Not so long ago, slots were viewed as the second-class citizens of casino games. Jackpots were low and payout percentages were poor so most people gave them a wide berth. But the gambling industry has changed dramatically in recent years and slot machines are now the biggest ticket in town, offering plenty of drama and some of the biggest rewards. Nevertheless, as with many other things in life, overindulgence can be dangerous. Thus, let’s look at some of the harmful effects of overconsumption.
Due to the ubiquity of the smartphone, gambling addiction can occur quickly with slot machines. Since online gambling is anonymous, and slots can be played pretty much any time and any place, experts believe that people can become addicted to them up to three times faster than with other types of gambling. Furthermore, according to Addiction.com, around 5% of people who gamble online develop an addiction. Thus, roughly one in every 20 people is in danger. In the UK, the Gambling Commission believes that around 430,000 people are currently experiencing difficulties with gambling. And because gambling addiction often leads to job losses and financial devastation, slot users need to be very careful.
Spending too much time on slot machines can also wreak havoc with your health. Marc Etches, head of the GambleAware charity, maintains that gambling “is a serious public health issue in Britain with two million adults suffering some level of gambling-related harm…” According to the NHS, there’s increasing evidence of a link between problem gambling and stress, depression and other mental health issues. In addition, slot players have been known to lose themselves in a ‘machine zone’ while playing. In other words, slot machines can affect bodily sensations and users sometimes enter into a trance, losing track of time and their surroundings. To make matters worse, they also may find it hard to sleep and concentrate.
Finally, excessive slot machine use causes relationship problems. Slot machine addicts often borrow money from those closest to them and rarely pay it back. In addition, because they spend so much time playing slots, they’ve very little free time and thus are often missing when friends, partners and children need them most. Consequently, loved ones often feel hurt, neglected or ashamed. What’s more, they may not wish to be physically or emotionally close with the person who is upsetting them. This serves to isolate addicts even more and can result in strained or broken relationships.
Even though many people play slots online responsibly, the pastime can prove seriously addictive, be detrimental to health and harm relationships. Therefore, ask the people you love to help monitor your usage rates and if you discover that you’re spending too much time or money on slots, or are neglecting daily responsibilities such as work and your family, stop playing and seek professional help immediately.