Gambling should be a fun activity and there are some simple things you can do to help you manage your play.
Only spend what you can afford
Always keep in mind that you are more likely to lose the money you stake than you are to win any more, and don't gamble with money you need for things like rent or bills.
For more information on affordability read this blog item from gambling support charity GamCare: What do we mean by affordability?
Set your limits for time and money
Decide how much you have to play with before you begin, and when this is gone it's time to step away.
You may be tempted to spend more, as it can sometimes feel like a win is 'due' any minute, but this frame of mind will simply lead you to lose more.
You can set a spending limit with online gambling sites. The sites will alert you when you've reached your limit, and can lock you out for a short time to make sure you don't stake any more.
You can set limits for time too, even if you haven't reached you personal spending limit, or you can programme in a 'time out' to block your access fro a set amount of time. Find out more from the Gambling Commission: Tools to help you control your gambling
You can also speak to the staff in a gambling venue to let them know you would only like to gamble for a set amount fo time to with a set amount of money, and they will be able to stop serving you at that point. You can also leave your bank cards at home before visiting a gambling venue, so you can physically only gamble with the cash you have with you and wont be tempted to use cards.
If you would like to step away from gambling altogether for a bit you can also self-exclude
Don't gamble when you're angry or upset
Emotions like anger, sadness or a feeling of general stress can make it more difficult to make clear decisions and can leas to you losing money you can't really afford, and potentially important relationships. This is especially true of alcohol is added into the mix.
If you're feeling low before you start, gambling won't make you feel better. In the long run, it may make you feel worse!
Don't let gambling interfere with your personal relationships
If you spend too much time gambling, never mind too much money, you may be missing out on other important events and activities, and missing out on spending time with the people you care about. Keep gambling balanced with other things you enjoy, and other social activities too.
Gambling shouldn’t come between you and your loved ones, and if you’re ever tempted to lie to someone about how much you gambling this is not a good sign.
Remember - gambling is not the answer to any problem
Gambling is most definitely not a way to make money, or to fix something else in your life that you are not happy with. Yes, some people win big, but this is not as often as it may appear! Over time, the house always wins.
Any other problems you have will probably be made worse if you use gambling as a way to get away from them. If you feel you would like some support to gamble less, or stop altogether, you can speak to a specialist Adviser at GamCare:
- By telephone - FREE on 0808 8020 133
- Via online chat - www.gamcare.org.uk