Gambling can be a fun and rewarding activity, but it also has the potential to harm your finances. Understanding the risks of gambling can help you make better choices.
What is gambling?
Gambling is any type of game in which a person wagers money or something of value, either for a chance of winning money or for a prize. It can be done at the casino, on a horse race track or even at your local gas station.
Whether it’s playing slots or betting on a football match, gambling can be very addictive and can lead to serious problems if you do not know how to control it. You may lose your money, hurt your relationships, and ruin your chances of getting a job.
How to avoid gambling
Before you enter a casino or go online for an online poker or casino game, decide how much money you can afford to lose and stick to that limit. If you go beyond your limits, it’s time to cut back or stop gambling altogether.
Postpone the urge to gamble
If you have an impulse to gamble, tell yourself that you are going to wait 5 minutes, 15 minutes or an hour. You can also try to distract yourself with another activity, such as reading or watching a movie.
Distract yourself from the impulse by thinking about other things you want to do, or by visualizing how your family will react if you win or lose all your money. You can do this for as long as necessary until the urge passes or the consequences of gambling become too overwhelming to handle.
Do not gamble while you are upset or angry: If you feel angered or tempted to gamble, stop immediately and find a distraction. If you are tempted to gamble while you are sad, think about how this will affect your family.
Learn to cope with unpleasant feelings in healthier ways
If you are prone to anxiety and depression, learn ways to deal with them more effectively. Practicing relaxation exercises and meditation can be very helpful.
Take regular breaks when gambling: To increase your focus, try taking a break every couple of hours or playing for shorter periods. This will prevent you from becoming distracted and losing your focus on the game.
Be patient with your loved ones who are having trouble with gambling: Your support and encouragement are essential during the process of overcoming problem gambling. You may be criticized or overlooked in the beginning, but keep encouraging your loved one until they have made a complete recovery.
Encourage and support your partner in the early stages of a gambling addiction: Offer to help with financial management, monitor bank statements and credit cards carefully, and encourage them to see a counselor if they need assistance. This will ensure that your partner does not continue gambling and exacerbate any problems you might be facing in the future.
Give them a safe place to gamble: If you are concerned that your partner is gambling excessively, make sure they have a safe place to play. You might want to suggest a nearby restaurant or a church hall.