The majority of people gamble responsibly. It may help you to keep your gambling under control by remembering the following:
- you are buying for fun, not investing your money
- before playing, set strict limits on how much time and money your are going to spend
- quit while you are ahead
- only gamble with money you can afford to lose
- do not spend more money on gambling with the hope of winning back money you have lost
- keep up other interests and hobbies - do not let gambling take over your life
- do not gamble to escape from stress or boredom
- gambling in moderation is okay
For some people, however, gambling can become a problem. If you are concerned about the amount you are gambling and feel it is taking over your life (or if you are concerned for a friend or relative) then the following questions may help to give you some guidance.
- Have others ever criticised your gambling?
- Have you ever lied to cover up the amount you have gambled or time you have spent doing it?
- Do arguments, frustrations or disappointments make you want to gamble?
- Do you gamble alone for long periods?
- Do you stay away from work or college to gamble?
- Do you gamble to escape from a boring or unhappy life?
- Are you reluctant to spend ‘gambling money' on anything else?
- Have you lost interest in your family, friends or pastimes due to gambling?
- After losing, do you feel you must try to win back your losses as soon as possible?
- When gambling and you run out of money, do you feel lost and in despair and need to gamble again as soon as possible?
- Do you gamble until your last penny is gone?
- Have you lied, stolen or borrowed just to get money to gamble or to pay gambling debts?
- Do you feel depressed or even suicidal because of your gambling?
If you feel you are answering more ‘yes' than ‘no' to the above questions, then it is likely a gambling problem exists.
For friendly and helpful advice on gambling from trained counsellors, contact the GamCare helpline on 0845 600 0133.
The helpline is open 24 hours a day. Sometimes just telling someone about your problem can be a relief and it is often the first step towards dealing with your problem.
You can also visit the GamCare website for more information and advice.