Online Gambling Problems

The advances in broadband and wireless technology have made the world come together closer than never before. Now virtually everything is possible on the net-shopping, clinching business deals, social networking, and even gambling, the ever-favorite pastime of men. Online gambling first emerged in the early part of the 1990s and had become an instant hit, with an estimated 3000 online websites on the net today. It totally radicalized the gambling industry and has seen takers from across age groups. However, just like the land version, even internet gambling is fraught with problems. The addiction problem prevails in the online world as well.

What is problem gambling?

Problem gambling is an impulse-control disorder that leads to major disruptions in all areas of life: psychological, social, vocational or physical. It also includes the stage of ‘pathological’ or ‘compulsive’ gambling. Problem gambling is characterized by an increasing preoccupation with gambling. They have an urge to bet money more frequently and become restless or irritable, if anyone tries to stop. They usually are aware of the mounting, serious, negative problems but staying off the bet becomes the most difficult thing for them.

Online problem gambling is a manifestation of the aforementioned problems. But a study has shown that people who indulge in online gambling have more serious addiction problems than those who use the lottery or play slot machines. Online gambling problems are on the rise because of the explosive growth of the internet.

Causes leading to Internet Gambling

o The privacy and anonymous nature of the internet space has led to people taking to gambling without any hesitation.

o Easy accessibility of online games in the internet has led to people spending more time on gambling.

o Those who work on the internet most of the time can easily avail of online games. This gradually leads to addiction.

Signs of problem Gambling

o Gambling much longer than intended.

o Gambling until you spend the last penny.

o Using up incomes or even saving to gamble, while bills remain unpaid.

o Borrowing money continuously to finance your gambling needs.

o Neglecting your family and professional responsibilities.

o Stoop to stealing, cheating or selling household stuff to get gambling money.

o Gamble with the hope that it will solve financial woes or even win back losses.

o Relieve feelings of depression.

o They can easily set up a gambling account and there are a variety of forms of gambling – right from traditional betting, to casino gambling, lotteries and bingo. All this makes online gambling tremendously appealing.

o There is no time limit and in the absence of a supervisor, a person can go on gambling for up to 24 hours a day.

o As you play, there is a decreased perception of the value of cash and players frequently forget that they are playing with cash.

Online Gambling and its effects

Though many believe that legalized gambling is just harmless entertainment, but people already affected by it and continuous study results have veered on its deceptive nature. In fact, it is considered to cause even more harm than playing in a live casino building. The health and emotional difficulties associated with gambling disorders includes depression, circulatory disease, substance abuse and even risky sexual behavior. Recent studies have concluded that online gambling comprised basically of unmarried and younger participants over people who never gamble. Contrary to the fact that internet is associated with high education level and higher income strata, the study pointed out that online gambler addicts belong to lower education and income levels. Online gambling is one of the fastest growing addictions to afflict the youth today.

The American Psychological Association (APA) conducted a study wherein they found that 74% of online gamblers are problematic or pathological gamblers. Among this, the group that is most at risk is the teens. Online problem gamblers spend much more money on the online gambling websites than the amount teenagers spend on drugs. The worse bit of online gambling is its anonymity. Earlier, a person had to go to a gambling house in order to satisfy their urge to gamble and everybody knew how you fare or how much you lost. But now, you just walk into your office or bedroom and there goes your savings in thin air, and not a soul gets a whiff of it. The lenient regulation measures of the online gambling industry have only added on to the problem.

Treatment for Online Problem Gambling

Those addicted to online gambling need to take the following steps to avoid and get over such problems. Its very important to remember the onus of the entire treatment process lies, first and foremost, with you. You should wake up and take control, before you reach the point of no return. The first steps are always the hardest and once you can overcome them; the rest will be a breeze of air.

o Be honest with yourself and accept your problem.

o Manage your money and keep track of the amount you are spending. Gamers should remember to spend only what they can afford to lose. Chasing losses will only lead to a further downward spiral.

o Postpone your gambling urges. Next time you want to play, catch a movie or go out for dinner. Playing sudoku will take off your mind from gambling for a while.

o When you have leisure time, indulge in recreation that has nothing to with gambling.

o Use software to block access to gambling sites and make it password protected. You should not know the password.

o Get professional help as soon as possible.

Online problem gambling may affect anyone. One should be aware of one’s gambling behavior. There are many gory examples of problem gambling which should serve as eye openers for the affected. Any form of addiction is a choice. It becomes a disease because of your loss of control. Speak to your near and dear ones. Help is never far away. One precious lifetime is all you get, and it would be incredibly foolish to attempt to ruin even a second of it by way of unnecessary problems.

