On February 16, 2018, millions of people around the world celebrated the commencement of the Chinese New Year. For about a week (or much longer in some countries) festivals, concerts, parades, and parties ushered in the Year of the Dog. Many people that observed this holiday took part in traditions intended to sweep away ill fortune and clear a path for good luck in the new year.
Because of this emphasis on luck, some Chinese New Year traditions involve playing games of chance with friends and family. Although these activities have a positive context — socializing with loved ones, taking part in holiday festivities — they can pose a challenge to those trying to recover from disordered gambling. In this kind of situation, the Council suggests that they voice their concerns to their fellow celebrants. Disordered gamblers could offer alternative practices or traditions, or even abstain from that particular celebration altogether. Alternatively, if they cannot avoid a situation that involves gambling, they can practice coping techniques to manage their urge to engage in problematic behavior.
Successful recovery from disordered gambling almost always involves support from others. Although those that struggle with this behavior may find it difficult to speak up about their difficulties — especially if they are weighed down by guilt or shame — programs like Gamblers Anonymous can help them articulate their feelings and needs. If disordered gamblers learn to communicate more effectively, their friends and loved ones can better accommodate their recovery.
Sometimes, people celebrate the Chinese New Year by playing traditional games like mahjong and ngau or even taking part in daily fantasy sports betting in Atlantic City. For disordered gamblers, participating in any form of gambling can be risky. In these cases, avoiding situations where these activities will take place may be the best way for them to maintain self-control.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to completely skirt events or locations where gambling will take place. If something has triggered a disordered gambler’s desire to gamble, a number of practices can help them manage their urges. Techniques like mindfulness, breathing exercises, and certain thought exercises have been proven to aid people in their recovery from disordered gambling and other behavioral disorders.
The Council wishes a happy and prosperous new year to all. For help with daily fantasy sports gambling in Atlantic City, excessive casino gambling, or any other form of disordered gambling behavior, call 1-800-GAMBLER for support, treatment, and hope.