Understanding Responsible Gambling & Gambling Addiction

What is Responsible Gambling?

Gambling can be a fun activity, but if it’s not controlled properly, it can develop into a problem. Identifying the risks and proactively taking steps to mitigate them is one of the key ways to protect yourself from developing a gambling addiction.

We’ll be unpacking how you can quickly identify problem gambling and how to keep your spending habits in check.

Problem Gambling by the Numbers

According to a study conducted in 2022 by Statistics Canada, people from lower-income families are less likely to gamble than people from higher-income families, but they are more likely to encounter financial problems associated with gambling. This may be due to the fact that people from lower-income households are more likely to have fewer economic resources, making them more vulnerable to the temptation of betting online for quick money.

The study found that:

• Around 75% of Canadians participated in some form of gambling.
• 2.7% of Canadians are identified as risky gamblers.
• Only 5% of those who suffer from problem gambling seek therapy.
• 83% of Canadians believe it is up to the individual to control their gambling habits.

Different Types of Gamblers

Gambling addiction can start off in many ways, like betting on sports, playing online, or buying lottery tickets. It is characterized by a strong desire to gamble, even though it can lead to financial problems or broken relationships. Here, we are going to highlight the three types of gamblers that players fall into:

1. The Problem Gambler

Most people who gamble will often chase losses, but with a problem gambler, it’s different. They have no desire to stop at any point and will keep going far beyond their financial means. In addition to the monetary losses, problem gamblers often experience guilt and feelings of helplessness.

2. The Compulsive Gambler

When it comes to compulsive gamblers, they have absolutely no control. They will often disregard the consequences of their actions or the effects of their gambling addiction on their families. Compulsive gamblers may become gripped with the feeling of the high associated with gambling and spiral out of control, which can be an incredibly difficult habit to break.

3. The Binge Gambler

Someone who is a binge gambler may not spend a lot of time at the casino or even think about it often. But when they do, they go overboard. They can control the frequency with which they gamble, but they cannot control themselves once they are in the game. As a result, binge gamblers often find themselves in deep financial trouble.

Exploring the Potential Causes of Gambling Addiction

Problem gambling is a serious mental health condition characterized by a persistent urge to gamble. In some players, it is triggered by personality traits, like being impulsive and taking risks, which may make it more likely that someone will develop an addiction problem.

If you believe you or someone in your life has a problem with gambling and addiction, here are some common signs of gambling problems to look out for:

• Feeling restless or angry when you can’t gamble
• Unable to stop making bets despite losing
• Your loved ones think you have a problem
• Overdue and unpaid bills despite sufficient income
• Borrowing money or selling possessions to keep gambling
• Lying to others about how much you gamble
• Feeling like you have to go back to the casino immediately after losing to win your money back
• Playing casino games for longer periods of time than intended
• Gambling to escape personal problems or to relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, or loneliness

How can a Responsible Gambler Protect Themselves?

Most reputable online casinos in Canada have introduced responsible gambling options for players.  These tools provide guidance and assistance to help players manage their gambling lifestyles. Here is a breakdown of your options:

1. Set A Realistic Budget

How much money are you comfortable losing? This amount should not put an undue strain on your finances. If you are an avid gambler, consider opening a separate bank account for your casino funds. This will help you track your spending and ensure that you only spend money that you can afford to lose. Review your spending habits regularly, to see if you are sticking to your budget and adjust it if necessary.

2. Self-exclusion Period

This is a 6 Months self-exclusion period, where all casino accounts can be locked for six months. Any funds in the account are subject to the casino’s terms and conditions. The casino won’t bother the player with a reminder if they want to reopen the account after six months, as it’s only possible on their request.

3. Cool Off Period

The cool-off period can either be 24 hours or 7 days, and you will have to contact the casino to unlock the account. During this time, avoid all casino-related activities and find alternative ways to relax and have fun.

4. Deposit Limit Options

Another way in which a player can monitor their gambling habits is to set deposit limits. This will help curb the amount they spend at any given time. To achieve this, simply get in touch with the casino’s contact centre. You can set daily, weekly or even monthly deposit limits. The limit is effective within 24 hours.

5. Locking of Casino Account

Requesting the casino to lock your account is also an option. The casino will lock your account and it will remain locked for a set period of time, that you stipulate up-front. The casino can only unlock the account, once that time has lapsed.

Problem Gambling: Our Commitment to Help

At Maple Casino, we promote responsible gambling and provide resources, and support for players who may be experiencing gambling-related issues. Some of these measures include sharing links to helpline services and educational materials for individuals seeking help with problem gambling.

Treatment for gambling addiction often involves therapy, support groups, and medication. However, it is important to note that no two people are the same, and that the causes and treatments can vary greatly from person to person. Here is a breakdown of the options that can get you back on track.

Understanding the Responsible Gaming Council

The Responsible Gaming Council is a valuable resource that provides education and awareness about gambling addiction. They offer personalized guidance and support tools to individuals seeking help — tools such as self-exclusion programs and helplines. On their website, they have resources for both the public and for regulators, to promote more responsible gambling practices. They also provide information on how to gamble safer, who is at risk, gambling & young adults; and a self-assessment quiz if you’re worried that you may have a problem.

The Canadian Partnership for Responsible Gambling

The organization works towards promoting responsible gambling practices and offers resources such as online tools and information on how to recognize and address gambling-related issues. Seeking help from organizations like the Canadian Partnership for Responsible Gambling can greatly contribute to your efforts in overcoming addiction and maintaining a healthy relationship with gambling.

Unpacking the Problem Gambling Guide

The Problem Gambling Guide is a comprehensive resource that provides detailed information on the signs and symptoms of problem gambling. It provides practical advice on setting limits, managing finances, and finding local support groups or treatment centers to help you take proactive steps towards recovery

Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Canada

There are a couple of provinces that have Responsible Gambling Awareness Week or similar events throughout the year. These are to inform players about safer, more responsible gambling methods. These events also allow players to seek help and share their personal stories, while providing support for both land based and online gambling addiction.


More Treatment and Recovery Options

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

This form of therapy is designed to help you identify and change the thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to your gambling addiction. Through CBT, you can learn to recognize negative thought patterns and behaviours related to gambling, such as irrational beliefs about luck or the potential of a big win.

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2. 12-step programs

Gamblers Anonymous is a 12-step program modelled after Alcoholics Anonymous, and it can provide support and structure for individuals struggling with their addictions. The program is free to join and provides access to a network of recovering gamblers, who can provide moral support during the recovery process.

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3. Medications

In some cases, medications such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medicine can be used to treat gambling addiction and mental health related conditions. Talk to a healthcare provide to find out more about the best treatment options.

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4. Inpatient or outpatient treatment

For people with severe gambling addiction, inpatient or outpatient treatment may be necessary. These programs offer a safe, supportive environment to detox and receive intensive therapy.

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5. Support groups   

Joining a support group for people with gambling addiction can provide you with a sense of community, accountability, and encouragement as you work to overcome your addiction. Through peer support, those in the group can share their stories and empathize with one another as they face similar struggles

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The Wrap-up: Practicing Responsible Gambling

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible. The earlier the problem is addressed, the better the chances are for a full recovery. Gambling is a recreational activity that can offer a great deal of entertainment. However, you have to be mindful of the signs of overspending and addiction. Are you spending more time than you intended? Or are you feeling like you need to gamble to relieve stress.

If you believe you or someone in your life has a problem with gambling and addiction, seek help and support from friends, family, and mental health professionals to help you through this journey.


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