Gambling and Internet gaming

From: National Defence

The popularity of gambling as a form of entertainment has dramatically increased over time. While most gambling is harmless, some people do become “hooked” on it just as some people become dependent on alcohol. Similarly, internet gaming is played using personal devices and computers through the Internet. The term “gaming” originated as a synonym for “gambling”, although most electronic games do not involve gambling in the traditional sense.

Gamble safe

Gambling is not a career or a way to get rich quick. It is also not a way to escape your troubles. It is a form of entertainment that is meant to be fun. Leave your credit cards at home and remember, casinos and online gambling sites are in the business of making money. If you decide to gamble, remember to stay within your limits and gamble safe!

To make your experience safe and more enjoyable follow these tips:

  • Have a plan. Before you gamble, have an idea about the kind of experience you want to have
  • Decide how much time and money you want to spend
  • Go with friends. A small gambling loss is the cost of a night’s entertainment, like the cost of a movie ticket or dinner out
  • If you lose money, never try to get it back. Do not go over your initial limit, this usually leads to even bigger losses
  • Never borrow money to gamble. When the amount is gone, call it a night

Internet gaming

Internet gaming is using special applications, known as electronic games,  on personal devices  and  computers through the internet. The most common internet platforms include home computers and/or laptops, home or handheld consoles, mobiles phone, and tablets.

Warning signs

If you are unsure if gaming is becoming a problem for yourself, a friend, or a family member, here are some signs to watch for:

  • Decreased interest in other activities
  • Visibly agitated or anxious when not gaming
  • Losing track of time
  • Sleep difficulties and/or restlessness
  • Headaches
  • Poor eating habits
  • Decrease performance (work, academic etc.) and/or neglecting duties
  • Replacing social time with video games

Responsible internet gaming tips

If you are interested in internet gaming and want to keep in check, here are a few simple tips to follow:

  • Outline priorities ahead of time (work or other responsibilities before gaming)
  • Pay attention to how much time you spend gaming
  • Plan designated times for gaming
  • Turn off your computer and phone at a certain time each night
  • Limit the number of hours that you are exposed to and play video games
  • Engage in off-line gaming and social activities with friends and family

Contact your local Health Promotion office to learn more about gambling and gaming.

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