How to Avoid the Risks of Irresponsible Gambling
In the right hands, gambling is an acceptable and fun adult entertainment alternative. That applies to both retail and online gambling. In the wrong hands, any kind of gambling can become very destructive to the gambler, their family and friends, and UK communities in general.
As adults, we all have a responsibility to follow rules and exhibit responsible behaviors. Taking these responsibilities seriously is vital to the functioning of any social entity. Unfortunately, gambling is an activity that lends itself to addictive behaviors. These addictive behaviors can destroy families and harm communities.
If you enjoy gambling in land-based casinos/betting shops or online, you have an obligation to yourself and your family to gamble responsibly. In the following sections, the discussion is going to focus on defining responsible gambling and pointing out ways to avoid irresponsible gambling behaviors.
What is Responsible Gambling
Gambling should always be treated as a form of adult entertainment. In that regard, gambling should be fun. By most standards, responsible gambling refers to being financially responsible. However, gambling can also become destructive when it adversely affects family, friends, or the community in general.
As you move forward with the intention of being a responsible gambler, you should follow a couple of very simple rules. First, don’t allow gambling to become an important part of your life. Your family and work should always come first. Gambling, online and retail, should be but one of a few activities you use for fun and enjoyment.
As for the second rule, never gamble with more money than you can afford to lose. That means you need to restrict your bankroll to your discretionary resources. You should define your discretionary resources as the money that is available after you have paid your bills and set aside a reasonable amount of savings. If you can do this, you can count yourself as a responsible gambler.
How to Avoid Irresponsible Gambling
It’s not always enough to be a responsible gambler. Sometimes, you need to stay aware of the potential of irresponsible gambling.
If you think for a moment that any compulsive gambler just woke up one morning and decided they wanted to be a problem gambler, you would have to be considered misguided. In fact, people fall into the cycle of gambling addiction over time. For most problem gamblers, addictive gambling behaviors serve as a way to fill the holes they feel inside their hearts and souls.
So, how do you avoid irresponsible gambling? Well, it really starts with your ability to be self-aware. You need to understand your own limitations and always be willing to get help when things aren’t working in your life. With that said, there are more specific steps you can take to avoid irresponsible gambling behavior. Here are five strategies you might want to consider.
1. Don’t Gamble to Escape Worries or Trouble
Most of the time, a couple of hours of gambling can be fun and exciting. That is especially true during episodes of winning. What you don’t want to do is ever start thinking of gambling as a way of escaping worries and trouble.
We all have struggles in our lives. The best of us will always resolve issues as fast as possible. What we have to understand is avoiding struggles only creates more struggles. When gambling is used as an instrument of escape, it’s no longer fun and exciting. It eventually becomes nothing more than a tool of escape. At some point, winning and losing cease to matter, and that creates the potential for ignoring financial harm.
2. Don’t Create Debt to Facilitate Gambling
If there is a negative aspect to the massive availability of online gambling in the UK, it would have to be that gamblers use credit cards to gamble. That’s never a good idea for one very important reason. Gambling losses result in the simultaneous loss of money and the creation of debt that has to be paid back later.
Admittedly, there are circumstances under which credit cards might be the only available gambling account deposit option. With that said, there is a reason the UK Gambling Commission recently banned the use of credit cards to fund gambling accounts.
If you are a responsible gambler and really want to use a credit card to make deposits, you might have to use online casinos with credit card deposits. Note: Many of these sites are unlicensed and offer no access to the GamStop self-exclusion program.
3. Share Your Gambling Activities with Family and Friends
Always gambling alone is the surest path to gambling addiction. By sharing your gambling activities with family and friends, you do two things to avoid irresponsible gambling. First, you make it a social activity. Second, you will benefit from having people available to scrutinize your gambling activities.
4. Always Set and Abide by Monetary Betting Limits
We already discussed never betting more than you can lose. You can avoid irresponsible gambling by always setting your gambling limits per session and never allowing yourself to make that fatal second deposit.
5. Seek Help When Gambling Issues First Appear
The moment you get a sense that your gambling is becoming irresponsible is exactly the time you want to ask for help. It’s the right time to employ problem gambling resources like the GamStop Self-exclusion scheme. It’s also the right time to reach out to friends and relatives for help and support. But, it’s worth remembering that GamStop is very easily bypassed by non-GamStop casino sites.
Remember, responsible gambling is fun and exciting. Irresponsible gambling leads down the road to destruction.