1. Introduction

  2. What is the responsible game and mention on the rules in force in our legal system that regulate the matter: a legal excursusus

  3. Evolution of the concept of gambling: a pastime that can become a vice, a vice that can also degenerate into a real pathology

    3.1 How to recognize a pathological player: symptoms and effects

    3.2 The contributions of psychological and psychoanalytic theory: from Freud to Custer

    3.3 South Oaks Gambling Screen: what it is and what it is for

    3.4 A hope for all pathological players: rehabilitation treatment programs and other forms of help for the compulsive player. Description of the Cestap, of the anonymous players and other associations, the responsible game campaigns, the forums on the Internet, the policies of the casino in terms of responsible game

  4. The compulsive game and the responsible game in the media: videos, transmissions and publications on the subject - an overview of the contributions that the community in general is able to provide for a better knowledge of the problem and a guide for those who want to know of more on the subject

    4.1 A case that made a sensation: the service of the hyenas on pathological gambling and other videos on the web

    4.2 The gap and reading: a short guide to the choice of the most significant publications

  5. Conclusions

1. Introduction

In this article we will deal with a topic absorbed to the headlines for some time already, you want because it is a relatively new problem for our country you want for high social relevance That this question covers, especially in the middle of a phase of profound economic depression that pushes to despair entire families and that sometimes instigates people looking for new sources of profit. The problem is therefore pressing and in these pages we will have the opportunity to perform a 360 degree overview by analyzing the various aspects and the multiple facets of this phenomenon.

The starting point will necessarily be constituted by the identification of the object of our investigation, delimiting the field of our discussion and selecting a series of elements that better than others can contribute to adequately describing the topic. In particular, we will start by observing the genesis of the phenomenon through the definition provided by the Monopolies and Customs Agency and analyzing the content of the related rules on Legal and responsible game, with a hint to the distinction between authorized sites and sites devoid of license AAMS.

The authorities of our country have in fact launched a few years ago, a campaign aimed at regulate the online gambling market, by introducing a special license for the sites authorized to operate on the national territory and thus helping the players to defend themselves allowing them to recognize the reliable operators from those unreliable, but we will have the opportunity to enter more specifically the question in due course.

Once these aspects have been clarified, we will already have a clearer idea of the characteristics of the matter and we can go into the theme that probably is more to our heart and at the same time more than others attracts the curiosity of the public: we will see, in fact, as gambling can transform, for many subjects, from A fun hobby with which to spend hours in pleasant serenity, in one real oppressive form of pathology Assimilable to situations of drug addiction, devastating people under the personal, working, emotional, psychological, physical and social plan.

To do this, we will list and describe the unequivocal symptoms that allow to qualify a subject as a pathological player by using a large specialist literature, with the hope that the spread of greater awareness around this problem can provide a valid help, so as to allow the discovery in timely of the insortion of this disease: as an old and lucky television advertising said, Prevention is better than cure And probably also an early diagnosis can help promote the identification of the most effective behaviors to combat this serious form of dependence.

In this way we will have the opportunity to reconstruct, also collecting the numerous testimonies on the net, a sort of identikit of the pathological player Also supporting users who could be recognized in such portraits and facilitating them to take the first step towards a possible rehabilitation path, even if as we will have to notice one of the many difficulties that this bad luck carries with it is that who is He is subject, he rarely manages to realize the gravity of the situation, rather tending to deny clearly and decisively.

Precisely in this regard, our overview will continue illustrating the work done by the now numerous recovery communities arose in these years to restore hope to those who run into these pathological forms, in fact, we will describe its activities and experiences in order to disseminate as much as possible the considerable meritorious work that subjects such as Cestep, anonymous players And other associations carry out daily in with the sick.

Subsequently, we will also guide you suggesting some forums present on the web that can operate as a starting point even only to acquire a more precise awareness of the nature of the phenomenon, and we will also explain how the online casino, marrying the countryside on Responsible game, have adopted specific countermeasures in order to contrast the pathological game, explaining how to manage the self -limitation mechanisms in online game.

The last section of this wide review will finally dedicate it to the mass media by reporting the publications, videos and broadcasts dedicated to this topic, providing a large starting point to all those who want to further deepen these issues, also reporting the opinions of the community And the most significant reviews on the numerous texts published in these years. There will also be references to particular news events that have aroused great interest of the public, such as the investigations carried out by programs of highly successful popular such as Hyenas.

One of the objectives of this brief overview consists primarily in making some clarity, given that the topic constantly receives often very heterogeneous contributions that accumulate but that at the same time generate confusion also in the community of players, i.e. the protagonists main of this phenomenon that often and willingly are paradoxically the first to ignore the existence of the roads they have available to escape the dependence gambling.

For all these reasons, we hope, at risk also to appear a little presumptuous, to first provide a whole one service that is useful to the community, helping to eliminate some uncertainties and favoring the spread of responsible behavior and a more serious attitude towards a splendid hobby but which requires a considerable dose of attention so as not to lead to results that, as we are about to see, can become destructive.


2. What is the responsible game and mention on the rules in force in our legal system that regulate the matter: a legal excursusus

As many will know, that of gambling is a real industry, and among the most flourishing among other things as it represents the Third American industry absolutely, Responsible for 4% of the entire American GDP, with a gain for the estimated state in about 12.5 billion per year, with a total of 400,000 slot machines installed, more than 6000 authorized rooms, to which an army of 800,000 players pathological, sum that reaches 3 million if we consider the subjects at risk, with a cost for our health system of approximately 6 billion $ for recovery therapies intended for subjects suffering from GAP.

Through the record and, if we want, also through an endless Hollywood filmography, we know that the gambling business, due to its enormous dimensions, attracted the interest of criminal organizations of all the world. Moreover, it represents the link between the bosses of Cosa Nostra US and many of the most famous (and rich) gambling houses in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, represented, to which only the stars and stripes government is only in recent decades managed to put a definitive (or almost) brake.

Also in our country there has been a firm link between illegal and underworld play and even in the world of sport there were no scandals with the involvement of famous sporting protagonists "approached" by the underworld organizations to encourage combines. The regulatory of gambling therefore made itself necessary in order to subtract a very important source of wealth from the clans, but also (fact that it is in itself evident) to convey this impetuous river of money in the increasingly disastrous state coffers.

We are talking about a phenomenon that reaches an overall turnover that is around 150 billion $ per year, also considering the various traditional games such as Lot and superenalotto and the scratch cardsnull Government authorities therefore have a strong interest in encouraging the game because of the increasingly pressing needs related to the rules of European origin on the budget balance: generally, about 40% of the revenues relating to games and lotteries end up in the state coffers in revenue tax, while 30% are intended for the financing of the National Olympic Committee And the remaining slice is used to cover the players' winnings.

On the basis of this preamble, we start by remembering that American legislation allows gambling (understood as a game regulated exclusively by the case and not by the player's ability) only if it takes place under the authorization of a public authority. The criminal code (to Artt. 718 and 720) indeed punishes those who participate or facilitate a gambling that takes place without the state concessionnull Over time, these rules have been made a little more elastic with a series of liberalizations that have had the goal both to channel more revenues towards the state coffers, and to encourage tourism and employment by authorizing the Municipalities to allow the opening of new mini casinos.

In 1998, with the Ministerial Decree number 174, the introduction of sports betting was sanctioned while four years later the acceptance of internet betting was authorized, while dating back to Law 184 of 2008 The authorization for the introduction of Video-Lottery and of the same year is the concession of the first license for the creation of online poker room. Since July 2011, online casinos have been legalized, with ad hoc legislation for distance game concerning games of fate fate. On the other hand, however, the national authorities, aware of the fact that the growing space of action granted to casino managers (both virtual and real) brings with it a considerable amount of risks for the company, have operated in order to put some stakes and avoid the explosion of a sort of epidemic linked to the spread of compulsive game behavior.

Thus, with the so -called Decree-barduzzi (D.L. number 158/2012) was arranged "at the Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolies and, following its incorporation, at the Customs and Monopolies Agency, (...) an observatory of which, in addition to experts identified by the health ministries, are part , education, university and research, economic development and economics and finances, also exponents of the associations representative of families and young people, as well as representatives of the Municipalities, to evaluate the most effective measures to counter the spread of the gambling and the phenomenon of severe dependence. " (cit. art. 7 c. 10 D.L. 158/2012).

This decree also introduced a series of Obligations against the managers of shops equipped with devices that allow gambling or betting, such as the exposure of signs containing detailed information on the risks connected with these activities, on the actual probability of winning and on the ban for minors of gambling. The decree, however, in its original version was to contain much more stringent constraints which, however, were swept away by some amendments which, in practice, ended up overturning the objectives that this decree aimed as it ended up being decisive for the granting of the 'Authorization to the opening of about 1000 new poker rooms throughout USA.

As therefore we can observe, American governments have followed a somewhat schizophrenic trend, on the one hand favoring the spread of gambling (although aware of the risks linked to it) and on the other by placing weak obstacles to try to stem the negative effects of this phenomenon. In particular, with the circular 2394 of 2010, AAMS introduced the concept of Legal and responsible gamenull With this, the state intended to first introduce a sort of guarantee in such a way as to allow users to distinguish between authorized and non -authorized managers, in order to defend them from episodes of scams and from the many IT threats to which you can meet following a Use of little aware of the web.

