Most of us know how fun online poker can get but it can also be addictive. It is easy to play a couple hands of Texas Hold’em then add a small, harmless wager or two but this need to put a wager on in the first place places players on a spectrum of addiction whether they want to or not and for some, it can be dangerously so whether it’s online poker, slots or other forms of gambling.
We are committed to keeping players engaged while still valuing and appreciating not only the power but influence that gambling can have over our senses. It is of the utmost important that players or potential players that use this site as a source of information and source of learning see the educational value of keeping abreast responsible gambling and understanding that not just poker but gambling in general is a form of entertainment and should not be seen as a method of making money. Money is a bi-product of the entertainment that gambling offers which in itself can only be entertainment if we are aware of the addiction factor and consciously take steps to be on top of it through recognising the signs early and engage in responsible, mindful practices when gambling.
The first and foremost rule is that depending on where you’re playing from, you must meet the minimum age. Always consult your local state, council or governing body to find out and use the information below as a guide only. Although we try to keep information on this site up to date it is your own responsibility to educate yourself on your minimum legal gambling and online gambling age for your local area.
The legal gambling age in US differs across the states from 18 to 21. Please refer to the table below.
You must be at least 18 to participate in casinos in the UK.
You must be 18 years of age to even play for free at a site or location where real money games are available.
Canada’s minimum drinking and gambling age is 19 aside from Alberta, Manitoba and Quebec where it is 18.
The legal age to even walk into a casino is 20 years.
You need to be 18 years of age to legally gamble in South Africa.
Spotting Signs of Gambling Addiction
First of all – what is gambling addiction or the compulsion to gamble? Simply put, gambling addiction is the product of a psychologically compulsive need to continue your gambling activities despite the unwanted effects of doing so thereafter.
Rather than how the gambling themselves behave, compulsive gambling is usually marked by whether the individual experiences what they would consider harm and in more severe cases the gambler could be clinically diagnosed as having a recognised and deep-rooted pathological gambling problem to the point where the cost of the individual’s welfare, social connection and family status can be undone and completely removed from society. We can do whatever we can to give you the best and most current information available regarding safe gambling practices but in all, the responsibility comes down to an authentic assessment of yourself and whether you can exhibit complete or at least an appropriate level of control over this medium of entertainment.In order to spot the signs, you should always question yourself with the following:
- Do you ever gambling outside your own means to afford it?
- When losing money gambling, do you find yourself chasing those losses?
- Do you ever lie about your gambling habits when speaking with friends or family?
- Do you feel financial problems can be solved with gambling?
- Have often lost sleep due to gambling-related thoughts?
- Do you feel the urge to win even more after a win or two?
- Are you often preoccupied with thoughts about gambling even when you’re not engaged in any acts of gambling at the time?
Helping Others You Suspect May Be Addicted to Gambling
While it’s often difficult to discern whether a stranger, friend or someone closer has a gambling addiction problem, you can use the steps above in methodically working out the current situation of the person. Do you notice them frequently lying about gambling? Or letting the quality of their relationships lessen in order to wager more? It is not your responsibility to help someone who has a gambling addiction but a word and impartial person can often be a powerful nudge for the person with the gambling problem.
Experts say that one of if not the most important step that can be taken by family and friends of the person in need of help is to familiarise themselves about problem gambling and to be as supportive and possible while participating where appropriate. Upon the recognition of somebody you know possibly or definitely having a problem; it is severely important not to approach them in a way that is threatening or judgemental.
As previously mentioned, having an outsider’s perspective is a powerful way to help somebody and judgement or overbearing tones can be the opposition to that.Depending on who is being confronted, sometimes support can come in the form of an intervention and while rarely ever successful immediately it is usually quite effective in bringing the issue to light but as long as the tone of the conversation comes from a loving place and does not turn into a judgemental confrontation.
Problem Gambling Resources
If any of the above apply whether it is for yourself or others, it never hurts to educate yourself about gambling addiction and there are fantastic and free resources around the world that are ready and wanting to help. For those interested in seeking professional help (which is a sensible, respectable and smart thing to do), individuals can take part in group meetings of similar-minded people going through the same situation or have one-on-one professional phone consultations if you just need someone to speak with about the problem. Here you can find a small handful of some of the more effective gambling addiction organisations we’ve come across to date.