Ten tips to help keep your betting in check
One of the key aims of Responsible Gambling Week, which runs until Wednesday, is to provide punters with strategies that enable them to control their betting, to restore the enjoyment they might once have had from gambling rather than the painful experience it can become.
For those who may be starting out on a lifetime of betting this advice is even more important as it provides the sort of instruction that too many punters have to learn the hard way.
An important resource in the education of punters is the betting industry-supported website begambleaware.org which has, among many useful pages, a ten-step guide on how to bet with restraint.
As their guide points out, “most people gamble for fun and enjoyment but some think of gambling as a way to make money, spend more than they can afford, or use gambling to distract themselves from everyday problems”. The term ‘reality check’ may be overused, but that is what they provide. Here are their top tips.
1. Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money
The venue [betting shop, casino, etc] is using gambling to make money. It’s not designed to work the other way around. Over time you will lose more money than you receive. Think of it as an entertainment expense – just like buying a cinema ticket.
2. Gamble only with money you can afford to lose
Gamble within your entertainment budget, not with your phone bill or rent budget.
3. Set a money limit in advance
Decide how much you can afford to lose before you go to play. When it’s gone – it’s over. If you win, you’ve been lucky, but don’t be disappointed if your luck doesn’t continue.
4. Set a time limit in advance
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re gambling. Set a time limit or alarm, and when time’s up – quit! Odds are that the longer you spend gambling the more you will lose.
5. Never chase your losses
If you lose your set money limit and then try to win some of it back then you haven’t really set a money limit. Chasing your losses will usually just lead to bigger and bigger losses.
6. Don’t gamble when you’re depressed or upset
Decision-making is more difficult when you’re stressed or emotionally upset. Make sure you gamble only when you’re happy and clear headed.
7. Balance gambling with other activities
When gambling becomes your only form of entertainment it’s unlikely you’re gambling for the fun of it and it may be a problem. Make sure gambling isn’t your only pastime
8. Don’t bring your bank card
This is a good way to safeguard your money limit and not let being ‘in the moment’ warp your judgment.
9. Take frequent breaks
Gambling continuously can cause you to lose track of time and perspective. Step out for some air or a bite to eat at regular intervals.
10. Don’t drink or use drugs when gambling
Drugs and alcohol cloud judgement, and good judgement stands as your main line of defence against letting gambling get out of control.
For further advice and support you can contact Begambleaware.org or Gamcare.org through their websites. Or visit one of the information points across Britain (see below) where you can talk to someone about obtaining specialist advice.