For some people, gambling can be a fun thing to do once in a while. However, for others the fun can quickly become something more serious, and you or someone you know might need to consider how to avoid problem gambling.
If you are gambling, there are a few things you can do to minimise the risk of becoming addicted. Learn ways to reduce the possibility of harm while gambling so that you can limit the risk of becoming a compulsive gambler.
11 tips for reducing gambling harm
- Avoid gambling apps and websites and only bet in a physical bookies shop. The apps are 24/7, but the bookies has to close eventually, and this will give you a break from the cycle of gambling
- Only bet what you can afford to lose. You don’t want to watch next month’s rent disappear overnight
- Only bring the exact amount of money that you are prepared to lose with you. If you lose it all, don’t be tempted to go and get more, just call it quits. It might help to leave the cards at home so that you can’t go to an ATM to take out more money
- Never borrow money to gamble – this won’t end well, and you could end up damaging relationships
- Never chase your losses. You won’t be able to win back all the money you lost through gambling. It’s not possible to gamble your way out of debt
- Set a time limit for how long you will stay at the bookies. Leave as soon as your time is up
- Staying safe while gambling requires taking regular breaks. Step outside for some fresh air to clear your head and avoid losing track of your time and money
- Avoid gambling after you’ve been drinking or taking drugs. You have less control over your impulses and you’re more likely to take bigger risks
- Remember that gambling is a game of chance – there are no guarantees and no way to predict for certain how a game is going to go
- Staying safe while gambling means bowing out if you’re feeling low, anxious, depressed or stressed. If you lean on gambling as a way to deal with these issues, you will only make things worse
- Spend time on other hobbies and don’t let gambling become your main form of entertainment
Wondering if someone you know might have a gambling problem? Click here to learn the signs of a gambling addiction.
How can I stop gambling?
Gambling can be difficult to give up and you may have to try a few different things, but recovery is possible no matter how hopeless the situation may feel. You can call Problem Gambling Ireland for information and support on 089 241 5401.
If you or someone you care about has a gambling problem, you can find a list of services that can help here.
Feeling overwhelmed or want to talk to someone right now?
- Get anonymous support 24/7 with our text message support service
- Connect with a trained volunteer who will listen to you, and help you to move forward feeling better
- Free-text SPUNOUT to 50808 to begin
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