People have been gambling for eons. From the first example of humans ‘rolling the bones’ in caves to modern-day online casinos, gambling is thrilling. And it can even make you rich if you’re lucky enough. But there is such a thing as ‘too much of a good thing.’ When you feel like the crazy gambling train is going off the rails, it’s time to slow down, Casey Jones. Responsible gambling is the key to enjoying betting without the dire consequences of gambling addiction. Read on for our advice on responsible gambling.
If you are not of legal age in your territory or country, you should not gamble. Period. Gambling is for adults. Nobody will let children gamble in brick-and-mortar casinos, but danger lurks online. This means that parents should take safeguards to ensure that any children in their house cannot access gambling software or online casinos.
Another key to responsible gambling is setting time limits. Like anything fun and thrilling, there’s a small chance of danger from overindulgence. Take drinking alcohol, for example. Too much of a good thing can quickly turn tragic when it is out of control. The key point here is moderation. Sure, it’s okay to go overboard once in a while; we’re only human. But take care not to become addicted to the thrill.
Gambling releases bits of dopamine in our brains. That’s the ‘gambler’s rush’ we’ve all heard about. And it doesn’t matter if you’re on a winning streak or a losing streak, the thrill is there. The thrill of risk and the rollercoaster ride of emotions is what keeps us going back for more. Therefore, it’s important to limit the amount of time and money you spend gambling in a single session. Also, don’t gamble too many days in a row.
For example, commit to a maximum amount you can safely afford to lose while gambling. Never gamble with the rent or food money. Only use money you can afford to lose. Otherwise, you may find yourself losing control. Losses happen. That’s why it is important to stop and gamble again another day.
An example of disposable income is a budget for restaurants, movies, concerts, or bars. Gambling should be included in your budget as part of your disposable income. If you accidentally spend more gambling than you wanted, you can always skip a movie or concert.
Know When to Stop Gambling
Even if you follow the guidelines for responsible gambling, you can still find yourself gambling too much. It’s a good idea to watch out for warning signs of going too far. These signs indicate certain types of behaviour which may signal the onset of a gambling problem. Gambling addiction doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to develop. So, if you suddenly find yourself in deficit spending mode every month, that’s a good sign to stop gambling.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, those at risk for gambling addiction exhibit certain types of behaviour or patterns. Seek help If you find yourself engaging in one or more of the following behaviours:
• Anxiety and irritability when trying to stop gambling
• Unable to control urges to gamble, even when you cannot afford it
• Lying about your gambling
• Chasing losses
• Borrowing money or relying on others to finance your gambling habit
• Putting relationships, careers, and money at risk
What to Do if You Have a Gambling Problem
Fortunately, there are ways to treat a gambling disorder. If you suspect you may have a gambling problem, there is help. There are numerous support groups, psychological therapists, and independent organizations that provide help for people with gambling issues. Two such free support groups are www.gamblersanonymous.org and https://responsiblegambling.org.za/.
If you recognize the signs early on, you can always get help. This is all part of responsible gambling, something we take seriously.