In 2017, the party was cut short for Gala Bingo when the Advertising Standards Authority banned one of the company’s adverts, which was deemed to be claiming that gambling could help to ease depression.
Unlucky for some
Although Gala was judged to have broken the rules with its advert which depicted a man whose debts and subsequent depression were ‘cured’ through online gambling, there are those who believe in the mental health benefits of gambling.
Depression often occurs due to a lack of dopamine (happy chemicals) and serotonin in the brain. These chemicals are essential for our emotional wellbeing and, a defiict can result in mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. These chemicals are often released into the brain when a person experiences – or anticipates experiencing – an activity which brings them joy, whether that’s a visit from grandchildren or going to see a long awaited movie. Some experts claim that gaming and gambling can very much help here for a number of reasons:
- Hope – The user has hopes of winning cash or prizes from their online gaming
- Stimulation – Online games are often created using colours and sounds which are pleasing to the user
- Brain power – Online gaming often requires a certain amount of skill and concentration, which can help users to focus their mind on a certain activity for a period of time; thus distracting them from their problems or condition
- Social – Gaming and gambling often present social opportunities for users which can help those who are feeling isolated and alone
Most doctors would not, of course, prescribe gambling as an antidote to depression, however, there are indications that, due to the factors mentioned above, there can be some benefits to those suffering from mental health issues.
Accentuate the positive
Since the ban on Gala’s advert in 2017, guidelines for gambling companies have tightened considerably to prevent companies from targeting under 16s and vulnerable people through their advertising. While this is, of course, important, it’s equally important to bear in mind that gaming and gambling do have some extremely positive aspects for responsible gamblers, including keeping the mind active and, even, learning new skills. When it comes to gambling, eithe in an online EnergyWin casino or in real life, moderation is always key and you should not ever bet more than you can afford to lose.