When the Fun Stops, Stop!
For the majority of people, maintaining control when entering their local casino or online alternative is no issue at all. They deposit their cash, pick up some chips and ride the roller coaster until fortunes or losses have been crystallised. However, a small minority need the adrenalin rush that is triggered when you engage in risky behaviour on repeat. For these individuals, a winning run might be squandered as ever bigger wins are desired, or when a series of losses are incurred players might “chase” these in the expectation that an upturn is just around the corner.
Always remember that casinos are in business in large numbers because they consistently take a slice of your cash. The odds of making any sort of profit by beating the house are long. All casino games should be consumed as entertainment, with a win seen as being an unexpected bonus.
How to gamble in a responsible way
We are all at risk of developing unhealthy gambling habits. However, if we incorporate just a few changes, we can all ensure that a gambling session remains fun every time.
Our top 12 tips for gambling safely include;
- Setting a deposit limit
- Following time limit recommendations
- Never viewing gambling winnings as a form of income
- Not chasing losses
- Viewing game outcomes in isolation
- Staying in the moment, so gambling doesn’t become a habit
- Not betting when tired
- Never betting more than you can afford to lose
- Never betting when you’ve had a drink or taken drugs
- Not betting on events just to qualify for a bonus
- Seeking out help if your gambling is becoming a problem
- Finding alternative hobbies for a balanced lifestyle
Signs that you have a gambling problem
It is sometimes difficult to tell if your gambling behaviours are becoming harmful, although there are some tell-tale signs that you and your loved ones should be looking out for.
- Gambling when you cannot afford to do so
- Borrowing money to gamble
- Struggling to reduce your levels of gambling
- Lying about your gambling behaviours
- Feeling the urge to gamble when you are with friends and family
- Gambling becoming more important than personal relationships
- Denying that you have a gambling problem
- Gambling being your first thought daily
What to do next if you think you have a gambling problem
Once you realise that you have a gambling problem there is help available to change your mindset, so that betting no longer has a hold over the rest of your life. Whether you live in Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand, or the UK, support is out there to allow you to self-exclude from all gambling sites and to seek therapy if required.
Problem gamblers in Ireland have access to some of the world’s most robust safety protections. At present, any casino that wishes to operate within the Irish market must hold a gaming license from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). For operators to earn a license they must provide gambling protections that are approved by the UK gambling charity, GamCare. These protections mean that responsible gambling information must be widely available, player limit tools must be in place, and self-exclusion periods of up to five years must be enforceable. In total, these rules deliver the best chance to reduce the incidence of problem gambling.
If you need more help and information regarding problem gambling organisations in Ireland, the GamblingCare website is informative.