It's often the case we don't realise we have a problem until it is too late.
Gambling is a fine example.
I have been gambling for decades and appreciate that gambling without discipline is a recipe for disaster. Why am I good at gambling? Because I don't like gambling. It sounds a contradiction in terms. You may well say: ''Why don't you stop betting?''
The reason is that I make money from gambling and my expertise within this subject has led me to make money from websites just like this. I can tell you something, if I started losing money, I would stop.
And that's the problem for most people who become addicted to gambling. They only find out they have a problem when they try to stop. It is true that certain people are susceptible to addiction. I'm not sure of the psychological make-up or how it works but it is a fact. If it isn't gambling, it will most likely be something else.
That is why people should question their actions. Gambling isn't the fun package that all the adverts try to exclaim.
Gambling, in my opinion, shouldn't be fun. It's a business. Bookmakers don't lay bets to be part of the party. Let's have a buzz and bet on a horse, dog race, whatever...
I believe in the future, just as advertising for smoking was banned the same will happen with gambling. The effect this will have on the gambling industry would be significant and may be the final nail in the coffin of the sport as we know it. That is why we see all this advertising as an aside of the advertising to gamble (don't gamble). As the adverts say: ''When the fun stops - stop!''
I really do look at this type of ''concern'' in a cynical way. Why? Because very few bookmakers will tell a gambler who loses their shirt to stop. I remember watching a TV programme about a bookmakers/gambler and a compulsive gambler losing all his money, cracking up and attacking a fixed-odds betting terminal (which chewed through his money in a flash) and then suggesting he shouldn't gamble when he had lost all his money. I thought it was particularly cruel and patronising.
Clearly, companies have a responsibility to a point. But when their business is to make money, are they going to draw the line? It will be at a point when the gambler has little left to lose. So they can ''seemingly'' smugly justify they are doing the right thing. It is truly a callous act of self-interest. Sickening.
I do think each and every potential gambler needs to think about what they are doing before they do it.
Gambling isn't fun or a game whatever the adverts say.
I've never seen an advert that tells the truth.
It's a positive spin on propaganda. They pay huge sums of money to spin a yarn within the guideline which allows.
There is no easy money to be made gambling. The only way you can win is by making it your profession and a full-time job. If you haven't got 10,000 hours to learn your trade (just to start) and 40 - 60 hours a week to study, invest and learn many lessons along the way. Please don't fool yourself into thinking it is a laugh, easy or you can somehow ''magically'' be better than all those before you. We live in a competitive world. Everything, where you can make money, is competitive. You are playing with fire if you think the layers are an easy target.
You should always be careful of anyone who offers you a bet. They do so because they think you are the prey. When you bet you do it for one reason, that you are looking at the layer and saying: ''I know something you don't know.''
If you wouldn't sit down with a random person to play chess for £1,000 then don't bet with a bookie.
You may think I'm being all nonsensical about gambling. However, like your naivety, if you have no understanding of gambling, you will learn a hard lesson. It may be a lesson that destroys your life and those around you.
It is estimated that several hundred men commit suicide every year because of problem gambling.
Be responsible and consider why you want to gamble and then keep asking why, why, why to each answer.
If you want to bet to make easy money - then you'd be better off spending your time taking a degree and improving your job chances.
If you want to bet for a buzz - then you simply need to question your thinking.
Never, ever, bet for fun.