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There has been widespread shutdown of sports and entertainment venues, including casinos due to the spread of Covid-19.  With more and more of the population now staying close to home and practicing 'social distancing' there is increased risk that those struggling with a compulsive gambling disorder may turn to online platforms.  Those who gamble online have an easier time keeping it discreet - it can be done from anywhere and at any time of the day with just a few taps of a smartphone.

In addition, many gamblers will gamble at home while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or while struggling with other underlying mental health challenges,which can result in poor judgement choices and betting beyond their capabilities.

the-hidden-risks-of-online-gambling

The odds are not in your favor

Some online gambling sites may seem relatively harmless on first glance, offering “free” simplified versions of their games, where players can use virtual credits for fun.  Furthermore, many of these sites skew the odds of their “free” versions in the player’s favor. Once a player upgrades to a real currency, often the odds will be reversed to favor the house.

In addition, many online gambling platforms require your payment info to be registered, with additional credit made available at the click of a button.  This increases the risk that gamblers will continue to chase losses and make additional impulse bets in hopes of recovering.  Even if players win money in the short-term, continued play will result in losses because the odds will always be in favor of the house.

Be wary of "Free Bets"

With the promise of "free bets" from online gambling sites, players are easily tempted to set up accounts - sometimes even setting up multiple accounts to one site. A number of online gambling sites are known to triple first time deposits up to a certain amount; this is a tactic designed to tempt players.These virtual casinos cannot do much to prevent problem gamblers from accessing their games. Even if the player has voluntarily restricted their own access, they can simply set up another account by using a different debit or credit card. Alternatively, they can sign up at another gambling site instead.

Online Gambling to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

For some, the initial turn to online gambling may be a coping strategy to help escape the daily grind, relationship stress, or, in recent events, newfound isolation and uncertainty in the world due to Covid-19. Initially, it may seem to help reduce stress and anxiety.  Some gambling addicts describe a sense of "zoning out", distraction and feeling as if they were in their own world.  However, as compulsive online gambling progresses into a recurring problem, it often creates more anxiety, more stress, and more uncertainty, creating a dangerous perpetual loop of compulsive & destructive behavior.

Struggling with Online Gambling?

At Algamus Gambling Treatment Services we have over 27 years of dedicated and continuous service when it comes to gambling treatment. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Topics: Gambling Addiction

Rick Benson

Written by Rick Benson

Rick founded Algamus Recovery Centers in 1992. A Cornell University graduate, Rick is an Internationally Certified Gambling Counselor (ICGC-II) and a Canadian Problem Gambling Counselor (CPGC). Algamus and Rick were featured on the very first episode of Intervention on the A&E channel.