There are a lot of common gambling myths out there. Here’s the real deal on some of them:
Myth: I can develop skills or strategies to influence the outcome on a Video Lottery Terminal (VLT).
Fact: The thing is, all results are completely random. You can’t influence what happens. The machine is going to do what it’s going to do, and machines must meet regulatory standards to be used. There are no strategies or skills that can change that.
Myth: If I lose money, I can win it back.
Fact: It’s called chasing losses and it leads to losing more money, not winning it back. The longer you play, the more money you will lose. Remember the “house advantage,” meaning the operator always wins.
Myth: Sooner or later, I’m due for a big win.
Fact: There is no sooner or later. No matter how long you play, wins and losses are completely random. If you think you’re due for a big win, you’ll likely be disappointed.
Myth: Machines go on hot and cold streaks.
Fact: Machines pay out at random. That’s how they’re programmed. There is no way to predict when or how much a machine will pay out.
Myth: You must gamble every day to be a problem gambler.
Fact: A problem gambler may gamble often or rarely. Gambling is a problem if it causes problems.
Myth: Problem gambling is not really a problem if the gambler can afford it.
Fact: Problems caused by excessive gambling are not just financial. Too much time spent on gambling can also cause relationship and legal problems, job loss, mental health problems including depression and anxiety, and even suicide.
Myth: Having a gambling problem is just a case of being weak-willed, irresponsible, or unintelligent.
Fact: Gambling problems affect people of all levels of intelligence and all backgrounds. Previously responsible and strong-willed people are just as likely to develop a gambling problem as anyone else. Depression, anxiety, stress, and certain health conditions can lead people to gamble.
Myth: Partners of problem gamblers often drive their loved ones to gamble.
Fact: Problem gamblers often try to rationalize their behaviour. Blaming others is one way to avoid taking responsibility for their actions, including what is needed to overcome the problem. Relationship counselling is a better choice.
Myth: If a problem gambler builds up a debt, you should help them take care of it.
Fact: Quick fix solutions may appear to be the right thing to do. However, bailing the gambler out of debt may make matters worse by enabling their gambling problems to continue.
Know The Warning Signs:
Gambling requires time, money and energy. If these resources are spent at the expense of other things, such as personal relationships, family, employment, academics or financial commitments, it’s time to evaluate your playing habits.
Signs to be concerned about include:
- Spending more time and money than intended
- Arguing about gambling with family and friends
- After losing, having the urge to return as soon as possible to win back losses
- Feeling guilt or remorse about gambling
- Borrowing money or selling assets to gamble
- Missing work to gamble
- Hiding or lying about the extent of your gambling
- Inability to cut down or stop gambling
- Repeated unsuccessful attempts to control, cut back or stop gambling
- Risking a relationship, job, education, career, or other opportunity to gamble
These signs align with the diagnostic criteria used by the American Psychological Association (DSM-V) for gambling disorder.