Gambling is ubiquitous in Nevada. Beyond the hundreds of casinos throughout the Silver State, residents and tourists can legally gamble in bars, taverns, supermarkets, gas stations, and more.
It’s easy to lose control when gambling and it’s also important to know when to stop. After all, gambling should be another form of entertainment. Unfortunately, it can also be an addictive form of entertainment that can turn into a disease for some.
This isn’t a one-sided issue. Gamblers want to be able to enjoy their hobby so it’s important to gamble responsibly. Meanwhile, gaming operators don’t want to see their customers suffer an addiction.
Knowing when there’s a problem is half the battle. This will help identify problem gambling and sources for those who think there might be an issue.
Understanding responsible gambling
Responsible gambling is about betting for fun and entertainment. Gambling can turn into a problem when players begin spending beyond what they can afford.
It’s important for gamblers to remember this and keep tabs on how much they’re spending. This will allow the gambler to enjoy their hobby for all of the entertainment value it can offer while staying within their limits.
Responsible gambling is a fairly simple concept but it’s easy to get lost in the rush. Here are some things to keep in mind when gambling:
- Set a gambling budget and stick to it
- Keep track of spending in order to stay on budget
- Have win and loss limits (this keeps money won in hand and helps limit losses)
- Don’t chase losses
- Take a break when the plays are going the wrong way
Understanding problem gambling
Gambling is a fun hobby for many in Nevada. However, it can become an addiction to drugs or alcohol.
Problem gambling can occur in a number of ways. There could be a problem when gambling as a hobby turns into a job where a player needs to win money.
The impact of this need to win can outweigh the fun of the hobby and cause financial and mental problems. This can spiral into riskier gambling, creating debt, and could turn a hobby into a compulsive gambling problem.
It can be helpful to know the signs that gambling is becoming a problem. Here are some things to keep in mind to consider to help diagnose if someone might be heading down the road to problematic gambling:
- Is gambling the only thing on their mind?
- Does gambling remain a fun hobby?
- Is gambling only fun when they’re playing limits above their means?
- Do they hide gambling losses?
- Are they only gambling to recoup previous losses?
- Is money always tight?
- Are they selling personal items so they can continue gambling?
- Are they committing crimes just to have money for gambling?
- Have they become moody, sad, unstable, or irritable because of gambling?
Keeping an eye on one another can help keep gambling as a fun form of entertainment. There are plenty of problem gambling resources available in Nevada.
Self-exclusion and self-limits in Nevada
In Nevada, gamblers can use self-limit and self-exclusion to keep their gambling in control. Each can be helpful in different ways.
Self-exclusion: Anyone who feels as though they are on the way to a gambling problem can ask a casino to add them to a self-exclusion program. This will ban the person from making specific requests to participate in gambling activities at a particular casino or casino chain. The program will last for a year before a person can request to gamble at the casino(s) again.
Self-limit: This program will allow someone to continue gambling but it will be more difficult to gain access to spending money. Additionally, all marketing from a casino will be eliminated. The self-limit program will not allow someone the ability to use markers and deposit money to use at a casino. They’ll also be removed from marketing mail lists and won’t receive perks or benefits from rewards programs.
Both can be helpful depending on the severity of the possible gambling problem.
Responsible and problem gambling resources in Nevada
Nevada has ample resources for anyone interested in learning more about responsible gambling practices or getting help for problem gambling. The Nevada Gaming Control Board and Gambling Commission is a good starting point.
Nevada’s gaming regulators recommend the following national resources for those who think they might have a problem with gambling.
Gamblers Anonymous is a national organization of men and women who share their individual experiences, strength, and hope with others to help others recover from a gambling problem. The direct phone number for Gamblers Anonymous in Las Vegas is (702) 655-8184.
Gam-Anon is a website that provides information about problem gambling and its financial and emotional effects on the families and loved ones of gamblers.
National Council On Problem Gambling has the goal of serving as the national advocate for programs and services to assist people and families affected by problem gambling.
There are also numerous local problem gambling options in Nevada.
National Council On Problem Gambling Nevada offers direct links to local and national problem gambling resources for Nevada.
Nevada Council is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to generate awareness, promote education and advocate for quality treatment and support resources for problem gambling in Nevada.
Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health exists to improve the public health of Nevadans through a comprehensive system of programs and services that reduce the impact of problem gambling.
Many Nevada casinos offer direct links to responsible gaming pages via their websites for anyone that might be in need.