With the news breaking recently that footballer Joey Barton has been suspended for 18 months due to placing over 1,200 different bets on his own sport, we take a look at when gambling can become a problem and possibly even addition. For 34-year-old Barton, his wagering activity has effectively ended his career. He will be 36 by the time the ban ends, so it is highly unlikely that any club will be willing to offer him a return to the sport due to fitness concerns that commonly plague footballers coming to the end of their playing time.
Of course, a lot of people are in much worse positions than Joey Barton, so let’s take a look at when your wagering behaviour can turn into problem gambling.
First and Foremost, Gambling Addiction is Nothing to be Embarrassed About
While there is often a stigma attached to addictions of all kinds, gambling in particular can be picked on as some people consider it to be an easy fix. Simply stop going down to your local casino or logging on to your favourite websites and you’ll be fine, is an example of an frequent yet ill-thought out solution. However, thankfully people are beginning to realise that it’s much more than that.
Gambling addiction is rightly classed as a mental health condition in many regions all over the world. In order to find treatment for betting problems, you have to first admit that you have one. There are many indicators that your gambling habits have overstepped the line from perfectly reasonable, fun-filled wagering entertainment to something that is causing issues.
A Few Signs That Betting is Taking Over
There are many reasons why people decide to gamble, and there are also many reasons why things can go too far. Here are a few behaviours to look out for to determine whether your betting hobby has become a concern:
- Betting amounts that you can’t afford, while spending large periods of time doing so
- When it becomes a conflict with loved-ones and friends – e.g. arguments, lies, borrowing money etc
- If gambling continually occupies your thoughts, distracting you from your day-to-day life
- Worrying or feeling angry about upcoming events or previous losses
- Spending all your bankroll in search of regaining losses
- Wagering larger and larger amounts to experience the same thrill
If any of these points hit home, it’s probably time to take a look at some of the steps you can take to prevent or reduce your gambling. If you’re betting online, many casinos will offer self-exclusion tools which you can use to prevent you from being able to bet. Once this is activated, you will no longer be able to wager at that platform.
If you’re betting at a land-based establishment, try to limit the cash you take to something you can easily afford to lose with no problems. Furthermore, there are many websites on the internet which are dedicated to helping people with gambling problems, so be sure to use them at will!
The Industry Welcomes Barton’s Statement on His Gambling Issues
As gambling addiction continues to carry a negative tag, despite the progress that’s been made, Joey Barton’s statement about his troubles has been welcomed by many. While he is disappointed with the length of the ban (something he is contesting), he immediately admitted his betting activity and didn’t deny it was a concern.
I need to get help for my issues with gambling, and I will do so – Joey Barton
The chief executive of GambleAware, Marc Etches, personally commented on Barton’s case, saying: “We welcome Joey’s statement and hope his openness will be seen as an example others feel they can follow.” He concluded by stating: “admitting you have a gambling problem is an essential first step towards fixing it.”