Written by Marieva Xrisostomidou, 17 years old
Curiosity; Expectation; An urge to get away from financial, family, or just every day worries. These might be the main emotions and thoughts in an adolescent’s mind the moment he’s logging in his computer in order to gamble. But it’s so easy to cross the line. This online activity can intrude into someone’s life and take over. The young person’s passion becomes an addiction. His fixation on “here and now” –a typical trait of his age– contributes to adopting this fast and “easy” way to earn money. As a result, he’s gambling more and more frequently, betting more and more money without focusing at all on his losses but only his small –if existent– gains. A young person who has entered the world of online gambling won’t be able to stop for more than a short period of time. He often lashes out in anger and despair, lies and resolves to misconduct in order to ensure the money to play just another game. At the same time, he is performing poorly in the rest of his activities and obligations – school and social life are being neglected. This is why online gambling is considered very sneaky.
The term online gambling means playing a game where two or more persons are meeting online to place bets while aiming at profit. The procedure entails the risk of actual financial loss or profit. According to a research by the Adolescent Health Care Unit of the University of Athens in schools of Attica, 6% of teenagers between the ages of 14-16 are already engaging in various online bets and gambling games. An important factor that raises the chances of young people getting involved in gambling is the ease of accessing those sites.
Online Gambling Addiction might be closer than you think. But how can someone realize his own addiction? How can he detect inappropriate behavior in his environment? For someone who is at risk of addiction, gambling will trouble him all day and, he will be worried about when he will play and how he will find the money to play. Does he feel bad about it? Has he tried to stop but he couldn’t? Then he needs special treatment. It is essential for the person to realize his problem by himself in order to get rid of it.
Sometimes, quitting gambling can be extremely difficult. Thus it is best that one’s family and trusted friends are involved in the process. The keys to successful rehabilitation are patience, trust, and proper scientific guidance.
According to evidence of research conducted by the Hellenic Ministry of Finance, in Greece, there are more than 250 sites for online betting, around 20.000 online slot machines “Amusement with Prizes” or AWPs and around 150.000 computers that are providing illegal bets. The turnover of those games is calculated to be more than 4 billion annually. Most of the players are attracted to online betting due to its small cost that can offer higher returns.