In the world today, gambling has proven to bring in various types of changes, which has led to the existence of various games and platforms. The gambling industry has evolved to provide gamblers with a variety of unique features, which has resulted in many people crossing the line into gambling, putting some people in dangerous situations. This has led to a thorough understanding of why responsible gambling is required. A lot of situations, such as the increasing cases of gambling addiction or the new approach that people have taken to gambling, have resulted in various websites and platforms coming forward to educate gamblers on the importance of understanding the significance of responsible gambling. With this, we have done thorough research on understanding responsible gambling. In this article, we will be discussing the following:

  • Phases of gambling addiction.
  • The main signs and symptoms of gambling problems.
  • Major causes of gambling addiction.
  • Ways to stop gambling addiction.
  • Minors’ protection.
  • The tips for responsible gambling.
  • Organizations that can help gambling addicts.

Now, let’s dive right into the main topic.

Definition Of Gambling Addiction

Generally, gambling done in moderation is a behaviour that is absolutely acceptable socially. However, gambling addiction is a different case entirely, if not attended to, it can significantly affect an individual’s relationships, finances, and various other areas. For many New Zealand players, gambling is just a hobby that they seem to enjoy, whereas others are unable to control their gambling urges after a period of time. When gambling becomes more than just a pastime and an individual becomes obsessed without regard to their financial situation, it can lead to serious problems in the individual’s life.

The 4 Major Phases of Gambling Addiction

When it comes to gambling addiction, affects a significant number of New Zealand players. As a result of this, gambling addicts have been known to follow a particular pattern of behaviour which can be identified into 4 distinct phases: the winning phase, the losing phase, the desperation phase, and the hopeless phase.

The Winning Phase
This is the aspect of gambling that eventually gets gamblers addicted. For people who have been losing consistently, getting off can be quite easy. However, when one eventually hits one major win, that is what ignites the addiction. Most gambling addictions begin when a gambler experiences a “big win” while gambling, and this then results in increasing their wager and more frequent gambling. Having unreasonable optimism and an enhanced self-image, one begins to fantasize about winning massively.
The Losing Phase
In this phase, the massive win that has been fantasized about doesn’t materialize. However, the constant thoughts of continuous gambling begin to cloud the gambler’s mind, thereby resulting in personality changes such as lying, borrowing money, uncontrolled relationships with people around them, and lots more.
The Desperation Phase
Following the losing phase is the desperation phase. In the desperation phase, the gambler no longer has the financial capacity to pay off debts and then eventually seeks bailouts by any possible method. With this, the gambler is of the mindset that a winning streak is around the corner, which will help solve all their problems.
The Hopeless Phase.
At this stage, the severe consequences of their actions begin to occur, most of which might be difficult to control. Some of such consequences include divorce, arrests, drug intake, alcohol, and emotional breakdown. It then dawns on the gambler that nothing much can be done about the situation.

Gambling Addiction: Main Signs and Symptoms

Gambling addiction can also be referred to as a “secret illness” due to the fact that there are no obvious signs and symptoms that can be likened to the condition. Although a lot of people tend to hide this condition, a gambling addict cannot eventually conceal it. Some main signs and symptoms of gambling addiction include:

  • Feel the need to keep your gambling activities private.
  • Have issues controlling your gambling.
  • Gamble even if you don’t have the money.
  • Have relatives and friends worry about you.
  • Obsessing any particular type of gambling.
  • Selling your possessions to fund your gambling activities.
  • Lying about your gambling addiction.
  • Having a guilty conscience after a gambling session.
  • Taking uncontrolled risks while gambling.

It is important to know that individuals with gambling addictions do not always engage in gambling activities frequently. But when they begin, they are usually unable to stop. Although this list cannot help with problem diagnosis, when you notice that you are showing any of the signs listed above, then it is advisable that you immediately visit the doctor.

The Major Causes of Gambling Addiction

Generally, gambling has been known to be a major challenge for millions of people. Due to the fact that it is legal in certain jurisdictions, one can gamble just for entertainment without getting addicted to it. In situations where one is unable to control their gambling activity, they begin to wonder what causes this addiction. Although specific causes of gambling addiction are quite difficult to identify, there are certain risk factors that make them vulnerable. Also, individuals who are gambling addicts tend to also have co-occurring mental health disorders, making it quite difficult for them to quit easily.

Also, people who tend to abuse substances are at a high risk of getting addicted to gambling, as they are already predisposed to thrill-seeking behaviours. Various other factors that can contribute to a gambling addiction include the desire to experience thrills and highs, desperation for money, and the social status associated with being a successful gambler. When it comes to gambling addiction, the more you seem to feed that habit, the more the desire grows and it becomes harder to control.

Ways to Stop Gambling Addiction

Just like various other forms of addiction, gambling addiction is a gradual process, as what may seem like a harmless and simple game can eventually turn into an unhealthy addiction to gambling, which can then result in serious consequences when not appropriately managed. With the increase in online gambling, situations involving gambling addictions are now more difficult to detect. Some ways in which one can stop gambling addiction include:

  1. Get to the root of the situation: in order to stop your addiction, it is important to avoid the major triggers. Do you gamble out of stress, boredom, depression, or loneliness? By identifying your trigger, you are able to face it and seek professional help from a specialist.
  2. Distract yourself with an old or new hobby: your brain will still feel the adrenaline rush that comes with gambling while you are trying to stop gambling. Therefore, to prevent you from satisfying that urge, ensure that you find something you enjoy doing that will distract you from it.
  3. Discover ways to handle and cope with triggers: Most of the time, people engage in gambling to escape from emotions and troubling thoughts. By visiting a therapist, you will be offered insights on ways in which you can stop gambling, and also provide you with ways to handle triggers.
  4. Surround yourself with positive influences: the community has a major impact on your recovery. Endeavour to surround yourself with people who you can learn from, who you can trust, and who will not encourage you to continue gambling.

Minor Gambling Protection

Traditional casinos and online casinos are implementing various control systems to protect underage players. You must be over 20 years of age to be able to engage in any form of gambling activity in New Zealand. Players under 20 years of age tend to be quite susceptible to gambling-related harm. However, in order to prevent such situations from occurring, governments and various casinos are working together to enforce certain measures to prevent underage gambling and protect minors. Below are some of the measures put in place by casinos for New Zealand players.

  • Age Verification: Casinos have implemented mandatory identification checks, in which players are required to provide proof of identification before gaining access to casinos.
  • Automatic Gaming Authentication: this is a security measure in which players who want to make use of the slot machine must identify themselves before gambling by making use of a player card, linked bank account, or by making use of an app on their mobile device.
  • Responsible Gambling Software: another way in which casinos protect minors, is through a variety of responsible gaming software.

Tips for Responsible Gambling

Gambling can be considered a very convenient way to spend time, learn, and also earn some money. However, like any other activity, excessive use can lead to addiction. This is why most players tend to lose their possessions in the process of gambling. This is why it is important to do everything possible to prevent yourself from getting addicted. Therefore, for individuals who enjoy gambling or love to kill time through gambling, below are some responsible gambling tips that you should follow:

