Real Tips to Avoid Addictive Gambling

There are many types of addictions but one of the most destructive is gambling. Gambling addicts have resorted to thieving, lying and incurred massive financial and physical debts in order to feed their addiction. Most shocking of all, gambling is legal in most parts of the world.

Many people say that it’s quite easy to become addicted to gambling, especially with the ease and anonymity that online Internet gaming sites now offer. These days, you don’t even need to trek to the local bookies to make your bet. You can do it all from the comfort of your home and at a time to suite you, 24hours a day.

Current smartphones make it even easier to place and make bets because you don’t even need to be in front of a computer.

To be fair, gambling is widespread. Many people gamble and have placed small bets on the Superbowl, the World Cup Finals, the World Series, the Grand National or the FA Cup. Indeed, lots of people all over the world play the lottery. This is the acceptable face of gambling. But there is a dark and destructive aspect to gambling that forms into a powerful addiction that can be completely devastating.

So if gambling is legal and so widespread, why isn’t everyone addicted? Because most people know when to quit and go home! Gambling doesn’t have to be addictive. You need strong self-control and an instinct to know when to stop. You need to have much more important things to do and think about in your life.

Nature abhors a vacuum. Gambling fills a need in the addicts life. It’s a substitute for something that’s missing in their daily existence. Compulsive gamblers have lost all rationality along the way and are convinced that ‘luck’ is with them. Logic and sanity have been thrown out of the window.

You should know that gambling is an EXACT science! In the the end, the gambling addict always loses. It was designed that way. The ‘house’ eventually always wins to make profits for its owners and shareholders.

Even if you gamble for fun and not for money, it may not be as harmless as you want to think! You must be on your guard at all times or it could be just a matter of time before you fall into an addiction. A single large win could be the one powerful trigger that pushes you over. You’ll start to believe that you’re ‘lucky’ or a ‘smart gambler’. This is the wrong mindset and will lead to trouble.

If you get the urge to gamble, ask a close friend or a family member to play in a low-risk game that does not involve money. The bet could be take out the garbage or do the weekly shopping or walk the dog.

Online gambling sites will try to lure you into becoming a member by offering you ‘free’ gambling or ‘just for fun’ demonstrations where you bet with ‘play money’ rather than real cash. DON’T be seduced into this madness! If you have strong impulses to gamble, this ‘play mode’ could eventually develop into a real addiction that involves real money.

If you fear that you have an addiction you must seek out professional help in combating it. Search out share groups in your community who are there to help you with your addiction. Gambling is an addiction that is curable and many former gamblers have gone on to lead normal and fulfilling lives.

As with everything in life, it comes down to choice. You are where you are in life because of the choices that you made along the way. Each choice that you made led you along a certain path that has resulted in the position you find yourself in today.

No one can force you to gamble. Gambling is your choice. You don’t have to gamble to have a good time. You can choose NOT to gamble. Remember, prevention is better than cure.

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Online Gambling in Atlantic City

For better or for worse, online gambling is coming to New Jersey.

In late February, Chris Christie officially signed into law a bill that legalized internet gambling in Atlantic City.

Initially the bill was vetoed by the Governor because of issues surrounding transparency and taxes. Lawmakers adjusted the text and the amended bill passed by an overwhelming majority in the legislature and earned Christie’s seal of approval.

Here are the basics of the bill:

– Casinos located in Atlantic City will be able to apply for a license to offer online gambling. Only the twelve official Atlantic City casinos will be eligible for the license. No other organizations can offer internet gambling, and face stiff fines if they do. All facilities used for the operation of internet gambling must be located within city limits; only bets that are received by a server in Atlantic City will be legal.

– Players must be “physically present” in New Jersey to place wagers. In the future, New Jersey may develop agreements with other states where internet gambling is legal to permit out-of-state gambling. The casino’s equipment must verify players’ locations before accepting wagers.

– Any games available to play in the casinos can be played online. (For comparison, Nevada only allows poker.) As of now, sports betting will not be protected by this bill, although the state of New Jersey is trying to fight the federal statute barring the legalization of sports betting.

– The bill has all kinds of provisions to keep gambling addiction at bay, such as requiring the prominent display of the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline number, a way to set maximum bets and losses over a certain period of time, and tracking player losses to identify and limit users who may demonstrate addictive gambling behavior.

– Revenue from online gambling will carry a 15% tax. The Christie administration states that about $180 million in revenue for the state will be generated from this tax, but some analysts think this number is seriously overestimated.

The official regulations, which the bill required the Division of Gaming Enforcement to produce, were released on June 3, and are subject to a “public comment period” until August 2 before being finalized. These rules include details such as how a casino acquires the appropriate licenses and procedures for maintaining network security on gambling sites.

So, will online gambling actually benefit the state?

The Good

Revenues from Atlantic City casinos have been on the decline for the past seven years, and online gambling could be what saves the failing casinos. Since 2006, casino revenue has dropped from $5.2 billion to around $3 billion. Online gambling could be a $500 million to $1 billion industry in New Jersey, which may be enough to keep struggling casinos afloat and save jobs in Atlantic City. Further, even though estimates of tax revenue are all over the map, there is potential for online gambling to be a considerably valuable source of money for the state. The casinos will also have to pay a tax to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which will provide further assistance to struggling casinos in Atlantic City.

For the player, low overhead costs mean better prizes and more opportunities to play. Casinos can incent players with free “chips” that have minimal costs for them but give players more opportunities to play and win. The convenience of gambling online allows players to play more with less travel.

BAD:

One of the goals of the bill is supposedly to attract more people to visit the brick-and-mortar casinos, but it is hard to say if online gambling will actually lead to this outcome. One could speculate it could even cause people to go to the casinos less (However, this seems unlikely; the social element and the free drinks are lost in online gambling. Also, research indicates that, at least with poker, internet gaming does not reduce casino gaming.) Advertising for the host casino will be allowed on the online gambling sites, which could possibly encourage people to visit the casino but could also be annoying for players.

Online gambling could be seriously devastating for people who have gambling addictions, or even cause people to develop them, raising financial and moral concerns. Even with all the preventative steps the bill requires, it will definitely be much harder to cut off compulsive gamblers if they can place bets anywhere with an internet connection.

Regardless, it is going to be a while before the casinos can actually kick off their online gambling offerings. The regulations need to be finalized and casinos need to apply for licensure and develop their gambling websites. This means the casinos will not be enjoying this new source of revenue during the 2013 summer season, which could be Atlantic City’s toughest season ever following recovery from Hurricane Sandy.

New Jersey has placed its bets, but only time will tell if online gambling will be a jackpot or a bust.

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