How to gamble safely?

Play Responsibly = Gamble Safely

Indulging in gambling can be a source of enjoyable leisure for adults. However, its captivating charm can cloak its destructive potential, particularly when it spirals into an addiction.

There are casual gamblers whose wallets suffer little harm; their occasional gambling pursuits snatch a few dollars but pose no significant risk at all. Unfortunately, others wallow in the deeper direct and indirect consequences of gambling addiction.

An uncontrollable gambling habit can swiftly snowball into a menacing complication, hence, precautionary measures are essential to ward off its grip. This article offers you essential tips to help guide you through maintaining a safe gambling habit while attempting to keep the peril at bay.

These pointers are intended to aid in the safe enjoyment of gambling. Do not mistake them as fall-proof shields against a looming addiction. One small misjudgment can potentially trigger an unhealthy habit. To be absolutely safe, abstinence from gambling is the best course of action. However, if you derive enjoyment from it, then these tips can be helpful instruments to guide you towards playing safely.

Don't See Gambling As A Money Maker 

People often gamble in the hopes of making easy money or escaping from financial difficulty. The mindset that gambling may lead to making a fortune is highly deceptive and contributes to addictive behaviors.

Furthermore, the highly anticipated windfall often remains elusive. Most gamblers end up in deeper financial trouble than before. To protect yourself from falling into this trap, understand that casinos are not a place to make money. In fact, all casino games are inherently designed to favor the house, throwing the odds off balance against the player.

Although luck may occasionally be in your favor, it won't last forever. The craving for gain isn't pacified by an occasional win; instead, it fuels the desire for further profits, causing the player to lose what they won and more.

To conclude, you should never consider gambling as a source of income or a money-making strategy.

Treat Gambling As Paid Entertainment 

Instead of gambling with the intention of gaining profits, consider it a source of entertainment that incurs costs.

The principle of gambling is akin to that of other forms of amusement. To enjoy a movie, event, or night out, you usually pay for tickets, meals, and drinks. Similarly, with gambling, you pay for the thrill of the game, contributing to the profitability of both land-based and online casinos.

Although gambling involves the thrill of potential monetary winnings, it should primarily offer entertainment value. While some prefer playing free casino games (like those in our Free Games section), it's clear that the majority derive pleasure from playing games with monetary stakes.

That said, the prospect of winning should never be the primary motive for gambling, even though it enhances the entertainment value. Indulge in gambling for the thrill it offers and the love of the game, rather than to accumulate wealth. Gambling for the sake of money could be a red flag, indicating it's time to step back.

Only Bet What You Can Afford To Lose

Financial difficulty is a common fallout of gambling addiction. Problem gamblers often borrow money or deplete their resources for gambling.

Ordinarily, problem gamblers will cut back on other expenses to have more funds for gambling. While it may start with unnecessary purchases, as dependency worsens, essential expenditures may get compromised.

Setting aside a gambling budget and limiting yourself to the funds you can afford to lose is crucial for safe gambling.

If you find yourself exceeding your gambling budget or reducing other expenses for gambling, this could indicate a problematic gambling habit. In such instances, it would be beneficial to read our articles on problem gambling symptoms and how to confront them.

Don't Attempt To Recover Your Losses 

A common trap many gamblers fall into is chasing losses – attempting to recover lost money by continuing to gamble. This approach often exacerbates financial situations, potentially contributing to a full-fledged gambling addiction.

If you approach gambling with the right mindset – viewing it as a paid source of entertainment rather than a means to make cash – you're less likely to resort to chasing losses. It is advisable always to anticipate losing money in gambling – if you assume this way, you won't be tempted to try recuperating your losses, saving your financial health, and keeping addiction at bay.

Lastly, always remember that making a small loss is infinitely better than losing significantly more attempting to recover it. It's essential to set a strict budget, and once you've reached it, cease gambling immediately.

Never Gamble With Borrowed Funds 

One of the common pitfalls in gambling is playing using borrowed funds. We reiterate that gambling should be enjoyed only with money you can afford to lose. Borrowing money to gamble indicates you are playing with stakes you cannot afford.

Of course, considered judgment is crucial here; borrowing a small amount from a friend due to lack of cash is different from taking out a loan to feed your gambling habit. Our emphasis is particularly on the latter case.

Borrowing money to gamble while expecting to repay after a payday is a risky habit. It may appear harmless, but reality tells a different story. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Needing a loan signals that you lack disposable funds for gambling.
  • Thoughtless borrowing can throw you into a perilous financial situation, capable of ruining your life.
  • It may draw you into dealings with dangerous individuals or entities.
  • The stress of playing with borrowed money can negatively impact your health and judgments, adding to your woes.

The list of perils linked to gambling with borrowed money doesn't end here. No matter your perception of stability and control, avoid borrowing to gamble.

Monitor Your Time and Finances 

When absorbed in a gambling activity, it's incredibly easy to lose track of time or the money spent. Modern games, in particular, are designed to be engaging, causing time to fly unnoticed.

Similarly, you're likely to remember your victories more than the losses. This creates a bias that blurs your perception of the real amount lost over time. Many habitual gamblers would be surprised to discover the total cash they've gambled away.

That's why it's crucial to keep tabs on both your time and finances while gambling. Note the time when you kick off your gaming session, and ideally, employ a reality check to alert you about the duration of your session.

