In our previous articles about responsible gambling and how to protect yourself from compulsive gambling, we talked about general things related to gambling addiction.
But in this article, we will talk about specific measures! That you should do if you or somebody close to you is having a problem with compulsive gambling or betting.
Overcoming a betting addiction isn’t an easy task, but one thing is important to remember. It is possible to get over this addiction! In the modern world, many fascinating methods can help a problematic bettor win their battle against sports betting addiction. So, if you want to learn how to deal with problem betting, this article should help you with that.
We will try to explain in this article some things that you can do yourself, things that your family and friends can do for you. And eventually some sources where you can ask for professional help against compulsive gambling.
Admit that Problem Exists
The first step with every problem in the world is to acknowledge that you have a problem and that you need help. If you fail to accept this, you will have slim chances to free yourself from the monster called “betting addiction.”
Despite the fact that this step seems obvious and straightforward, in many cases, it is the hardest step you will need to do in order to overcome problematic betting behavior.
Problematic betting behavior, especially in its advanced forms, is an extremely hard opponent to fight against. People that are suffering from this condition must have a tremendous control. If over their minds they want to start fighting against this addiction. So, if you feel that sports betting is more than just a fun spare time for you, and you want to fight against your addiction, you made the first step!
If you are not sure whether you have a problem or not, maybe you should read our article about symptoms of betting addiction. In any case, it is better to be safe than sorry.
The Healing Process
We already talked about three stages of compulsive gambling in our article about Symptoms of betting addiction. And there we said that every compulsive bettor passes through the winning stage, the losing stage, and the desperation stage. Still, for every person that wants to fight against illness, it is essential to underline that there is a way out. The three stages of recovery are – the critical stage, rebuilding stage, and growth stage.
In this stage, the bettor thinks about his doings at a critical level and starts to take responsibility for its actions. The critical stage is good because problematic bettor stops with sports betting and starts to think about the advantages of life without betting. In short, once when you get into the critical stage, you will start your non-betting life.
Rebuild stage is closely connected with the Critical phase. As bettors in this phase will start rebuilding everything they managed to destroy while they were betting without a control. In many cases, people with betting addiction destroy their personal and professional life… And in this stage, it is time to start fixing all the mistakes that you made during the betting spree. That includes repaying eventual debts and improving relationships with your family, friends, and loved ones.
The growth stage is the final stage of the recovery, as former bettor becomes a better version of himself and stops thinking about betting. In this stage, former addicts usually find something new and more enjoyable to do in their life. Often, former betting addicts start helping other people with compulsive betting and gambling problems, as they fully understand the struggle of these people.
Of course, this is the perfect scenario, and in many cases, the healing process might be more difficult than expected. But it is essential not to lose the faith, and to seek help.
How to Help Yourself
It is possible that you might be strong enough to deal with your problem alone, and to help yourself overcome the compulsive gambling.
Fighting alone without help from friends and family is without any doubt, the most challenging path you may choose. But on the other hand, many bettors have a problem telling somebody that they have a problem.
But, if you decide to try and overcome the betting addiction by yourself, we will try to give you some useful tips and tricks that will hopefully help you with your mission.
Use Responsible Gambling Options
Today, almost any modern sportsbook has responsible gambling options at the disposal for its players. With those options, players can limit or completely exclude themselves from playing in the specific sportsbook.
Most popular responsible gambling options are:
- Deposit limits
- Wager size limits
- Time in the sportsbook limits
Find another hobby
Many sports bettors, when they are bored, start looking for bets and visit their favorite sportsbooks. Because of that, it is essential for betting addicts to find something else that will occupy their body and soul. That way, a problematic bettor will not think about betting and will be able to live a healthy life without sports betting.
But you need to be careful not to become addicted to something else, like alcohol or drugs. Fighting against betting addiction is a very challenging process, and it makes people more susceptible to other addictions.
Stop dreaming about easy betting money
One of the main symptoms of betting addiction is a constant craving about one big win that will solve all the problems. But, this one big win never comes, and bettor just digs a deeper hole for himself. Getting rich from sports betting fast is mission impossible, as sportsbooks are always one step ahead.
It is possible to make a constant profit from sports betting in the long run, but for that, you need to be dedicated, disciplined, and a bit lucky. So, the sooner you realize that sports betting isn’t a way to make money, it will be better for you.
Learn to Fight against the need to gamble
Like in any form of addiction, people with the betting disorder have a strong need to gamble all the time. It is essential that you try to resist, and several tricks may help you with this task.
- Try to postpone placing a bet for a couple of minutes. After a few minutes, you may forget that you wanted to place a wager, or you will see that specific wager isn’t such a good idea.
- Visualize what happens when you place wagers. Try to remember how you feel when you lose the bet.
- Get out of the house and interact with your friends and family. When you interact with other people, you will, for a short period, forget about sports betting.
Maybe some other helpful things will help you. But the most important thing is to try and do everything in your power to resist the urge to place wagers and visit online sportsbooks.
Ask for a Help from Family and Friends
If you see that your battle is hard and you feel that you need help, you should reach your family and friends and ask for help. Don’t forget that your closest friends and family care about you, and they can really help you with overcoming problem betting.
Try talking about your problem with family and friends. And you will see how many people know to be understanding and ready to help.
This kind of support can be beneficial, but in most cases, family and friends don’t know what it’s like to fight against betting addiction.
Because of that, in most cases, it is the smartest thing to look for professional help. Or reach out to groups and individuals with experience with betting-related problems.
Professional Help for People with Betting Addiction
In some cases, betting addicts can’t help themselves, and the family doesn’t have enough power and knowledge to deal with this kind of problem. In these situations, it’s best to find professional help from various support groups, live chats, and other professional services.
The availability of these services and helplines may vary depending on your geolocation. Still, we suggest that you try and find some, as they are generally free, and they provide immediate help.
Also, talking to the people who already managed to win the fight against betting addiction can help you realize that you are not alone! And that other people can understand your struggles and fears. You should allow them to share their experience with you and help you with their suggestions. The most famous organization that organizes help for people with compulsive betting and gambling problems is Gamblers Anonymous (GA).
Betting addiction is a hard enemy to beat, and you may try to fight alone, or ask for help. Anyhow, you must have the will to stop with problematic betting behavior, and to make a change in your life. The journey is long and with many obstacles! But we have no doubts that you can win one of the most important battles of your life!
The first group meeting of Gamblers Anonymous was held in Los Angeles, California, on Friday, September 13, 1957. Since then, the fellowship of this group outgrown the city of LA, and today GA has many branches all over the world. If you want to see if your country has an office, you can visit their official page and check it out.
The most important thing is to understand and recognize that you have a problem. After that, you should join the support group and talk to other people about your problem. Find alternative things to do, instead of visiting sports betting sites, and finally seek professional help.
In the past several years, some studies showed that in the USA the number of pathological gamblers is around 0.6% of all gamblers. Still, we think that those numbers are not correct, as nowadays many people gamble online, and nobody can tell how many of them have a problem.