According to gamblingaware.co.uk, 73% of the British adult population place at least one bet per year. It is not a taboo subject that people should be ashamed of – the majority of the population enjoys the odd flutter at one time or another.
When gambling is treated purely as a leisure activity rather than purely as a moneymaking exercise, it can be enjoyed without the horrendous looming shadow of financial ruin. Unfortunately, some people fall into the trap of becoming dependent on the potential financial windfalls provided by winning big.
If you feel that you cannot gamble responsibly then the best decision is to give up completely. For those who wish to gamble for leisure purposes, it is advisable to decide on a few things first:
- Set an amount you are willing to bet and do not exceed this under any circumstances.
- Remember that bookmakers are profit-making businesses and very few people make any real monetary gain from them in the long-term.
- Can you really afford to gamble? If there are not excess funds available that you would otherwise spend on entertainment then you shouldn’t be placing it on any bets.
Prevention is Primary
Many of the major gambling websites have now set up safety nets to prevent users from committing too much time and money into gambling. These ‘Player Protection’ sections are advisable even for users who only gamble occasionally, as it decreases the amount that can be deposited in one go. By setting limits on the amount of weekly, monthly or yearly deposit amounts, you can make sure that you are not spending over your expendable income which has already been earmarked for betting.
Gambling addiction is a potentially life-ruining problem, which can ruin you not only financially, but also emotionally. Many families have been torn apart by gambling addiction and help should be immediately sought if you are finding yourself unable to stop.
- Do not borrow (or even steal) money in order to fund the next bet. It is a harsh and deadly slope.
- Never ‘chase’ bets, under any circumstances. By setting a certain limit you can avoid the temptation to continue after winning a bet, or by risking even more money by trying to make up for losing bets.
If you feel that you are becoming addicted to gambling, you’ve already overcome a major problem by admitting it to yourself. Seeking help is essential, but steps can be immediately taken in the early stages. Shutting down your accounts is an immediate concern, with the option to suspend for an indefinite amount of time. It could be advisable to get a friend or relative to access the site for you, to prevent even the slightest temptation.
Organisations such as GamCare can be contacted for support and should be contacted as soon as possible if you, or any of your family members, are worried about gambling addiction.
- License: Creative Commons image source
This is a guest post by Kim Chase at Ideal Debt Solutions.