You might not think it at first but gambling, and more specifically online gambling, can have both positive and negative impacts on your health. Whilst not as good for you as healthy food and exercise and nowhere near as detrimental as some other possible life choices, it’s important to be aware of the health benefits and drawbacks of online gambling before you make a deposit.
The Benefits of Gambling Online
Can Make You Happy!
According to research by the Behaviour Analysis and Therapy Program at Southern Illinois University, gambling, online and in person, can actually make people happier. When gambling responsibly, the ups and downs of the pastime cause our brains to release endorphins. This makes us feel good and reduce negative stress. Stress has been linked to all kinds of health issues. These include headaches, high blood pressure, and heart problems. Endorphins, like those causing the rush you feel when you take down a big hand at the poker table, are natural de-stressors!
Avoid the Bar!
If you’re wanting to enjoy a punt but are trying to avoid alcohol, a great way to go about it is to gamble online. Typically, at land-based casinos, the bars are well stocked and, if you’re a high-volume player, you’ll probably find that the establishment is pretty liberal with the liquor.
Perhaps your part way through a period of alcohol detox or maybe recovering from alcohol addiction, either way, the casino floor probably isn’t the best place you. You can still gamble at home by signing up to an online casino, though. This will help you to avoid ending up indulging in one, two, or maybe more, intoxicating beverages, as well as the detrimental impact they have on health.
Avoid the Junk Food!
Everyone needs to eat and mammoth sessions in a real-world casino likely mean junk food scoffed between hands at, or close to, the table. Although casinos often have great restaurants with lots of healthy food, to visit one requires a considerable break from the action. Most high-volume players will opt for the fried chicken, French fries, or a quick burger instead.
That’s not to say that you won’t eat junk food at home when playing online. It’s just much easier to avoid it in your own home. You can even take your phone or laptop with you into the kitchen whilst you knock up something less sodden in trans fats.
It’s Not Exactly Active
To gamble online these days, it’s likely that an individual will not even have to leave their bed in the morning. All they need to do is reach to their bedside table, pick their phone up, and load up their favourite online casino website. This is clearly not a healthy lifestyle!
The internet has made a lot of things easier for people. In fact, during a weekend, it’s entirely possible to not set foot outside until work on Monday morning. Takeaways or online grocery delivery services can provide the catering, paid for using a card payment, and entertainment can come from gambling applications. This likely means a lack of exercise and a lack of Vitamin D from the sun.
Of course, just having a punt every now and then on an online casino application isn’t going to damage your health in this way. However, it’s worth noting that a trip to a local casino involves at least some movement and social interaction – the latter being important for mental health.
Whether gambling at home online or gambling in a casino, there is always a risk of a good time going bad. For some people, compulsive gambling is a real risk and it can be incredibly detrimental to health.
Stress, as mentioned above, can be really bad for you. Losing a lot of money through gambling addiction can certainly be a trigger for stress too. If your losses start impacting the way you live your life, forcing you to miss rent payments, take out loans, or even skip eating, you definitely have a problem and need to seek out professional help.
More Stressful to Choose a Casino
Choosing a land-based casino is usually rather simple. Unless you’re in Las Vegas or Macau, there might only be a small handful near you. Online, it’s a more involved process. You have literally thousands of casinos right at your fingertips. Some of them are great and some of them, not so much.
For some people, the thought of being scammed by a shady online casino operation is so present in their mind that it actually stops them from signing up. This level of stress certainly isn’t healthy! Fortunately, there are some solutions. One of the easiest ways to reduce the stress of choosing the wrong casino is to always consult and play at online casinos recommended by an unbiased site.
Screens, Sleep, and Eye Damage
Experts tend to agree that overuse of digital devices before bedtime is bad for humans’ sleep cycles. The bright lights and activity on screen have been linked to overstimulation of the brain when it’s time for it to wind down. This is particularly relevant to gambling. Not only are there plenty of bright lights and activity on most modern slot machines, the games are literally designed to promote excitement.
Some wise advice to save your eyes.
At a brick-and-mortar casino, you have to travel to and from the venue. The trip home after playing will give your brain chance to relax after the lights, sounds, and action of the casino floor. If you lie in bed spinning the reels for an hour at 11pm, don’t be surprised if it’s gone 2am by the time you drift off!
Screens, or more specifically the blue light they produce, have also been linked to eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision. This is another potential drawback of playing your favourite casino games online.
More Difficult to Control Compulsion Online
As mentioned, gambling addiction can cause an individual to suffer immense stress. This is detrimental to a person’s long-term health. Thanks to online and mobile casinos, gambling addicts now have a fully-functioning casino in their pocket at all times. It’s literally never been easier to break a gambling abstinence.
Granted, online casinos do have self-exclusion policies and various safeguards to help casino users. However, these are reactionary measures and require the individual to have already admitted that they have a problem and for them have contacted the gambling venue to request that they be excluded. A gambling addict chasing a big enough loss that it impacts their health may be unlikely to go down this route for a long time, or before someone else intervenes on their behalf.