Gambling can be a lot of fun for people. There’s a lot of excitement that can be had in playing games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack and roulette.
Even some other forms of gambling that bring in more strategy such as poker and sports betting can be a lot of fun and can bring great monetary rewards.
At the same time, all forms of gambling come with something else — risk. While there are some options for free gambling that can result in prizes and even cash payouts, almost all forms of gambling require players to risk their hard-earned money if they want to win something.
According to BestCanadaCasino.ca, there is nothing inherently wrong with gambling. When done properly and responsibly, it can be a great form of entertainment that can also challenge your mind and reward you with big financial payouts.
However, gambling can become an unhealthy – and even dangerous – habit if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s important to take control over your gambling habits so that they don’t become big problems — and so gambling can remain fun and rewarding.
Here are some ways you can take control over your gambling habits.
1. Understand the Risk
It’s very important to understand that gambling isn’t risk-free. Every time you place a bet, no matter what the game of choice or amount of the bet, you risk losing that money.
A great way to approach gambling is to assume that the money you are risking will be lost. In this way, you can just approach the amount you gamble as entertainment money, and not investment money.
For example, if you bring $100 to a casino to gamble with, assume that you will lose it all. You can then look at it as $100 you spent on entertainment on the night.
By approaching gambling with this mindset, you won’t be expecting to win. And you won’t be disappointed or angry when you lose.
2. Stick to a Budget
Sticking to a budget is always a great financial idea. Whether you’re running a business, planning out a household or gambling, you always want to stick to a pre-planned budget.
When you’re planning out your month, set aside a certain amount of money that you’re OK gambling with. That way, you’ll know how much you have at all times, and you won’t be dipping into money you need to pay bills or do other things.
This is the one part of gambling that a lot of people don’t understand and don’t get a grasp on early. If you want to gamble, that’s great. Do it and have fun!
But make sure that you have the money to do so. From a budgeting perspective, you should approach gambling just like you do other ancillary expenses.
After you’ve budgeted for everyday items you need to live — housing expenses, internet, food and travel, for example — you can work in other categories such as entertainment, savings, investments and gambling funds.
By working in gambling funds into your overall budget, you’ll be ensuring that you have planned well in advance and are abiding by the next tip …
3. Bet within Your Means
One of the most important lessons to learn when gambling is to always bet within your means. You should never gamble with money that you can’t afford to lose. Again, approaching your stake as lost money, you’ll also be helping yourself bet within your means.
Each person’s “means” are different from the next. People earn different amounts of money, have different bank account balances and different levels of risk that they can stomach. And this is OK.
Don’t try to keep up with other people when you’re gambling, even if they’re your close friends who you are gambling with. Be honest with yourself about what you can afford, and what you’re willing to lose, and only gamble that — no matter what everyone else is doing.
People get themselves into trouble when they bet outside of their means. They gamble with their emotions rather than logic, and they dip into other funds they need for everyday expenses when they suffer a heartbreaking gambling loss.
4. Have Fun
Gambling should be fun. Approach it as a form of entertainment, and enjoy the experience from start to finish.
Of course, part of the fun is winning. It wouldn’t be something people would do if they didn’t win at least some of the time. It’s OK, then, to try hard and want to win badly. There’s nothing wrong or unhealthy with that.
Problems can arise, though, when you approach gambling from a “must-win” perspective. It’s never good to be desperate when you’re gambling. It can cloud your judgment, and cause you to do something you don’t want to do.
Keep gambling light and enjoyable, and you’ll be more likely to avoid having gambling habits become unhealthy or destructive.
5. Seek Help if You Need It
Everyone needs help at some point in time. Some people need help with dealing with anxiety or pressures at work. Some people need help with substance abuse. Some people just need guidance from others to keep their life in perspective.
If you feel that gambling has become a problem for you, don’t be afraid to seek help. Luckily, there are many organizations, non-profit groups and free support groups that will help you deal with your gambling habits if you’ve been unable to reel them in and keep them under control.
Many casinos and gambling operators will even help you find reputable and appropriate help if you need it.
If you feel you have a gambling problem, that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. You shouldn’t feel ashamed, embarrassed or like you failed.
Instead, recognizing that you have a gambling problem is something that you should celebrate. You were able to recognize and catch the problem before it did you in.
There are plenty of resources if you need them. Don’t be afraid to use them.