Although the Philippines is thriving in revenue from casinos, an underlying effect needs to be addressed: gambling addiction.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, 1,262 gambling establishments are the main reason the country’s economy is growing, with the income reaching a whopping P88 billion!
But at the same time, its repercussion is that Filipinos are getting addicted to gambling. It became so prevalent that Pinoys looked for ways to gamble.
For instance, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) only has 17 accredited casino operators. These businesses follow the rules and regulations of PAGCOR when it comes to gambling.
However, some gambling sites do not comply with the governing body. These illegal operators do not care about the welfare of their clients. Their only goal is to make money, even if it means clients lose themselves to betting.
This is why for this Problem Gambling Awareness Month, OKBET reminds every gambler to practice self-control and be aware of a “hidden illness” called problem gambling.
What is Problem Gambling?
According to Mayo Clinic, ludomania or problem gambling is a disorder a person experiences. It is an “uncontrollable urge” to gamble.
Its symptoms include:
- An urge to spend more money than they can afford.
- The only way to feel fulfilled is by betting large sums of money.
- A desire to chase losses.
- Becomes secretive with the gambling habit.
What are its Causes?
Problem gambling is caused by depression, stress, substance abuse, or anxiety.
A misconception about this illness is that it takes a gambler to gamble daily to become a problem gambler. However, it is not. Problem gambling occurs without going to a brick-and-mortar or online casino to contract such a disorder.
What are its Effects?
A person with a gambling addiction can feel extreme emotions, anxiety, and depression. It can also endanger their relationships, both with family and friends.
Like other mental health problems, gambling addiction can also lead to suicide attempts.
How to Help Yourself
To cure this kind of disorder, gamblers need to help themselves. They should muster enough courage to seek treatment and join support groups.
Addicted gamblers can help themselves by undergoing several treatments, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It is a method effectively used to change how a person thinks and behaves.
According to Mass, CBT aims to “identify and change ‘cognitive distortions and errors’ associated with excessive gambling and its adverse sequelae.”
Visit a motivational counselor. Motivational counselors can enhance an individual’s motivation, which can be a reason to change an attitude or outlook. It is effective because studies have shown that motivational enhancements can alter a person’s gambling behavior.
A problematic gambler can also turn to self-help interventions. These are self-guided activities and workbooks with a specific goal: reduce or eliminate gambling. Usually, it is done with a helpline specialist, clergy, community health specialist, and therapist.
There are also peer support groups a problem gambler may join, like Gamblers Anonymous, which provides a problematic player learn from the real-life experiences of a former gambling addict.
Anyone with a gambling problem may also prohibit themselves from playing. The exclusion program is meant to help gamblers take some time off from betting. It works because regulated casinos will temporarily ban gamblers who have volunteered to participate in the program. This way, a bettor has enough time to recalibrate and refocus on other things.
If a loved has a gambling problem, do not let your emotions get the best of you. Reducing the effects of problem gambling begins with the gambler themselves.
Instead of confronting them about their illness, please support them in their efforts to be cured. That way, those suffering from the disorder will not feel pressured or forced. It is also important to take their suicide talks seriously.
Read more: A Gambler’s Worst Nightmare: To Drown in Gambling Debt