Movie Magic for Poker Players

One of my earliest memories of a poker game is from the 1965 movie, Cincinnati Kid. The movie follows a young poker player (played by Steve McQueen) as he pits himself against the top poker player of the time. The movie (heeded by many as one of the greatest poker movies ever) gave rise to my lifelong interest in the game. In more recent times I was pleased to watch the Matt Damon movie, Rounders.

Perhaps, what I love most about poker movies are the crisp, sarcastic dialogues, the rounds of bluffing, the quiet calculated manner of those that win, and the suspense of what the next card might be. In these movies, it is the man (or woman) with the greater intelligence that wins the game.

Poker movies provide entertainment. However, that is not my primary reason for watching them. Being unable to resist a good poker game at times, I like to stay on top of the various tips that my poker buddies keep using. And trust me, for those of us that play poker only occasionally, most of our tricks come from the movies.

One poker trick that we learn from the movies is that of reading the looks on the faces of the other players. Eyes that are downcast or have a happy glint in them are sure giveaways of the kinds of cards that a person has drawn. Of course, that unhappy looking fellow might be on to you, and might be bringing all his theatrical talents to the poker table. Be careful. Don’t give away your own cards by your facial expressions or your body language. And don’t be fooled by somebody else.

More importantly, don’t give in to an emotional outburst. In a good poker game, the pressure will build up. But you must concentrate on the game, on winning. Emotions will only give your opponents the upper hand. Don’t lose control of the game. Also, avoid drinking yourself silly during a poker game, unless you are in the mood to let other people win. A person who is drunk throughout a game is only preparing to drown in losses.

Avoid Gambling Away Profit Points In Your Movie Like Casino Chips Or You Will Go Bust

I think there is a gambling streak in indie filmmakers and movie producers. Not even close to a streak like in one of my favorite gambling movies made – The Gambler (1974). Making movies is not exactly the safest bet, but the action is a rush, and payoffs can be in the millions. Not to mention making one hit indie movie can lead to studio deals where the sky is the limit. Like with professional gamblers, you have to play smart and not take avoidable risks.

I’ve read a few articles and books that have suggested one way to save money on an indie budget is to offer actors and crew members “points” (percent of movie profits) instead of giving them a paycheck, or the preferred form in the indie scene – cold hard cash. They sacrifice being paid upfront for a potential share of any profits the movie makes. On the surface this sounds appealing because hard money doesn’t have to be raised and spent to hire people.

Below the surface there are issues that make giving out points to actors and crew problematic. For many aspiring filmmakers “points” won’t feel like real money they’re dealing with.

It’s similar to people gambling with casino chips. When they’re playing with casino chips it doesn’t feel like real money, even though casino chips do represent real dollar amounts. Casino chips only become real to many people when it’s time cash them in for real money or they have to spend real money to get more.

This same attitude can be seen when giving out “points”. A person can think, “I’m making a movie now (gambling). I’ll worry about cashing out “points” (casino chips) later.

A filmmaker that’s financially shortsighted is more open to offer “points” like Halloween candy to actors and crew. When it does come time to cash in those “points” a filmmaker realizes they’ve shot themselves in the foot if their indie film is successful. Between “points” paid out to actors, crew and film investors (who always get points), they’ll be lucky to earn anything off their own creative talents and sweat equity.

What if you do end up with a hit indie movie on your hands? It nets (money the filmmaker actually receives) one million dollars in profits through some of these potential outlets.

• Theatrical Release
• Domestic DVD and Video Sales
• Sale of Foreign Distribution Rights
• VOD (video on demand) Sales
• Cable/Satellite Television Rights
• Internet Outlets

Just to illustrate the point, here is a clear-cut example. Say there is an actor or crewmember that normally might have been paid $1,000 for their work cashes in their “points.” Even one single point would be worth $10,000. Imagine repeating giving away that much of your movie’s profits on “points” given out.

A filmmaker could be in a position where the only way to get their movie done is to offer “points” to actors or crew, but be judicious when deciding how many “points” to hand out to an actor or key crewmember. Always leave meat on the bone so you can eat too.

Film investors that put up money to make a movie always receive “points.” That’s how a movie investor sees a return on their money, like in another financial investment. Enough “points” will belong to investors that put up money to produce a film without including actor and crew “points” you have to pay out too.

Do not end up a tragic character in your own real life movie that discovers they gambled their movie away. Every person involved made money, except our real life hero who made it possible. Treat “points” like your movie is already going to be a profitable venture.

