With the rate of online gambling in Ghana rising all the time, gambling addiction is also increasing proportionately.
Gambling addiction is a condition whereby an individual is unable to resist the urge to gamble, leading to adverse personal and social effects.
Of course, gambling is not new in Ghana. Our fathers and forefathers have been doing it since pre-independence, but it was nowhere near the level at which it is today.
A big difference between then and now is the improving technological state of the country, which has arguably been the major catalyst in the surge in online betting activities in Ghana.
Ghanaians now have easy access to mobile phones and the internet, and can therefore visit online gambling sites almost at will. With just a click of a few buttons on the phone, they can open a betting account, deposit some money and place a sports bet.
When you marry the erroneous belief that betting brings easy money with the poor economic situation of the country, you get a clear understanding of why betting has been a big deal in Ghana over the last decade.
Ghanaian youths are not the most patient beings out there. They want to get rich very quickly, and many see gambling as their way into the big time.
Unfortunately for them, sports betting is not as straightforward as that. While it is possible to win a lot of money from sports betting- that has been done many times before- statistics have shown that most bettors end up losing more money than they win.
Gambling has more to do with luck, than knowledge or research.
Irresponsible betting can lead to many serious problems. It can spiral into other aspects of one’s life, and affect finances, relationships and also mental and physical health. The best way to overcome gambling addiction is to have a change of mindset towards gambling.
It should be seen primarily as a source of entertainment, and not as a means to make money. Like the popular slogan says; “When the fun stops, stop”.
Regardless of how good a bettor you think you are or how certain your bet looks on paper, you must understand that your fate is completely out of your hands.
If you have incurred heavy losses, you need to accept your losses and move on. One of the golden rules of gambling is that you should never go chasing after your losses. If you do, you are only likely to sink deeper into the problem. Take a break, regroup, and start all over again when you are stable.
Admittedly, this change in mindset is easier said than done, but you have to start from somewhere, and understand that it is a process. Getting out of gambling addiction may take several days, or even weeks.
There are several problem gambling sites and organisations that provide counselling for gambling addicts. You can visit any of them if you feel you need external help.
The best betting sites in Ghana also have their own anti-addiction programs to assist users in controlling their gambling activities.
Signing up on such programs helps you keep tabs and make sure things do not spiral out of control. For example, you can set your spending limits to gain control over your betting expenditure.
One other thing you can do to tackle addiction is to find new ways to have fun, or dig into the past to rekindle some of your old pastimes.
If you can implement the recommendations above, then you would have taken big steps in your quest to overcome gambling addiction.
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