Most people gamble for fun and enjoyment. However, some people think of gambling as a way to make money, spend more than they can afford, or use gambling to distract themselves from everyday problems. Following these tips can help you to gamble more safely. Note: All but four states require residents to be at least 21 years old in order to take part in online sports betting. The four exceptions are Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington, where the age requirement is 18 and over.
- 1. Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money:
The venue is using gambling to make money. It’s not designed to work the other way around. Over time you will give away more money than you receive! Think of gambling as an entertainment expense- just like buying a movie ticket.
- 2. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose:
Gamble within your weekly entertainment budget, not with your phone bill or rent budget.
- 3. Set a money limit in advance:
Decide how much you can afford to lose before you go to play. When it’s gone- it’s over! If you win, you’ve been lucky, but don’t be disappointed if your luck doesn’t continue.
- 4. Set a time limit in advance:
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re gambling. Set a time limit or alarm, and when time’s up-quit! Odds are that the more time you spend gambling, the more money you will lose.
- 5. Never chase your losses:
If you lose your set money limit and then try to win some of it back before you leave, then you haven’t really set a money limit. Chasing your losses will usually just lead to bigger and bigger losses.
- 6. Don’t gamble when you’re depressed or upset:
Decision-making can be more difficult when you’re stressed or emotionally upset. Make sure you only gamble when you’re feeling happy and clear headed.
- 7. Balance gambling with other activities:
When gambling becomes your only form of entertainment, it’s unlikely that you’re still just gambling for the fun of it, and your gambling may even be a problem. Make sure gambling isn’t your only pastime.
- 8. Don’t take your bank card with you:
This is a good way to safeguard your money limit and not let “being in the moment” warp your judgment.
- 9. Take frequent breaks:
Gabling continuously can cause you to lose track of time and perspective. Step out for some air or a bite to eat at regular intervals.
- 10. Don’t drink or use drugs when gambling:
Drugs and alcohol cloud judgment, and good judgment stands as your main line of defense against letting gambling get out of control.
Need additional help? Visit www.ncpgambling.org/help or call 800-522-4700 to contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline.