Gambling in any form can lead to addiction if you treat it irresponsibly. Gambling can bring a lot of positive emotions, but it frequently becomes a source of problems.
The riskiest variation of such entertainment is gambling at casinos. So, the question may arise:
Which is more dangerous for addicted gamblers: online casinos or land-based gambling clubs?
The answer is not as apparent as it might seem at first glance. It is tough to conduct large-scale statistical studies on this issue. Addicted gamblers usually admit that they are addicted only in extreme cases. They unwillingly seek qualified help and do not want to talk about their disease to strangers.
Let's figure out the key factors that make visiting online and land-based casinos particularly risky for potentially addicted gamblers and those who have already experienced the first signs of problem gambling.
Why Do Brick-and-Mortar Casinos Cause Addiction?
Let's list the factors that may contribute to turning a casual customer of land-based casinos into an addicted gambler:
- The atmosphere of gambling. A cheerfully spinning roulette ball, loud cries of customers, flashing lights of video slots, and pleasing sounds of rustling cards attract customers and do not let them go. Large casinos are like a swamp you get stuck in. You want to play for half an hour and get trapped until morning.
- Bad company. Many regular customers are familiar with each other and prefer to play together. It is not infrequent that a visitor stays in the gambling facility after hitting the jackpot not to leave their friend alone. As a result, both of them lose the entire payout. In addition, the casino is full of personalities willing to sit next to you at the table and start a conversation about any topic. What goals do they have? This is the topic for a separate article. Some may sit next to you, sent by the administrators; others hope to steal a couple of chips. Some individuals intend to chat. It is important to note that they make your stay in the casino, not allowing you to leave.
- Alcohol. There is no need for comments. One or two cocktails make a risky gambler ready to go all in from the most pragmatic and reasonable customers. An intoxicated person does not stop, even if they are in the black. They will not be afraid to wager the money intended for other purposes. To put it simply, it is an ideal customer from the point of view of gambling operators.
- Shows. Strippers, magicians, singers, dancers, and other showpeople entertain customers and distract them. Focusing on the basic blackjack strategy isn't easy if a busty beauty is spinning on the pole near you. And the most impressive performance is observed at the end of the show program. Therefore, gamblers stay in the gambling facility till its end.
- Various events with prizes. All such events aim to make customers play at the casinos as long as possible. For example, according to the classic scheme for drawing cars, users have to collect lottery tickets for several months. They are provided for various combinations, payouts, and so on. Thus, the longer you play, the more tickets you have, which increases the probability of winning. The draw itself is a long-lasting event making customers idle away their time gambling. Sometimes the revenue per day exceeds the cost of the paramount price and covers additional expenses.
- Casino tricks. Some schemes of casino owners are discussed in a separate article on Casinoz. The major decoys you can face in gambling joints are the lack of wall-mounted clocks, colorful industrial carpets, a nice color of cloth, increased oxygen content in the air, and selected music. They make customers forget about time and delve into the game process.
As you can see, brick-and-mortar casinos are dangerous for those prone to problem gambling.
Why Do Online Casinos Cause Addiction?
Now let's find out how things stand on the gambling sites. Customers are weaned off the harmful influence of other visitors. Treacherous effects of free alcohol, protracted draws, long-lasting show programs, and the tricks of online casino gambling operators described above are absent.
However, you should stay alert. Gambling websites contribute to the development of problem gambling, not to a lesser extent.
Let's enumerate the primary disadvantages of this format:
- Accessibility. Nowadays, you can play at an online casino, even from a city tram or a mountain tent. You need to have access to the Internet. And its high speed is not even obligatory. Most gambling facilities offer mobile versions designed for running them on smartphones. Gamblers can hardly resist the temptation to try their luck. And if you start gambling, it isn't easy to stop.
- Simplicity. To become a customer of an online casino, it is not necessary to be an IT person. It is sufficient to have computer skills just at the elementary level. Some customers only know how to run a site in a browser and deposit funds into their accounts via SMS.
- Excessive self-assurance. The vast majority of novice online portal customers think that they will not be affected by gambling addiction. They firmly believe that they will be able to control their hobby. The results of such self-confidence are often unfortunate.
