Here at Gamblers United we are big believers in gambling responsibly. Casino gaming is supposed to be solely a source of entertainment, and the minute that it stops feeling that way is a good moment to take a break and reassess.
Gambling should not be seen as a way to supplement your income, and you should never risk more money than what you can possibly afford to lose.
If you find yourself having trouble controlling your gambling habits or sticking to your pre-determined budget, know that you are not alone. Recent research estimates that 6 to 9% of young people and young adults experience problems related to gambling, and 1 percent of the adult population has a severe gambling problem.
In this guide we will discuss the following topics:
- Tips on how to gamble responsibly
- Advice on how to stop gambling
- Where to find help for gambling addiction
Responsible Gambling Tips
The best way to prevent a gambling problem before it begins is to educate yourself on responsible gambling habits.
As long as you stick to the advice we share below, you should be able to avoid the many of the pitfalls that can put a player at risk of unhealthy gambling behaviors.
Remember that you gamble for fun and entertainment’s sake
While it may be tempting to try to chase winnings during a good streak, it’s important not to lose perspective and end up more invested in the monetary factor than you originally intended.
The same applies to chasing losses, as you may dig a deeper hole as you attempt to turn your luck around.
Gambling is not meant to be the solution to any economic problems or the key to realizing your dreams, but rather just a fun activity to do on your free time – much like watching a movie or going to a football match.
You need to take breaks
It’s very easy to get caught up in the moment when gambling, and end up making irrational and emotional decisions.
This includes suffering what is commonly referred to as the “sunk cost” fallacy, where you feel the need to keep playing in order to see the fruits of all the time and money you’ve invested into a gaming session.
In order to prevent this, set time limits and cool down periods for yourself, as these will allow you to detach yourself a bit more from the play and regain composure.
Keep in mind that gambling is not a source of income
The possibility to win money when playing games is certainly one of the biggest appeals of casino betting. After all, who isn’t wishing for that massive jackpot every time they spin the reels of a slot?
However, casino games are not money making machines – far from it. While they may indeed pay you out handsomely some days, you should always expect them to take more than they give on the long run.
Therefore, you should never rely on casino gaming as a way of creating an extra income for yourself, as you may end up digging a financial hole for yourself in doing so.
Be careful with playing on unlicensed sites
Gambling in unlicensed sites can bring many needless risks to what should otherwise be a safe and controlled gaming experience.
Not only are you at risk that the games are not fair or that unfair policies might be applied to your account, but a 2010 study found that gambling on unlicensed sites was associated with more intense gambling patterns and more gambling-related problems than their licensed counterparts.
Be mindful of alcohol or drug consumption while gambling
Gambling while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can seriously impair your judgment and decision-making abilities.
Not only can this result in you making the erroneous decisions with your bets, but it will also make it more likely that you abandon your plans or your limits to end up chasing losses or winnings beyond your budget, and possibly lose more than you intended to.
Understand how you feel before you start gambling
One of the hardest things when playing casino games for real money is keeping a clear head regardless of the situation, and not letting your emotions cloud influence your judgment.
This is especially true when players bring with them any pre-existing feelings of anxiety, frustration, anger or depression to the table, as these can easily be triggered further by gambling to create a dangerous cocktail.
Before you sit down to play online casino, take a few deep breaths and assess your mental state. If you are indeed feeling anxious or depressed, you should avoid gambling as it might not only worsen your emotional state, but could also lead to problem gambling.
Do not use a credit card when gambling
As we mentioned earlier on the page, gambling should always be considered a recreational activity – one where you only risk money that you can afford to lose.
Using credit cards when gambling can become problematic for some players, as they are not actually playing with their own money but rather on funds borrowed from credit card companies.
Unless you know that you have enough money to cover your credit card debts, we highly recommend you avoid using one for gambling.
Understand the sign of gambling problems
Gambling should always be a fun and entertaining activity for you, one where you can set healthy limits on how much you can spend or how much time you can play.
If you find yourself relying on your gambling as a source of income, betting more than you can afford to lose, or are having problems sticking to your pre-determined limits, you may be displaying signs of a gambling problem.
- NCRG Fact Sheet Gambling Disorders. (n.d.). icrg.org/sites/default/files/oec/pdfs/ncrg_fact_sheet_gambling_disorders.pdf
- Schultz, N. (2020). What Is Responsible Gambling? An Interview with Jennifer Shatley. unlv.edu/news/article/what-responsible-gambling-interview-jennifer-shatley
- Costes JM, Kairouz S, Eroukmanoff V, Monson E. Gambling Patterns and Problems of Gamblers on Licensed and Unlicensed Sites in France. J Gambl Stud. 2016 Mar;32(1):79-91. doi: 10.1007/s10899-015-9541-2. PMID: 25862019.