Card Counters, Coolers and Secret Agents: Four of the Best Gambling Movies of All Time

Casinos, gambling, and exotic locales have fascinated moviegoers since the earliest days of film, and that interest shows no sign of waning. In the 1930s, the stars of the silver screen were gambling in Rio de Janeiro and Monte Carlo while today, most films take place in the glamorous casinos of Las Vegas, but the glitz and drama are the same. Here is a list of four of the best gambling movies in recent decades.

“The Cooler”

This quirky romance stars William H. Macy as Bernie Lootz, one of the unluckiest men in the world. His luck is so bad that it rubs off on those around him, so he works as a cooler at the Shangri-La Casino. His boss, the dangerous Shelly Kaplow (Alec Baldwin), pays him to stand next to people on a winning streak, and inevitably, their luck changes. Unfortunately for Kaplow, Bernie falls in love with a waitress, Natalie (Maria Bello), and his luck starts to change for the better.

“The Cooler” is a dark comedy with plenty of funny moments. However, there is lots of suspense as well as Bernie and Natalie attempt to escape Kaplow, who is a violent criminal with ties to organized crime.

This film is worth seeing for the cast alone. Alec Baldwin is notable for the stellar way he portrays Kaplow, an older criminal who mostly hands off the dirty work but remains more dangerous than he looks. William H. Macy plays the kind but unlucky Bernie to perfection. The contrast between his depressed mannerisms early in the movie and his joyful behavior after falling in love is striking. Maria Bello is also excellent as Natalie, a charming and fun-loving waitress with a few secrets herself.

“Rain Man”

This story about a successful Los Angeles car dealer and his autistic brother became an instant classic when it was released in 1988. It stars Tom Cruise as Charlie, the cutthroat car dealer whose main mission in life is to earn money, and Dustin Hoffman as Raymond, the autistic savant. When the movie begins, Charlie is under heavy financial pressure and learns that his father has died, leaving his sizeable estate to Raymond, the brother Charlie never knew he had. Charlie develops a cynical plan to exploit Raymond in order to gain a share of his father’s estate. Along the way, he notices that Raymond has amazing recall abilities and decides to head to Las Vegas and use Raymond’s skills at a casino. However, the events of that trip change Charlie substantially.

Although the time in Las Vegas is a relatively small part of the movie, it is one of the most memorable gambling movies of all time. It popularized the idea of counting cards, as well as introducing the idea of the autistic savant to popular consciousness.

Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise are excellent in this movie. Hoffman is especially notable for his believable portrayal of a man with severe autism.

“Casino Royale”

“Casino Royale,” based on the book of the same name, is the first movie in the reboot of the James Bond series starring Daniel Craig as the titular secret agent. The film shows Bond near the start of his career. The movie follows his attempts to thwart the sinister Le Chiffre (Mads Mikkelson), a mysterious character who is trying to finance terrorists. Le Chiffre is also a notorious gambler, so Bond’s strategy is to bankrupt him during a high-stakes poker game.

“Casino Royale” stands out from many modern gambling movies by avoiding Las Vegas. Instead, the poker game takes place in Montenegro, a small country in southeastern Europe. The picturesque location provides a memorable background to the action, which is everything you’d expect from a James Bond movie.

Daniel Craig plays an excellent Bond, although fans of the old movies may struggle to get used to him. This movie portrays him as both rougher and more emotional, although he can still play the suave gentleman when he wants to. His love interest is Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), a charming and seemingly innocent treasury agent assigned to keep an eye on the money he is given for gambling. Judi Dench as M rounds out the top-notch cast.

“21”

“21” takes viewers back to Las Vegas for the story of a group of MIT students, led by a charismatic professor (Kevin Spacey), who become an elite card-counting team bent on beating the casinos. The film centers on Ben Campbell (Jim Sturgess), who was just accepted into Harvard Medical School but cannot afford the tuition. He joins the card-counting team as a way to raise the funds he needs, but quickly gets caught up in the glamour and easy money of his new lifestyle. The team develops elaborate methods to avoid detection and guarantee wins, but struggles to stay ahead of the casinos that use cutting-edge technology to recognize card counters. The stress also causes rifts within the group as teammates turn on each other and fight over money.

Learning Photography and How to Do So

There have been instances throughout history where people have been successful only when they did what they loved to do, not just as a hobby but as a profession as well. For many people, the daily grind of 9-5 is not as pleasing and they feel suffocated. Their hobbies and personal interests are their saving grace. There are a number of avenues that people can go down as far as their hobbies are concerned and turn them into a full time job.

