When enjoyed in moderation, gambling can be a great source of entertainment — provided you play responsibly. This means setting a budget, playing within your means, and knowing when to quit if you hit a losing streak.
Setting up controls, whether that’s a deposit limit, stake restriction, or time lock, is a wise decision when playing online casino games. By imposing such limits, you’ll minimize the potential risk to your financial and emotional well-being. But you can still enjoy the entertainment provided.
This blog post highlights how to recognize the warning signs, explains how to gamble responsibly, and discusses where to seek help if required.
Profile of a Responsible Gambler
Trying to assess how much the average person gambles is rather tricky since many variables can sway the odds. These include where the casino is located, whether it’s land-based or online, and which games are offered. However, it’s reported that the average U.S. gambler spends $50–$100 per session. Obviously, these figures can fluctuate greatly depending on the individual.
Interestingly though, it’s not necessarily the amount you wager that makes you a responsible gambler. After all, a multi-millionaire doesn’t mind losing $1,000 in one night. It’s much more about your mindset and approach to gambling.
Setting aside a budget that you can afford to lose is self-evidently a much better strategy than getting into debt. Overspending puts a greater risk on your finances and, in turn, your mental health. Similarly, spending several hours at a time gambling when you could be with family, friends or at work is a bad idea.
A responsible gambler will:
- Only gamble for entertainment purposes.
- Never gamble as a sole source of income.
- Enjoy regular breaks between sessions.
- Set aside a budget that they can afford to lose and stick to it.
- Set a time limit on each gambling session.
Tips For Gambling Responsibly
Even the best of intentions can sometimes go astray when you’re having fun. It’s all about knowing when to rein it in, as well as how to remain in control. Follow these top tips for responsible gambling to help you steer a path around any potential pitfalls:
- Gambling is paid entertainment and can be costly if you’re not careful.
- Never gamble when you feel sad, lonely, upset, angry, or depressed.
- Manage your expectations. Prepare to lose a little, while any wins are a bonus.
- Never gamble while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always maintain a healthy life balance and treat gambling as an enjoyable pastime.
- Never gamble with what you can’t afford to lose. Always set a budget.
- Avoid impulsive decisions and approach gambling with a strategic mindset.
- Never chase losses. Learn to walk away and play another day.
- Only play at licensed casinos that offer responsible gambling tools.
- Never exceed your self-imposed limits, and pay attention to reality checks.
Gambling is mostly about luck. Even games that have an element of skill, like poker and blackjack, contain an element of chance.
The best way to minimize losses is to learn all about the game you wish to play. You can even play casino games online for free at many of the top sites. This gives you the opportunity to understand the gameplay better and develop a strategy for real money play.
Finally, avoid slipping into the gambler’s fallacy of thinking a game can be influenced by what’s come before. No amount of superstition can change the final outcome.
The Warning Signs
Unfortunately for some, gambling can quickly change from a fun pastime to a problem that spirals out of control. Early prevention is best, so understanding the red flags is the key to maintaining control over your gambling activities. Knowing when to ask for help is crucial for getting back on the road to a healthy life balance.
Take a look at the following questions and consider your own gambling habits:
- Are you neglecting bills or other financial obligations?
- Are you possibly spending too much time or money on gambling?
- Is the urge to win back losses too strong to avoid?
- Are thoughts of gambling constantly in your mind, negatively impacting your job or personal relationships?
- Do you have strong feelings of guilt or remorse over gambling?
- Are you spending more than your limits, borrowing or obtaining money illegally to gamble?
- Do you experience drastic mood swings brought on by your wins or losses?
- Are you lying to loved ones about how much time or money you spend on gambling?
It may be that you can relate to some of these warning signs and should think about seeking support.
How To Stop Gambling
If you think you may have a problem, there are a couple of tricks to stop gambling which you can try immediately:
- Acknowledge that you have a problem and seek help.
- Recognize that you’re not alone and speak with someone you trust.
- Delete gambling apps and enforce self-exclusion from wagering sites.
- Look into third-party restrictions software like BetBlocker.
- Ask a supportive friend or relation to manage your finances for you.
- Pick a new hobby, ideally a physical activity or mindfulness exercise.
How To Get Help
Seeking help is the first necessary step to take if you recognize any of the warning signs of problem gambling. Assistance is always available through the national advocate for gambling-related harm, the NCPG (National Council on Problem Gambling.) You can contact the organization through its website via live chat. Alternatively, call the 24-hour, confidential national helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER, or text 800GAM.
However, for more local support, each state usually has its own resources, and details can be found on the NCPG website. You can also utilize the site’s screening tools and look up local treatment facilities.
If you’re playing at a reputable online casino, you can often reach out to its customer support team. Here, you should receive help regarding self-exclusion and the closure of your account. You can also find further details on helpful organizations and what to do next.
As mentioned, early prevention is key to controlling your gambling activities. The best online wagering sites provide responsible gambling tools. These include deposit limits, wager limits, reality checks, time-outs and more. Use them wherever possible.
Gamble Safely and Responsibly
Self-awareness is key to a positive and enjoyable gambling experience. You must understand the potential risks involved and learn how to protect yourself or seek help when needed.
If you wish to gamble responsibly at a safe and reliable casino that looks after its players, why not register with BetMGM where you’ll find all your favorite games, many of which can be played for free? These include exciting online slots as well as classic table and thrilling live dealer games.