The news in the UK at the moment when it comes to gambling is very much focused on playing safely.
So are you doing your bit?
Here we’ll have a look at how you can enjoy a safe time on your favourite slots and how to look out for trouble ahead.
The industry is under pressure. There are changes to gambling legislation on the way and these are largely due to concerns about safe gambling.
That means there are a lot of tools out there for you to use, but you have to know what they are and you have to know how to use them at the right time.
What could be Dangerous about Slots?
Slots can’t hurt you, can they? Well, yes and no. If you play slots for free on demo mode in casino sites or on review sites then there’s absolutely no danger that you will fall prey to gambling addiction, which is the potential danger we – and everyone else – is talking about here.
Addiction is a complicated subject that you are not going to understand from a 1000 word blog post.
What you do need to take on board is that addiction doesn’t only apply to substances – most famously alcohol and other drugs, like heroin – it also applies to behaviours.
If you’re interested in this complex and often controversial area of mental health, psychology and philosophy then by all means study it in further depth.
As a slots player though, as you need to know is that addiction can be most simply defined as “continued use despite negative consequences.”
And, we might add the will to stop.
There are all sorts of behaviours that one might wish to stop but that one doesn’t. But addiction is a bit more than that. Biting your fingernails is a bad habit in a lot of ways. It could be unhygienic and there are better ways to deal with fingernail growth.
However, you won’t fail to pay your mortgage and lose your house because you bite your fingernails.
Gambling addiction could cause you to lose your home because it involves spending money.
Once you’ve accepted that it is possible to become addicted to gambling you need to understand how that happens – from the player’s point of view – and how to spot and stop it.
Just because a behaviour can become addictive it doesn’t mean that it will for everyone who indulges in that behaviour.
Just as not everyone who drinks becomes an alcoholic despite the potential of alcohol to be addictive, to the extent that it can cause physical withdrawal symbols, so not every slot player will get into trouble.
It’s important to remember this. Many slots players have a perfectly fine time, they might win a bit of money, they will probably lose some. They play when they feel like it and have a good time while they’re doing it. When they’re bored they go and do something else.
This is the sort of slots player that you want to be.
It is likely that addiction has multiple causes, some of them within the player, and some of the external to the player, and within the thing to which they become addicted. There are also social causes.
Those you can do most about are those inside you.
That means you should be aware that some things within you can be dangerous when combined with slots.
Most of all, you should try to avoid using slots (or other gambling, everything we say here can be applied to other gambling too) as a means to regulate your emotions.
This sounds silly we know. Anything you do for fun can be said to be regulating your emotions, but addictive behaviour can be deeper than that and it is more likely to be about dealing with difficult or negative emotions than it is about having fun.
If you come to rely on playing slots when you feel down then it is likely that when you feel down you will want to play slots. And you are likely to feel down when you lose at slots.
So you can see how this can become a damaging cycle.
It’s not easy to deal with negative emotions. The entirety of human culture, it might be argued, is some form of an answer to these problems. What we do know is that if you use gambling as your coping mechanism there is a danger to you.
So please try not to do that.
You can extend this a bit further to viewing slots as an escape from real-life problems. This is especially dangerous when these problems are financial problems. Slots might seem to offer a way out of financial trouble, but gambling because you desperately need money is extremely dangerous.
If you take just one message from this blog post please take this one.
Slots cannot answer a single problem in your life. It is much better to talk to a person if you feel you have problems, including financial problems. Talking to someone – a company you owe money too – might feel incredibly difficult, but it is something that you are going to have to do at some point.
It’s also a good idea to avoid these problems arising in the first place, and that is best done by understanding what your slots-use behaviour is.
Try to keep an eye on how much time you are spending playing slots. Certainly, keep an account of how much money you are spending. And see if it starts to increase.
Use the tools that slots companies now provide to monitor your play and to set limits that you cannot get around.
If you feel you are becoming too involved with or dependent on slots then try to cultivate other interests that might help you to deal with your difficult emotions BUTT THAT DON’T HAVE POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS NEGATIVE EFFECTS. Much better to enjoy creating some sort of art or music to express your sadness or despair than to go and click on a slot.
And please talk if you feel you need help.
Rachel Pine is our slots expert who has worked in the online gambling industry for 10+ years. Over the course of her career, Rachel has reviewed more than 3,000 slots.