All of us have gambled at some point in time. Whether we went to a casino for a weekend or picked up a lottery ticket from the store when the jackpot reached six-figures, it doesn’t matter. It’s all considered gambling and anyone can have a problem with it. We all know someone who spends way too much on Lotto tickets and probably another who is irresponsible with their casino related gambling. With those folks in mind, here are a few tips to help everyone avoid turning into that person.
1. The Odds are Always Against You
A majority of lotteries and casinos are for-profit companies. They would go out of business if they didn’t keep the odds in their favour. The concept is that “the vast majority of people lose so that a very small minority can have big wins. Virtually all people with gambling problems hold the false expectation that they are the ones who will be the big winners,” according to Responsible Gambling. When gambling, don’t always assume you’re going to win.
2. Set a Spending Limit
Only gamble what you can afford to lose, because as previously stated the vast majority lose. If you do end up winning, then consider it a nice prize. Don’t expect it. Look at it as a cost of entertainment like going to the cinema or out to eat. Think of it this way: you’re not going to get £100 meals every time you go out to a restaurant. Pay attention to what you’re spending regardless of the activity. If you need help in this area, online gaming and poker platform Betfair has a Budget Calculator to help everyone stay within their budgets, because even the casinos don’t want you to go broke. It is highly recommended to use this before doing any sort of gambling, really—even the Lotto.
3. Set a Time Limit
Always set a time limit for gambling, this really doesn’t pertain to the Lotto. When going to a brick-and-mortar casino or when playing online it is important to keep track of time. The last thing anyone wants to do is let gambling interfere with their personal lives. Addicts will miss family events and work, which can truly cost the player.
4. Never Borrow Money for Gambling
How many movies start with someone owing money for gambling, and how often does it work out in the borrowers favour? A lot and a little, right? And I know it’s a cheesy example, but nothing good can happen from borrowing money to play a game that you’re expected to lose. It goes back to the spending limit; don’t go past it.
5. Don’t Chase Losses or Winning Streaks
Trying to win back losses is usually a losing effort, which means you’ll end up further in the hole. Just walk away once you’ve reached your spending limit. Chasing winning streaks can be just as bad, since winners are the ones that can really lose track of time. You should always set a max earning, and Cambridge News agreed in a fantastic article that said, “You may decide to quit when your earnings are up by 15%… This can prevent you from continuing to gamble, which could eventually end in you losing money.”
It doesn’t really matter if you prefer the Lotto, a brick-and-mortar casino, or online gambling, because each one has the potential of getting out of control. When gambling gets out of control, it not only hurts your bank account, but also your loved ones. Have fun and be responsible.
A guest post by Julie Rasch.