National KE-CIRT/CC Cybersecurity Best Practice Guide of The Week
In This Issue:
Online gambling addiction
ONLINE GAMBLING ADDICTION
Online gambling websites are among the fastest growing and most profitable businesses in Kenya today. The most popular gambling sites in Kenya include: SportPesa (https://www.sportpesa.com/), Betin (https://web.betin.co.ke/), 1xBet (https://1xbet.co.ke/), Betpawa (https://www.betpawa.co.ke/), ElitebetKenya (https://www.elitebetkenya.com/), M-Cheza (http://www.mcheza.co.ke/), BetYetu (https://betyetu.co.ke/), Betika.com (https://www.betika.com/) and Shabiki.com(https://www.shabiki.com/) among others.
Gamblers who don’t want to lose everything, yet want to enjoy the thrills, need to have a few rules they must stick to before they start gambling.
Set your limits - establish an amount they are willing to lose and not go beyond that limit.
Know when to stop - establish an amount of winnings at which they are committed to stop if they reach that level. This way, they can keep the winnings they have gained and not risk losing them, as that is bound to happen if they continue to gamble.
There’s a time for everything - set a specific time limit for playing and not go over it for any reason.
Take a break - avoid the temptation of continuously betting and playing which will eventually become addiction and is very easy to do on an online gaming site.
If a habitual gambler cannot commit to the tips above, there are softwares available to block access to all known online gaming sites. Someone else will have to set the password to unlock the software and ensure the habitual gambler cannot access online gaming sites.
People can play in the comfort of their own homes or offices, can play in secret, and can replicate the gaming excitement by playing in traditional casinos. Just as with traditional gambling, online gambling has many risks and can cause serious problems for those who gamble online. There are even some unique risks associated with online gambling not found in traditional gambling. The most serious one being addiction.
What are the warning signs?
Excessive gambling over the web is often called the “hidden addiction”. Unlike an addiction to alcohol or drugs, there are often few visible warning signs of this problem. However, the following red flags may indicate that you (or a loved one) have an online gambling problem:
Neglecting daily responsibilities (work, school, family) to play online.
Using Internet gambling to numb or avoid negative feelings such as anxiety, loneliness, or depression.
Lying about time spent playing and betting online.
Becoming moody when online access is not available or denied.
Having mood swings based on whether you’re winning or losing (e.g. you feel exhilarated when winning and dejected when losing).
Borrowing money to “win back” your previous gambling losses.
Taking early and unplanned withdrawals from your accounts or cashing in insurance policies.
Repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop your gambling behavior.
Stealing money from family or friends, or engaging in other types of criminal behavior to support your online gambling habit.
Thinking about or attempting suicide because of the stress and consequences of an internet gambling problem.
Is there treatment?
Like all addictions, an online gambling addiction is a very real condition. The consequences can be so serious that, according to one survey, more than 40% of gamblers said they’d attempted suicide because of their gambling behavior. It’s not enough to simply turn off the computer/phone or install software that blocks gambling sites.
If you have an online gambling addiction, you need treatment from professionals who are trained to help you manage it. Treatment may involve a variety of methods, such as counseling, to help you build a path towards recovery. There are support networks are another powerful tool to help those with an online gambling addiction. For example, you might attend regular meetings with a Gamblers Anonymous group as part of your recovery. Support groups allow members to share strengths and experiences with each other, which can help reduce the urge to play again. Since online gambling is a disorder that affects the whole family, your loved ones should consider attending therapy or a family-oriented support group.
Problem gambling is a progressive disorder that will not get better on its own — no matter how much you want to stop. Get the help you need today to stop your gambling behaviour by working with an addiction specialist. No matter how bleak your addiction may seem, there is hope for a successful recovery.