Do Online Casinos Cause Addiction?

international-summit-on-r-007Pathological gambling – as is the official scientific term for this condition, is a problem many people are familiar with. If not them personally then somebody somewhere in the family had gambling problems at one point or the other and this disease is well documented and there are ways to treat it. But what exactly do we talk about here?

Compulsive gambling is a type of disorder where the addicted person cannot control his or hers impulse to gamble, even though they are aware that in doing so they will hurt their close ones or even themselves. Compulsive gamblers keep on betting no matter what, no matter if they are broke, if the odds are against them, if they cannot afford to lose, etc. and this causes all sorts of problems in their lives.
Having this type of disorder causes long-term damage to person’s social, spiritual and intellectual life. Isolation and depression, anxiety and aggression are all common symptoms when we come across this illness. However, these symptoms are usually very sneaky and hard to notice, and that is the reason gambling addiction is often called “hidden illness”. Patients try very hard to hide all the evidence until the situation gets completely out of their control.

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With the rise of online gambling and the overall hype that is present when talking about online casinos – many communities, doctors and individuals have raised their concerns about the addiction being even more present with players who do not actually visit land-based casinos, at least not very often or not regularly.
There are several factors which cause those claims about online casinos being more addictive and dangerous than gambling in real-life ones and here some of them:
200270960-001If online gambler gets addicted and spends way more time playing than is normal, it is a lot easier to notice that and then remove him or her away from the table then it is to take somebody’s phone just on the claim that they hold it too much.
It is also a lot easier to “avoid play” if you are addicted to a land-based casino, because this type usually involves at least some logistical maneuvers to get to the right place (car, gasoline, hotel booking, cash money, going to ATM, etc.) but when playing in an online casino you just need to start-up your laptop and the next bet is waiting for you.
Aside from the obvious advantages when it comes to basic elements of convenience, there are also factors of bonuses, free spins, “free-to-play” apps, and all sorts of tricks which are used to attract potential gamblers. And when it comes to money it’s usually easier to spend virtual money because sometimes the brain forgets that they are not just mere numbers.
Anonymity is also declared as a potential advantage of online casinos because for a lot of people it is convenient to gamble without family or colleagues knowing.

As we see there are a lot of elements to support the claim we mentioned above, but not everybody agrees. Harvard’s Medical School has conducted a research recently and on a sample of 4.000 online gamblers they haven’t found any bigger signs of addiction than on gamblers who visit land-based casinos. However, online casinos are still a fairly new thing so we probably need to wait a bit longer to see if they really do cause more problems.

Terms And Tips To Know When Playing Online Pokies

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Pokies have been popular for over a century now, and with the rapid development of the Internet, they got their online version, or better to say – many versions. Just like in a brick-and-mortar casino, you can play on 3, 5 or 7-reel machines, choose the number of paylines, and even play for real money. In addition to these, you can choose to play not only oldschool pokies (like fruit machines), but also complex games, with a huge number of options and buttons, with hi-res graphics, themed and created as video games. What’s more, you can play pokies for real money, in order to win a jackpot you can later turn into cash. Once you open an account in an online casino, the funds can be placed using your credit card or some money-transferring service such as PayPal or any other, which is usually determined by the casino website’s policy.

If you decide to try your luck in pokies, here are some terms you should get familiar with:

All Ways: a feature that allows you to bet on all ways and paylines.

Credits/Coins: the units you get for money and use to play slots with. For example, 1 dollar buys 100 credits and you place bets in these credits.

Double Up/The Gamble: a feature for doubling or quadrupling your win.

Expanding Wild: a wild that expands to fill the whole reel and substitutes all the symbols on that reel.

Jackpot: the biggest prize you can win in a game

Lines/Paylines: the position that the symbols must take in order to win the jackpot. This can be a straight line, but it can also take various different patterns.

Online-PokiesMax Bet: the maximum bet in allowed per spin. It varies from game to game.

Multiplier: a feature for increasing your prize by multiplying it.

Payout Percentage: a percentage which will be paid to the players if they win the jackpot.

Paytable: a machine’s display which shows the information about the game, such as prizes, rules etc.

Progressive Jackpot: a jackpot that progressively grows while the players are playing the game. A small percentage of every bet is added to the final amount of jackpot.

Random Jackpot: a jackpot without any rules, triggered randomly.

Re-Spin: this feature locks some symbols while the other reels still spin

Wilds: special symbols for substituting all the other symbols (a kind of a “Joker”)

2013112792326-wms-gaming-slot-bruce-lee-dragons-tale-big-winOther than the common terms, you should also be aware of a few tips that may improve your game and make it more safe and enjoyable. Probably the most important thing is to set the budget for gambling before even starting, and not to go beyond it. Determine the amount of money you are willing to spend, and do not use any other money for slot games. Also, do not chase your losses by playing more and investing more. If you are on a losing streak, take a break and try again some other time. It is also advisable that you set the time limit, so you do not spend too much time on the game.

Familiarizing with the common terms and rules of the pokies games you choose and good control of yourself are the winning combination for the game that is fun, enjoyable, safe and if you are lucky enough – maybe even profitable!