For most people, gambling is a fun and exciting form of adult entertainment. For about 11% of the adult population that does take to gambling online or in retail gambling locations, gambling can become a problem.
Have you fallen victim to gambling addiction? If you have any doubts about it, ask yourself one simple question. Is the time you are spending gambling interfering with any aspect of your life? It’s a relevant question because something fun and exciting should not be causing stress and strife. If gambling is causing issues, that should be cause for you to pause.
Problem Gambling Issues in the UK
The 11% number mentioned above has meaning. That’s the percentage of UK gamblers that experts estimate have a legitimate gambling problem. By the way, that number is not unique to the UK. It’s a number that seems to ring true in every country where gambling is a socially accepted form of entertainment.
All of this matters right now because the online gambling community in the UK is growing leaps and bounds. Every day, hundreds if not thousands of UK residents are opening online gambling accounts. Especially casinos not on GamStop have started to be popular. There really is nothing wrong with that except more gamblers mean the potential for more problem gamblers. That’s the view the UK has taken through the UK Gambling Commission.
Resources for Problem Gamblers in the UK
While gambling problems occur at the individual level, they also have an effect on local communities and society in general. Gambling problems can lead to damaged relationships, higher incidences of crime, debt issues, suicide, and the list goes on. Clearly, we are all affected in some way when people are suffering from gambling problems or gambling addiction.
Key components of society are well aware of the issues caused for society by problem gambling. Many of these components have invested time, effort, and money to help deal with such issues.
In the UK, there are two very strong proponents for helping problem gamblers. The first one is the UK government through the UK Gambling Commission. The second strong proponent is a non-profit organization called GamCare.
The UKGC Fighting Problem Gambling Issues With GamStop
Sensing that online gamblers in the UK might need help with problem gambling issues in the future, the UKGC helped innovate the GamStop Self-exclusion Scheme. The program is set up to serve UK online gamblers who find themselves struggling because of their online gambling activities.
If you gamble online through a licensed UK operator, they have likely subscribed to the GamStop scheme. It’s something that is mandated by the UKGC for any operator that expects to maintain an online gambling license in the UK.
If by chance you feel your gambling activities are becoming troublesome, you can probably find the GamStop link on your favorite online gambling site. Registration is voluntary and free. Also, you would get to decide how long you want to be blocked from accessing online gambling websites. Note: You won’t get this access if you are using NonGamStopWager bookmakers as listed.
GamCare: Your Mind Recovery Place
Registering with GamStop is a great first step toward dealing with your gambling issues. But, it’s only a step that limits your ability to gamble. What you would soon learn is there are ways around GamStop even while your self-exclusion period is ongoing.
If your gambling issues are significant and real, you need to consider getting other forms of help. That’s where a high-level Non-Profit like GamCare could make a real difference in your life.
GamCare was founded in 1997. Through corporate donations and support from the UKGC, GamCare is able to provide all kinds of free resources for people who are suffering from gambling addiction. This is where you would want to go for “mind recovery.”
GamCare is all about providing access to support and addiction treatment resources. They provide this support on many different levels, including:
- Financing and management of the National Gambling Helpline
- Providing of free counseling and treatment options
- Training of online operator personnel on how to recognize problem gambling
- Creation and providing of literature about the battle against gambling addiction
Do you need what GamCare has to offer? That’s really up to you. However, help can only begin when you recognize you need help. As we indicated above, registering with GamStop would be a good place to start dealing with your issues.
If your issues persist and you find yourself obsessed with getting around GamStop, that’s a clear sign trouble is brewing. By contacting GamCare at that point, you could start tapping into resources that are intended to help you. Help will come in the form of teaching you about why you feel the need to gamble and helping you learn the coping skills you would need to prevent issues in the future.
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