Gambling as it is understood today is a business that involves the purchase of “gambling assets”, which can include stocks, bonds, futures, currencies, insurance, and registrations at bookmakers. Gambling can also involve “all other things considered”, which includes the use of bluffing devices such as cards, dice, or even hand signals in hopes of gaining an edge over fellow gamblers. Gambling is an illegal activity under both federal and state laws. The laws are hard on the players and providers of the services, but are also often lenient to the businesses involved in the gambling industry.
Gambling is a serious business and is illegal everywhere where gambling is conducted, however there are some jurisdictions in which it is legalized. Most states have created laws surrounding the conduct of gambling and provide businesses, like those offering lottery tickets and bingo, with various permits to operate. In the same way that a drinker at a bar cannot be said to be operating a drink establishment if he or she were under the influence at all times, neither can any “licensed” gaming company be held to be operating while intoxicated if it’s the only thing that’s happening at the time. It is always the responsibly of gamblers to understand the risk that they are taking when they gamble and to minimize the odds of losing more money than they’ve won by making an educated and well thought out decision. Gamblers must learn to rely on their own judgment, and have a strong sense of self-discipline.
The most common form of gambling is the “house” variety, also known as “poker”, “hound racing”, “lottery tickets”, or “rollback”. These are not usually taken seriously by the players, who have only a certain amount of skill in place. Although they can be entertaining and exhilarating, these types of gambling games are no longer the principal source of income for many people. Gambling in this fashion represents only about 5% of all gambling revenue. Although these are certainly the most widely recognized forms of gambling, there are hundreds of other gambling games.
While these games are a popular way for people to unwind and relax, they are not the only ways a gambler can make a profit. A responsible gambling gambler understands that the odds are not in his or her favor, and that gambling is a risky business. The gambler needs to use some common sense when deciding what games to play, where to bet, when to close their doors, and how to deal with losses and gains. A responsible gambler makes sure that the gambling activities of the house and personal life do not conflict with each other. When a health professional advises a gambler of gambling games that could potentially cause injury, the health professional is not advising the player to gamble more, but to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves.
While the health and well-being of a gambler certainly warrant some investigation, he or she should not be the only source of support for a gambler. There are many possible co-workers, friends, and family members who can offer advice and assistance to a person who is gambling responsibly. These people should be encouraged to seek help from others who are equally concerned about the same situation, or who have learned similar lessons in the past. Friends and family who may also need encouragement to reach professional gambling solutions may be able to offer a support network, which is a vital part of any healthy lifestyle. It is important for the friend or family member to fully understand how the gambler is affecting his or her life and circumstances before encouraging the friend or family member to seek help.
For example, if a person has a gambling problem, a friend who knows the problem and is willing to help can become an incredible source of support and guidance. It may be a difficult process to overcome a gambling addiction, but the person who is seeking help is doing the best that he or she can to stop gambling. The gambler may have friends and family who will agree to keep him or her away from gambling for a while as he or she works through the process of quitting, but friends and family who don’t share the gambler’s goals, dreams, or desires can also become harmful influences if they start to interfere with the gambler’s efforts to stop gambling. The friend or family member who has been supportive of the gambler in the past should not be trusted with advising the gambler stop gambling, no matter how helpful he or she may be.
Some people who are close to gamblers have been known to take the gambler aside and tell him or her that all the fun and games are behind him or her, and that the gambler needs to get serious about quitting. Gamblers often think that this kind of harsh criticism is coming from the person who is having trouble stopping the addiction, but in actuality it is coming from those who know the real secret: that the gambler really loves gambling and really wants to stop. This kind of honest feedback is often absent from gamblers who have a professional reputation and those who work with gamblers on a regular basis. The person who knows the secret often feels guilty about telling the gambler, but the secret is usually true.
It’s important to understand that many of the problems associated with gambling addiction are caused by factors outside of the gamblers’ control. Gambling addicts can be exposed to many negative events and situations that can further complicate their gambling problems. These circumstances can be stressful and even frightening. A good therapist can help the gambler address these external issues that are causing him or her to develop gambling problems and recognize them as problems that can be dealt with rather than ignored. In the final analysis, any gambler can make changes so that he or she can become a better gambler, and the good news is that even problem gamblers can find treatment and recovery programs that work for them.