If you mention gambling in a random group of people, chances are that some of them will immediately create negative connotations in their minds and think of addiction, vice, and other horror stories. However, gambling of all sorts is quite widespread these days, and it’s a fact that not all who gamble are addicted to the activity.
Today we talk to Lukas Mollberg, a gambling industry insider who can shed some light on what gambling actually is, whether it can be practiced in a safe way, and what the main differences are between hobby players and addicts.
Hello Lukas and thank you for taking the time to give us this interview. First of all, can you tell us briefly what makes you an expert on the topic and what your connection is to the world of gambling?
Hello and thank you for allowing me to share some ideas with your readers. I am Lukas Mollberg and I have been around the gambling industry for well over a decade. My experience includes running expert sites such as Casinoble and Bestbonus.co.nz, whose main mission is to teach people how to gamble responsibly and have fun at the same time.
Gambling has been a passion of mine for many years, but I never gambled big as I realize that it’s there just to have fun with, it’s really hard to win in the long run. That’s why I also run these sites that try and teach people how to have fun with gambling games, get the best results possible, and control how much they gamble so they never get into trouble over it.
From your experience, can you tell us just how dangerous gambling really is? Can one play casino games or poker and not get hooked on it or is it like heroin like many people believe?
Gambling games certainly have an addictive note to them, which has been proven by many studies. Yet, this does not mean that everyone who plays a hand of poker or spins the roulette wheel will become an addict and lose their life to gambling.
The majority of players who play online these days do so as a hobby. They play for low stakes and enjoy various games that have a lot of actual entertainment value, combined with the chance of winning and the risk of losing some tangible value. We always advise all players to play within their means and never wager more than they can afford.
I think poker, while certainly the most skillful of games, can also be the most dangerous for many. In poker, skill plays a big part, and we like to think we are smarter than we are about things. I have seen countless players get into the game and immediately think they play great, which can cost them dearly when they keep upping the stakes and chasing their losses.
Despite any advice you give, we know there are some players who do take it too far. What happens when a player can’t help himself and starts gambling money he can’t afford to lose?
Like any hobby that costs money, gambling can become dangerous. If you are prone to addictions, you should not be gambling at all. If you do start falling into the trap of trying to win back your losses and find yourself playing for many hours a day, it may be time to look for some help.
There are many ways to get away from gambling if you have to. Online operators allow players to exclude themselves from play, meaning they can’t play for real money anymore. If the problem becomes too real, one should talk to one of the special agencies dedicated to helping problem gamblers, which exist in many countries.
If one was to gamble in a safe way and as a hobby, what games would you recommend they play? How would you recommend they approach it?
So, you can play any game as a hobby but I would say that slots and sports betting are the most common examples I see, along with poker. Slots are great because they are simply more vivid than any other game and there are so many to pick from. Sports betting is often indulged in by fans who only bet on games they really care about. Poker is a skill game that players can really have fun with and actively learn to get better and eventually win.
In either case, I would recommend you think about what you are doing quite carefully. If you are going to bet on sports, make a bet you can afford to lose. Shoot for longer odds rather than making bigger bets. If you are looking to play slots, know how much you can afford to lose and what bet level you can realistically afford to play. Don’t overextend yourself to the point where you may want to start chasing those losses.
If gambling is a risk to many, why is it still legal? Should we be looking to make all gambling illegal or restrict it in other ways?
Gambling is legal just like alcohol is. Both can be dangerous if done without control, but can be fun to do when limited. I think adults should have access to forms of entertainment they enjoy and should not be completely restricted from doing so. Besides, if you make gambling illegal, you have a black market appearing to fill in the gap.
Some countries are restricting what a player can do in a casino, how much they can gamble, etc. A good method for monitoring potential problem gamblers can also be set up and exists in countries like the UK. I believe it’s all about management and control, not making things illegal.
As I already mentioned, black market gambling is already a problem even in countries where gambling is completely legal. Shady people run underground casinos and poker rooms and a lot of stuff happens there such as money lending and other criminal activities. Having legal and legitimate operators ensures that gambling is done in a controlled and safe atmosphere where people can have fun without any pressure.