Online casino gaming has seen a recent boom. Some of the largest casino businesses in the world have invested billions to buy up online venues, also referred to as social casino games. Projections indicate that the industry will continue expanding rapidly as people become more comfortable with the idea of playing online games.
Just like in the world of real casinos, losing is invariably a consequence of playing games of chance. The number of people who would gamble has exploded since the availability of online casinos has increased. Since losing at the casino is always a distinct probability, how do people deal with the emotions surrounding losing money when they gamble online?
The Psychology of Losing
Depression and anxiety are the two most prevalent emotions associated with losing at online casino games. Like many situations that generate feelings of exhilaration from winning, these are the obvious consequences of losing.
People deal with these consequences in as many unique ways as there are personalities. Some people have the ability to walk away, while others experience intense feelings and emotions of depression and anxiety. This is where the emotions associated with losing can become a problem.
Anonymity – Nobody Knows You’re Losing
Anonymity is one of the most appealing aspects of online casino gaming, but it also means that the losses can be hidden from other people. While a depleted bank account is a sure sign that there is more losing than winning going on, hiding the reality is easier when the money is lost in cyberspace.
Rationalization of Losing
Because losing money online does not seem as real, the negative emotions of losing can fester subconsciously. Individuals who lose at online casinos will gradually become more anxious as the frequency of these loses increase.
When you’re in your own little world of cyber casinos, it’s much easier to rationalize the idea that the next game will be the big moneymaker. When the next game continues to multiply the amount of money lost, then the level of anxiousness will swell because you feel you can’t stop now. You are stuck in a mental circle where you can’t seem to stop.
Rationalization Leads to Anxiety – Then to Depression
When the online casino gamer continues to feel an unhealthy compulsion that the next game is going to produce that big windfall, but it never seems to happen, anxiety over the lost money begins to occur. If you allow the level of anxiousness to get out of hand, then the resulting consequence could evolve into a deepening depression over the lost finances.
When losing starts to bring out intense feelings of depression and other negative emotions, it is a signal that you should seek help. When the emotions of losing become this intense, the fun and enjoyment of playing becomes a potentially pathological problem.
How to Deal With the Emotions of Losing
There are a few simple suggestions that can prevent the negative emotions of losing at online casino games from getting out of hand. Here is a step by step progression of some things that should be considered.
1. Recognize Your Behaviors
Take the preventive steps that help you avoid the negative emotions associated with losing when playing online casino games by recognizing when they happen. Don’t try to suppress your feelings. If you’ve lost and feel anxious about your losses, then talk to someone about it. Avoid hiding behind the anonymous aspect of gambling online.
2. Avoid Rationalizing Your Losses
Watch that your losses don’t build to the point you’re putting your financial livelihood in jeopardy. Develop a rigid set of criteria to account for the money you are spending in online gaming. Set a budget for yourself and do not rationalize losses by assuming more games will eventually produce winnings; they may not.
3. Be Realistic
The whole thrill associated with playing is the idea of winning, but stay realistic; most people lose more often than they win. It’s just an inherent part of gambling games, whether you play online or at a real casino.
Understanding that losing is a reality of playing online casino games is an important step to appreciating the negative psychological effects that become problematic. If you do find that you are having an overwhelming prevalence of negative feelings and emotions from losing all the time, by all means seek professional advice.