It used to be the case that the majority of those that gambled in Britain were people who spent time in betting shops or women who liked to play bingo once or twice a week. However, these days, gambling is a growing problem, and the accessibility of online gambling through mobile phone apps has made it much easier for individuals to gamble no matter where they are.
Gambling is also something that can be done in secret. Problem gamblers do not have to worry about being seen entering a casino or betting shop as they can get their ‘fix’ from the comfort of their own home, or even on the way home from work on the bus if they want. It is no surprise, therefore, that gambling is often referred to as a secret addiction.
According to the Gambling Commissions annual review, fifty-four per cent of the gambling population is made up of people from the ‘AB social-grade category’. Those in this category are considered to be among the most well off in society and are typically doctors, top managers, and lawyers.
According to Liz Karter, an addiction therapist, “Gambling is only going to grow as a problem for the ABs.”
She points out that gambling can initially help these people in high powered, stressful jobs to switch off. Nevertheless, gambling is addictive and, if an addiction develops, it can cause many problems.
Many believe that smartphones have played a significant role in the rise of gambling among the ABs. In 2008, just ten per cent of ABs remote gambled, but that figure had doubled to twenty per cent by 2014.
Not everyone that gambles will become a problem gambler, so what actually causes some people to develop an addiction? According to Ms Karter, addiction is more to do with the emotion of gambling rather than the odds of winning. She said, “If you are gambling as a way to try to change your emotional experience for the better – when you are stressed or depressed, for example – you are in danger of getting hooked because you are using it to self-medicate.”
A gambling addiction may be something that many problem gamblers can keep hidden initially but, after a while, this type of addiction will become apparent to close family members and friends. The nature of gambling addiction is that those who suffer from it will require limitless funds, which most people do not have access to.
Even those in the AB category may find that they run out of money after a while as debts begin to mount. A gambling addiction does not just affect the person with the problem but also those who are financially dependent on them.
When accessible funds run dry, many people will begin to borrow from family members or friends and some will even turn to crime to help fund their addiction. Many gamblers have found themselves behind bars after being found guilty of various offences such as theft, fraud, and shoplifting.
Gambling addicts often suffer from health problems too as the stress of coping with their addiction takes hold. Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem are common, and many will experience suicidal thoughts.
Thankfully, Rehab Helper is here to help those struggling with all types of addiction by putting them in touch with treatment providers in all parts of the UK. We can offer advice, information, and support to addicts and their families, as well as a listening ear if required. Call Rehab Helper today for more information.