Tips for Responsible Gambling
- Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money.
- Always gamble with money that you can afford to lose.
- Never chase losses.
- Don’t gamble when you are depressed or upset.
- Balance gambling with other activities.
- Gambling and alcohol are not a good combination.
Risks Associated with Problem Gambling
- May have arguments with family members over money.
- May get hounded by debt collectors.
- May have increasing debts resulting in:
- Overdue utility bills that may result in cut-offs.
- Pawning personal and family valuables.
- Eviction and forced home sales.
- Are more likely to become separated or divorced.
- Often suffer from stress, anxiety, moodiness, and depression.
- May show up late for work, take sick leave, or even skip entire workdays to gamble.
- May experience decreased productivity as they daydream about gambling or use the Internet at work to gamble.
Myths Associated with Gambling
Myth: “Gambling is a way to make money.”
Fact: If you gamble, think of it as a kind of entertainment you have to pay for, just like a movie or dinner with friends. That can help you keep gambling in perspective - and if you end up winning some money now and then, it’ll be a nice treat instead of something you were depending on.
Myth: “When gambling, keeping track of previous results can help me figure out the coming results.”
Fact: Each time you place a bet, the outcome is completely independent of the previous one. This means that the odds are no more in your favor on the tenth bet than they were on the first bet.
Myth: “Compulsive gamblers gamble every day”.
Fact: How often a person gambles has no relation to a gambling addiction. It’s the emotional and financial consequences of the gambler’s actions that signal an addiction.
Myth: "If I cash out after every win, it will increase my chance of winning".
Fact: A player who cashes out after every win has exactly the same chance of winning as a player who does not cash out. Cashing out has no influence on the outcome of the game.
Everyone's experience is different, but here are some general signs of a potential gambling problem. The more signs you recognize, the greater the chance of a problem:
- Constantly thinking or talking about gambling.
- Spending more time or money on gambling than you can afford.
- Finding it difficult to control, stop, or cut down gambling, or feeling irritable when trying to do so.
- Feeling a sense of emptiness or loss when not gambling.
- Gambling more in order to win back losses or get out of financial trouble.
- Thinking that your gambling will get under control as soon you have a ‘big win.’
- Borrowing money, selling belongings, committing (or considering committing) criminal acts to get money for gambling.
- Having increased debt, unpaid bills, or other financial troubles because of your gambling.
- Frequently gambling until all your money is gone.
- Needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or for longer periods of time in order to get the same feeling of excitement.
- Experiencing extreme highs from gambling wins and extreme lows from gambling losses.
- Gambling to escape personal problems or to relieve feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, or loneliness.
- Getting irritated more easily or having less patience when dealing with normal, everyday activities.
- Feeling guilty about gambling or what happens while gambling.
- Getting criticized by others for your gambling.
- Having arguments with friends or family about money and gambling.
- Refusing to discuss gambling with others or lying to cover it up.
- Hiding bills, past due notices, winnings, or losses from your partner or family members.
- Gambling instead of attending family or other social functions.
- Neglecting family or household responsibilities because of gambling.
- Neglecting work because of gambling.
- Neglecting personal needs (e.g., food, sleep, hygiene) because of gambling.
- Consistently or always planning holidays where gambling is available.