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Today you can explore a new digital world while socialising with your friends, learning problem-solving skills, and working your imagination through online gaming.

 

It’s important to note, however, that the line between online gambling and gaming is rapidly blurring. Whether you are using a smartphone or computer, both games are accessible from the same device, and are visually stimulating. Recently, gaming platforms have begun to incorporate “gambling-like” elements, such as loot boxes, which some countries consider a form of gambling.

 

While this may be the new norm, it’s not without risks. Relationships and lives can be seriously affected by excessive player involvement. Understanding the risks of gaming and gambling is the first step. In this article we take a look at gaming and its links with gambling addiction

 

Video games

 

Video games are designed to be played continuously for as long as possible. The combination of graphics, colour, sound, and perception of skill, as well as 3D and VR graphics, contributes to the appeal.

 

Potential harm: Getting over-involved with a game can negatively affect a player’s physical and mental health, friendships and family relationships, and work or school performance.

 

There is the potential to gamble in video games, such as buying loot boxes with real money to earn random rewards. However, the odds of winning loot boxes are slim. A player’s judgement may also be affected by the anticipation and surprise factors. Researchers have found a correlation between loot box buying and problem gambling.

 

Online casino games

 

On social media platforms such as Facebook, social casino games are available for free and simulate gambling activities. There are various features and negative effects of these online games you need to be aware of.

 

Online social casino games are all around us and are easily accessible on many social networking sites, websites, apps, smartphones and tablets.

 

Potential harm:Due to their easy accessibility at no cost, these games have become extremely popular, but unfortunately they can introduce children and young adults into gambling very early on, which can then lead to gambling problems growing up.

 

Normalising gambling behaviour by mimicking traditional gambling is harmful. Exceptional payout rates and win probabilities give players a false sense of security.

 

Ways you can minimise the risks

 

  • Arrange your day by including other recreational activities along with gaming
  • Before you begin, decide how much time you will spend and stick to your schedule (wear a watch or set your phone alarm).
  • Take frequent breaks by getting out for a walk or doing another activity which will allow you time away from the screen. 
  • Get into the habit of winding down before bed and stay away from your electrical devices to help relax your brain.

 

There are many resources out there available to help if you are concerned about your own or a loved one’s gaming or gambling addiction. Get in touch with our team at Parkland Place to find out how we can help you in your recovery.