  1. Set Up A Gambling Budget. In order to be a responsible gambler, it is essential that you have a fixed budget for your gambling activities. By setting a particular sum of money for gambling, you are creating a boundary that will assist you in gambling responsibly. Once you realize that you have used up your budget, ensure that you stop gambling for that particular period of time and clear your head before trying again later. Also, avoid borrowing money to gamble, as this is a very dangerous decision that might come with serious consequences eventually.
  2. Avoid Using Gambling As An Outlet. Some people tend to gamble whenever they are angry or sad, as they feel that a win will make them feel better. However, this is a very wrong path to take, as you might eventually have no win at all. When you choose gambling as a means of sorting out your immediate situation, you are creating a much bigger problem for yourself. Even when you find yourself in very challenging situations such as a breakup, loss of job, or even something else entirely, gambling to feel better will in no way help your situation but would rather cause more harm than good.
  3. Make Use of Reputable Gambling Places. Visiting traditional casinos is not quite convenient for most New Zealand players, which has resulted in the establishment of online casinos. Since online casinos are easily accessible, ensure that you gamble only at reputable casinos, as this will help control your gambling activity. A lot of online casinos available to New Zealand players are quite serious about their commitment and vision so that you will not have issues with your funds. Ensure you perform adequate research and go through reviews from other users before using such a platform.
  4. Ensure To Treat Gambling As A Means Of Entertainment. When you see gambling as just a means of having fun and getting entertained, there is a very low possibility of you getting addicted. As research has made it known that only a small proportion of gamblers make profits, things are quite different. So, instead of seeing gambling as a means of making a massive income, it is better to gamble for entertainment purposes, and it might eventually pay off when you are very careful and somewhat lucky. Although you are allowed to do anything you want with your money, it is advisable to set spending limits and treat it as a means of getting entertained. With this, you can be sure to gamble healthily and responsibly.
  5. Set Time Limit And Take Regular Breaks. Gambling for an extended and uncontrolled period of time can be almost as hurtful as spending lavishly on gambling. Gambling can easily turn into a habit rather than a pastime, which might result in further issues. Even if you are not in a financial crisis, if you decide to gamble at every opportunity you get, certain aspects of your life will eventually suffer for it.As a result of this, it is essential to always keep track of how much time you spend gambling in the same way you keep track of how much you spend while gambling. Gambling in your spare time is still worthwhile, as long as you can afford it. However, you don’t want to spend most of your day gambling. Therefore, it is advisable to set some time restrictions for how much time you spend on it and take enough breaks regularly.
  6. Never Gamble When Drunk. When gambling, having a glass of wine can come in handy. However, alcohol can have a serious effect on your judgment when gambling. This is why it is advisable to be sober when gambling in order to avoid making a mistake that could affect your finances. The most reasonable way to achieve this is to quit drinking while playing. But if you are certain that you can handle your liquor conveniently, then you can go ahead and have a drink.

Organizations That Can Help People with Gambling Addiction

Although gambling is meant to be seen as a way of having fun and getting entertained, some players have gotten so obsessed with gambling that they eventually get addicted to it due to the psychological and emotional reaction that occurs in the brain. As a result of this, there are various organizations in the world that help gamblers who are addicted. Some of the things they offer gamblers include consultation, advice, self-assessment, and various other services. Some of these organizations include:

GamcareThis organization is known to be the United Kingdom’s national provider of free consultation services that assist gamblers having gambling challenges. They help by supporting gamblers who are ready to work on themselves and manage their gambling challenges. They also offer an online treatment course for individuals who are worried about their gambling addiction. The course has been designed to span a period of 8 weeks and is quite convenient for those in need of therapy.
BeGambleAwareBeGambleAware is an organization responsible for helping gambling addicts manage their gambling habits and assisting them in regaining control over their lives. They also raise awareness concerning gambling addiction all around the world.
Gambling HelplineThis organization primarily serves New Zealand players by connecting them with experts who can assist them in achieving their goals and resolving their gambling issues. They provide addicts with various ways of communicating with their counsellors, such as through emails, texts, free calls, and forums.
Gambling TherapyGambling Therapy is known to be an organization that provides various services to gambling addicts, such as providing free practical advice and support to affected individuals.
Safer Gambling AotearoaThis is an organization that helps people who have gambling issues resolve their issues. They also offer guidance and support for those who gamble, or for individuals who are concerned about someone else’s gambling habit.
The National Council on Problem GamblingThe National Council on Problem Gambling is known to be the major source of information regarding gambling and addictions for Americans, with the aim of fighting gambling addiction. They provide gamblers with national support every single day and also promote the significance of understanding all that is to know about gambling.


When it comes to gambling, having an in-depth understanding of the whole concept will help players make the right decisions. As a result of this, this article is there to guide you and provide you with the necessary information needed to help you gamble responsibly. In addition, it is also important to note that in situations where you are having trouble with gambling, or you know someone who is having gambling problems, ensure that you visit an