Oddspedia Responsible Gambling
One of our key commitments, and an integral part of enhancing the experience for sports fans around the world, is ensuring everyone who uses Oddspedia has access to the help and support they need to enjoy gambling responsibly.
Our work on responsible gambling starts with education on the risks associated with gambling and the psychological aspects of betting on sports. This work extends to helping you assess your own gambling activity and providing you with all the relevant resources and contacts available to you if you want to use them.
What is responsible gambling?
Responsible gambling is knowing that if you are to win money, it’s going to take a lot of time, effort, and energy to get there. You will also have to deal with bad luck and losses. It’s about knowing that the $5 to $50,000 winning parlays you see are far from the norm (they hit 0.01% of the time) and that professional bettors are in a very small minority. To put it bluntly, every gambler is searching for a win rate of 53%.
Control and discipline are important when it comes to responsible gambling. This relates to controlling the amount of money you invest into gambling, the amount of time you put in, and controlling the emotions associated with gambling.
Gambling and sports betting centers around risk and reward. This means there is a chance to win large sums of money. However, the flipside of that is the potential to lose a lot of money. The notion of “get rich quick” dominates the industry. How much hard work is required, and the luck needed along the way, to enjoy long-term success is often overlooked by the media and gamblers alike.
Therefore, if you are to gamble responsibly, you need to be clear on what your intentions are. If it is for entertainment, then your betting should never detract from that and stop you from enjoying a game. If you are betting to make a long-term profit, you need to be prepared to work hard to get there, and accept the variance and challenging times that will undoubtedly come.
If ever you are not in control of your gambling, or your betting activity moves beyond your initial intentions, you may develop some of the common issues highlighted below.
Problem gambling is when you are unable to control your impulses. This includes placing bets when you can’t afford to lose the money, spending time betting when you should be doing something else or lying to people about your betting activity.
Compulsive gambling is when you feel a constant urge and desire to gamble. The inability to resist this urge means you will likely become emotionally dependant on gambling and spend the majority of your time either gambling or thinking about gambling.
Binge gambling is similar to the issues highlighted above; it just tends to come in intense bouts rather than being consistently present. The outcomes may be the same due to your lack of control, but it will just happen over intermittent timeframes.
Another issue that is closely linked to those listed above; relief gambling is when you turn to gambling activity as a form of escape. While this can be a relief from the negative effects of gambling itself, it can also open yourself up to other issues with home or work life.
Why you should gamble responsibly
In short, if you can’t gamble responsibly then you shouldn’t gamble at all. If you are not gambling responsibly, it will have a severe negative impact on both your own life, and those around you. Below is a list of some of the negative effects of problem gambling.
- Reduced quality of life - experiencing a decrease in financial resources or leisure time
- Lack of social life - avoiding social interactions with friends or refraining from going out
- Physical ailments arising from excessive gambling and reduced physical activity
- Reliance on substances (alcohol or drugs) to deal with mental struggles associated with gambling
- Financial hardships - accumulating debts and struggling to meet essential financial obligations
- Relationship difficulties and household conflicts - including arguments with family and friends, or disagreements with partners due to financial challenges
- Involvement in criminal activities - while problem gambling itself does not make one a criminal, some individuals may resort to illegal actions to finance their gambling habits
- Unemployment or work-related challenges - engaging in gambling during work hours or missing work due to gambling, leading to job-related issues and potentially unemployment
Are you a responsible gambler?
If ever you are concerned that you may not be gambling responsibly, we would always advise that you contact some of the organizations listed below. You can also speak to a mental health professional to get support in assessing your gambling activity.
Something that might be useful before taking that step is answering the 10 questions listed below. If you are to learn anything, it is imperative that you answer them as honestly as possible.
- Do you frequently engage in gambling beyond your financial means?
- Do you find yourself wagering larger amounts of money to replicate the same level of excitement?
- Do you often continue gambling in an attempt to recover previous losses?
- Do you resort to borrowing money or selling possessions to fund your gambling activities?
- Does gambling induce stress, anxiety, or depression in your life?
- Has anyone close to you expressed concern about your gambling habits or suggested you might have a problem?
- Do your emotions influence your gambling behavior?
- Have you experienced any financial difficulties in your household as a result of gambling?
- Do you ever feel guilty about your gambling behavior?
- Is it difficult to stop gambling when you’re winning?
If you have answered yes to one or two of the questions above, it is probably worth thinking more about how in control you are of your betting activity and steps that can be taken to maintain control.
If you have answered yes to three or four of these questions, you should look for support to help evaluate your gambling activity more professionally and take necessary action.
Answering yes to five or more of these questions suggests you likely have a problem with gambling and should seek help immediately.
Support for responsible gambling
Having a gambling issue or addiction should not bring shame. Similar to how some individuals are prone to depression, certain people are more susceptible to addictive behaviors. In fact, acknowledging the problem and taking proactive measures to address it is commendable.
If you believe you are displaying signs of compulsive gambling or are at risk of developing such behavior, it is crucial to promptly consult your family physician or a community health organization. They can guide you toward the necessary support. Alternatively, contacting your local Gamblers Anonymous chapter is an excellent option. To find the nearest chapter, visit the Gamblers Anonymous website.
Responsible gambling contacts
National Council on Problem Gaming (NCPG):
National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG): https://www.icrg.org/
Gamblers Anonymous: https://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/
Gambling Therapy: https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/