Bitcoin Gambling Addiction
Bitcoin has changed the way people think about exchanging money for good and services. It has also opened up vast possibilities for spending money online. Some of these possibilities are good, but there is also the shadow of the Dark Web where individuals can use Bitcoin to do all kinds of things they would rather others didn’t know about.
One of the most popular ways to use Bitcoin in our present society is for online gambling. Many online casinos have begun accepting Bitcoin as a form of deposit. Many players like the fact that they can achieve a form of anonymity when gambling online with Bitcoin. Using the digital token can even make it possible for players in jurisdictions like the US to have access to online casino gambling, horse betting, and sports wagering.
While there is nothing inherently wrong with online gambling, for some individuals it can become a problem. This problem may be compounded when a gambling addict uses Bitcoin to fund their online casino account. Because it is a digital currency with no physical existence, many people cannot psychologically process the true monetary value of a Bitcoin token. They tend to think of it as imaginary money, and this can sometimes be an issue for the individual with a gambling problem.
Bitcoin and Online Gambling
There are some statistics that say more than 80 % of the Bitcoin exchanged today is used for online gambling. The online casinos are certainly aware of this fact, and they market accordingly. Players are promised huge bonuses when they make a deposit with Bitcoin. Online casinos regularly compete with one another to offer the best promotions in an effort to gain new players.
Bitcoin seems to be a cryptocurrency that was made for online gambling. It can be used anonymously, to a certain extent, and it also creates no paper trail for anyone to follow. What this means is that a problem gambler has a much easier time hiding their online gambling activity from a spouse of loved one. The gambler can fly under the radar without being caught for a long period of time.
There are many people that purchased Bitcoin when it was in its infancy. Recent years have seen the value of the token skyrocket. Those who invested a very small amount in the beginning have suddenly found themselves with a small fortune, and some of them have turned to online gambling. Perhaps they played with cash before. The use of Bitcoin may not seem real to them because they are not actively involved in spending the currency. With it just sitting there, the gambler rationalizes that they might as well deposit it at an online casino.
All of these things add up to a perfect storm for someone with a gambling addiction. The sad thing is that soon the Bitcoin will run out, and what will the player do then? They will be tempted to purchase more Bitcoin for the purposes of gambling, or they will return to using cash to fund their gaming accounts. Left unchecked, the Bitcoin gambler can soon find themselves in a hole that is far to hard to escape.
The Impact of Bitcoin Gambling Addiction
Ray is an online gambler from the US. He has been playing online casino games for real money for several years. Ray mostly played online poker until the US closed all such poker sites a few years back. Then he went looking for other online gambling options. There were only a few online casinos at the time which were accepting US players.
Within a short period of time, Ray had put his family in a serious financial crisis. His wife discovered the credit card statements and Ray was forced to confront his gambling addiction. He sought help for the problem, and for a while he was okay.
Ray has always been a fan of technology, and he works in IT. Becoming an early adopter of Bitcoin came natural to him. He bought almost 50 of the tokens when they were valued at around $200 each, watched them sink again, and then saw them skyrocket in late 2017. At the same time, online casino ads were something Ray would see on various cryptocurrency websites. These casinos were welcoming US players. Even better, they were accepting Bitcoin as a form of deposit.
Ray made his first Bitcoin gambling deposit in early 2018. He was amazed to see his account credited with more money than he had ever wagered with cash. He resolved himself to take it slow and easy, but within a few months all of his Bitcoin had become the property of the casino. With his addiction taking hold, Ray returned to making credit card deposits. He was discovered again, and this time his wife was not so understanding. She ended their marriage and left Ray to fend for himself.
Sadly, this kind of story is all to common in the world of Bitcoin gambling addiction. Players with this kind of problem find themselves unable to control their gambling urges, and using a form of currency that cannot be held in one’s hand only seems to make it worse.
The Psychological Side of Bitcoin Gambling Addiction
There is a tendency for individuals to view Bitcoin as something akin to the money one uses in a game of Monopoly. Because it has no physical existence it is somehow less real. The problem gambler rationalizes that because Bitcoin is not “real” money there is no problem to speak of. This is a dangerous attitude that makes the problem gambler even looser with the money they gamble away.
A player that has no problem when gambling with cash may suffer the same fate as Ray when gambling with Bitcoin. They cannot make themselves assign value to the token, even though they have paid money to purchase it from a cryptocurrency exchange or an individual. For them, using Bitcoin to gamble is no different than playing on a free casino site that provides players with an imaginary bankroll.
Some might argue that cashing out winnings would make the value of Bitcoin real, and that is probably true. But for the problem gambler there is no joy in cashing out. There is only the greedy pursuit of bigger wins. The problem gambler doesn’t feel alive unless they are losing. They are addicted to the chase of riches that never come. Once they have lost, the rationale becomes that they must try to recoup their losses by gambling more. This leads to even more losses and the whole thing becomes a vicious cycle.
Seeking Help for a Bitcoin Gambling Addiction
Those who have experienced this kind of problem should definitely seek help for their addiction. There are counselors and treatment programs which can assist someone in gambling addiction recovery. If you or someone you love has a Bitcoin gambling problem, do not wait until it is too late to seek help. There is an end to the madness. All one must be willing to do is try.