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Help For Fruit Machine Addiction

Mar 30, 2008
Playing fruit machines is fun and for most people provides an enjoy experience as long as the personal financial risks are minimal. The majority of fruit machine players are well able to keep the correct balance between having fun and managing the risks, but for a small number of people this form of gambling can become a big problem. Their life can be dominated by the need to play fruit machine games well beyond their financial means.

Problem gamblers will continue to play fruit machines whether they are winning or losing. Often they will use their own and other people's money to fund their addiction. Their family life, jobs and other interests will suffer as a consequence. Someone who thinks they have a gambling problem should ask themselves the following questions...

* Have you ever lose time from work or education because you are gambling?
* Do you gamble to pay off debts?
* Do you feel you must return to a fruit machine as soon as possible to win back losses?
* Have you ever gambled until all your money is gone?
* Do you borrow money to fund your gambling?
* Have you ever committed or considered committing a crime to fund your gambling?
* Do you ever neglect your family and friends to continue gambling?

Most compulsive gamblers will answer YES to at least FOUR of these questions; fruit machine gambling problems are more common than many other types of gambling addiction. The perceived view is that fruit machines are on the softer side of gambling and as such are licensed in the UK at locations where you wouldn't normally be allowed to gamble, most pubs will have at least two fruit machines on the premises and motorway service stations can have up to 20 different machines on site. You will also come across machines in bookmakers, high street arcades, airports and on ferries.

This availability of fruit machines makes it very difficult for those with a problem to avoid them in everyday life. Until very recently you could also find them in fast food outlets and taxi offices! Recently the law has been change and the number of venues allowed to install fruit machines has been reduced.

The Government says it wants to protect the most vulnerable from the dangers of gambling but they seem naive about the threat posed by fruit machines. Category D slots and fruit machines are often the first rung on the problem gambling ladder that and is often associated with drug use, crime and academic failure. It is extremely short-sighted to cling to the view that these slot machines are acceptable because they do not cost much to play. You can lose large amounts of money very quickly.

For some, the dangers of fruit machines will only grow as the liberalization of casinos provides young people with more opportunities to gamble with higher stakes and for bigger jackpots.

If you feel that your fruit machine gambling is becoming a problem there are a number for organizations out there to help you. In the UK GamCare is the national centre for information, advice and practical help regarding the social impact of gambling. GamCare runs a helpline manned by trained staff. They can offer counseling, information and advice to problem gamblers, family members and friends of a gambler. You can call the helpline from the UK on 0845 6000 133. You can also find support and help at gamblers anonymous, which runs support groups in many UK cities. If you need help from them you can call the National gamblers anonymous on helpline support number: 020 7384 3040.

If you are unsure to the seriousness of your gambling problem then you can take an online test at the GamCare UK website.
About the Author
Paul Eddison invites you to learn more about Fruit Machines online.
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