Gambling addiction is the dark side of the fun that many New Jersey residents experience when they take advantage of the state’s numerous land-based and online casinos. As much fun as these games can be, using them as a financial or emotional lifeline can cause all kinds of problems for people. Once gambling starts to disrupt your life, it’s important to acknowledge the fact that it might be an addiction.
The importance of these resources cannot be overstated. Gambling addiction is a problem that affects not only your livelihood but also that of your spouse, children, and friends. Its effects are swift and all-encompassing. The solution has to be, as well.
Thankfully, gamblers in New Jersey who think they may have a problem or a full disorder have many resources that can help them discover if they have a problem and figure out what to do about it. This is a short guide to gambling addiction, how to know if you have one, and where you can go to get your life back.
According to various studies, nearly 70% of New Jersey residents gambled in the past year. Naturally, not all of these people have a problem. Many people in New Jersey and elsewhere gamble responsibly and within their financial means with no deleterious effects on their lives at all.
So how can you tell if gambling has become a problem for you or someone you know?
Of the above-mentioned residents surveyed, based on the frequency of gambling, the severity of the reaction, and their own assessment, 22% were assessed as having a gambling problem and 10.5% as having a full-blown gambling disorder. This was determined with standardized testing means, many of which you can administer yourself at websites like that of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
These screening tools can help you take your gambling addiction into your own hands to discover how you can get treatment. The questions ask you about your habits and whether you find yourself in increasingly compromising ethical and emotional situations because of gambling.
For instance, a small warning sign is when you find yourself thinking about gambling all the time or realizing that you have to take more expensive risks to get the same rush that you did when you first started.
A larger warning sign that should tell you that you are forming or already have an addiction to gambling might be something like taking money from family either secretly or under false pretenses to gamble it. Another big one is when gambling has caused you to have problems with your relationships, either over money or emotions, with your spouse, children, friends, or other family members.
The first step to treating any compulsive disorder is to acknowledge the existence of the problem. If you can go to these resources and honestly assess yourself as having a problem, you can define your addiction and figure out what you need to do about it before the strain on your finances, relationships, and mental health becomes any worse.
What To Do About It: Sign Up for Self-Exclusion
The thrilling Atlantic City gambling is enough to tempt even those devoted to healing into a relapse. This is one reason why the answer to the question of what you should do about your addiction is not easy.
If you think that no amount of conventional therapy of self-restriction will prevent you from giving in and getting back to the tables, you need to look for one of the many self-exclusion programs offered through the Department of Law & Public Safety in the state of New Jersey.
A self-exclusion program allows people to volunteer their names to be excluded from entry into all the casinos in the Atlantic City area. This program was founded in 2001 to allow authorities to help you keep yourself safe and recover from your addiction.
Of course, in the modern age, there’s even more gambling available at online casinos than there is in person. All you need to be tempted to gamble away all your hard-earned recovery (and money) is a personal computer and a credit card.
This is why the self-exclusion program was expanded in 2013 to include online casinos, as well. Your online player account on file allows them to block you from giving in on Caesars Online as well as in the land-based casinos in your own town.
You can go to the government offices of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in person and give them your name and online player account to make yourself ineligible for entry into all casinos in the Atlantic City area as well as those offered online. You can sign up for exclusion for one year, five years, or your lifetime. These offices are located at Tennessee Avenue and Boardwalk in Atlantic City.
As another option, you can also sign up for self-exclusion at the New Jersey Racing Commission. You will be asked to fill out an application, provide identification, and have your photo taken so that the casinos can recognize you.
If you only wish to restrict your internet gaming activities, you can sign up for self-exclusion through the player account you have on the casino website. Alternatively, you can exclude yourself from internet gaming by visiting the Department of Gaming Enforcement website and filling out the same application.
Gambling addiction is a serious issue that affects New Jersey residents more than others because of the availability of the many luxury casinos in Atlantic City and the busy gambling culture that permeates its nightlife. Its online casinos are also plentiful and second to none in terms of quality.
While many people gamble responsibly and have a great time, some others allow gambling to negatively impact their emotions, their finances, and their relationships with friends and family. If you think you could have an addiction to gambling, use the resources provided to self-administer a test for the condition or seek help through the proper authorities.
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