Some online casinos provide ‘reality checks' that document the losses or winnings per session. These can be useful, yet they only provide insights for singular sessions. To get a comprehensive idea about your gambling expenditure over time, it’s advisable to maintain personal records, as most casinos do not display long-term statistics for players.

Set Gambling Expenditure Limits

To further enhance control over your gambling engagement, you can establish expenditure limits with your chosen casino. Online casinos offer various limit types, and while each option may not be available at every gambling venue, most should offer at least a few.

We recommend combining the following types of limits:

  • Deposit or loss limits. These control your deposit or loss limit over a specific timeframe.
  • Session length limits. These regulate your gambling timeframe over a specified period.

Utilizing these two forms of limits enables you to restrict your gambling time and expenditure. However, this method has its limitations. These limits are only applicable in the casino where they were set up, making it easy to sidestep them if you crave more gambling. Thus, do not entirely rely on these controls for maintaining your gambling discipline.

Opt For Self-Exclusion When Needed 

If these set limits fail to satisfy your requirements and you sense the need to pause gambling for a certain period, consider the self-exclusion option. Nearly all online casinos offer this feature, blocking you from gambling for several hours to even years.

Once effectuated, you cannot engage in any gameplay until the designated period expires. However, some casinos might lift your self-exclusion upon request after a cooling-off interval.

Similar to the mentioned limits, self-exclusion is applicable only to the specific casino where it was enacted. You can bypass this by simply gambling in another casino. To counter this issue, you can either self-exclude from all online casinos or employ tools and apps that globally block all gambling activities.

Regardless of the effectiveness of these tools and apps, remember that self-restricting and self-exclusion solutions are not comprehensive solutions for safe gambling. They can prove beneficial, but an individual struggling with gambling will likely devise ways to sidestep these methods. Keep this in mind and seek additional aid if you sense your gambling habit spiraling out of control.

Avoid Mixing Gambling With Alcohol or Drugs 

It's not rocket science to conclude that gambling while consuming alcohol or drugs is a bad idea. Any substance that impairs your judgment and decision-making abilities can result in taking unnecessary risks.

Poor decisions can drain your money faster than usual. Worse still, you may lose control over your gambling habits. Casual betting while intoxicated can lead to a bigger problem – sustained gambling addiction.

Pairing gambling with alcohol or drugs can breed serious issues. The mental association between these activities can worsen over time, compelling you to gamble whenever you drink with friends. Thus, if you choose to gamble, it's beneficial to do so with a clear head.

Avoid Gambling in Negative Emotional States

Playing while emotionally unstable or as an escape from problems, in the long run, only exacerbates the situation. It clouds your judgment, making you prone to bad decisions akin to gambling under the influence.

Moreover, emotional issues can cause significant harm to your mental health. Gambling as a means to suppress or escape them fails to produce any positive outcomes.

Furthermore, resorting to gambling to escape other problems simply results in a cycle of problems. At the end of it all, you end up with more issues than you initially had. Remember, gambling is meant to be a fun activity; it is never a solution to your troubles or a means to evade them.

Balance Gambling With Other Activities

Indulging in gambling too much can lead to a gambling addiction, and is also a sign of being a gambling addict who needs help. As gambling addiction gets a hold, gambling addicts prioritize gambling over other activities and even over their close ones.

In order to prevent this from happening, diversify your activities. It is essential that your life doesn’t revolve solely around gambling. Devote time to your professional commitments, family, and hobbies.

However, if you find it hard to maintain a balanced lifestyle or feel gambling is dominating your life, it's time to seek help. You can start off by looking into our article on how to overcome problem gambling.

Be Alert To Symptoms Of Problem Gambling 

As with most psychological and biological issues people face, it tends to be easier to overcome problem gambling if you notice it in its earlier stages. If you realize that you are developing a gambling addiction (or have already developed one), you can take steps to overcome it before it does even more damage to your life and the lives of the people around you.

This is why it’s important to be on a constant lookout for signs and symptoms of problem gambling. Read our article on this topic and educate yourself on what a gambling addiction looks like. You will then be able to monitor your gambling habits and take action as soon as you notice that something doesn’t feel right.

Seek Help When Necessary 

Overcoming a gambling addiction is a formidable task. It can be extremely beneficial to confide in a trusted friend, family member, or professional. Open communication can alleviate the burden of managing the situation singlehandedly.

If you have even the slightest suspicion that your gambling habits may be problematic, it is crucial to seek help promptly. It’s always better to err on the side of caution, particularly with an issue as grave as problematic gambling.

In our article on overcoming problematic gambling, we’ve enumerated potential resources you can utilize. If you feel their assistance might be advantageous, be sure to check them out and select the best fit for your situation.

Gamble Only At Fair Casinos 

Last but not least, safe gambling is not just about gambling responsibly and avoiding addiction. It is also about choosing a fair and trustworthy casino.

You may be the epitome of a responsible gambler: gaming merely for entertainment, managing your expenditures and ensuring everything’s above board. However, if you opt for an unscrupulous online casino, even responsible playing won't help if you land a big win and wish to withdraw your earnings.

To stay safe in online casinos, pay extra attention when making a selection, read the reviews, and take note of the complaints made by other players to see how the casino treats them. Also, check out our fair gambling codex to learn about problematic situations that often occur between players and casinos, understand how to do everything correctly, and avoid breaching the casino’s terms and conditions or any other applicable rules.

Safe Gambling Practises

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