Responsible Gambling

1. What Is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling is gambling that is done excessively and negatively affects other areas of a person’s life, such as their physical or mental health, school or work performance, finances, and/or interpersonal relationships.

People with gambling problems often bet with money they can't afford to lose, max out their credit cards, borrow money in order to gamble, and do other things that compromise their personal values. Despite these negative consequences, they may deny that they have a problem, continue to chase losses, neglect family, friends, work, and even their own self-care (they may not eat or sleep properly, for example, or care about their physical appearance). Problem gambling can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, race or social status

2. Tips For Safer Gambling

For those who choose to gamble, there are some general principles that can help to make gambling safer and reduce the risk that problems will occur.

Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money: The bottom line is that gambling establishments, like land based casinos and internet casinos are set up to take in more money than they pay out. This means over time, you will lose more money than you win. But, remember its’ not just casinos, all forms of gambling have the same principle - the vast majority lose so that a very small minority can have big wins. Virtually all people with gambling problems hold the false expectation that they are the ones who will be the big winners. That belief feeds the problem.

Always gamble with money that you can afford to lose: Gamble with money that you set aside for fun, like going to the movies or going out for drinks. Never use money that you need for important things, like rent, bills, tuition, etc,

Set a money limit: Decide how much money you can afford to lose before you play. When you have lost that amount of money, quit. If you win – enjoy, but remember it won’t happen most of the time.

Set a time limit. Decide how much time you can afford to spend gambling. When you reach that time limit, stop gambling.

Never chase losses. If you lose money, never try to get it back by going over your limit. This usually leads to even bigger losses.

Don’t gamble when you are depressed or upset: It is hard to make good decisions about gambling when you are feeling down.

Balance gambling with other activities: It’s important to enjoy other activities so that gambling doesn’t become too big a part of your life.

3. Look For Help

If you require immediate help, please contact local problem gambling hotlines.

*Content courtesy of Responsible Gambling Council

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