This initiative, however, aims to recall in a decisive way also on another aspect, or the so -called responsibility that the state administration has towards the society to which, moreover, must counterbalance the responsibility of the player Which is recalled to keep a moderate attitude compared to the game, which does not result in a real compulsion. To encourage the achievement of these two aspects, the campaign provides for a whole series of obligations concerning the visibility of logo AAMS In all authorized exercises, thus favoring the spread of concepts such as safety and transparency and helping to increase public awareness of the social function carried out by the AMS which, among other things, with the funds raised through the game also helps to finance Art, sport and the environment.

As it is easy to note, this campaign brings with it some defects, first of all that of generating confusion as on the one hand it warns the players of the risks connected to the abswtion to the game, but on the other it pushes the same to feed confidence in the managers by connoting The game as a positive and negative fact at the same time. The most evident danger is therefore to generate a false feeling of security Determined by the idea that, as long as you find yourself in a room or on a site with the AAMS brand in plain sight, you are completely safe and sheltered from any problem.

This somehow could induce the player to loosen the inhibitory brakes and play more than it should, precipitating in a negative spiral almost without realizing it, as the compulsive game, as we will have to observe in the following paragraphs, represents a very subtle problem that generally those who are involved in first person struggles to recognize in a timely manner.

In practice, on the one hand the message is passed "Play quietly, you are safe", While on the other it appeals to the sense of responsibility of the player who, as the news also tells, is not always able to self -enter and put a brake on what can in all respects become an unbridled and ruinous passion, indeed, An authentic disease, not simple to cure, among other things,.

Remaining in terms of terminological ambiguity, we point out the campaign "I venture to say it" conducted by numerous playologies and educators aimed at sensitizing the public and national and European authorities regarding the fact that in other cultures (e.g. in the Anglo -Saxon one, but not only), unlike in USA, there are different words to indicate i various types of player. Oltremanica, in fact, usually use the term gambler To refer to the gambling player properly said, while there is a more generic word (i.e. player) which is used to indicate players in a broad sense, for example those who delight in board games or sports or those who play musical instruments.

In our country, in addition to using one term (i.e. player) for each of the aforementioned cases, there is also a tendency to privilege the use of the term ludopathy In place of the most prolissy (but also more effective) notion of pathological gambling. The difference between the two expressions also and above all at an etymological level. In fact, the term Latin origin is present in ludopathy "elementary School" which indicates the game considered in its highest and most recreational meaning, that is, as a situation that places individuals in a position to reproduce reality according to the idea that everyone has done in their own mind.

The game thus understood is therefore a sort of fiction, a simulation that the child (but also the adult) stumbles according to his perception of a certain situation. This, as it is easy to understand, is the most far away we can imagine from gambling. For this reason, the adoption of the term has been proposed dizzardopathy, to encourage the clear distinction between the normal game it also has educational and growth purposes of the subject and gambling and to underline therefore, albeit implicitly, the social danger of the latter, following the prevailing general orientation in other European countries.

In summary, we could say that the game has to do with joy and fun, while the gamble is connected with the desire to create easy winnings with a little effort. Returning to the laws, paragraph 70 of article 1 of the 2011 financial law has introduced some Action lines against pathological gamenull In addition to confirming the ban on playing for all minors of 18 years, this provision provides for anpecuniary fine that ranges from a minimum of 500 $ to a maximum of 1000 $ And the closure of the exercise for a period up to fifteen days for the manager who allows minors to participate in gambling, even if legalized.

Precisely to make up for the shortcomings of the national norms, many mayors of American municipalities have taken more restrictive measures, making the fines more salty, introducing prohibitions for the opening of gaming rooms near schools, hospitals and churches.

The unpreparedness of the Italic legislator jumps to the eyes even if we look on the measures provided by the governments of other advanced countries. To stay in the countries close to us, the Swiss He gave the approval to the legalization of slot machines as early as 1993 and with the federal law of 1998 he introduced obligations to be paid by Swiss casinos regarding the prevention and care of compulsive game phenomena. Game houses, in fact, also have one Social conception Based on which they are required to collaborate with the institutions and bodies that take care of the players in difficulty.

Alongside these forecasts, there are also other types of prohibition such as the impossibility of granting advances or sums by way of credit, the prohibition of having an excessive number of devices such as ATMs, the obligation to present a document at the entrance to the rooms, and the absolute ban on serving alcohol for free. In addition, training cycles are also planned for staff who work inside the gaming houses, so that these can learn to recognize the problematic player and are able to deal with it.

Casino managers must operate in with specialists in the sector and promote the training of active groups and associations in the field of study and rehabilitation from the game. However, the task of the institutions does not end with the only production of rules: in fact, the work of the casino in the field of prevention and support to problematic players is the subject of Controls and checks to test its efficiency.

Finally, in the Swiss Confederation it is expected that a percentage equal to 0.5% of the revenue is intended for financing of initiatives aimed at preventing episodes of gap and spread knowledge about the severity of the problem. Obviously, the abysmal difference in the approach that the American and Swiss institutions reserve for the question of problematic game and this gives rise to the suspicion that, perhaps, in our country, the lobby of gambling enjoy some support too many, is obvious.

Currently our reality seems to be anchored to a very primitive approach, made up of generic legislative interventions probably aimed more than anything else to support the indignation of public opinion, also thanks to the chronic deficiency of funds that characterizes the state coffers in our economically unfortunate era of ours null However, these conclusions must not lead to the opposite excess, or demonize the gambling Up to make it a real taboo: this attitude could lead to a prohibition phase which, as history teaches, has always been a kind of manna from heaven for criminal organizations who long thrown by managing this racket. In fact, it should not be forgotten that millions of people and gambles play in the world in a measured way and without letting themselves be completely absorbed by the vice.

È a pastime like the others, As long as it remains only a pastime and instead it does not become the only reason for life. There are also many games where a role that is anything but secondary is played by the player's ability, such as sports poker. Until you exceed and you are aware that the last thing to do is to become slaves to the game, the game is a way like any other to socialize and spend time in light -heartedness with friends, and not an occupation with which to fill the their days or with which to escape reality.


3. Evolution of the concept of gambling: a pastime that can become a vice, a vice that can also degenerate into a real pathology

Il gambling is probably as old as the worldnull There are testimonies dating back to ancient eras and also in biblical texts there is no shortage of references to games related to luck or chance. In ancient Egypt, in the extreme east, in classical Greece up to imperial Rome and then today the habit of risking by carrying out cash episodes has always known a widespread diffusion. After all, the Most of the games today in vogue (Roulette, Baccarat, Poker and many others) have a story whose roots date back to several centuries ago.

At the same time, even in the most remote periods the vice of the game has existed, while it is only in recent years that it has been acquired an effective definition of the problem of Game understood as pathological addictionnull The vice in and of itself cannot be considered a disease, but it is also true that it can represent the necessary premise.

The vice, in fact, is nothing more than the voluntary, repeated and habitual fulfillment of an action that is generally considered negative. The vice is therefore the subject of reissue and, mostly, considered immoral because it is against the predominant ethics in a certain historical period. In the disease, however, the connotation of willingness is missing, it is a situation that occurs in an almost automatic way and, in the case of the game, develops manifesting a sort of habituation which flows into the need for increasing quantity. In this way, the player loses control of the situation and is pushed inner to play more and more, to experience a feeling of apparent well -being.

Obviously, the possible presence of factors that affect the development of these situations should not be neglected: a subject, in fact, which is subjected to environmental pressures of any nature (working, affective, family or social in general, for example), or a Deficits relating to the neuro-biological sphere (exist regarding specific scientific research that underline that anomalies in the system appointed to regulate so -called "Gratification processes" They are more at risk for the development of pathological dependence syndromes, as they tend to prefer minor rewards as long as immediate rather than high rewards but which are realized only after a prolonged period of time) or to psychological factors (linked to the will to hurt themselves as it is perceived as inadequate, to the need for a source of emotional exaltation) which can significantly influence both the individual both physical and mentally, making it more vulnerable in front of problematic situations.

The phenomenon is so widespread that it has now attracted the attention of the scientific community: according to the definition provided in 1994 byWhat (American Psychiatric Association), the largest and most authoritative psychiatry associations in the world that boasts the beauty of about 35,000 members, the so -called gap (Pathological gambling) is to be considered in all respects a mental illness similar to Obsessive-compulsive disorders (a doc).

According to this authority, a situation can be defined as a situation in which repeated attempts are not possible to control, reduce or stop the tendency to play gambling. In addition, the APA noted that in most cases the gap develops in a condition of co-transcability, or in the presence of other mental diseases: in fact, even 74% of individuals suffering from gap were previously affected by another type of psychic disorder.

