Responsible Gambling – What You Need to Know

Find out if you have a gambling problem

Gambling should always be for leisure. If you love gambling, you should know that there are some potential risks associated with it. Remember, you might be on a good winning streak with a casino game, lottery or betting. However, with time you will eventually lose. You should be prepared with the knowledge of what a gambling problem looks like, and how to prevent it.

What Is A Gambling Problem?

You are likely going to develop a gambling problem if you think you just need a little more time to win or hit the jackpot. If you continue this way, your finances, relationships and your health will be at risk. That’s why you need to make gambling safer. Whether you are making a small bet with friends or playing at an online casino, you need to make sure that you are not overdoing it.

Here are some of the best tips you should consider for responsible gambling.

1. It’s Not A Way To Make Money

As mentioned above, gambling is just a way to spend your leisure time. Therefore, you shouldn’t approach it as a way to make money. The way casinos and online gambling sites are set up is that they will take more money than they will pay out to their clients. With time, you are likely to end up losing more money than what you win.

All types of gambling have the same principle, so you are not limited to only casinos. A lot of people will lose so a few will win. Therefore, if you are gambling repeatedly hoping for a big win, you will likely end up losing a lot more money. Don’t have the false belief that you will be the big winner because odds are it won’t happen.

2. Gamble Only With Money You Are Willing To Lose

You should only gamble with money you have set aside for fun or going out for drinks. Never gamble with your rent or tuition. Stay away from your savings or utility bills payments if you are gambling. If you use any savings for your gambling, you are feeding the problem and it can become an addiction.

Always remember, you are gambling to have fun and not to make more money. If you spend your savings or your month’s salary on gambling to make more money, that’s a huge red flag and you should stop.

3. Set A Money Limit

When you are in a casino or an online betting site, it’s hard to keep track of the money when you are in the heat of the moment. That’s why you need to set a money limit for your gambling. Make sure you stick to this limit and you should always have enough cash for your other expenses. Most casinos will let you set a deposit limit – take advantage and set one before your gambling session. If you go through all the money you have set aside for gambling, you need to stop immediately.

4. Don’t Chase Losses

Chasing losses means continuing to gamble in an attempt to win back the money you have lost. You believe with time you will win it back, so you deposit more and more money and spend more and more time, all the while the losses are stacking up.  Being unable to stop is a bad sign, and should signal you to take a hard look at your gambling habits, and scale back as necessary.

5. Don’t Gamble Under The Influence Or When You Are Emotional

Gambling often goes hand in hand with a good ambiance and party essentials such as alcohol or drugs. If you are under the influence, you should avoid gambling because that’s when you will make the most mistakes. You are likely going to gamble above the set cash limit and lose it all.

On the other hand, if you are feeling depressed or sad, it’s not a good idea to gamble. Remember, your emotional capacity is completely compromised so you need to clear your mind before you can gamble. It’s an addiction so if you do it when you are sad or depressed, you are likely to bet all your money to escape your feelings.

6. Learn The Rules Of The Game

As much as gambling is a game of luck, you need to learn the rules of the game before you try gambling. If you are gambling in a casino, you might be caught up in the thrill of all the various games such that you get carried away. However, if you learn the rules of the game, you can gamble wisely and avoid losing a lot of money. There are a lot of online resources you can use to learn more about different games before making your bet.

7. Avoid Superstition

As mentioned, gambling is a game of luck or chance. You shouldn’t be superstitious when gambling hoping that something will come your way. You need to know what type of game you are playing and the type of rules used if you want to get ahead. Your superstition will force you to do egregious things in the hope of winning something in the long run. The minute you log in to that betting site or visit a casino near you, throw your superstitions away and focus on the game.

8. Balance Gambling With Other Activities

When you have free time on your hands, you should always find other things to do besides gambling. If gambling is your only leisure activity, you are likely going to overdo it and end up becoming addicted. Therefore, take some time away from the online gambling site or a casino near you and simply look for another activity to occupy your free time.

In conclusion, just like any other addiction, problem gambling is a disease. Therefore, you need to practice responsible gambling to avoid losing a lot of money or straining your relationships with the people close to you.

If you are a Canadian and think you have a gambling problem, get help now.

Problem Gambling Helplines in Canada

Confidential and open 24 hours a day.

Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission Helpline
1-866-332-2322

British Columbia Responsible Problem Gambling Program
1-888-795-6111

Manitoba Gambling Helpline
1-800-463-1554

New Brunswick Gambling Information Hotline
1-800-461-1234

Newfoundland and Labrador Problem Gambling Helpline
1-888-899-4357

Nova Scotia Gambling Support Hotline
1-888-347-8888

Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut Helpline
1-800-265-3333

Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline
1-888-230-3505

Prince Edward Island Gambling Addiction Services
1-888-299-8399

Québec – Gambling Help and Referral
(514) 527-0140 Montreal and surrounding area
1-800-461-0140 and 1-866-767-5389 throughout province

Saskatchewan Problem Gambling Helpline
1-800-306-6789

Source: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

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