There are endless opportunities which turn out to be full time jobs and people don’t feel a burden at all, because of their interests.

The proliferation of cameras and the influence it has on young minds has changed the photography scenario by wide margins and this has come up as a new youth centric platform. People aspire to be full time photographers and have started taking full time and part time photography courses as per their needs and level of skill.

The skill of capturing memories through photographs can be intoxicating and once the adrenaline seems pumping, not because of adventure, but because of the power of a lens, the photographers can simply not rest until their vision is portrayed on a canvas.

Earlier, it was difficult to find good photography courses, due to lack of facilities and infrastructure. But, modernization came as a blessing in disguise and now people have access to all that they require within the country. From high end gadgets to efficient setting classrooms for practice, photography schools make a note of everything being perfect.

Different people have different career goals and look at a profession distinctly. While some people delve deep into the digital world, some of them go for freelance projects and love to explore. There are people who go the traditional way as well and find themselves munching on specifics of lenses, cameras and a lot more.

The boom in photography has created multiple options for every photographer to learn from. But, with perks come limitations as well. With the opening of multiple photography schools, judging the traits of a school turns out to be arduous. Keeping a few things in the head before opting for a school can help save a lot of hassle and can also help you go a long way in the future.

Set your goals

Plan first and then take a step. Think about what your expectations are and what level of skill do you require.

Start searching

When you are sure about your goals, find the course you want to continue with. Browse the internet and search different websites to learn about what is being offered in which course.

Check the syllabus and instructors

Classes once shortlisted, check the syllabus of each and then evaluate according to what seems best for you.

13 Bad Habits That Can Ruin Your Photography

Do this simple test below. For each bad habit, give yourself a test score.

01. LEAVE THE CAMERA AT HOME

The best camera is the one you have with you – even if it’s on your smart phone. Not every photo you take is photography competition material, or is of commercial value. Regardless, a huge megapixel count and optimum lens quality on a DSLR is useless if left at home.

02. RELY ON A SINGLE MEMORY CARD

Those little storage cards are hugely expensive, but the temptation to be frugal will bite you on the bum. Murphy’s Law states that your memory card will fill up precisely when you’re shooting that ‘money shot’; when the light is right; or when the entire group is all smiling at you. The remedy? Buy more memory cards.

03. DON’T BACK UP YOUR PHOTOS

I know a friend who fills up a memory card with images, then buys another, fill that up, then buys another – a dangerous habit! He recently confessed he’s lost some of his precious photos. Personally, I have experienced the pain of having a hard drive fail, losing more than a year’s commercial photography work. To be super-secure, you really should store your photographs in three different locations.

04. CHIMP

Constantly checking your images on the LCD display is called chimping. Nothing wrong with it, except if you’re into street photography, or at a wedding or party. You may miss that decisive moment, as you’re too engrossed in the perfectionistic tendency of chimping.

05. SHOOT FROM EYE LEVEL

Amateur shutterbugs tend to hold the camera at head-height. However, this will produce predictable results. When shooting in a location, learn to ‘work the scene’. Drop to your knees, or even lie on the ground, searching for fresh angles. An aerial perspective can be stunning. Remember that the best tool of composition is your feet.

06. FAIL TO CONSIDER THE BACKGROUND

Look for a simple background behind your subject. For example, avoid having a telephone pole (in the distance) that appears to protrude from a person’s head. If you have a long lens, you can employ a narrow depth-of-field to blur the background. This will isolate your subject from the clutter beyond, achieving a degree of separation.

07. CENTRE THE SUBJECT

Ignore the rules of composition at your peril. If you want your photos to stand out, learn and use the Rule of Thirds, rather than place your focal point bang in the middle, like most folks do, (in blissful ignorance). Or, add dynamic by tilting your camera at an angle. Don’t forget to try different types of framing: portrait orientation versus landscape orientation. Or even a really wide panoramic crop.

08. SHOOT ONLY IN BRIGHT DAYLIGHT

Confession time… I am guilty of this. Because I trained back in the bad old days of film, when strong light was necessary to capture good images, I became a fair-weather photographer. Also, I used compact digital cameras for a decade, which were hopeless in low light situations. So I was infatuated with clear, blue skies, as cloudy skies often washed out into a white haze.

However, under a harsh, midday sun, shadows are short and therefore objects do not look three-dimensional, lacking form. Human subjects may squint into the sun, or blink. Worse, they may have an ugly ‘sun-dial’ effect under their noses! Better to pose people in the shade.

