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The following is a guest post. Enjoy!
While gambling is seen by many as a bit of fun or a way to spice up the dullest of sporting affairs, it can (if abused) also be a quick route to bankruptcy. As such, people need to be aware of its dangers.
Done well and with a good deal of prior knowledge, betting can be a potential way to get a few extra Dollars/quid in your back pocket. But if it is done badly (which is often what happens), or simply for the sake of it, then it can be a real drain on finances.
There are many different sorts of betting and now, in the modern age of apps, smart phones and in-play gambling, you can do so pretty much anywhere. While this may be a victory for convenience, it also has the effect of making a bet just a few clicks away and this, in turn, can lead to addiction and major financial problems further down the line. What’s more, the problem for many people seems to get worse when big sporting events are on the horizon, and there are definitely a fair few of them coming up in the next months.
The Super Bowl play-offs are due to take place at Wembley, which will have many people hurriedly laying down their hard-earned cash, while in football, many of the domestic European leagues are coming to a conclusion, and the Champions League will also approach its end.
It all adds up to a feast of sport, but it’s important to keep calm when betting and not get carried away.
Part of the reason that gambling is so dangerous is that remains addictive whether you are winning or losing. If you’ve just lost a hat-ful of cash, then you want to win that back, while if you are on a ‘lucky streak,’ then you want to keep that going. This adds up to a constant desire for gambling, and it’s something that should be kept well under control.
Simply enjoy sport for what it is and, while it’s OK to have the odd flutter, if you find yourself gambling on every single game or several markets within a game, then it may be time to move away from the in-play app.
Of course, responsible betting is fine, and it shouldn’t necessarily be looked upon as a bad thing. If you do choose to put a small amount of money (which you can afford to lose, assuming the worst case scenario) on a game of football, then it’s wise to be clever about it. Ensure you look into the stats and figures before placing your stake and don’t feel as though you need to bet in any way.
If you feel a compulsion to put money on something when, in actual fact, you’re not too sure, then you could be suffering from addiction. If this is the case, then it’s wise to seek professional advice.
Know when you have a problem
This is one of the tell-tale signs of gambling addiction, and the important thing to remember is that burying your head in the sand won’t achieve anything. In fact, it will simply see you plunge into further debt, risking your financial security in the process. And, services such as Gamblers Anonymous are on hand to offer assistance and advice against using gambling as a debt solution.
Indeed, the issue of gambling is a hot topic at the present, with recent Guardian analysis finding the extent to which it is sucking money out of the UK’s poorest communities. The newspaper found that a total of £5 billion was gambled on high-speed, high-stakes gambling machines in cities across the north of England and London boroughs with high unemployment last year.
Around £90 million of this was gambled in the constituency of Lucy Powell, Labour MP for Manchester Central, and she said it came down to a question of morals. “There are mind-numbing numbers of betting shops in places like Moston in my constituency. I think it is a moral question to ask whether it is a good thing that betting companies are targeting the poor and whether government lets them,” she told the newspaper. “According to these figures, there’s more being spent on gambling than by the council in my constituency on services.”
Figures such as these showcase just how big a market the gambling sector is and demonstrates how important it is that people get a grip on their betting habits.
How about you all? Have you ever participated in any gambling? If so, did you lose or win money? Have you or anyone you know ever suffered from a gambling addiction?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/whappen/3159335780/sizes/l/in/photostream/