Sa basis of numerous studies, a list of 10 diagnostic criteria: for an individual to be declared affected by gap, he must therefore recognize himself in at least 5 of them:

  1. A continuous concern related to the game (continues reinterpretation of past gaming experiences or continually reflect on the way to get more money to play again);

  2. The need to bet increasing amount of money in order to obtain the desired level of excitement;

  3. Repeated attempts failed to control, reduce or stop the tendency to play gambling;

  4. Feeling of continuous agitation or irritability when you try to reduce or stop playing;

  5. Use of gambling as a way to escape from daily problems or as a means to find relief from dysphorical moods (feelings of guilt, anxiety, depression, feeling of finding yourself hopeless);

  6. After losing money, return to play in the following days to recover;

  7. Lie to family members, the therapist or others to hide the severity of the problem;

  8. Commit illegal actions (such as thefts, scams or other) to find the money necessary for the game;

  9. Jeopardize or lose an important relationship, a job or a study or career opportunity because of gambling;

  10. Take into account others to find the money necessary to resolve a serious financial situation determined by the game;

This scheme, foreseen by Statistical and diagnostic manual of mental disorders, has also been the subject of criticism even if substantially has been kept unchanged, with the exception of the fact that now there is now a period of only 12 months, while before there was no tendency to examine a predefined period of time. In this way, those who believe they recognize themselves in at least five of these signals but in reference to a period greater than one year must not be considered suffering from one Syndrome to Gap.

Of course, regardless of the number of signals in which you believe you are back, if you think you have a problem with the game or if you have noticed some anomaly linked to the game in the behavior of a friend or a family member the best advice that we can give you is not to lose time pretending to ignore the situation: try to Talk to a specialist who will know without denial to remove any doubts and indicate you The most appropriate road to follow.

In addition, it is essential to remember that each sick person is a person in need of help, therefore, if you think you are compulsive players, do not have any fear of ing your loved ones and specialized structures, because their support could be decisive for the good success of a long journey of rehabilitation Which often represents a path that is not easy to deal with, given that the patient will have to fight against himself by suppressing impulses from his own psyche and which one often ends up selling in a totally unaware way, while knowing that he is injuring himself and his loved ones.


3.1 How to recognize a pathological player: symptoms and effects

According to research conducted byIFC-CNR of PISA, the type player is of male sex, with a lower medium license qualification, smokernull According to estimates, about 17 million Americans play, with an increasingly significant share of teenagers, which has rightly triggered the alarm of many associations engaged in the social. Globally in Europe and in countries such as Canada and the United States there percentage of individuals involved in pathological game problems is around 1-2%, While this figure rises up to 5% if instead those who complain of generic problems with gambling are also taken into consideration.

Whether you bet on sporting events, you play card or roulette or other games, the problems related to gambling can interfere with work and life as a couple, Destroying people also and above all in the dimension that best connotes man than other living beings: sociability. Obviously the consequences also reverberate at a financial level, however for a healing it is essential, first of all, that those who are the victim of such a disorder are not abandoned to themselves, when instead there are often episodes of progressive marginalization probably determined by a sort of "You can save who can", so as not to be involved in the self -destruction spiral who grips the victims of this subtle evil.

The severity of this pathology is such that you can also get to perform actions that, at other times, would never be done and that perhaps you have always seen as immoral or regrettable. However, it is necessary first dispel a few Metropolitan legendsnull For example, it is a false myth the belief that a problematic player must necessarily play every day: a player can also play at irregular intervals and incur the same problems as those who spend the days in front of slots and video poker.

Another false myth It consists in believing that you do not have a problem with gambling if you are able to independently face the expenses for the games without compromising your economic status, because even the only passing many hours of your life by playing can deteriorate your network of friendly and parental relationships, taking away the time that for example could be spent together with the children. Similarly, unfounded is the belief on the basis of which problematic players are pushed to play in gambling by partners, indeed: blameing one's behaviors to others is one of the many ways to avoid taking responsibility for their actions.

Finally, likewise false is the belief that, if a player contracts a debt, him return the money is the best thing to do. In fact, it is a short -term solution, so to speak, and also brings with it the possibility that this determines a worsening of the situation, as the compulsive player will feel, as he said, with the shoulders covered and maybe think that If you contract another debt, you will always find those who are willing to resolve the trouble by supporting him even financially.

Pathological gambling syndrome is often defined as a hidden evil because unlike other addictions (alcohol, smoking, drugs etc.) There are no typical physical signs which can lead to a diagnosis in a certain way. To this must also be added the fact that players often tend to deny or minimize the extent of their problem and are willing to go great distances in order to play shelter from the looks of their acquaintances, lying on their movements and moving secretly without notify even the closest relatives.

Just the tendency to maintain excessive reserve regarding their actions, even lying on the amount of money played, is one of the main symptoms that can be seen in a pathological player. And an attitude of secrecy can suddenly peek against the financial situation, in order to hide the losses or the sudden disappearance of savings. We can indicate another symptom in the difficulty of keeping the time dedicated to the game under control: often the problematic players cannot leave their place without having first deployed every sum at their disposal, gradually increasing the episodes in the desperate attempt to make up for the losses previous.

And in this regard a very serious signal is the tendency to play even when you don't have money available, using the money that should normally serve to pay bills, the rent or basic necessities for their children or credit cards. In this way, the player will feel in the need to go in search of a loan, to sell objects or even to go stealing just to get money. It's a real vicious circle Because at a certain point you begin to think that playing gambling is the only way to solve your problems, when instead it does nothing but get back more and more at the bottom of a tunnel.

Another situation that must lead to considerably raising the level of attention is the growing state of concern and stress determined in the family members to whom it contrasted, however, the player's tendency not to listen to their advice, often considering it a sign of weakness. In this way, however, we end up undermining family harmony in a often unrecoverable way compromising relationships with wife and children throughout life. Let's say that if we want to group them in categories they exist Three types of symptoms of pathological game: physical, social and psychic.

From a physical point of view, a subject suffering from gap can present the typical effects of the anxious states (tremors, palpitations) with a basic restlessness that can be accompanied to appetite alterations, headache and difficulty in sleeping. From a social point of view, on the other hand, the tendency to remain alone, you want because the game tends to absorb the person to the point of making him neglect other social relations almost completely, either because the sick person is perceived as a potential danger or as unpleasant and therefore to be avoided.

Obviously among the social symptoms All the damage that the game produces at a financial and working level are included and also at a moral level. Between psychic symptoms Obviously the obsession of the game that in practice becomes a fixed thought in the minds of the players, the false feeling of being able to control at will the outcome of the games and of being able to start and stop playing at any time, changes in mood are in practice. With an alternation between phases of irritability and nervousness and phases of apparent serenity and normality, or even the tendency to alter reality by trying to minimize the real extent of the losses and instead exaggerating the extent of the winnings.

Obviously, as in the case of addictions to drugs or alcohol, also The game produces effects as an abstinence crisis When the subjects try to escape this vice. According to recent scientific studies, in fact, the player suffering from pathologies related to gambling has in his body abnormal dopamine levels (an hormone produced by the brain and involved in numerous processes related to behavior and mood, is also used in treatments for the treatment of depressive states).

In particular, dopamine levels are higher than a healthy subject during the phase that precedes the arrival of the reward (i.e. the win), however, when the sick subject manages to win the dopamine level is lower and therefore the winning He cannot fully satisfy him and is therefore led to continuing to play not having reached an adequate level of satisfaction, while generally the victory of a prize gradually contributes to making a player lose not sick any interest in the game.

At the neurological level, it must be remembered how also thehypothalamus (a section of the brain placed more or less among the two hemispheres that is involved directly in the processes of thermoregulation and sleep and appetite regulation)) plays an important rolenull In fact, it has been observed that in a subject who is affected by an addiction, the level of attention reserved for the game is much higher than the individuals deemed normal. In practice, the subject in the grip of an addiction tends to concentrate his existence on the search for a particular neurological stimulus, a stimulus that in our case probably only gambling is able to activate.

Another fact to be taken into account is the so -called neuro-plasticity, i.e. the ability of our nervous system to change autonomously in response to a series of stimuli coming from both from the inside and from the outside. In practice, each individual, in his own life path, finds himself reacting towards an environmental and social context by producing beliefs that are nothing more than his way of interpreting reality, and it is on the basis of them that people formulate their decisions and choose the actions to be taken.

The player with gap, precisely by virtue of this neuro-plasticity, is struggling with some alterations at cognitive level The result of beliefs that are the result of a distorted vision of reality. These alterations also reverberate on the central nervous system which therefore also undergoes alterations, thus making any intervention more difficult to take care of the problematic player since he has now matured a system of beliefs that makes the perception of the real severity of one's own difficult Evil and pushes him indeed to refuse to collaborate or not to ask for any help as his problem is not perceived as such.

In psychology in this regard we talk about "Impulse control disorders", that is to say of pathologies that are characterized by the repeated presence of non -voluntary acts as they escape the control of the subject who, indeed, proves the sensations of euphoria when he performs them, as if he supported an urgent physical desire.

An example of this type of disorders can be identified in the Internet addiction, and considering the enormous diffusion that is knowing the phenomenon of the game rooms on the web we could conclude that this pathology probably has more than a correlation with the pathological game. As a consequence of this, any intervention that aims to rehabilitate must therefore consider that the Resilience to treatment It is also due to neuro-psychological factors and therefore try to put a brake on this system of beliefs, also trying to replace them with new ones.

The delicacy of the situation of those who have a problem with the game is also exemplified by a data: The suicide attempts in pathological players are four times higher than those relating to the normal population And according to another statistics, even one in five pathological player comes to try suicide, a figure that is the highest among subjects struggling with an addiction. Moreover, it is no coincidence that the state of Nevada (where gambling has been legalized for decades) in the United States of America has the highest suicide rates of the whole nation. In any case, when the players begin to feel without hopes the risk of suicide becomes increasing, therefore it is of the utmost importance to take every signal, even the most faint, with extreme seriousness and immediately turn to structures or qualified people.


