Gambling is an entertainment that involves money and chance. The outcome of a game or bet is partially or completely random. According to the American Psychological Association, gambling is “risking something valuable in the hope of winning something even more valuable.”

Many people perceive gambling as entertainment. For some, gambling can become a real problem if it is not under the control of someone associated with it. Gambling problems can therefore lead to serious financial problems, damaged relationships with relatives, problems at work, and health problems. In the following article you will find more information on how to recognize gambling problems and how to protect yourself from them.

Symptoms of gambling problems

How do you recognize an escalating gambling problem in yourself or a loved one? There are many elements that should light up when you see or look at a red light, prompting you to seek professional help.

People who have gambling problems put them first, including in their family and workplace. They often try to hide their gambling by lying to their immediate environment and acting aggressively when confronted.

Gambling problems also manifest themselves in constantly increasing the stakes in order to win even more money, or in the desire to compensate for the losses suffered. In addition, people with gambling problems unsuccessfully try to control their behavior and limit their gambling. The lack of access to gambling makes them irritable.

Even a difficult financial situation does not stop one from gambling, and those who cannot cope with the problem hope that others will try to raise money for gambling by any means. Gambling is often seen as a remedy for personal problems, stress, anxiety and irritability.

If you notice any of the above symptoms in yourself or a loved one, you should seek professional help.

How to gamble responsibly? 10 practical tips

1. Learn what responsible gambling is

Before gambling, it is useful to learn about what it means to be a responsible gambler. To do this, it is worth analyzing and internalizing the following points and thinking about why you start gambling.

Responsible gambling requires, first of all, self-discipline and self-knowledge. For this purpose, it is worth using the following tools, which are not difficult, but very effective. Thanks to them, gambling with real money does not have a negative impact on other aspects of life.

2. Gambling is not a way to become stressed, depressed or lonely

If you feel that you are having a bad day, need a break from everyday life or feel lonely, you should think about other entertainment options than gambling. Looking at gambling as a way to solve personal problems can be terrible. The emotions of gambling can add to the stress and hopelessness of people struggling with everyday life.

3. Gambling is just entertainment

Do not think of gambling as an investment or a way to make money. The sole purpose of gambling is to provide good entertainment, and every gambling session should be started with this attitude. Thinking of gambling as entertainment helps reduce the negative emotions associated with losing games and not spending too many resources on it.

4. Losing money is the price of entertainment

Before you start playing, assume that all the money you want to spend on the game will not be returned. This way, you can be more reasonable about the amount you want to spend, as opposed to just playing to win or recoup a loss. Treat the money you plan to spend on gambling like a gambling ticket.

5. Set a strict budget for gambling

Prepare the amount of money you want to spend on gambling. It should be a fraction of your money, and it should not ruin your spending. Once you realize that your budget is almost exhausted, you should stop gambling regardless of the result. If you win, take your money, if you lose, consider it an entertainment expense. Use the tools that many online casinos offer and make sure that you set the appropriate limits after registering a new player account.

6. Do not use a credit card

Credit cards are characterized by the fact that they allow you to have virtually unlimited access to your money. Using quick access to cash can lead to forgetting that the money borrowed in this way will have to be paid back sooner or later, and that postponing it involves additional costs. It is much better to use prepaid cards or electronic wallets to which you can transfer the appropriate amount of money and quit the game when you run out of money.

7. Set a time limit for the game

Gambling should not interfere with the time you spend at work, on vacation, or with family and friends. Determine how much time you want to spend gambling per week or per month. This way, you can resist the temptation to gamble in your free time or incorporate other games into your daily life. Many online casinos offer tools that allow you to set a time limit and be reminded that your gaming time is almost exhausted.

8. Expect to lose

Every player who starts a cash game hopes for a life-changing win, but the reality is that every gamble is random and has a standard home advantage, which means that wins are rare and irregular. Keep this in mind when you start gambling, and remember that it is impossible to guarantee a satisfactory win without losing a certain amount of money.

9. Do not look behind the scenes

There is really no such thing as a losing game or a losing streak. If you lose more than you planned, don’t prolong the game at any cost because it can add to your frustration and make you lose even more. If you feel that the game is not working for you, pause the game and come back to it the next day.

10. Be aware of your priorities

Gambling should be an addition to your daily routine, not the main component. Never spend money on gambling after work or family.

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship founded in 1957 in Los Angeles. It was started by two men connected by their stories of problems and failures due to gambling problems. The GA group was featured in the media, which allowed the fellowship to grow and recruit new members around the world.

There is a thriving Gamblers Anonymous community that brings together people who are seeking help and support with their gambling problems and are actively involved in helping others. The group has been operating under the name “Yedynka” since 1995. To become a member of the GA group, you do not have to meet any special criteria. All you have to do is express a desire to quit gambling.

Membership in Gamblers Anonymous is free, and the group survives solely on donations and voluntary material support. Regular meetings are held at GAs around the country.