The Helping Hands Program

Internet Gambling Consumers and Operators

The IGC is aware of the potential danger that is gambling addiction and has developed a program in order to assist players who may be suffering, as well as players who may be at risk.

The Helping Hands Program has been developed to provide players with information about gambling addiction and how to gamble responsibly, as well as giving resources to help those who believe that they may have a problem. Information on this subject can be found in the Beginner Player Guide, and players are encouraged to peruse this before they begin playing online.

The Helping Hands Program has several main focus points:

  • Responsible Gaming: This section gives players an idea as to how to keep gambling a fun and enjoyable experience
  • Risks Associated with Gambling: This area focuses on making players aware of signs of a potential gambling addiction, recognizing risky gambling behaviors, as well as providing an assessment players can give themselves.
  • Addressing Gambling Concerns: This important section is where players can find resources to get help for a gambling addiction for themselves or others.
  • Parent Resources: This section gives parents insight on how to prevent children from gaining access to online gambling sites, as well as the information needed to educate children on the risks that may come with gambling.
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Responsible Gambling

Gambling is a form of entertainment, and that is how it should be perceived. There are a few simple ways to make sure that this remains a fun and entertaining experience. First off, players must recognize a few realistic expectations of online gambling, as well as what risky gambling behavior may be, and what they can do to stop that from happening.

Realistic Expectations

  • Gambling is not a source of income, it is merely another form of entertainment
  • Players must be equipped with the knowledge that losing money is just part of the game, and that it will happen
  • Make the realization that if a player keeps playing just to try and win back what they have already lost, they will end up creating a bigger deficit rather than profit
  • Players should educate themselves in the odds of winning for various games, as well as the rules for each game they are going to play

Creating Good Gambling Habits

  • Money used to gamble should be money that is dedicated for entertainment, and should not be money that is needed elsewhere
  • Players should never borrow money to gamble with
  • Players should take breaks periodically as they are playing
  • Players should set a time limit to gamble, and stick to it
  • In addition, players should have a monetary limit as to how much they can gamble with
  • Players should participate in other forms of entertainment and recreation outside of gambling
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Risks Associated With Gambling

Gambling and risk are synonymous. All those who are considering gambling should know exactly what the risks are, as well as recognizing when something is very low risk, and how quickly it can escalate to a problem.

Financial risks are not the only cause for concern; gambling can also affect personal relationships with friends and family, as well as problems in school or work. Health issues may also be a cause for concern. Gambling problems do not discriminate based on age, race, social status, or gender. Gambling problems can affect anyone, anytime.

Here are a few warning signs players should watch out for, for both gambling problems, as well as risky gambling practices.

Risky Gambling Practices Warning Signs

  • Trying to win back money lost by gambling more
  • Gambling to try to solve financial trouble
  • Players that borrow money from others in order to gamble more
  • Gambling with money that has been set aside to pay for bills, rent, or other important things
  • Gambling as a way to escape from problems or life
  • Gambling when feeling anxiety or if suffering from depression
  • Choosing to gamble while drunk or on drugs
  • Failing to show up to previous engagements to gamble instead

Risky Ways of Thinking Associated with Gambling

  • Players having the belief that they have control over the outcome of a game
  • Players believing that it is their turn to win
  • Having the belief that if they play long enough, they will start winning instead of losing more
  • Players feeling regret or guilt over gambling
  • Feeling that gambling can solve a player’s financial problems

How to Recognize a Gambling Problem

  • Players cannot gain control over how much time they spend gambling, or how much money is wagered
  • Players get irritable if they attempt to control their gambling by stopping gambling as much, or altogether
  • A player’s debt increases, bills go unpaid, or other financial problems may occur as a result of gambling
  • Player experiences mood swings based on how much they may have won or lost
  • Player experiences problems with productivity at work, as well as attendance because of gambling. Player may also find themselves unemployed as a result
  • Players find themselves participating in illegal activities in order to gamble more or to cover any debts that may incur as a result of gambling
  • Fighting with friends and family due to gambling
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Self-Assessment Survey

Below is a simple test that players can give themselves in order to determine their gambling problem risk level. This test is not an official diagnosis for a problem, and should not be used as a replacement for a professional evaluation by someone trained in this field.

This test is based off previous year’s responses and players should answer honestly to each question with either ‘Never’, ‘Sometimes’, ‘Most of the Time’, or ‘Almost Always’. Scores are totaled at the end of the questionnaire by adding up the numerical value associated with each response.

Never = 0, Sometimes = 1, Most of the Time = 2, Almost Always = 3

In the past 12 months have you….

  • Wagered an amount that cuts into normal living expenses? 0 1 2 3
  • Felt the need to raise the financial stakes in your gambling to catch the same kind of feeling you once felt? 0 1 2 3
  • Continue to gamble another day in order to try to chase the money you lost? 0 1 2 3
  • Borrow funds or have had to sell something to get funds to gamble? 0 1 2 3
  • Felt as if you possibly have a severe issue with stopping gambling? 0 1 2 3
  • Felt as if gambling has caused you any health problems, including stress or anxiety? 0 1 2 3
  • Have people criticizing your gambling or telling you that you have a problematic gambling habit, regardless of your counter opinion? 0 1 2 3
  • Feel your gambling has been the cause of financial strife for yourself or the household? 0 1 2 3
  • Feel guilty about how you wager funds or what happens when you are gambling? 0 1 2 3
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  • Non-Problem Gambling (Score of 0): If you have received this score, there are no negative consequences that have been identified as a result of how you have been gambling.
  • At-Risk Gambling (Score of 1 to 2): If you have this score, you most likely have not received any consequences from gambling, but may want to evaluate how much you gamble, or if you start experiencing any of the risk factors below.
  • Moderate Gambling Problems (Score of 3 to 7): If you have received this score, your gambling may starting to impact your life in a negative way. Gambling should be closely monitored, especially if you have experienced any of the risk factors featured in the next section.
  • Severe Gambling Problems (Score of 8 to 27): If you are a player that has received this score, you currently are having problems control how much you wager and how often that you gamble, and are experiencing consequences in your life as a result. A higher score may also indicate that you have a more severe problem and are experiencing more risk factors. If you find yourself in this category, you should look into speaking to a professional.
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Risk Factors

  • Players believing that they have control over the outcome of a game
  • Players believing that a win is ‘owed’ to them
  • Players who have a history of drug, gambling, or alcohol problems, or who have family members that do
  • Players with a history of or are currently experiencing anxiety, stress, or depression
  • Players that tend to deal with negative feeling by substance abuse or by gambling
  • Players that have impulsive tendencies
  • Players experiencing financial problems
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