3.2 The contributions of psychological and psychoanalytic theory: from Freud to Custer

Therefore, the fact that behind the compulsion of gambling can also be there, there may also be motifs related to the psyche and not surprisingly many theorists of psychology even of the past have addressed this theme. For example Freud, Unanimously considered the father of modern psychology, he dealt with gambling by examining the case of the famous Russian writer Dostoevsky which was called the victim of compulsive game determined by the trauma experienced following the death of the father.

The theoretical contributions are not lacking and in this regard we point out what perhaps has given the greatest momentum for the understanding of this disorder: the social scientist Robert Custer In fact, he gave birth to a model that was taken as reference by many of the following studies. The American theorist, in fact, traced a scheme that the player crosses Three distinct phases: the Winning phase, the losing phase and the phase of despair. The first phase is characterized by euphoria, often coincides with the creation of a substantial win that makes the player feel able to split the world and win repeatedly.

Usually At this stage the player is an occasional player who knows an increase in his own game activity, both at the time of time and at the level of quantity of money spent. It is a phase that we could define the beginning of the end, as it is during it that the pathological player enters the spiral that will develop completely in the following phases.

In second phase, in fact, the player is assimilable to a addict: the game becomes one (if not the only one) of his reasons of life, he absorbs almost completely all his time and when he does not play he does nothing but think of past and future matches, covering his vice with lies, doing everything possible To find the funds necessary for the game, including criminal actions. The subject is at this point in all respects a sick person, and also presents the first psycho-physical signs, with mood and sleep disorders. We witness the so -called Chasing phenomenon, that is to say the continuous playing in the belief that this represents the only way to replace the losses. Thus takes over the third and last phase, that of despair.

In it, the player is now almost totally marginalized, abandoned by the affections, perhaps even in the grip of other addictions such as alcohol and drugs, with a high risk of suicide attempts. It is in these situations that compulsive players realize the gravity of their condition and decide to move the First steps towards a path of care.

This path of care is divided into three further phases: the critical phase, in which the player decides to seek help and begins in a convinced way to interrupt his game activity, the reconstruction phase, which coincides with the attempts aimed at reconstructing the previously compromised family ties and with a general improvement On a psychic level following a greater serenity acquired thanks to the awareness of having taken the way out of the tunnel, and the growth phase, which consists in a progressive overcoming of the problems with the game through the start of a new lifestyle null Custer also in his investigation also identifies six types of player:

  1. The professional, who uses the game as a job and always manages to maintain a certain self-control on the game activity;

  2. the antisocial, which we could define more than anything else a baro;

  3. the random social, which plays only and exclusively for fun and to socialize;

  4. The Severo social, who has no other hobbies who are not gambling but who still keeps a certain self control without letting us drag in the vortex of the compulsive game;

  5. The neurotic, who plays to counterbalance a psycho-physical malaise, is a compulsive player but cannot yet be defined as suffering from an addiction;

  6. and finally the actual compulsive, for which the gambling is at the center of everything and ends up spreading any other activity that previously occupied the life of the subject in question.

Other more recent studies have instead investigated the phenomenon of online game and have underlined a very serious aspect, that is The high percentage of players in adolescence: The young people, in fact, represent the range of population that more than others are at ease with the use of computers and, on the other hand, represent the group most at risk due to the delicate phase they find to cross.


3.3 South Oaks Gambling Screen: what it is and what it is for

Always at the level of theoretical studies, the contribution offered by Lesieur e blume, authors of the so -called South Oaks Gambling Screen, That is, a real test that was initially used only in a clinical environment but which over time has also been used to highlight the pathological game in the common population. It is a questionnaire composed of 20 questions who touch topics concerning the game habits, such as the favorite games from the interviewee, the time dedicated to the game or relationships with family members. Each response contributes to determining the final score and generally a score of 3 or 4 points is considered a indication of potential problems with the game, while a score ranging from at least five to nine is usually considered sufficient to declare the presence of a serious problem with game.

This questionnaire was also subject to criticism Due to the high number of false positives and over time the orientation has been affirmed not to consider it, alone, an element sufficient to carry out a certain diagnosis of 100%, both because for synthesis needs this scheme has been subject to simplifications Whether, because, being a self -assessment questionnaire, you always have to deal with the player's ability to respond objectively and it is not said that a person grappling with an addiction is able to provide reliable answers since there is always the risk that The patient is still in the negation phase.

However, this tool has undeniable advantages as it can assist a specialist in diagnosing a disorder, therefore if you suspect to suffer from a disorder linked to the game and want to try to formulate this questionnaire we recommend, regardless of the positive and negative outcome that from it can arise, of Do not fall into easy alarmism but to resort to the consultation of professionals specialized in the treatment of these pathologies.

Another element of the utmost importance consists in the fact that even those who have always had a responsible and detached relationship with the game It can fall victim to a ludopathy, so no one should feel full shelter and show attitudes like "I can never happen to me such a thing"Because instead it often happens that at the origin of a compulsion there are trauma from the outside, such as the sudden loss of work or an atmosphere of tension with the partner or family members in general.

The occurrence of a particular traumatic event, in fact, could generate anxieties or a situation of stress, or even a feeling of emptiness (for example, we think of which inner upheaval could be determined by the sudden loss of a loved one) that even who has always been A responsible player might think of filling with the game.

It is the classic case of those who find in this vice a way to escape pressure and forget the disappointments of everyday life. Then there are a series of possible environmental pressure For example, determined by professional situations: some of the most at risk subjects are in fact those who work in gaming houses (therefore Croupier or other types of employees) and which are therefore constantly in close with green tables and mangiasoldi machines.

In these cases, the most important thing to keep in mind how a categorical imperative of Kantian memory is that it is necessary keep professional life distinct from personal life, keeping the Self Control in order not to generate a sort of inner confusion effect that could lead to a distorted image of reality.

This distorted vision, as we have seen, is one of the main reasons for the onset of the pathological gambling disorder as it leads to considering a normal fact to put the time to devote to the game at the center of one's existence e the expenditure of increasingly higher sums To the hopeful search for a flattening of losses and debts contracts: a hope that, as all those who have ended up at the bottom of this tunnel, always ends up being disregarded.


3.4 A hope for all pathological players: rehabilitation treatment programs and other forms of help for the compulsive player. Description of the Ce.s.te.p., of the anonymous players and other associations, the responsible game campaigns, the forums on the Internet, the policies adopted by the casinos in terms of responsible game

After this short examination, we also try to bring a breath of optimism. The pathological gambling is a disease, but it can be defeatednull We need dedication, willpower and a variable period of time, but there are many cases of people who have seen with their own eyes the bottom of the abyss and nevertheless they managed to complete the ascent, returning to a normal lifestyle and regaining serenity regaining lost, objectives that sometimes despair and perhaps even a depressive state are seen as unattainable chimeras.

If we take into consideration the Model developed by Custer, we will notice that the final phase of the evolution of pathological gambling coincides with the moment when the player acquires awareness of his problem and turns to an external help in order to ask himself on a path of rehabilitation. It certainly immediately skips the eye as an essential element of this passage lies in the inner push: that is to say, each pathological player has a problem but not everyone manages to become aware of it.

Without this awareness, any attempt at healing is like a very steep ride. If, on the other hand, the player is intimately convinced of the need to change its register his care path will undoubtedly be facilitated. Dependence, in whatever form it presents itself, is in fact an evil that generates in who is subject to it tendency to resize the extent of the problem, if not to deny it completely.

Precisely for these reasons, the motivational aspects must not be neglected at all and constantly providing moral support to the watered which, especially in the initial stages, will have to try a sort of conflict against itself as it will have to make the desire to get rid of the Gambling game compulsion by suppressing the instinct, often predominant, of returning to play. Let's see now how the Rehabilitation programsnull Generally, a therapy is privileged that combines cognitive and behavioral interventions.

In other words, as we have previously seen, since the game is a behavior determined by a distorted vision of reality, it is necessary to intervene on this vision by working on the System of beliefs of the sick individual, in order to trigger a sort of switch : If first playing in a immoderate way was perceived as a normal thing that generated a high degree of satisfaction together with a feeling of well -being, the therapist must instead be able to overturn this vision trying to restore the correct orientation.

It is therefore necessary that the sick person perceives the inconsistency of his ideas regarding the game, triggering a new learning process that allows to absorb more correct knowledge. As it is natural that it is, the actions of every man manifest themselves following some impulses generated in the cerebral level, therefore if you intervene by promoting the formulation of new opinions relating to a certain topic (the game, in our case) the content of these impulses and therefore also the following actions will change.

However, we must not forget the important role played by a positive approach marked by optimism: those suffering from non -rare gaps have witnessed the laceration of their emotional and working sphere therefore it is not uncommon to find themselves in front of strongly disheartened and demoralized patients or, In the most serious cases, also struggling with serious problems of depression, more reason to treat these subjects with all the precautions of the case.

