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Betting Industry | Monday, November 1, 2021 10:33 AM (Revised at: Thursday, November 9, 2023 3:43 PM)

10 Tips For Safer Gambling

10 Tips For Safer Gambling

Besides using tools, apps and services to help you manage your gambling, what can you do personally to safeguard yourself against gambling harm? The BeGambleAware site lists ten things you can do to help you gamble safely. In this article we discuss each and learn how we can better ensure we keep our gambling on the better side of fun.

1. Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money

We assume here that they are referring to the hope of earning a steady income through gambling. The facts bare this out. Only a small percentage of bettors actually find themselves in profit long term.

Consider your gambling as a way of having fun, engaging with your favourite sport and an interest to share with your friends. Not as a way to enhance your income.

As BeGambleAware says….”If you do gamble, think of it like buying a cinema ticket — you’re paying a fixed price for the entertainment.”

2. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose

The most sensible advice of all. And it’s not only gambling with what you can afford to lose but crucially not gambling on borrowed money. While exceeding what you can afford to lose from your own savings can cause enough grief, it’s the wagering on credit cards and loans where people get themselves into deep trouble and find themselves in a downward spiral of debt.

Fortunately making deposits from credit cards is now unavailable in the UK. However the risk of exceeding what you can afford to lose is still real.

Again, treat your gambling like any other entertainment expense and don’t bet what you cannot afford to lose.

As BeGambleAware says…. “Gamble within your weekly entertainment budget, not with your phone bill or rent budget.”

3. Set a money limit in advance

Setting a money limit for your gambling is always a great idea. If you plan to bet £50, keep yourself to that £50.

One way many bet away more than they can afford to lose is by losing and then chasing those losses. Another way is by not quitting when they are up even when they have exceeded their set wagering limit. Many will bet to their £50 limit and then have a profit of say, £30 and rather than quitting, they continue to bet until their profit becomes a loss.

As BeGambleAware says…. “In the moment, it can be hard to stick to a self-imposed limit, but there are ways to do this — if you’re playing online, most websites or apps will let you set a limit on your account.

4. Set a time limit in advance

Gambling can be totally engrossing. We’ve all had that experience of sitting at our computers, looking through the upcoming events for the weekend, examining odds and markets, doing our study only to look up and see we’ve lost half of our evening.

Personally I do all my study and analysis for the upcoming weekend on Friday mornings, place my bets early in the afternoon and that’s it. I am done for the weekend. I will of course check my results across the weekend. But as soon as I place my bets on the Friday afternoon, I am done. I do not place any further bets across the weekend, no matter how poorly my bets may be performing. I do not even log back into my accounts until the following Friday.

As BeGambelAware says…. “Research shows that the more time someone spends gambling, the more money they lose.”

5. Never chase your losses

One of the hardest lessons to learn. And it can take a run of horrific betting and financial stress before many learn it.

If you lose, you lose. Do not follow up a poor run of betting form with a poor run of decision making. No doubt it’s difficult to swallow your pride and sometimes your rage when you have had a bad run of losses, particularly if you were a touch unlucky with a few of the results.

But it happens. Good runs will come. But not necessarily off the back of a poor run. Take a deep breath. Take a break. And return to your gambling when your head is clear.

As BeGambleAware says…. “Trying to win back your losses often leads to even bigger losses, and the chase can start to negatively impact your life.”

6. Don’t gamble when you’re depressed or upset

Do we ever really make good decisions when we’re angry or feeling down? How often have you regretted your impulsive actions in these situations?

Sometimes it can be as innocent as eating a whole tub of ice cream or drinking way too much wine. But when it comes to gambling, we’re talking about risking your financial security, not just a broader waistline or a hangover the next day.

Look at it this way. Even if you want to enhance your chances of winning while you bet, why would you possibly gamble when you’re mentally not at your sharpest? When your emotions are getting in the way of making anything close to rational assessment? Not to mention that fact we are more likely to engage in self destructive behaviour when we are angry or depressed.

As BeGambleAware says….”A lot of people use gambling as a distraction from difficult thoughts, life situations or feelings… but over time, it can actually make things worse. ”

7. Balance gambling with other activities

Most of you reading this are here because you love betting on sports. It’s a keen interest and possibly a great passion of yours. I will admit, I love taking a look at the opening odds for the upcoming round of Premier League or NFL games, running through the lines and considering where I may place my bets.

But it’s far from the only thing in my life. In fact, despite the fact I work in the betting industry, outside of working hours, I do not spend a lot of time thinking about betting. It’s part of my life but not my life.

If you want to enjoy the wins all the more and avoid becoming seduced into chasing your losses, having a number of interests outside of betting will help. Perspective is everything.

As BeGambleAware says…”If gambling has become your go-to activity when you want to have fun, that might suggest it could start to negatively impact your life.”

8. Don’t take your bank card with you

I think this applies mostly to anyone who is going to the casino club or the betting shop. Take what you are happy to lose and to spend on food and drink in cash and leave your bank card at home. I wish I had done this more often back in the day when I would spend a night at the casino.

As BeGambleAware says…. “This is a good way to safeguard your money limit and not let being “in the moment” warp your judgment.”

9. Take frequent breaks

Always good advice no matter what you are doing, but particularly true if you are gambling. Take a break, get outside, get some sun on your face and some fresh air in your lungs. Taking even a small five minute break can help you detach and reflect on your gambling and place it in perspective.

As BeGambleAware says…. “ Stepping away at regular intervals for some air or a bite to eat will clear your head and help you keep a healthy perspective.”

10. Don’t drink or use drugs when gambling

I will be first to put my hand up here. Back in my younger days when I would spend a payday evening at the club drinking and betting on horses, I would have done a lot better to not mix drinking with gambling. But with the bar literally just a few metres away from the betting desk, it was always difficult not to be seduced into indulging in both.

The advice is simple. Alcohol and drugs muddle your judgement. It’s not so much the fact that you will make poor assessments of form when you are drunk or under the influence of drugs (which you will), but more so you will be emboldened and prepared to bet at a riskier level and rate than you normally would. How often have you felt bullet proof when under the influence of drink and drugs? And there’s nothing worse than waking up with a depleted bank balance on top of a hangover.

As BeGambleAware says… “If you do drink or use drugs, tell a friend about your gambling and limits, to help you stick to what you have decided.”


If you or someone you know has a gambling disorder, please visit:

Or if you are in the UK, free call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133


Safer Gambling Week at bettingexpert

 

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