Gambling or games of chance are leisure activities that generate a space for entertainment and socializing and have accompanied the human being throughout history. In Catalonia, there are a number of different types of gambling, including lotteries, casino games, bingo and slot machines with jackpots.
Although most people approach games of chance responsibly, gambling without limits can lead to serious problems for gamblers and their home and social environments.
For this reason, the Catalan Government’s Department of Home Affairs, Institutional Relations and Participation has joined forces with the gambling industry to promote the Responsible Gambling Program. The aim of this initiative is to promote a new gambling culture, where the activity is approached as a means of entertainment with affordable limits. The Catalan Government is also working within the scope of the healthcare field to offer support to people with gambling addictions.
DO YOU KNOW HOW TO KEEP YOUR GAMBLING UNDER CONTROL?
The essential ingredient for gambling to become excessive is the loss of control over the activity. This occurs when the gambler spends too much money or devotes more time to gambling than he/she can afford.
The questions in the questionnaire offered here will help you find out whether you or someone in your family or social circle has a problem due to the way he/she gambles.
ADVICE FOR RISK-FREE GAMBLING
Here are a few practices that form part of Responsible Gambling:
- Establish a gambling budget for yourself before you start to play and don’t go beyond your set limit. This budget must form part of your leisure and entertainment expenses, and must never, under any circumstance, come from the money allocated to your daily living expenses.
- Never ask for or borrow money to use for gambling.
- Set a time limit and take frequent breaks when gambling.
- Never go to gamble if you feel depressed or if you need to forget about your everyday problems.
- Preferably, gamble in a group and use it as a fun and social activity.
- Do not try to win back money you have lost when gambling. You must accept that losing money forms part of the game. Gambling more does not mean that you will win.
Do you think that a friend or someone in your family has a gambling problem?
Below are a number of helpful guidelines:
- Talk to the gambler and have a family member or friend come with you. Choose the best moment, for example when the gambler expresses remorse about his gambling.
- This person may not realize that he has a problem. Therefore, it is important for you to be understanding and tolerant when talking to him.
- Keep the focus of attention on the excessive gambling behavior and not on the person himself.
- Get the person to see the impact his actions on his family and friends. Get him to see how the consequences of his addiction affect the people around him.
- Speak with a mental health specialist, who will be able to guide you.
- Remember that changes take time. The gambling addict may relapse a number of times before successfully overcoming his problem. Support him every step of the way towards recovery.
- For the purpose of brevity, the masculine gender is used here to designate both men and women.
The Department of Home Affairs, Institutional Relations and Participation has a registry where you can ban yourself from entering bingos, casinos and gaming halls. You can ask to be included in this registry, at the following addresses:
- General Directorate of Gambling and Entertainment
- Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 639
- 08010 Barcelona
- Tel. 93 316 20 00