It must be said that anyway therapeutic approach It must be calibrated according to individual characteristics because not all patients have the same experience and therefore not everyone has had the same experiences. Generally, precisely for these reasons we start with a series of interviews, capable of understanding what the patient's motivational profile is. It is likely that the pathological player in the initial period will be hospitalized, this also to facilitate the detachment from his game habits By removing it from the places that you usually frequent and that could induce him to continue playing.

Therapies can Include group interviews in which to share their experience and meetings with the family unit or partner, whose support certainly represents an irreplaceable success factor. Generally Rehabilitation is divided into three stages: in the phase called the "I can not" The individual is driven to achieve a situation of total removal from the game, in order to decrease the stimuli to the game and increasingly reduce the desire to play. The player thus enters an abstention phase that projects him into a new dimension as he starts looking at the game with a different look.

The next time is called "I must not", in which the player after a period in which he abstained from the game becomes aware of the progress made and the fact that you can live very well even without giving herself. Finally, we arrive at the so -called phase of "I do not want to", in which the player completes his recovery and gambling is no longer at the center of his life. In this phase, the player returns to appreciate family and friendly relationships and returns to a condition of tranquility that seemed to be lost irreparablely.


3.4.1 The CE.S.TE.P. and the case of Switzerland

In certain structures (such as the Ce.S.te.P., a center located in Lombardy, near Como, which deals with rehabilitation from various types of addictions) there is also the supply of legal assistance and the creation of a plan for the return from the debts contracts to finance the game activity null Assistance for the drafting of a letter of self-pipeline from casino, That is to say a document with which the player himself, having taken note of his problems, asks the managers to prevent him from accessing the game rooms.

It is certainly an important step and in this regard we must record how our legislator once again is in a backward position compared to other realities, such as Switzerland. In Swiss Confederation, in fact, each casino offers its customers to carry out a interview with a specialist In order to establish whether or not it is appropriate to present the aforementioned letter of self-defying which is a tool provided by law and therefore institutionalized, unlike what happens by us.

It is also possible to enter into an agreement on the number of maximum monthly visits and also a spouse can present the managers a signaling letter with which to request the exclusion from the services offered by the game room. It is certainly a very interesting tool because in addition to incurly hinder the repetiteat of compulsive game episodes, this measure also responsible for casino managers who in this way will have to adapt to legal obligations and therefore provide all the collaboration necessary to keep away from their premises who shows their intention to heal from a serious pathology such as the gap.

It is no coincidence, in fact, that many American casinos following the example of foreign colleagues have independently introduced of self -exclusion mechanisms And the self-pipeline precisely because they also had perception of the severity of the problem and therefore chose to do something important to collaborate with the community.


3.4.2 The tools prepared by the National Health Service: the Serts

Another structure that could be useful to those who develop a compulsion linked to gambling is represented by SerT, i.e. i Services for drug addictionsnull Obviously it should not be fooled by the name and fame that these structures have acquired over time, as these entities have long made in the field of the rehabilitation of subjects grappling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, but in recent times have significantly expanded the spectrum of their skills, their tools and the professionalism they are able to offer and therefore constitute a very valid alternative In addition to free (there is not even the payment of the health ticket, so to speak).

Another of the advantages that these institutes involve the fact that access is not mediated by any subject, in fact no request from the attending physician is necessary and this also constitutes a 'further guarantee of confidentiality, obligation that doctors are always required to observe anyway.

The patient who uses the support of a sert can use a qualified team of experts including doctors, nurses and psychologists specialized in various branches. Generally the treatment path is divided into a series of individual and group interviewsnull The approach therefore tends to be mainly of a psychological type and usually the presence of partners or family members are usually provided which, moreover, play a fundamental role as they are the people who better know the patient and are those who They spend more time with it, so with their presence they could facilitate the task of the medical staff.

Moreover, the participation of relatives in meetings It also helps to empower the latter and to develop in them the awareness of the moves to be made to facilitate the path of patient care which in this way will be able to enjoy assistance even outside the walls of the rehabilitation center, helping to decrease the risk of possible repercussions. However, given the possible presence in the patient of sindromi depressiveIt is not uncommon to witness the administration of drugs responsible for the stabilization of mood and to treat the various forms of nervous stress.

Another successful factor of these structures consists in the fact that they belonging to the apparatus of the National Health Service, They are widespread on the national territory and are present in practically every American municipality, it is therefore extremely easy to find them and ask for their help.


3.4.3 Anonymous and Gam players - Anon

Based on the lucky experience of Anonymous alcoholics (Association that was born in the United States even in the 1930s of the last century and which over the years has spread practically all over the world having known excellent success both at the level of popularity and at the level of achieved goals, because many have been the cases of people who have actually overcome and defeated their problems of dependence thanks to the activity carried out in these groups), a similar form of support for subjects struggling with compulsive game situations e Thus the anonymous players were born.

The assumption of these experiences consists in the awareness of the fact that a pathological player who defeated his dependence brings with him an irreplaceable baggage of knowledge and personal experiences that can prove to be fundamental to help other individuals (we dare say, other misfortunes) that they are found in the same conditions. Let's start by saying that anonymous players is one Very rooted and widespread reality on American territory (it is present, in fact, in 14 regions from north to south, with beyond eighty centers available to all).

The services offered by this association (which boasts, among other things, to be totally estimated by any political creed or religious faith) are totally free and therefore no payment will be required to those who decide to take advantage of the help offered. Obviously, Those who enter these groups will have the total protection of anonymity And no personal information will ever be disclosed except by the interested party himself or with his consent. The method adopted by the anonymous players is very famous: the members of each section meet periodically and tell their experiences and sensations, describing the progress made (i.e. the days of abstention from the game).

In this way, each pathological player realizes firsthand the possibility of finding a way out and begins to look to the future with a more optimistic eye and a more positive attitude, because he realizes that his colleagues make some steps forward in the fight against addiction and understands that for him too, following their example, there is one way outnull In practice, a sort of training autogeno, also in consideration of the fact that in these groups there are no psychologists or medical staff. It is necessary to take as the starting point the fact that the compulsive player in most cases is primarily victim of his own reticence that pushes him to deny having a problem.

By attending, however, the meetings of these groups, the player manages to break the wall of incommunicability And it opens to the outside world because it becomes aware of their troubles through the stories of others. It is true that every individual experience always has its own peculiarities and is rarely identical to the others, but in all cases it is always possible to extrapolate a common denominator that makes them comparable and assimilable.

Furthermore, the fact (far from secondary) should not be forgotten that the members of these communities end up with the tightening sometimes very tight relationships Because the feeling of being all on the same boat spreads and therefore we end up supporting each other, also and above all morally. As some testimonies of former pathological players tell, The climate of these meetings is very intimate Because you find yourself telling your experience without the Assillo to be judged open or to fall victim to the many prejudices to which ordinary people often let themselves go when you hear people with people with gambling problems.

Slowly, we move from a situation in which each member is an island, that is to say an entity released by everything, to a condition in which one becomes an essential part of a group that moves not as the sum of many individualities But like one thing. This is also facilitated byabsence of hierarchical stairs, everyone is the same and are free to express themselves in a condition of total anonymity, because the content of the meetings must never leak outside.

These groups are carriers of healthy values now almost lost such as mutual solidarity, honesty, humility and cohesion. The role played by the so -called 12 steps, or a set of precepts already in use at the groups of anonymous alcoholics who guide the members in the rediscovery of themselves and in the care path.

The 12 steps represent suggestions for the beginning of a new life, to give a clear turning point to their path and touch various topics, such as the admission of their wrong and their impotence in the presence of the object of their dependence (in this Case, the game), the recognition of the existence of a higher power that can guide people in the resolution of their problems, the construction of an inventory of their wrongdoings and the people who have caused evil.

On the basis of this, the patient is encouraged to distance himself from his past by placing more virtuous behavior marked by feelings of personal redemption and of reconciliation with life and loved ones, which has probably gone suffering and pain. And just to come to the rescue of relatives and friends of pathological players, groups such as Gang, present in 12 countries and operating for years alongside all those subjects who suffer from the effects deriving from presence of a compulsive player in the family.

Those who live under the same roof of an individual with gap is in fact subject to serious forms of nervous stress and trauma of various kinds, therefore the support of an association can only have beneficial effects and can, moreover, help form a correct attitude in the against the player and perhaps also illustrate the ways with which to convince the relative to embark on a therapeutic journey: anonymous players and Gam-Anon, in fact, despite being two distinct and separate entities, in addition to being engaged on similar fronts they find themselves collaborating and not There are no cases in which The two associations find meetings in the same rooms (in different rooms, of course), as if to reiterate the complementarity of the respective functions.

It is undoubtedly a very way effective to also involve families In the recovery path taken by the pathological player, as well as an excellent means of relieving the stress determined by coexistence with a person with serious problems.

The family unit, as numerous studies show, is, in fact, the most affected environment ever because economic as well as existential problems that can lead to disregarding results such as separations or even divorce are revealed. A separate chapter in all probability should then be dedicated to the condition of the most innocent victims, namely children: the children of parents with gambling problems always bring the signs of a very precarious and traumatic family situation, with behavioral problems that can Leading in an extreme restlessness or, at the opposite extreme, in the tendency to isolation and in the difficulty in manifesting extroverted behavior due to the fear of being discriminated against due to family problems.


