A gambling addiction is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to gamble despite the negative effects it has on a person’s finances and relationships. Gambling addiction can lead to lying, hiding gambling activities and even stealing to maintain the addiction. Compulsive gambling can and does destroy lives. Self-exclusion in one method an addict may choose to treat their gambling addiction. When someone knows they have a gambling addiction, they can use self-exclusion to make sure they are not allowed to participate in any gambling activity. This is just one way a person who knows they have a problem can help themselves stop gambling.
Gambling addiction often starts in the late teen years. It doesn’t happen often, but a person’s gambling addiction can start with their very first bet. However, when one chooses self-exclusion, this means they know they have a gambling addiction and need help to avoid temptation.
Gambling addiction has many symptoms. Those engaged in compulsive gambling may lie, steal and spend the majority of their time consumed in their addictive behavior. People suffering with a gambling addiction get an adrenaline rush from the activity, use the gambling as a means of escape, continue to make bigger bets and without some sort of help, including self-exclusion, will continue to gamble despite the consequences. When someone with a gambling addiction opts for self-exclusion, the gaming establishments are expected to take all necessary steps to keep the addict from entering the premises and avoid temptation of gambling activity.
If believe you or a loved one has a gambling addiction, look for ways to help such as self-exclusion, support groups or other resources that help the addicted. Some signs that you or a loved one may have a gambling addiction include hiding the gambling from family and friends, spending all of your time engaging in addictive behavior and unsuccessfully trying to stop or cut back. Gambling addiction not only causes financial problems, but it also affect the addict’s family and work life as well. If a friend or family member expresses concern about your behavior, listen to them. You can find help by calling hotlines, looking up information online and using self-exclusion. With the self-exclusion process the addict must sign papers and have their photo taken so the gambling venue knows to keep this person away from gambling activity.