The expression “gamble responsibly” on advertisements and websites was in use for many years until researchers, as well as health experts examined the kinds of behaviour that underlie it.
Responsible gambling is normally identified as:
Exercising control and informed choice to ensure that gambling is kept within affordable limits of money and time, is enjoyable, in balance with other activities and responsibilities, and avoids gambling-related harm.
Because of the harmless nature of gambling it is easy to forget of the dangers. Sure, you could make a few quid or at a minimum enjoy yourself for a short while, but how do you control it and keep it as safe entertainment?
Many people have developed addictions to gambling because of the notion that it could increase their income or serve as a source to reduce debt. People who take the time to think about their approach to gambling and the reasons they are tempted to indulge in it for a long time do so without developing an addiction to gambling.
How to Recognise You Have a Gambling Problem
- Q: Do You Get Angry When You Lose?
- Q: Do You Find Yourself Missing Work Commitments or Family Events to Gamble?
- Q: Are You Struggling to Manage or Stop Your Gambling?
- Q: Are You Having Arguments with Friends/Family About How Much You’re Spending on Gambling?
- Q: Find You’re Gambling Until All Your Money Has Gone?
- Q: Gambling Larger Amounts for Longer Periods for a Bigger ‘Buzz’?
- Q: Are You Always Thinking About Gambling?
- Q: Do You Lie About Gambling and Hide it from Friends/Family?
- Q: Do You Bet More than You Can Afford to Lose?
If you answered yes to any/all of these, it’s time to get help!
It can be an enjoyable activity, but it can be extremely risky if not vigilant. Here are some tips to help you prevent the loss of your hard-earned cash while enjoying yourself.
Don’t Bet More Than You Can Afford to Lose
Be sure to organise your finances prior to when you go to your favourite casino, in person or on the internet. Before you start to bet ensure that you’ve paid for everything you need to be able to survive including tuition fees, rent, food, utilities, bills and any other outgoing expenses you may have.
Be focused and adhere to a strict budget that doesn’t hinder your life or financial standing while playing online games. If you’re concerned about losing this much money then you must limit your gambling! Its meant to be fun not something that effects how you live.
Don’t Chase Loses
To get the most enjoyment from your gaming what’s the best strategy? Of course, you must be willing to lose! Men are much more likely to engage in this destructive behaviour. Many Men aren’t able to accept the fact that they’ve been beaten, so they continue to spend money to try to cover their losses.
Stop for a moment, take a break or shut off your computer, phone or tablet when things aren’t working for you. Don’t attempt to correct your mistakes within a single day. Try to do something different for a couple of days, and if you still want to then return a few days later with a clearer head. It really helps to step away for a while to get a little clarity.
Gambling is Not a Job
Many players believe that because Bill Benter or Phil Ivey make a fortune in traditional and online gambling it is possible that they will as well. For every big winner there a countless other gamblers that were unable to recover their entire funds.
It is beneficial to not rely solely on gambling to satisfy your financial requirements. Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Poker and Online Slots are simply games of luck. Some people are successful and win big, many don’t and lose big. Be smart, when the fun stops, STOP!
Do Not Play for Too Long
Everyone must follow this guideline regardless of what game they enjoy. Time can fly by when you are playing your favourite games. From Poker to Slots you can sometimes lose yourself and forget the time.
Many top casino sites with good reputations will allow you set a timer for your gaming session. Once this timer has expired it’s not possible to play any more games and you’ll not be able to modify it until the next day. This is a great feature and one to look out for and make use off if you feel time runs away with you when you are gambling.
Monitor Your Gambling Habits
This is an extremely useful endeavour and something everyone who plays often should do. If you don’t want to write all your thoughts down, you can use an app such as Reflectly or Daylio which also allow you to enter your moods and thoughts with each entry.
Record how much time you have spent playing, the amount of money you have spent as well as how much you’ve made. You’ll have a more insight into your financial position and will be able to spot any risky behaviours, such as spending too much or seeking to recover your losses. The emotional state and the key events can also be recorded to help you determine the impact of certain emotional states on your gambling choices.
Avoid Certain Situations
If you’re aware that you’re not in control avoid situations in which you may be acting inappropriately. It could be because of boredom, drunkenness or promotion or even peer pressure. Be calm and stay clear of these situations if you wish to avoid becoming addicted to gambling.
It also goes without saying. Avoid gambling when drunk or intoxicated. It’s wise to only play when sober, alcohol or other harmful substances can cause a negative effect on your mood and ability to make rationale decisions. It is recommended to have a clear head during play.
Gambling is Supposed to be Fun
Gambling shouldn’t be considered as a daily way to earn money instead, it should be considered an enjoyable pastime that could be profitable if you’re smart and lucky. You can do whatever you like using your money, having restrictions and taking gambling as a means of recreation will go a long way in ensuring your well-being for the long haul.
Use Reputable Casinos
The current situation has made gambling online more popular than visiting land-based casinos. Always check the casino if fully registered, legal and has the correct licensing certificates from legit licensing bodies. These can normally be found at the footer of most websites and in the about and FAQ sections.
There are many charitable organisations that have been set up over the years to help people who have a gambling addiction/problem. The UK offers the following services:
- The National Gambling Helpline – 0808 8020 133 or free webchat
- Gamblers Anonymous UK
- National Gambling Treatment Service
- Safer Gambling
These are great resources if you feel you may have a problem, don’t suffer in silence, get help!