Landscapers should learn to work with softer, diffused light – this is mandatory for waterfall scenes. Thunderclouds overhead will introduce a sense of foreboding that blue skies cannot. Golden hour lighting will exude warmer tones and longer shadows.

09. DON’T READ THE CAMERA MANUAL

Same old story: you buy a new camera, put the box away and the camera’s manual stays inside the plastic bag. Perhaps you were too eager to use your new gadget. Well, now it’s time to dig out the manual, and attack it with a highlighter pen.

Be methodical, and diligently work through each function of your camera. You may find features you didn’t know existed!

10. SHOOT ON AUTO

If you haven’t read the camera manual, your photos may suffer from the restrictions of shooting in Automatic mode. Modern cameras are amazing, and can produce great results on Auto, but not consistently. Better to take control yourself. Learn the semi-automatic shooting modes, such as Shutter or Aperture Priority. Then, if you are brave, try shooting on Manual.

11. THINK THAT POST-PROCESSING CAN FIX ANYTHING

This is a lazy habit to fall into. It’s much better to get a shot right in-camera, including the correct exposure, as blown-out highlights cannot be retrieved later. Another consideration is ensuring that the horizon is straight, or you will lose the edges of your image when rotating then cropping it on a computer. Use the 3×3 grid on your LCD display, or a spirit level fitted on the hot shoe.

If you shoot landscapes, buy some ND and ND Grad filters. The most useful filter is the Polariser, the effects of which cannot be replicated using software. Finally, it’s better to do a bit of gardening, removing distractions from a scene, than be forced to clone them out in Photoshop – tedious work!

12. SHOOT ONLY JPEGS

JPEG files are compressed. Unfortunately, this narrows the dynamic range of your photographs, and changes the colour, according to the camera’s presets. This can’t be undone. Shoot using the RAW file format, as this is more forgiving. RAW allows you the latitude to correct exposure and colour, as well as sharpen the image, on computer software. Think of RAW files as digital negatives, that need processing and fine tuning.

13. POST TOO MANY PHOTOS

We all take poor pictures, badly exposed or blurry… but there’s no need to inflict these on the unsuspecting public! Carefully select only your best images, then process these on the computer.

11 Photo Booth Rental Tips To Consider

1. Have the photo booth available starting with the cocktail hour. Guests are often looking for something to do, and the curiosity factor is high. You get more bang for your buck starting early than going late when most guests are focused on dancing and/or saying good byes.

2. If possible keep the photo booth as close to the action as possible. You want the guest book to be full and your guests to go home with a stack of photo-strips. The closer the booth is to the bar or to the dance floor the more use it will get.

3. Think through beforehand who you want to get in the booth with at your reception. You’d be surprised how many brides and grooms almost forget to go in the booth at all because there is so much going on.

4. If you are picking out your own album for a photo guest book, I recommend using one with black pages – at least 20 of them. The photo strips and metallic gel pens for messages look fantastic on black pages.

5. If you are using the photo strips as your primary wedding favor, consider having the strip customized to include your names and the date – or a special message.

6. Tailor the photo strips to fit with the mood you are trying to set with your wedding. Color strips look great at any wedding, but we can also make them black and white, or sepia tone for a classic or retro touch.

7. To take your photo strip wedding favors to the next level, place 2″x6″ acrylic, photo strip frames at each place setting or some other style of 2″x6″ frame.

8. At the end of the evening, all the images will be placed on a CD to be used however you see fit. Consider projecting them onto a screen with an LCD projector for all to see toward the end of the reception.

9. Consider having duplicates of the photo strips printed out later to be included with thank you notes, birthday cards, holiday cards, etc.

10. As you consider your options: make sure you are comparing apples to apples. Not all photo booths are created equal – there is a photo booth for every price point – from “photo booths” that are assembled with pipe and drapes or a tripod and a back drop, to upscale, authentic, hard-sided photo booths. If aesthetics are important to you, ask your photo booth rental company to see a picture of the booth that will be at your event. Also make sure to ask for a sample of the photo strips they provide. Not all photo strips are created equal either. Image clarity and flattering lighting is not only important for the benefit of your guests, but it greatly enhances the quality of the photo guest book that is created for you.

11. Regarding props. If you go with them at all, go light. Going overboard with the props will result in a couple hundred strips of nearly anonymous people dressed up in the same costume. The magic of the photo booth happens when the curtain closes and another side of your guests personalities comes out. You want as much of the real them as possible.