- Weak external control. Gamblers' relatives may fail to notice the signs of problem gambling for a long. Representatives of the online casino administration will not take decisive actions on their initiative. Usually, it is up to customers to decide whether to play. Often, no one will rescue them until they realize the emerging problem.
- Free games. Demo mode allows you to master any game without risk to your bankroll. In land-based casinos, many customers do not even try to play blackjack because they fear losing a considerable amount of their funds when mastering the rules and intricacies of the gameplay. This problem is irrelevant on the Internet, but the other one replaces it: Potential addicted gamblers have even more reasons to gamble.
- Live casino. When the first gambling sites appeared, the conservatives blamed them for lacking a peculiar gambling atmosphere. Now users can play with real dealers who work in studios, and the gameplay is broadcast. Users can communicate with them and their neighbors at the table, which makes live casinos much more attractive for regular gamblers.
- Altered perception of virtual money. In land-based casinos, gamblers make bets using chips. Real cash remains at the box office. Administration representatives will tell you that it has been done for your convenience. Yet, psychologists argue that the attitude towards the loss of plastic chips is much more indifferent than to the loss of real banknotes. Moreover, virtual credits at online casinos are lost even more apathetically.
- Promotions. Loyalty programs, cash back, promotions, and bonuses seem attractive, but they make customers gamble at online casinos for a long time. Moreover, such findings make users believe they may help them win back the lost money.
- New kinds of games. Experts believe that gamification is one of the main trends of Internet gambling. Video slots and other gambling games resemble computer games more and more. Multi-level systems, special features, upgrades of characters, and skills required for the gameplay are pretty standard in slots. They seem very attractive to users, making them stay longer in the casinos.
- Free tournaments. The format of slot tournaments without admission fees has become very popular. Customers play on slots in standard mode, simultaneously participating in the competition. The highest payout determines the winners. Comp points usually serve as prizes. Many users stay on the site longer than they initially wanted to, trying to compete for the prize pool.
We hope you understand online gambling is also dangerous for potentially addicted gamblers.
Which Casino Is More Harmful?
A clear choice can hardly be made. Everything depends on several factors, including the following:
- Quality of the facility;
- Customer's psychological features;
- Customer's gaming preferences;
- Financial capabilities, and so on.
In any case, you should stay alert. When you visit any casino, you should remember about problem gambling.
What Should You Do?
We want to give you some practical tips on not becoming a victim of gambling addiction. We are talking about general recommendations concerning gambling. Some provisions are suitable for both land-based and online casinos.
- Self-discipline. This is the most crucial point. You must start with yourself. You should determine the time and financial limits in advance. Never stay in the casino longer than you intended, and do not lose more funds than you can afford. You should delete from your mind the verb to win back. Avoid alcohol and bad companies. Remember that discipline should be your indispensable attribute from the first days spent gambling.
- Self-control. You should quickly detect the first signs of problem gambling. Do not be lazy and pass the tests that allow catching signs of addiction occasionally. Having noticed the slightest manifestations of addiction, stop gambling. A few days without casino games will radically change your perception of the situation.
- Selection of a reliable casino. Reputable and decent operators try to help customers to avoid the development of gambling addiction. The indecent ones, on the contrary, want to turn visitors into gamblers. Therefore, you should be extremely careful.
- Play responsibly. Use the services of the casinos aimed at struggling against gambling addiction. A selection of limits, denying access to the account, self-exclusion software, tests, and consultations of specialists are available in many gambling venues.
- International organizations. Address the experts of www.gamblersanonymous.org, www.gamcare.org.uk, and other specialized companies.
- Software. Various computer programs enable users to block access to casinos. They will help you to avoid giving up if you have decided to cut down on gambling.
- Medical assistance. If the situation is out of control, recruit your willpower and address it to specialists. You can find psychotherapists specializing in problem gambling in any city.
Problem gambling is discussed in dozens of articles published on the Casinoz portal. Please read them before you face such problems in real life.
Keep in mind that for most people, gambling is entertainment. Only a few gamblers have made gambling their profession. If you only take the first faltering steps in gambling, it is too early to think of earnings.
Initially, you have to master the basic knowledge, learn to cope with possible psychological problems, deal with financial management, and solve many other issues. Gambling cannot help you earn a living unless and until you succeed in the abovementioned things.
Read recommendations from experts of Casinoz, improve your level, and be reasonable.