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Editorial: Online Gambling Addiction

 article about online gambling addiction

This article belongs to Addictions theme.

Gambling addiction is one of the three main addictions ruining the lives of millions of people around the globe. The other two being alcohol and drugs. While gambling doesn't really harm your health, according to some scientists it might even be a good way to lose weight considering you might lose up to 300 calories an hour by playing poker (without any exercise!), it definitely is one of the worst addictions to your wallet and financial situation. Not to mention your mental health.

Winning, losing, competing - it's all part of life and from this perspective gambling should definitely be allowed. And it could be considered as one of the freedoms available in all democratic societies.

It is all true only until a person reaches the level of addiction where he just has to play. Addiction is not an illness, it's a self-inflicted obsession. When people reach this state of mind where they just feel the need to play - whether they feel they can earn money with it, or earn back the money they lost the days before, at the same time knowing they shouldn't do it because they can't play - then at some point they should not be allowed to participate in the gambling industry any more because they start to harm themselves and others around them. They should be given help by the "gambling paradises". There should always be a possibility to exclude yourself from all online gaming - not from one gaming site, rather once you make a decision that you shouldn't play any more and you self-exclude yourself from some gaming site, it should automatically deny access to you to any other online casinos or poker rooms as well.

Law, international law should make it compulsory for each and every gambling site out there to join some central institution that would make it all possible.

Gambling comes with many different hats - entertainment, job, source of an addiction. There's no question about whether it should be allowed, it definitely should. Where there's demand, there should be offers and business-minded people should be able to take advantage of it. And people who like to gamble, let them. But rules should be placed to make it as easy as possible for people with problems to help themselves.

I recently tried how easy it would be to self-include yourself from one gambling site. Some sites really had made it quite easy - i.e. set yourself a 6-month ban. But in case of many others it's damn hard. The easiest solution in these cases I found was to change your password (and make sure you don't read what you wrote) and then change your email address in the system. Now you can't log in and the "Forgot password" feature is useless since the email you submitted there is a fake one and they can't send you your password.

Damn...did I really disabled my account to prove a point?

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