Gambling can be a fun and exciting activity, but it can also be a serious problem. It can damage your health, relationships and performance at work or study. It can also lead to debt and possible homelessness.
Understanding gambling can help you avoid a problem, or if you have a problem to know how to stop. Learn about regulated and non-regulated forms of gambling, how to set a limit on your spending and why it’s important to make a plan before you start gambling.
The best way to control your gambling is to set a limit before you go out. This can be a fixed amount of money you are prepared to lose, or a set time period that you will not gamble for.
If you have an ongoing gambling problem, it is important to get help and support. Talking about your problem with others can strengthen your resolve to change. You can also ask for advice from a therapist or family member.
Identifying and addressing any underlying mood disorders, substance abuse or other issues can help you manage your gambling and prevent it from becoming a problem. It can also help you deal with the emotional and psychological challenges that gambling can cause, such as depression or stress.
Be aware of the ‘gambler’s fallacy’: This is when you think that you have a chance to win again after you’ve lost a certain amount of money. This is especially dangerous if you have an underlying depression or anxiety disorder.
Keep a realistic view of your winnings and losses: The house edge is the amount that you are losing on each bet. It is not as big as you might think and can be very easy to miss, even if you are careful.
Try to find better value on your bets: You might not realize it, but there are often cheaper ways of betting. For example, you can save a lot of money by shopping the lines on sports bets.
Avoid high-risk situations: You can avoid a gambling problem by not visiting casinos or betting at the racetrack when you are under a lot of stress or upset. It’s also important to avoid using credit cards, taking out loans and carrying large amounts of cash with you when you are gambling.
Stay away from gambling places that are not regulated: You may not be able to find a casino or gaming hall that is licensed and regulated, so make sure you check before you go. You should also not bet in public, as it can be very stressful and distracting.
Don’t chase your losses: This is when you think that you have the ability to win back your losses by betting a certain amount of money again. This is very dangerous and can easily become a habit, so make sure you never do this.
Be patient with yourself: It can be a tough addiction to overcome and it can take a long time. If you are serious about getting help, don’t give up and seek help as soon as you feel your gambling problems are affecting your life or your health.