While gambling and betting on sports can be fun, some people might discover they have a hard time keeping it under control. Below are some tips from the Council on Compulsive Gambling for playing responsibly.
Tips for gambling responsibly
- Don't gamble to make money
- Only gamble with money you can afford to lose
- Set a money limit and stick to it
- Set a time limit and stick to it
- Do not chase your losses
- Do not gamble when you are lonely, depressed, tired, or angry
- Do not gamble to avoid problems or pain
- Do not gamble while drinking excessively
- If you gamble, balance it with other activities such as enjoying time with friends, seeing a show, or stopping for a meal
If I keep gambling my luck will change and I will win back the money I've lost.
Each time you place a bet, the outcome is completely independent of the previous one. Your odds of winning do not increase with the frequency of which you bet.
I almost won; I must be due for a win.
"Almost" winning does not make you any closer to a real win. This is called the gambler’s fallacy
The quarterback is wearing my lucky number. I should bet on his team!
Superstitions and luck cannot help you predict the outcome of a game.
I can learn a system to beat the odds.
There is no system to predict live sporting events. The odds are provided for you to bet on, but there is no way to predict what will happen in the future.
Risks Associated with Gambling
While gambling can be a fun recreational activity, if an individual does not play responsibly it can have a negative effect on many aspects of their life.
As much as an individual can win, they can also experience extreme losses. Financial fluctuations are a risk from gambling and can lead to:
- Increasing debts
- Maxing out credit cards
- Overdue bills
- Borrowing from friends and family
- Eviction and forced home sales
While it may not be immediately apparent, there is often a connection between an individual's gambling and their health. Problem gambling is associated with a range of emotional, physical and psychological health problems such as;
- declined self-esteem
- stress and anxiety
- insomnia, fatigue, stomach ailments, high blood pressure
Problem gambling can also have a negative effect on an individual's ability to perform well at work. Often problem gamblers have issues with;
- showing up on time for work
- skipping work days entirely
- decreased productivity as their focus is primarily on gambling
- misuse of company time
Signs of a Gambling Problem
The following are potential warning signs that you or someone you know may have a gambling problem. (Council on Responsible Gambling)
- borrowing money
- selling personal items
- irritability, restlessness, withdrawal
- need for action and excitement
- defensive attitude
- competitive personality
- alienation from family and friends
- inability to cut back or stop gambling
- lying to friends and family about gambling
- risk-taking behaviors
- thinking about or committing an illegal act to finance gambling
- suicidal thoughts
If you or anyone you know has a gambling problem, ask for help.