For some people, gambling is an entertaining pastime, and they can deal with the dangers involved. However, if gambling determines the everyday life of the player*s, a gambling addiction may be present. According to the Federal Center for Health Education (BZgA), about half a million adults in Germany exhibit problematic to pathological gambling behavior. Participation in games of chance is prohibited for minors. Even the accompaniment or guidance by adults does not change this prohibition.
Caution: Gambling can be addictive
Examples of gambling are the classic casino games – such as poker, blackjack, roulette – or the colorful slot machines. Lottery tickets, lotteries, bingo and sports betting are also included. They can all be addictive. The addictive potential of gambling is determined by several factors:
Availability: the easier your access to gambling, the greater your risk of becoming addicted.
Gambling duration and frequency: Gambling duration refers to the interval between the stake and the gambling result as well as the possible payout of winnings. The shorter a game lasts, the more games you can play in a given period of time.
Design: Light, sound and colour effects can really cast a spell over you. That’s why the colourful and loud slot machines have a particularly high addictive potential.
Fast wins: Close is also over. Fast wins mean a financial loss. However, they are often seen as positive by players. The more often you lose, the stronger your conviction can become that you have to win the next time (purely statistically). And the more you have lost, the stronger the urge to win back the lost money can become.
Advertising: Positively designed advertising can promise you fun and wealth and entice you unintentionally or unplanned to gamble.
Illusion of control: Especially athletes and sports experts can be of the opinion that their expert knowledge can calculate the correct betting result. This fallacy can also arise with poker. It is similar with slot machines, where you supposedly only have to press the buttons at the right time to win.
Participation in online gambling is illegal and punishable by law
Online gambling, in contrast to classic games of chance, is organized or mediated by Internet services and played via computer, tablet, smartphone or similar devices. All of the above-mentioned games of chance are now also offered online. In addition, there are games of chance on social networks, gambling apps, betting on the outcome of video games and more.
Online gambling: readily available and little controlled
The risks that exist in classic gambling can be multiplied online. There are several reasons for this such as:
Easier availability: Gambling sites on the Internet are accessible around the clock. There are no blackout periods. Almost every household in Germany now has Internet access. Many people have the option of accessing the Internet at any time via their smartphones, even when they are on the move.
More interactive gaming: Gambling can easily(er) be made live and interactive on the Internet. With sports betting, for example, you can place bets while the game is still in progress. Among other things, the results of other games or unforeseen events such as injuries to players can also be included.
Lack of social control: If you gamble from home, you may not have people around you to set limits. Time and money can be quickly gambled away without you really realizing it.
Cashless wagers: Whether it’s a credit card, PayPal, or direct debit – if you don’t have to take your money.