Here at mrkscience.com, we spend a lot of time educating our players about playing Internet slots. But we would also like to point out that these games should be played for fun and entertainment - and responsibly. Playing slots is fun and an exciting hobby, but for some people it can be dangerous and harmful.
If you're worried that your gambling behavior or that of your friends and family is getting out of hand, there are several places to go to help you better understand the problem and offer help. It is important to us to provide a safe and responsible gaming environment for all our readers. We see ourselves as a single point of contact and therefore all websites we recommend are safe for players.
There is nothing reprehensible about playing from time to time and even high rollers who regularly bet large sums of money do not automatically become "problem players". But it can happen that even players with small stakes can develop a problem.
Different companies offer different criteria on how to identify a gambling problem. The following features are used by the American Psychiatric Association and named in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, better known as DSM-5.
The person has a need to play with an increasing amount of money in order to enjoy the game. Any attempt to reduce or stop playing will lead to restlessness and irritation. All attempts to control or stop the game have failed. They are often too busy playing. Playing is an outlet to deal with feelings or stress.
They try to make up for their losses by playing more to win back money. They lie to friends and family to cover up how much they play. Their gambling behavior has led to problems or termination of a relationship, job, or educational opportunity. They ask for money to cover financial expenses as they have lost all their money through gambling. If one or two of these behaviors sometimes occur, it is not yet a serious problem. However, if several situations apply to you, you are likely to have a problem. A slight problem exists if four of these criteria apply, six aspects suggest a medium problem, and eight or more are a serious problem.
If you're not sure, there are a number of things you can do to help you determine this. Many companies offer self-assessments, such as those from the Massachusetts Council for Gambling Addiction.
If you or your friends/family have a gambling problem, we can assure you that it can be resolved. Many jurisdictions where gambling is legalized have developed programs to help affected players. And even outside these countries, there are many experienced experts who can help people with gambling problems.
If you want to talk to someone about your situation immediately, contact one of the many hotlines that can help you find advice and information. Usually the numbers are free and available 24 hours a day.
Many people with gambling addiction seek help in self-help groups where they can discuss their problems with others who have experienced (or are still experiencing) similar situations. Gamblers Anonymous and Bettors Anonymous are two respected and free organizations that provide counseling worldwide. Gam-Anon is also a group that supports family members who deal with a gambling addict.