3.4.4 Playandi, the Federserd and the false myths about gambling

Another chance of help is made up of the playing website. This website is, in fact, developed in collaboration with the Featherserd, namely the American Federation of Dependencies Services Operators who It includes the beauty of over 1500 operators in the Serd sector.

In addition to providing a vast and detailed series of information relating to the signals that should alert on the presence of an addiction problem, on the way in which the pathology evolves and on the psychological and physical effects it can determine, there is an interesting interesting Section concerning it disadvantage of some myths Very widespread within the community of players, such as the existence of more fortunate machines than others or that on the basis of some abstruse reasoning "must win", or the fact that the shopkeepers or managers of the rooms are able to influence the The outcome of the games by maneuvering the slot options, or even the fact that continuing to play in spite of losses is an effective way to be able to recover the sums expenses.

Another false myth is for example the belief that a car that has just granted a strong win be, so to speak, intended for "Cool down" And not to give winnings for a certain period of time, as well as the fact that touching him a strong winning is a notice of his arrival. On the other hand, linked to an erroneous or insufficient understanding of the law of probability are instead the beliefs on the basis of which for certain games it is possible to become a good player and therefore bring to the house of the victories or, again, the fact that of the late numbers must necessarily go out in one of the imminent draws.

As we have already said, for games such as slot machines, roulette or video poker (to mention only the most common) The outcome of each game is regulated by the case, it is therefore possible to provide a forecast based on a probabilistic reasoning but it is never possible to have one hundred percent safety of how a game will end, so the cases we mentioned above represent authentic Metropolitan legends that they absolutely lack to be supported by the facts and which, indeed, can easily be denied with a more scientific and reasoned approach.

In addition, PlayCs provides a consultancy service aimed at both players and relatives and their acquaintances. By making use of the contribution of qualified experts, the team of players offers the chance to obtain all the assistance and information that is needed through the toll -free number 800 921 121 and through a service of Live Chat, all in full anonymity and totally free.

Finally, a self -assessment test similar to the South Oaks Gambling Screen adopted by other entities, the so -called Canadian Problem Gambling Index which on the basis of clinical tests was found to be more reliable and less susceptible than false positives.


3.4.5 Community initiatives and the AAMS conduct code

Among the many spontaneous initiatives of civil society that is alarmed to spread a very serious phenomenon such as pathological game, for example, we point out the experience of the site senzaslot.itnull It is an idea born within some private citizens of the Municipality of Pavia, a city that holds the sad record of an average of one slot every 110 citizens.

Basically, this project arises from the desire to give a strong signal to both ordinary people and institutions e Those who join you undertake not to attend public places (therefore bars and other types of commercial activities) that host slot machines and other devices aimed at gambling. Soon, many operators decided to adhere to the initiative promoted by the group and have chosen to give up easy revenue (and with the economic crisis that goes crazy is certainly not a little account sacrifice) in order to do good to the community: we are talking from Ben 2000 exercises throughout USA.

This anomalous but significant form of protest assumes relevance also for another simple element: for those who have a serious problem with gambling it is very easy to incur repercussions even after a long period of abstention and therefore, for the success of the path of Rehabilitation, the presence of continuous temptations is not at all greeting. Indeed, it is not demeaning to know that any person is in the condition of not being able to attend a public place due to his own illness.

A further possible brake on the game is provided by the adhesion by the online casino al AAMS Code of Conduct and to the responsible game campaigns. The casino on the web must in fact commit to prevent any access to users minor of 18 years and carry out an important work of training and information of their employees regarding the responsible game and on the support methods for players looking for assistance.

In addition, the multimedia game rooms allow access only to users who have set through their profile of limits concerning the maximum amount of sums paid on your account And in some cases there are cars mechanisms - exclusion with which the player may ask that he be prevented from accessing for a pre -established period of time or, in the most serious cases, also definitively requesting the cancellation of the recorded profile and the refusal of new recordings.

The casino, in addition, also spread information on recovery programs and contain links that refer to the sites of important organizations that assist ludopathies. One of these is, affiliated to a famous British association and also active in our country. The peculiarity of this group consists in the fact that online group meetings are organized, in this way the problems of those who have developed their dependence in front of the screen of a computer can be faced because it is possible to find other people with the same problems null

As therefore, we have seen from these short and, by force of things, not exhaustive review, those who find themselves in a difficult situation because of the gambling must not feel abandoned by everything and everyone, he must not let himself go as if he did not have No hope of tracing the china and returning to find the lost serenity.

The roads to get out of the ass In which you have insinuated, there is no shortage, just look for them but above all just let a genuine mature inside feeling of revenge No longer aimed at the sums lost, but directed towards a form of personal redemption from one's dependence, the best form of victory as possible for a former pathological player and the best jackpot to which one can aspire, as long as we first come to the awareness that Playing immensely is a big trouble At the origin of many of their evils but that it is possible to defeat with the help of loved ones and if necessary also of professionals in the sector.


3.4.6. Internet as a source of information and prevention: the role of forums, blogs, a mini-guide orientation on social networks

In any case, the Internet is also a mine full of useful information. As you can see through a simple search on Google (or, if you prefer, on other search engines), there are many in fact discussion forum dedicated to gambling hosts even sections aimed at those with gap problems. For example, also the site (web page dedicated to all -round information in the field of gambling via the Internet) contains a forum frequented by online gambling enthusiasts and is an excellent starting point for both all those who want to get an idea on the various aspects of This phenomenon is for those who have started to notice that they have a problem to control their relationship with the games. The forum in question, in fact, contains a section called "Responsible game and dependence on the game".

In it it is possible to read numerous testimonies of other users who experience (or who have experienced) pathologies connected with gambling. Among the many, the fact that surprises more than others, in addition to the number of people who report having had problems with the game, is undoubtedly the first person confirmation that many former players have at some point noticed of have taken a self-destruction route who was demolishing his life and that of his loved ones, in which the game had dirtying all the interests and all commitments. Many users in practice say that their previous existence had been distinguished, almost canceled, by a new life in which it was placed only for the game: otherwise there was no nothing else.

Attending these places obviously does not represent the solution to all its evils, but constitutes a means to confront other people who have spent bad moments for the same reasons, to share their sensations and receive moral support that often does not find the courage to ask for shyness or shame or because the judgment of others are feared.

A user of the forum with a past of ludopathy, in particular, has decided to put himself at the service of the community and has like this give life to a blog ( dedicated to all compulsive players, with the precise objective of informing about the risks related to the inability to control their vice. The blog in question is very well cared for and updated regularly and collects the Confessions of other pathological players who tell about their game habits, without naturally neglecting the details that are often more difficult to admit first of all to themselves, such as the amount of the sums played, the ways used to obtain the money, the reactions of the people belonging to their own family or devastating effects of the uncontrolled game on one's working and relational life.

Other pages present on the net that could be useful to the community of ex-games (or to those who aspire to become such) are Il forum del CE.S.TE.P., Center for treatment and rehabilitation on addictions of which we have already spoken previously, and, for the most "social", the inevitable pages on Facebook, Also useful for keeping yourself informed about the organization of initiatives and events dedicated to the theme of pathological game.

In this regard, we advise you to put the "like" first of all to the pages called The pathological gambling " e “Gap - pathological gambling”, In this way you will receive updates concerning the performance of events and any medical developments on ludopathies in general. There are also pages dedicated to specific associations such as the aforementioned anonymous players and many others.

Meeting on these places of virtual aggregation has undoubtedly the disadvantage of not being able to look in the eyes of those in front of you and not to be able to establish a non -mediated , without the possibility of being able to savor that emotion, that human warmth that only a hug Or a simple handshake can give you, however, on the other hand, there is always the advantage of being able to open themselves in a total way and in all sincerity with perfect strangers, comfortably from home, without the fear of feeling humiliated or under examination thanks to Warranty of total anonymitynull The other users, in fact, will only know one nickname And nothing else, without any possibility of identifying you.

To these factors it is also necessary to add the fact that a forum is always available, is free and has no opening or closing times, therefore it is an option always valid even in the most unthinkable moments and can help when perhaps, After a long period of abstention from the game, you will suddenly feel the need to reassure those themselves sensations of euphoria and intoxication That so much damage have caused to your life and of those around you: here, in these situations, it could help keep their mind busy and use others' testimonies as a reminder, in such a way as to keep in mind what could happen If the impulse of returning to playing is indulged and, perhaps, in such a way as to have an extra tool to win that inner conflict that is triggered when you have to counteract the instinct to abandon itself to the game again (with everything that follows, of course) with the awareness that when you end up selling (even for once only) it rushes back into a negative spiral: as all the pathological game experts explain, Those who have a compulsive game past and have managed to quit must no longer play Not even through pastime because it remains a very vulnerable and susceptible subject of serious repercussions.


3.4.7 The advice to resist and avoid returning to play

Before closing this section and switch to a new topic, we list you A series of useful tips not to fall into the temptation of gambling, for the benefit especially of those who have a problematic relationship with Slot machines, videopoker and green tables And he cannot give you limits.

First of all, behaviors can be implemented to limit or prevent access to money, how to return credit cards, check booklets, ATMs, do not carry the sums of excess money behind him with respect to normal daily needs, delegate a trusted person To which to entrust the money to be allocated to the payment of rent, bills and basic necessities, ask acquaintances not to grant loans of any entity due to their problem with the game (of which it will be necessary to inform them, winning the fear of being identified as "sick"), accredit payments directly on a bank account in order to reduce with cash and in this way decrease temptations.

