If you’re a gambler, then you know that gambling can be a great way to relax and have fun. It’s also an addiction that can ruin your life if you let it go too far.
In order for gamblers to avoid these pitfalls, they need to make some changes in their lives. Here are four things any gambler should do right now.
Stop Playing With Money That You Can’t Afford To Lose
It doesn’t matter what kind of game you play or how much money you put on the line, if you lose all your money, you’ll end up broke. If you’ve been playing with cash, this may not seem like such a big deal. After all, when you win, you get more money to gamble with. When you lose, you just have to wait until your next payday. But if you’re playing with credit cards or other types of plastic, then losing can become pretty serious.
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While it’s true that most people don’t really use gambling as their sole source of income, many still rely on it to pay their bills. So, even though you may think it’s safe to keep putting all your available cash into the slots, roulette wheels, or card tables, it’s not wise to do so. The reason is simple — you could lose everything, and there’s no turning back.
To ensure you won’t lose everything (no matter how tempting it will be), cut back on your spending habits and stop using credit cards. Then put only the amount of money you absolutely need to live on in your bank account. This will give you plenty of room to cover your losses without having to resort to borrowing from friends or family members.
Make Sure Your Gambling Is Responsible
There are lots of ways to gamble responsibly. In fact, responsible gambling has become one of the fastest-growing segments of the gambling industry. As a result, lots of casinos offer programs and services designed specifically to help gamblers stay out of trouble. And while it’s true that these programs aren’t completely effective, they can significantly reduce the chances that you’ll develop a problem.
For example, casinos often run special tournaments or promotions where participants must bet a certain number of dollars in order to enter. These events allow players to build up a small amount of funds before risking them in a large-scale pool. Players who win these events are awarded prizes based on their total earnings. They’re also required to meet certain conditions, including keeping track of their wins and losses. While these programs may sound like a good idea in theory, they actually increase the odds that a player will wind up addicted.
In addition to tournament games, most casinos offer weekly drawings. These contests award winners a certain number of entry tickets into drawings for various prizes. For instance, $100,000 in cash might be offered every week during one of these draws. However, players have to buy $10 worth of tickets in order to enter each drawing. The cost of buying multiple entries becomes prohibitive over time.
This means that by investing heavily in tickets, players are setting themselves up for financial disaster — and they’re doing so regardless of whether they intend to take part in the draw. Instead, they’d be better off saving their money or cashing out before they spend it all.
Avoid Compulsive Gambling
Compulsive gambling isn’t something that happens overnight. Most gamblers find that their habit develops within the first few years of regular play. Over time, these people start to believe that they need to gamble to feel normal. Eventually, they begin to feel hopeless and depressed because they can’t control their urges. They’ll lie to themselves about their losses because they don’t want to see the truth. They’ll try to hide their addiction from others and even from themselves.
These behaviors can lead to serious consequences. If you’re someone who’s thinking about getting involved in compulsive gambling, here are five warning signs to watch out for:
You lose time from work or school.
Your job performance suffers.
You spend more than you earn.
You borrow money from friends or family members.
You experience withdrawal symptoms after quitting.
If you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions, it’s critical that you seek professional help immediately. There are many treatment options available today, but none of them offers a quick fix. If you delay treatment, you may end up with even bigger problems down the road.
Limit Your Time at the Casino
The last change you should make is limiting your exposure to casinos and gambling. Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall into a trap at the casino — especially if you’re used to frequenting your favorite establishments.
Gamblers who have grown accustomed to sitting in front of slot machines, blackjack tables, and craps wagering machines will find it very hard to resist temptation when they walk through the door. This is why it’s important to set limits on how long you plan to stay at the casino. Even if you’re not actively seeking a gambling fix, the urge to pull out your wallet or touch your bankroll will always be present.
Instead of waiting until you reach saturation point and then deciding it’s time to leave, limit your time at the casino to a couple hours per day. If you’re staying longer than this, consider going out to eat instead. At least then you’ll have someplace else to be.
Don’t Let Yourself Go Broke
Whether you decide to gamble online, in person, or on the phone, there are always risks associated with any form of betting. But there’s one particularly dangerous type of gambling that almost everyone seems to fall prey to sooner or later. This kind of gambling isn’t much different than making impulse purchases, except that you’re spending your money on something that has virtually nothing to do with your finances.
When you gamble on lottery tickets or scratch-off tickets, you’re basically throwing away money. These bets come with a high risk/high payoff ratio, which means that you could potentially lose a lot of money. Plus, the odds of winning aren’t great.
If you really want to make sure that you never go broke due to gambling, here’s what you need to do:
Set aside a specific amount of money that you can afford to lose.
Never bet more than you have set aside.
Consider cutting back on other forms of entertainment, like watching TV or movies, so you can save enough money to replace whatever you lost.
Always follow these tips, and you’ll be able to enjoy the occasional round of poker, blackjack, or roulette without worrying about ruining your life.