There are a number of ways to avoid the risks of developing a gambling problem. Here are some ideas on how you can take steps to reduce the risk:
- Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money. The bottom line is that gambling establishments, like land-based casinos and internet casinos, are set up to take in more money than they pay out. This means over time, you will lose more money than you win.
- Always gamble with money that you can afford to lose. Gamble with money that you set aside for fun, like going to the movies or going out for drinks. Never use money that you need for important things like rent, bills, groceries, etc.
- Set a money limit. Decide how much money you can afford to lose before you play. When you have lost that amount of money, quit. If you win – enjoy, but remember it won’t happen most of the time.
- Set a time limit. Decide how much time you can afford to spend gambling. When you reach that time limit, stop gambling.
- Don't chase losses. If you lose money, don't try to get it back by going over your limit. This usually leads to even bigger losses.
- Don’t gamble when you are depressed or upset. It is hard to make good decisions about gambling when you are feeling down.
- Balance gambling with other activities. It’s important to enjoy other activities so that gambling doesn’t become too big a part of your life.
Chances are you have strong beliefs about gambling. Maybe it's how to beat the house, which games have the best odds, or even a system that "can't lose."