might already know you have a problem. In case not, here are a few signs that you likely have a problem.
- You lie about gambling – If you need to hide from friends or family that you are gambling, your habit might no longer be one of recreation, but that of addiction.
- You think about gambling a lot – when you’re not gambling, if you spend considerable time thinking about it, chances are strong you might be addicted.
- You lose money chasing losses – if you’re always adding more gambling in order to get back money you lost gambling this could be a sign of addiction. This however could be due to ignorance of gambling odds. I’ll cover this more later.
- Loss of Friends or Family or Job – If you’ve lost your spouse, friendships, relationship with children over gambling, or your job – you very likely have a serious gambling problem and are in need of help.
- Financial Help – If you’re borrowing money from friends, have committed a crime, or had to come up with wild investment schemes to finance your habit or make up for gambling losses, this is sure sign you need to stop gambling for good.
Indian culture has always treated gambling as a social taboo, and one the unfortunate downsides to this is a lesser amount of support networks than can be found in other countries. There are however some places to turn to within India for help:
If you live in an area Gambler Anonymous India meetings are held this is a great place to begin your quest for help. Additionally there are some hospitals that offer problem gamblers treatment. For example Trust Hospital in New Delhi, India treats approximately 7,000 patients each year for gambling addiction. If you live in or near a major city inquiring with the hospitals is a good idea. While you might be shy and uncomfortable doing this, you could always confide in a friend and ask them to look around on your behalf. For everyone else, I suggest getting help via the UK charitable organization gamcare.org.uk. You can find plenty of details on their website – or learn more about them in Wikipedia entry: GamCare.
Alternatives that Might Help
Not everyone has the courage to deal with their addiction via traditional means. It can quickly put someone out of their comfort zone, feel scary or just make you outright miserable. While these are not in any way opinions of an expert – suggestions I personally have is to slowly work away from your gambling addiction:
Replace Gambling – Yes, while books and experts might say eat a healthy snack, go for a jog, take up golf, this isn’t going to work for many people. A suggestion I have if you’re addicted to casino forms of gambling is to start playing games online for ranking points. For example at pogo.com there are all sorts of games like spades, hearts, monopoly, backgammon, solitaire, cribbage etc. Here you can play online and it shows how good you are. You get rating points in many games. There is also the ability to earn badges, complete challenges etc. Being addicted to these games won’t solve the social aspect of your disorder, but it will solve the financial one. Perhaps replacing your addiction with free games first, later you can start to work your way out of the addiction without suffering financially in the interim. Should you relapse, go back to the free games at pogo, not traditional gambling.
Learn to be a controlled gambler – Yes, many experts will say sports betting and poker are to a gambling addict the same as cocaine to a drug addict. Still if you’re not going to give it up – you’re far better learning to control your problem then dealing with degeneracy. Poker and sports betting can both be beaten – people do make their living at these. It is not easy, it is a total grind, but it can be done. Casino gambling, and Bingo, no one makes their living at because these games always have a bookmaker advantage that cannot be overcome. If you’re going to attempt to be a controlled gambler, set limits and then hang around on gambling forums, order books, etc. and study hard investing time into learning how to win. Note: This is far easier to do in poker than sports betting, because the best in sports betting don’t share their tricks, while many winning poker players have written books. A good place to start hanging out would be www.twoplustwo.com.
Reason to Never Chases Losses
Many sports get in their head crazy ideas of systems that will beat sports. These involve using a bet pattern such as doubling your wager after each loss and then resetting once you win. Let me show you why this does not work.
Even if you could pick 55% winners when the odds were 2.00, one in every 589 wagers is going to be the start of an eight in a row losing streak. This is mathematically proven. Now if you’re a recreational punter winning just 50% of your bets on odds 2.00, if you bet ten games per week there is over a 70% chance you are going to lose 8 games in a row at least once each year. For most this will occur multiple times per year.
There are many websites that tout and sell these crazy systems, and these lead many gamblers to the slaughter house. You need to know neither sports betting nor any other form of betting can be beaten using these systems. In fact, a winning sports punter is almost certain to go broke eventually if he follows the martingale double up or variations thereof. Unless you’re extremely talented you should be setting aside a bankroll for sports betting that is separate from your own finances. From here bet only 1-2% of it on a given match. If you’re very talented you might be able to get away with using a 1% base and then betting 2% or 3% on game you have a larger advantage on. This is the method to win, and also the method to reduce losses. Following any other advice is likely to leave you broke or broke plus with an addiction to gambling.
Gambling is meant to be fun. If you can handle it: be responsible with it, enjoy, and we wish you the best of luck. If you cannot handle it, and think you might be a problem gamblers, review the links we shared earlier or head immediately to www.gamcare.org.uk.