Secondly, the pathological player tends to spend many hours of his day by playing and when he begins to refrain he finds himself struggling with a material void because suddenly he has much free time that he does not know how to use and therefore we must also remodel to avoid That we fall into the same mistakes simply because of the fact that you no longer know how to use time.

Thus, it is useful to identify the activities that took place for simple relaxation or pastime before entering the vicious circle of gambling and perhaps try to recover them or try new ones. Obviously the possibilities are not lacking, like dedicate yourself to a sports activity or volunteering or DIY And so on, the important thing is to avoid the presentation of phases in which there is nothing to do to prevent the game from the game from recurring under the bare minds of innocent pastime.

Another fundamental aspect is linked to the need to know how to recognize e Manage the phenomena of the so -called craving, or the occurrence of episodes in which a strong impulse emerges, not to say uncontrollable, to return to play. It is an impulse that can emerge suddenly and last from a few minutes to several hours and manifests itself especially in those who are trying to get out of a situation of pathological addiction.

In the moments when the so -called craving is manifested The player cannot act rationally as it is overwhelmed by a set of unaware stimuli to whom she must oppose with all of itself to be able to resist you. The best way to cope with these phenomena is to take note of one's behavior on the occasion of these forms of crisis. In this way, it will be easier to identify the most appropriate behaviors to put in place when the craving will reappear and therefore you will find yourself more ready when the time will come to face it.

Obviously these tips always go to clash with the fact that each individual always has their own subjective peculiarities and a person's experience is difficult to recur perfectly identical compared to that of another person, however these suggestions have received considerable effectiveness and They can represent an excellent starting point as they stimulate the subject affected by a ludopathy to enter into action and not passively witness the destruction of one's ego, of one's self -esteem and, to put it more definitively, of one's existence.


4. The compulsive game and the responsible game in the media: videos, broadcasts and publications on the subject - an overview of the contributions that the community is generally able to provide for a better knowledge of the problem and a guide for those who want know more about the subject

4.1 A case that made a sensation: the service of the hyenas on pathological gambling and other videos on the web

Unless in recent times he has lived on another planet, we have certainly noticed how the gambling phenomenon has attracted the constant attention of Media traditional, i.e. newspapers (and printed paper in general) radio and TV. In this regard, a service of a service of the de Hyenas, transmission now become cult in USA and broadcast on Networks of the Mediaset group For almost twenty years, a longevity that few formats of the small screen can boast. The video in question, unfortunately no longer available, has totaled the remarkable figure of over 100,000 views and tells the vicissitudes of some people (naturally with the darkened face for privacy issues) grappling with gaming sessions.

Even if on closer inspection many pathological players will not have been surprised but, on the contrary, they will instead have recognized themselves in the gestures of the protagonists of this service, what shocked the public was first of all the frantic rhythm with which the players introduced large banknotes in the machines (even from 500$) but substantially there was a direct and undoubted confirmation of all the theories formulated on the compulsive game: The loss of the cognition of time, the game that becomes the only employment and concern for an indefinite number of hours, the small superstitious gestures who push to privilege a machine rather than another or to change more than one for reasons that have nothing to do with a rational reasoning on the probability (which, we remember represent the only rule governing the outcome of the games, at least in the games in which the player's ability has no role, such as slots, roulette or videopoker), or, again, you can attend the so -called Chasing phenomenon, that is, the persevering in the game in the desperate attempt to make up for the losses which, instead, in the vast majority of cases, translates into a further aggravation of their finances.

Another salient fact highlighted by this excellent service is the habit of some managers to serve alcoholic beverages (in some cases even in a totally free way) as well as the tendency to prevent those who frequent these places to interloquire for a prolonged period of time with Just close to the chair: in essence, we try in every way to make customers stranger from the surrounding world, you have to make them concentrate only and exclusively on the game in order to make them spend as much money as possible, leaving them at the mercy of a Tourbillon of enchanted colored lights, without realizing the passing time and the money that fly away, supporting only a single and unstoppable compulsive instinct.

In addition, many have declared themselves very affected by the episode concerning a player who, asked by the aviation Nadia Toffa, after confirming that he had already played a lot of money and for a long time he let himself be convinced to abandon his place and to leave the game room: however, a few minutes after the same sent he realized that the player had not resisted for a long time at the temptation and had already returned to a slot machine. This is, if there was a need, the clear proof of how serious and, above all, subtle can become the pathological gambling as it leads to behaviors that from the outside we could perceive almost as schizophrenic, The degree of addiction is so high that it is possible to find in many subjects.

The video also hosts the testimonies of many people who instead managed to get rid of this vice, because, we intend to reiterate it forcefully once again to encourage those who are in difficulty deciding to let themselves be helped, for everyone it is possible to get out of it. The common element in the stories of these former players is represented by decisive role played by the family group and by the therapeutic help provided, depending on the case, from associations as anonymous or similar players or by specialists such as doctors, educators and psychologists.

However, this important investigation conducted by the Hyenas represents the proverbial tip of the iceberg. It is sufficient, in fact, to carry out a couple of searches on video sharing portals (such as YouTube, to be clear) to realize how The community of the so -called web 2.0 It provides an endless amount of contributions, both professional and amateur.

In fact, the movies deal with the most disparate themes examined by many different points of view: there is therefore the former pathological player who tells how his life was when he had not yet been able to defeat the disease and describes The road traveled to reach a way out, or you can find films made by medical personnel who naturally focus on different, less existential aspects, so to speak and more scientific instead (as in the case of the information video made by theASL of Parma), as the cognitive-behavioral therapy approach (topic addressed in the movie by theWatson Institute, An important center of psychotherapy active in Piedmont), without forgetting the numerous videos that document the performance of events and congresses.

And in the midst of all this plethora of videos, the contributions of non -profit organizations and associations such as the Abele group (the Institute founded by Don Ciotti) and many others that chase the objective of informing and at the same time sensitizing civil society, also using the opinion of professionals and university teachers.

Summarizing, we could resort to a commonplace and remember that An image is worth a thousand words: It is likely that a video of a few minutes will be able to achieve better results compared to long and verbose treaties written by insignificant specialists, but it is not necessary to exceed in judgments, showing a picture of the deceptive situation: a do -it -yourself approach characterized by autonomous internet research can Being useful to fill information gaps and to obtain a deterrent effect, but those who have already developed specific pathological symptoms will not be able to exempt themselves from ing qualified people who know how to act towards a serious and complex disorder such as compulsive game. After all, we find ourselves in the same situation as when a disease is contracted and the use of self -medication is tended to advise against, because the presence and advice of a qualified subject is irreplaceable.


4.2 The gap and reading: a short guide to the choice of the most significant publications

If, on the other hand, we move the focus of our attention towards the scope of the printed paper, fortunately we can see that the situation does not differ much. Even by carrying out research in online bookstores, in fact, the impression is obtained that also in this sector the issue of gambling and the disorders connected to it is a topic that is a certain success. Among the latest products of a very prolific community of works, for example, the volume written by Member of the Democratic Party Paola Binetti (who was also a doctor in the neuro-psychological field and has held various positions of university professor at numerous universities), entitled "When the game is no longer a game" (for sale in the store of at a cost of 15$).

This work, which combines the most serious and scientific approach with the most discursive tone and, if we want, paternalistic, carries out a reconstruction of the problem underlining the enormous increase recorded in recent times of cases of pathological game, highlighting its gravity and identifying it as a real pandemic as it affects individuals belonging to all age groups indiscriminately.

It is a book that is aimed at a large audience, from victims to their family members, without forgetting those who simply want to know more about this issue or the representatives of the political world who have not yet activated themselves today to try to contrast the phenomenon With the most effective and modern legal devices and which, on the contrary, are more inclined to see in the game a solution to resolve the financial grains of the entities to which they are responsible and rarely manage to oppose the granting of new licenses for new exercises dedicated to the game null

Of a more specialist nature and directed to a more mature audience is instead "Pathological Gambling - Psychophysiological and personality aspects" (cost 10$). The text describes the role of psychotherapy in the treatment of pathological gambling disorders and examines on the basis of a more experienced point of view and in a more extensive concepts to which we have already referred, such as that of addiction, Cving and various others.

A different perspective instead is adopted in "The rules of the game" (author Angela Fioroni, cost 3.40$, on sale on in which, in addition to remembering how problematic to play gambles in an excessive way, the danger of the infiltration of the criminal organizations that could exploit these activities for the purposes of the purposes is highlighted recycling of dirty money.

This book also arises from the experience of the campaign conducted by numerous mayors of American municipalities against gamble which has culminated with the request to the legislator of a valid provision on the national territory and aimed at compressing the offer, with greater legislative powers for regions e Municipalities in order to be able to prepare intervention platforms for the recovery of patients and discouraging abuse in games.

Con "Pathological gambling - a clinical guide to treatment" (from J.Grant and M. Potenza, cost 49.50 $ on the University we return within a scientific treatise and, in the specific case, medical and psychological. This volume insists on aspects such as the occurrence of incorrect diagnosis due to the reluctance of many doctors to diagnose the gap due to a basic underestimation of the relevance of this disease and lists the various alternatives in terms of therapies, collecting the contributions of numerous exponents of the scientific world of world renowned without neglecting the descriptions of the etiological aspects, symptoms and specific clinical cases.

