Most people play one form of gambling game or another at some point in their lives. Most gamblers can do so without any concerns, but some develop problems with their gambling.
Fortunately, there are strategies that gamblers can use to help keep them safe from problem gambling. If you gamble, take a look at the following tips; they’ll help you to learn more about how you can enjoy gambling without putting yourself at risk for problem gambling.
- Have the right attitude – gamble for fun and entertainment, not as a way to make money.
- Set a limit on how much money and time you can afford to spend gambling. (It must not be the money needed for basic living expenses, such as food, shelter, etc.) It is important not to change this limit while you play.
- Don’t take your bank cards or credit cards with you when you gamble. Leave any extra cash at home.
- When you run out of money, don’t borrow from family, friends or others so you can keep gambling.
- Only take the amount of money you are willing to spend and have a clear plan on what you will do if you spend all that money sooner than expected.
- Know how much it costs to play per hour on the games you enjoy. While you win sometimes, you also lose, so it is important to know the average cost per hour. To calculate your own cost of play, try our Cost of Play Calculators.
- Understand the risks and benefits of gambling – be aware of your own reasons for gambling. The responsibility of balancing these risks and benefits rests solely with you.
- Remember that, while gambling can be fun, it is not a way to solve problems.
- Balance gambling with other leisure activities. Gambling shouldn’t be the only activity you do in your spare time.
If you gamble on a regular basis, it’s a good idea to keep track of the money you spend on the activity. Print out the One Month At-A-Glance Log Sheet – it will help you to keep a realistic record of your gambling expenses. Remember to put a pre-set amount (the amount you plan to spend for the day) on the first line. Then, at the end of the day, you can compare that amount with the amount you actually spent.
Keep in mind that, despite all the above responsible gambling tips, for some people, any gambling can put them at risk. For these people, the only safe gambling may be no gambling at all.