Gambling is a popular pastime that can provide entertainment and even make you a little bit of money. However, when used irresponsibly gambling can become an addiction. Like any addiction, excessive gambling can cause financial and social strain. It can also contribute to poor physical and mental health and impact a person’s ability to maintain a job and pay their bills.
The concept of responsible gaming may seem simple, but can be difficult to sustain over time. It is important for players to recognize when their gambling activities are becoming problematic or affecting other areas of their life.
Create a Budget
No matter how long you’ve been gambling, having an established budget from the get-go is crucial. When you form an addiction to gambling, it’s easy to consecutively spend more each time you visit a casino. Gamblers often chase after a “high” following a win which can result in bigger losses than anticipated. Creating a budget allows you to remain in control of your spending and gambling habits.
When developing your budget, be realistic about how much you can set aside each day, week, or month without it interfering with other financial obligations. While you ideally want to get to a place where your gambling winnings pay for part or all of your gaming, don’t go over your set budget in attempt to win more. Once you’ve reached the limit set on your budget, stop gambling.
While budgeting is the first step in responsible gaming, a budget is not truly effective unless you continually keep track of your spending. Online casinos make it easy to remain accountable by offering real-time financial data.
Online casinos allow players to set limits and will notify them if they are close or have reached their limit. Trackable platforms also allow players the ability to see all of their transactions in one place, including how much they’ve wagered, how much they’ve won, how much they’ve lost, and their current balance.
Know Your Limits
When gambling, whether online or in a brick-and-mortar establishment, only gamble away money that you can afford to lose. While you may be feeling “lucky,” making the decision to gamble away your rent or grocery money in an attempt to win more is always a bad decision.
One of the toughest parts of gambling is making the decision to stop. When faced with this dilemma, remember the house always has the upper hand and you are predestined to lose more than you win. Playing in real money can make a real difference. Instead of attaching your account to a credit card which can encourage irresponsible spending, use a debit card, bank transfer, or e-wallet option to make the transaction feel more real.
Keep It Fun
Trouble begins when players stop seeing gambling as a form of entertainment and more as a source of income. You should never count on gambling to pay your bills, feed your family, or make large purchases. Instead, it should only be used as a fun hobby that players engage in only on occasion.
To keep it fun, only gamble when you are feeling relaxed. If you start to feel stressed or irritable, take a break and step away from the game. Take note of other red flags that could indicate that your behavior is becoming a problem, such as the need to gamble with increasing amounts of money to reach the same level of excitement or the need to lie to hide the extent of your involvement in casino gambling.
Certain influences can cause poor decision making when it comes to gambling. If a player is not able to control his or her behaviors, it can lead to problems with relationships, finances, and the workplace. In some instances, the individual may not realize that they have a problem at first. Knowing the triggers associated with casino gambling can help players gain better control over their gambling addiction.
Certain factors have been found to increase the risk of excessive gambling. Some of these triggers include the use of certain medications, such as some dopamine agonists or antipsychotic medications. In addition, certain mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and personality disorders can contribute to problem gaming. Other addictions, such as alcohol and drugs, can also increase a person’s risk of developing an addition to gambling.
In addition to placing limits directly on your online casino accounts, there are other resources available for players experiencing gambling addiction. There are a number of online tools designed to discourage gambling by blocking specific domains or by setting up keyword-based filters that block certain terms, such as “casino” or “gambling.”
Some of these tools include:
- Net Nanny – Net Nanny is an award-winning software that gives you control over what goes in and out of your home. With a yearly subscription, the tool offers keyword-based filtering and similar features. It can be installed on Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS.
- GamBlock – With GamBlock, you can easily block access to internet gambling sites and software. The software is designed to not be removed from a PC once it’s been installed.
- BetBlocker – BetBlocker is a free tool available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS that offers domain-level blocking.
Gambling can be a rewarding hobby when you understand that you are accountable for your actions. Using these tools and the other tips mentioned, you can learn to gamble responsibility and enjoy gaming without fear of the consequences.