For many of us, gambling is a fun and harmless pastime. With a little personal responsibility, it can stay that way.
For some people, though, gambling has gotten out of control. Like uncontrolled smoking, drinking and even shopping, uncontrolled gambling can be a problem.
It is important for us, therefore, to stay within safe limits when we are gambling. Here are some tips for safe and responsible gambling:
1. If you are gambling outside your home, carry in your purse only the cash amount that you have decided to spend. If you’re commuting, keep your bus fare separate from your gambling money so you won’t have to beg, borrow, steal or gamble for your bus fare, or walk all the way home. Needless to say, make sure you don’t bring a single credit card with you; it’s too much temptation. Better to bring a mobile phone so that in case of an emergency, you can call somebody to help you out without having to rely on your credit card.
2. If you are gambling online, have a debit card that you use for online gambling and keep your other cards away from easy access. Make sure you keep in that debit card only the amount you wouldn’t mind losing, in case you lose. When your debit card is empty, then stop. Needless to say, credit cards are not the safest bet for responsible online gambling because their credit limits are much too high.
3. Don’t gamble with borrowed money. Or putting it another way, do not borrow money so you can gamble. It naturally follows, and we can’t say this often enough, that you shouldn’t gamble with your credit cards. Use a debit card, or cash, and make sure that you’re using your own money. The moment you start borrowing money just so you can gamble, seek help.
4. Expect to lose. Treat winnings as bonuses. When you want to eat good food, you spend money, right? When you ride in the amusement park, you pay money too. You even spend money for things as banal as water and electicity. So when you gamble, you shouldn’t be fretting about the money you lose. You spent that money for a few hours of good clean fun.
5. Set a time limit. The easiest way to stick to this rule is by gambling with a friend – or friends. That way, at least one of you can act like an alarm clock and remind you when it’s time to call it quits. The more, the merrier – and in gambling, as well as in many other things, there’s safety in numbers.
There is no reason why gambling should be more dangerous than our other modes of entertainment. By simply following these guidelines – setting you limits and staying within them like responsible adults – gambling can remain for you the fun, safe and harmless pastime that it was really meant to be.