Gambling is a fun activity in general. At least, thats what any gambling enthusiast will tell you if you asked. But while it usually starts inoffensively for many, with the occasional lottery ticket or Saturday night poker game, it can sometimes lead to an addiction and turn into a dangerous activity that can ruin your life.
So if you find yourself buying more lottery tickets than usual, constantly checking the betting markets at 888sport, for instance, or increasingly wasting more money on wagers with each passing day and hiding it from your family, you should start worrying because you might have a gambling problem.
So is gambling dangerous? Yes, it can be if you let yourself fall into its traps and become addicted to it, irrespective of the gambling type (poker, sports betting, slots, lottery, all of them can become addictive games).
For starters, lets have a look at gambling at land-based casinos. While some do it simply for entertainment reasons and are aware that they might lose some money in the process, others are dead keen on winning and going home with more money than they went in with. People in the latter category are likely to become compulsive gamblers and turn gambling into an addiction.
Things are not much different for online gambling, as addiction symptoms are basically the same: running after losses, digging a debt hole by betting more and more, gambling to detach from the real world, becoming secluded and tight-lipped about ones gambling behaviour, getting easily irritated, tendency to perform fraud.
Among the dangers associated with gambling addiction, we can mention the financial losses, the relationship problems it can cause, and the negative effects on ones physical and mental health.
The first thing that gets affected by gambling is your financial well-being. Compulsive gamblers tend to increase the amount of money they gamble with each loss, and consume even their familys savings and borrow money to keep quenching their gambling thirst. Slowly but surely, this is likely to take them to a financial crisis, which has led many to huge debts or even stealing money.
Relationships always become troubled when someone has a gambling problem. This is because the addict tends to lie to his family and friends about their whereabouts, the kind of activities they get involved into and the amount of money they spend on gambling. Lies broke trust and thus relationships are affected. And besides personal relationships, work-related relationships also suffer as addicts often fail to perform well at their job, and some may even quit their job as a result of a gambling problem.
Then there are the health issues gamblers are exposed to. Compulsive gambling is usually associated with high stress levels, which in the long term can lead to high blood pressure, heart problems, anxiety and even mental disorders. Moreover, gamblers are more likely to smoke and drink alcohol or use drugs in their attempt to deal with the pressure and stress. Not to mention that many casinos offer free drinks to gamblers, which can easily lead to excessive drinking.
As if all this werent enough, mental health is also affected as a gamblers self-esteem can decline when they lose continuously, and there are many cases of problem gamblers who even considered or attempted suicide when they couldnt cope anymore.