The topic addressed in “Too many lives at stake. Family members, unknown victims of gambling " (from Lucio de Lellis, 12$, for sale on, where the question is examined by putting at the center of attention those who often end up suffering in silence and indirectly the consequences of the disorders connected with the gambling.

As those who have lived similar situations will well know, the relative of a pathological player lives a drama daily and suffers from trauma also rather serious entities that can need medical treatment and this book intends to shed light on the dynamics within the family unit, such as Always reconciling the dual objective of informing and sensitizing about a theme that often with being treated superficially. Instead concentrated on the role of players è “The gamble is dressed in pink. Stories of women, game stories, stories of rebirth " (from Cesare Guerreschi, 18,50 euro).

In this work, the author, who boasts numerous collaborations with universities from all over the world and to whom the foundation of the American society for intervention on compulsive pathologies, investigates the phenomenon of the gap by analyzing the different way of setting women towards the game, the various possible therapeutic approaches and the recovery programs adopted by the SIIPAC. “The illusion of winning. The game of gambling social emergency " (for sale at 11 $ on, author U. foliena, editorialist of the Catholic area newspaper Take place) instead, in addition to presenting a description of the most various aspects related to the compulsive game, highlights the important role played by the civil world that decides to mobilize and do something to encourage a general struggle to combat the phenomenon: in fact there are several associations, chopped of volunteers, exponents of politics, doctors, managers of commercial businesses and ordinary people who have decided to make their voices heard.

This book therefore aims to aggregate as well as to inform in the usual that a greater awareness can contribute to a more conscious and responsible use of gambling, perhaps with the help of the institutions that, in the face of these social emergencies, have been a little fugitives.

Finally, we also report the important contribution provided by the aforementioned "hyena" Nadia Toffa who, on the wave of the excellent success found by the service aired during an episode of the TV show Le Iene, decided to return to the subject to expand the field of the discussion and thus published a couple of months ago "When the game is hard" (price 14.50 $ on, also available in electronic format at the price of $ 9.99), an investigation that covers the double function of journalistic reportage and social report document which therefore does not limit itself to lifting a feeling of collective indignation but aims to describe in a detailed way a phenomenon of close relevance leaving little room for ritic rhetoric and making the data speak, such as the fact that during the last decade the expense of the our compatriots have even increased by three times but at the same time the state has not witnessed a proportioned increase in its income, which suggests (indeed, states it in a rather clear and clear way) that the Long Manus of organized crime she managed in one way or another to fit into the chain of this business by spreading machinery artfully modified in order to alter the normal game of probability and give winnings on the basis of convenience criteria, all thanks also probably to a dense and often impenetrable network of connivances (which, moreover, in our country are never lacking) which involves the actors of this huge lap of money at various levels, obviously at the expense of the poor and unaware players.

In the book there is also a long series of legislative deficiencies (but they are really deficiencies or holes left discovered specifically to allow a large margin of maneuver to friends of friends?) As the small level of taxation applied on the so -called Videopottery (a lower level even than that relating to other games), when instead a higher rate could be exploited in order to finance the therapies for the recovery of compulsive players who weigh on the coffers of our health system (and therefore on the shoulders of all taxpayers, ultimately), or the absurd case of the sentence with which the Court of Auditors distorted the effects of the sentence, confirmed by the Court of Cassation and therefore passed by res judicata, which condemned the dealerships, among other things, to a bombastic fine of 98 billion $ for having violated the rules that require, in order to ensure the regularity of the game, the connection of all devices to the Centralized state control system.

This heavy penalty has been reduced (twice) to the extreme until they reach 600 million$ Which, as far as a very significant figure represents if considered in absolute value, becomes a sort of caress if related to the initial amount and the multimiliary turnover of gambling in USA.

Not to mention, then, of the many projects of rules that in the initial design place serious limits to the uncontrolled proliferation of the phenomenon and then in their final form they end up losing all their innovative charge and they are palliative mere who leave the time they find or, in the most extreme cases, do more damage than those who intend to repair, as happened with the already addressed Balduzzi decree or with the law proposal which, to stem the infiltration of the mafia clans, prohibited the concession of licenses to the condemned and suspects and introduced the obligation of anti -mafia certification to obtain authorization to open an exercise dedicated to gambling: these obligations were great Part eliminated in the final drafting of the provision that substantially resolved in another, yet another, lost opportunity.

Finally, the book also includes some very touching testimonies and represents a edifying and instructive reading that anyone who wants to get a clear idea about the characteristics of this problem will find profitable. Obviously this short and stringed examination does not aim to be exhaustive, given that in any case the facets of gambling are many and can also be examined on the basis of very different points of view so it is likely that by carrying out other research You will find many other titles no less interesting, therefore our advice is however to periodically consult the most famous online stores (as therefore Amazon e ebay, to mention the most important) to keep track of the most recent releases and remain updated on this important phenomenon.


5. Conclusions

We therefore analyzed the gambling far and wide, starting from the legal aspects and documenting the way in which in our country we came from a situation where only a few games were legal (Lot, superenalotto and various lotteries) on a condition of large permissiveness following the enormous liberalizations carried out in the economic field. Subsequently, we tried to summarize the picture of the situation by identifying responsible players and players who, so to speak, let themselves be taken, introducing some medical and scientific notions aimed at deepening the discourse on pathological game, on the nature of the disorders that characterize this evil, on symptoms of psychic and physical nature and on social, affective, financial and working levels by highlighting the extreme severity and the need for use to therapies of various nature that can go from hospitalization in specialized clinics to the use of Services for drug addiction (Sert) and participation in specific help groups.

We have precisely identified a plurality of tools that can help players stop playing insisting on the need for the constant support of families who, in addition to remaining close to the victim of GAP, can in turn resort to specific forms of help as they too can report psychological damage.

At this point a brief overview of the theoretical contributions offered by distinguished scholars has been carried out and we have described the use of Clinical tools such as South Oaks Gambling Screen or Canadian Problem Gambling Index.

Finally, we proceeded by telling the problem of the gap through the help of the mass media using the enormous possibilities coming from the web, selecting and suggesting a small list of particularly interesting videos and recently published books that can be aid to those looking for A more detailed vision together with further food for thought: on the other hand, as we have seen, it is a very large topic and our role in these pages was mainly to summarize without simplifying too much, in order to return an impression effective of the theme by favoring the salient aspects and avoiding to give excessive space to the scientific data, not because it is not important but because it goes beyond our purposes and is probably not at the center of the interests of the public to which we turn, that is, an audience of players or former players, certainly not to an audience of doctors and specialists.

The goal we have set ourselves is of both information and didactic, that is, we aim to inform to spread knowledge and encourage the spread of a prudent attitude and (to use the most abused term) responsible favored by the awareness of the risks to which you meet when The thresholds of a gaming room are crossed, whether physical or virtual.

On the other hand, it is right to reiterate it to clear the field from any misunderstanding, our discussion certainly does not want to take on a rod and retrograde attitude typical of those who have the habit of making all the grass a bundle and sees the game of hazard as if it were the root of all evils, demonizing what normally represents a hobby for millions and millions of people around the world.

After all: how many of us, since children, have never played cards in the festive periods together with friends and relatives? We do not think of moving too far from the truth if we answer this question "Almost no one"null It is sacrosanct to inform about the troubles that the Compulsion of the game It can determine, but it is important to trace the boundaries adequate between prevention and information in order not to throw the child away with dirty water, as he said in the United States, or in order not to transform any discussion into a useless and sterile hunting to witches.

In fact, there are, especially in USA, of the game to correct and it is in this sense that they go calibrated criticism and repressive policies, in order to correct those characteristics that today seem to be done only to exploit the weaknesses of the players and push them to play constantly, without worrying in the least about the social costs (but also economic, on closer inspection) that are determined.

Otherwise, we end up creating only unconditional hostility which, after all, represents an excessive attitude because it puts those who play from morning to evening on the same plate and squanders everything they have and who instead just play two numbers on the lot or who He bets a few $ on the games of the football championship.

Instead, it is essential to educate the use of gambling by building a hierarchical scale along which to put the important things of life which, by force of things, must necessarily come before a match a Texas Hold'Em And they cannot be jeopardized, and, last but not least, transmit the idea that money has a value and must be respected, keeping your feet on the ground and keeping away from thinking that the money can be multiplied by pressing in the correct order some Colored button.

Of course, with these phrases we do not intend to pigs as well -right moralizing nor to attract us to salvatori of the homeland, because it would be such an improso task that it would require much more than writing four phrases on the internet, but we intend to perform a useful service to all those who attend the places in to which we play, to attract their attention to important issues and that could concern them closely in a not too distant day, in the usual knowledge that a greater knowledge of certain aspects can serve to avoid the inauspicious results that we have described in great detail null

We like to think that this article can somehow help to move consciences, promoting greater awareness and basic attitude marked by greater prudence, but at the same time without wanting to discourage those who intend to approach the game for the first time and seek only one way like any other to spend their timels in a fun way, removing it from a world that still has a certain charm and that, if Taken responsibly, he also knows how to give beautiful emotions.