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Responsible Gambling - Good Attitude and Self-Awareness

By Daniel Michaels, May 20th 2005
Responsible Gambling - Overshadowed by stories of problem gamblers running amok, many casino enthusiasts may feel their personal control and integrity is always under question. Criticism of casino goers is almost always based on biased research involving a small percentage of gamblers who actually "develop" a gambling problem. Attitudes and views often change however, because technology, education, demographic and cultural changes bring them about. What's needed right now is a positive, mature attitude toward gambling.

Responsible governments (with responsible funding) could encourage the development of responsible approaches to gambling the way any other good behaviors are promoted. Private sector groups like the NCRG are doing some great work. There are efforts from the education sector where students learn about statistical odds, risk and money management. This is an intelligent and responsible approach we should take note of. The self-management skills being learned will be exercised in other areas of these student's lives.

The issue garnering the most attention has to do with them running out of money and how they might start spending someone else's. Notwithstanding that obvious truth, gambling problems really have to do with the mind and behavior of the problem gambler outside the gambling activity. If gambling is an escape from the pain of life the way eating, alcohol, drugs and television sometimes are, then the person should get some professional help. No reputable casino wants money from a problem gambler and their trail of trouble. The best casinos have policies and screening procedures in place to identify problem gamblers and prevent them from playing.

Most gamblers however, do have control over themselves and how they play their money at a casino. Those of us in the industry don't accept the politically and socially generated view of gambling as being inherently irresponsible, in fact there's evidence to show that the majority of casino players have no problem with playing a few hours of casino games.

New Society - New Values and Pastimes
It's a fact, that as the industrialized nation's population ages, they will seek leisure and entertainment that is less physical, less active and perhaps less mentally taxing and often do it as an excuse to go on a vacation. The popularity of gambling is growing as we all know, so anyone who suggests that casino game players are irresponsible and ethically inferior is not going to be popular.

Responsible Gambler Traits

So what is it about responsible casino players who play within their means and stay clear of compulsive bad habits? Do they have a mature, intelligent and evolved personality, which is well put together and can separate an activity from their core self-image? If they have a bad night out and lose a couple hundred dollars, do they identify with the loss personally and try to redeem themselves by chasing the loss? Responsible gamblers don't chase losses, they enjoy the moment with what they have and understand the risk. They play for the fun of it and want some level of entertainment and interactivity to take place.

What is Responsible Gambling?
Enjoying the thrill of risking a small amount of money
Enjoying the thrill of a mental challenge while betting on the outcome
Enjoying the pleasure of winning
Not using money you don't have
Playing in moderation or under control
Stopping when you have a bad losing steak
Not chasing losses
Betting at games where you understand the rules
Stopping when tired
Feeling sure of the quality of your self and your willingness to take risks
Risk is an Everyday Affair
This last characteristic is a poignant one. Risk is an everyday element of human life and most people are invigorated by it and see it as something that helps them grow personally. A risk that seems too high to one person, such as signing a 25-year mortgage may be considered common sense for another. Three generations ago, going into 25 years of debt with a high interest rate was considered outrageous and immoral. Today things have changed because people's attitude toward risk has changed.

The End of Negative Propaganda about Gambling
It's incredible how we hear sensationalized reports of problem gamblers and the petty crimes and misery they get involved in, yet we hear nothing of international bank loans gone bad to the tune of 30 billion dollars or more. In this case, the banks gambled their depositor's hard earned money and frittered it away at very risky takeovers and loans to foreign countries where they possessed very little control over that money. The bad loans are called write-offs and are soon forgotten. We all enjoy the privelege of paying off those billion debts however, and the problem is a whole lot more meaningful than a few problem individuals placing a few bets.

Currently, there is no recovery organization for problem bankers. The key here is that bigger more foolish losses are swept under the carpet while smaller more infrequent losses are exaggerated by the media. On a social and economic level, there are many issues that rank well above problem gambling.

Positive Attitudes about Gambling
The truth about gambling today is that people can participate in it while exercising control and being aware of their behavior. Another key truth is that gambling is not going to go away, so generating a mature, positive view of this activity is very important for society. A positive, constructive approach makes it more likely people will gamble within their means, and know when to stop.

Having a positive attitude about gambling or gaming is what protects the responsible gambler's self-image from the destructive effects of the bad attitudes some people have about this form of entertainment. Beyond that, gamblers should understand the risks of losing money and gamble within their means.

If you enjoy gambling online or on land, take comfort in the idea that it's okay to put some money where your mouth is so to speak. Have a good time at the online casinos.

Related News
May 20th 2005 For Senior Citizens: - Why Gambling On The Internet is Good For
May 20th 2005 Experts warn of dangers in youth gambling
May 20th 2005 Dayberry's gambling goes beyond poker
May 20th 2005 For the Love of Gambling

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