Problem gambling is the situation in which gamblers spend more funds and time than they can afford to in gambling activities and as a result head towards financial ruin and a disrupted family life. Most online gamblers feel that they can never come to a problem gambling situation because they gamble in a limited and disciplined manner. In fact this misplaced confidence is the first step towards problem gambling. It prevents the player from perceiving the small telltale signs of problem gambling.
Problem gambling can be nipped in the bud if diagnosed at an early stage. The problem gambling test is one tool that allows for this early diagnosis. Therefore regular gamblers should take this test at frequent intervals, say every three months. The whole test should not take more than 10 minutes and every gambler can spare this much. The test consists of a series of questions concerning different aspects of gambling. These questions are of the "yes" or "no" type. These questions are so framed that an answer of yes indicates that there is a problem with the player. This test works only if the player answers the questions honestly. There is no reason why he should not do that because there is no assessment by any third party. The player himself is the examiner.
All the good online casinos are aware of their social responsibility of trying to prevent their players from becoming problem gamblers. They have a section on responsible gambling and players will find the problem gambling test in this section. Though this test is not identical in all online casinos, it is very similar. However, it would make sense for the player to browse through a few of the problem gambling tests and select the one that is most comprehensive.
As mentioned earlier the problem gambling test covers many different aspects of gambling. An important question is whether the player gambles at his workplace or stays away from work to gamble. When players take the test they should go into the reasoning behind each question. Responsible gambling dictates that players fix their times of gambling in such a manner that it does not affect their work. If a player decides that he will gamble online for an hour after he comes home from work then that is fine. Later he may feel that it is okay to gamble on the way to work using his mobile phone or gamble during his lunch recess because that does not affect his work. While answering the problem gambling question the player should realize that though he is still technically not gambling at his workplace, he is gambling more than he had planned to and if he does not move back to the original scheduled he may soon start gambling during work.
The other aspects of problem gambling covered in these tests are the reasons for gambling, the reaction to losing money, lying about gambling and disruption of social and family life. The problem gambling test does not provide an assessment pattern and it is up to each player to take a call whether he is in the realm of problem gambling or not. Regular players should make a short note after taking the test on any aspect where they have transgressed, even if seemingly insignificantly. They would then have these notes for comparison when they next take the test and can thus assess the trend. If players have answered "yes" to any of the questions they should chalk out steps to follow so that when the next take the test they are honestly able to answer "no". And if they have repeatedly answered "yes" to any question then they should without hesitation seek expert advice from organizations that handle problem gambling issues.