Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Twenty Questions

Are you a problem gambler? Twenty questions for you.

1. Did you ever lose time from work or school due to gambling?
2. Has gambling ever made your home life unhappy?
3. Did gambling affect your reputation?
4. Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
5. Did you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or otherwise solve financial difficulties?
6. Did gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
7. After losing did you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
8. After a win did you have a strong urge to return and win more?
9. Did you often gamble until your last dollar/pound was gone?
10. Did you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
11. Have you ever sold anything to finance gambling?
12. Were you reluctant to use "gambling money" for normal expenditures?
13. Did gambling make you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
14. Did you ever gamble longer than you had planned?
15. Have you ever gambled to escape worry, trouble, boredom or loneliness?
16. Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
17. Did gambling cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
18. Do arguments, disappointments or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
19. Did you ever have an urge to celebrate any good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
20. Have you ever considered self destruction or suicide as a result of your gambling?

Those questions were probably conceived long before betting exchanges, and some of those questions are rather vague, (Number 14: Yes, the game went to overtime), but you get the idea. If you answered yes to any of them, then apparently you "might" have a problem. Three or more, and you are a problem gambler.

If you are a problem gambler, you will think differently from other people about your betting. You will tend to believe that:

■you are more likely to win than you would expect by chance
■in a game with random numbers, like roulette, certain numbers are more likely to come up than others
■winning twice in a row means that you are on a 'winning streak' – so you bet larger and larger sums
■you are more likely to win at a game of chance if you are familiar with it
■certain rituals can bring you luck
■having lost, you can somehow win back your losses by gambling more.
Speaking of which, I was reading the other day of someone who said
"Sometimes I wish I had my old Betfair account back again, but unfortunately I have been banned. Remember that old Betfair slogan "Betfair don't ban Winners". You don't hear it any more."
What the person in question failed to mention is that they banned themselves! Betfair are simply doing what they were asked to do. They don't (yet) ban winners, but they do ban losers who ask to be banned. Seems responsible enough to me.


Anonymous said...

Oh dear! I wonder how many people reading the quetions can honestly hand on heart say that they can't answer yes to 3 or more. I'm astounded as to how many i answered yes to. Hence my anonymity, right off to go and trade the afternoon horses :-)

Anonymous said...

I think anyone who has a bet more than say once a week and don't answer yes to at least 10 of those questions they're lying.

Laurie said...

The second set, converted to questions, is a far better indicator.

The first set is more "have you learnt to avoid these traps" even then, unless you are a machine/perfect you'll still fall into 3 or more if you're only human