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Gambling can be a fun and exciting activity, but it’s important to keep it in check and practice safer gambling habits. In recent years, there has been a rise in problem gambling behavior, which has led to an increase in gambling-related harm.

In this article, we’ll cover some safer gambling tips that can help reduce the risk of developing problematic gambling habits.

Safer Gambling Tips

Tip 1 – Set a Budget

One of the most important safer gambling tips is to set a budget before you start playing. This means deciding on how much money you’re willing to spend and sticking to it no matter what. Setting a budget helps you avoid overspending and getting into debt.

2 million adults (1%) in the United States meet the criteria for pathological gambling, and another 4-6 million (2-3%) are considered problem gamblers.
According to the National Council on Problem Gambling

Remember that casinos have a mathematical advantage over the players, so you’re more likely to lose the money you stake than you are to win. This is why you should never gamble money you need for other purposes like rent, paying bills, savings, child support or anything important in your life.

If you’re going to play casino games for real money, you should have a fixed amount of money you can afford to lose and reserve for this purpose only.

By setting a budget for your gambling activities, you take proactive steps towards responsible gambling. It enables you to enjoy the thrill of gambling without putting your financial stability at risk.

Remember, gambling should always be seen as a form of entertainment, and your budget should reflect this perspective. Responsible budgeting contributes to a healthier and more enjoyable gambling experience.

Tip 2 – Limit Your Time

Another way to practice safer gambling is to limit the amount of time you spend playing. Setting a time limit can help you avoid compulsive behavior and prevent you from losing track of time while playing. It can also help you balance gambling with other activities and responsibilities.

According to a study conducted by the National Council on Problem Gambling, people who gamble online are more likely to have gambling problems than those who gamble in-person.

Most online casinos have safer gambling tools that allow you to set spending and time limits. With these, the casino will alert you when you have reached the limit and lock you out of the site to stop you from playing, even if you have not yet reached your spending limit. For more information on tools to help you control your gambling, please visit his page from the Gambling Commission.

You can also contact the casino staff and let them know you want to set limits for yourself. Explain that you’d like to set deposits and time limits, and they will assist you. They may show you how to do this or even set these limits for you and stop serving you once you’ve reached them.

Tip 3 – Take Breaks

Taking breaks during your gambling sessions is an essential practice for responsible gambling. It helps you maintain control, prevents excessive gambling, and promotes a healthier relationship with this form of entertainment.

It’s important to take regular breaks while gambling to avoid becoming too caught up in the game. Taking a break allows you to step back, regroup, and reassess your goals. For example, if you find yourself losing more than you win, taking a break can help you regain perspective and avoid chasing your losses.

During your breaks, engage in other activities that you enjoy. This could range from taking a short walk, reading a book, listening to music, or spending time with loved ones. By diversifying your activities, you create a balanced lifestyle and reduce the risk of gambling becoming all-consuming.

75% of problem gamblers report that they have missed work due to gambling-related issues.
National Council on Problem Gambling

Use your breaks as an opportunity for self-reflection. Taking breaks facilitates self-awareness and self-assessment, helping you make informed decisions about your gambling habits.

Tip 4 – Don’t let gambling affect your relationships.

Don’t let gambling become a habit! Gambling can sometimes consume your time, attention, and resources, which can strain your relationships with family, friends, and loved ones. It’s important to set boundaries and prioritize your relationships over gambling.

Be mindful of how your gambling habits may impact your loved ones, both financially and emotionally. Communicate openly with them and involve them in discussions about responsible gambling.

Strive to maintain a healthy balance between gambling and nurturing your relationships, ensuring that gambling does not become a source of conflict or distance between you and your loved ones.

There’s way more to life than just gambling. As stated before, gambling should be done for entertainment only and from time to time.

If you spend too much time gambling, you will miss out on other fun and essential activities that bring joy, happiness and other forms of entertainment.

Playing casino games should never be between you and your relationships and personal life. If you are tempted to lie to someone (including yourself!) about gambling or how much time you spend on it, that may be a sign that you have a problem with gambling. If this is the case, please reach out for help.

Tip 5 – Manage your Emotions

Gambling when you’re feeling upset or angry can be a recipe for trouble. These negative emotions can cloud your judgment, leading to impulsive and irrational decision making.

Gambling while having negative emotions will not make you feel better; it will make you feel worse in the long run. Lower emotions like sadness, anger, frustration or desperation are non-positive emotions that cloud your judgment and make it difficult to make intelligent decisions.

These types of negative emotions will most likely lead to adverse situations. You may end up losing more money than you can afford and can seriously hurt yourself, your financial stability and your relationships. This is especially true if you add alcohol or drugs to the mix.

Instead of using gambling as an outlet for your emotions, it’s important to find healthier ways to cope with them. Take a break, engage in activities that help you relax, talk to a friend or family member, or seek professional help if needed. Addressing and managing your emotions before engaging in gambling can help you make better decisions and avoid potential regrets.

Tip 6 – Avoid Alcohol

Mixing gambling and alcohol can be a risky combination that may lead to poor decision-making, increased financial risks, and potential negative consequences. When under the influence, you may be more inclined to take unnecessary risks, make impulsive bets, or chase losses. This can result in financial losses and regrettable decisions that you may not have made with a clear and sober mind.

Alcohol can intensify the emotions related to gambling such as emotion and frustration, make it harder to control your reactions. This can lead to impulsive behavior and reckless gambling. Alcohol also affects cognitive function and can impair your ability to think clearly and make rational choices. This can lead to poor gambling strategy, miscalculations, and ultimately, unfavorable gambling outcomes.

It’s important to note that responsible gambling involves making informed decisions and being in control of your actions. By avoiding the mixture of gambling and alcohol, you can ensure that you are gambling with a clear mind, making rational choices, and enhancing your overall gambling experience.

Tip 7 – Understand the Odds

Understanding the odds of the game you’re playing can help you make informed decisions about how much to bet and when. It all starts with having a basic understanding of probability and chance so you can make more informed decisions and have realistic expectations about your chances of winning.

It’s important to know that all gambling games have a house edge, which means that mathematically the odds are in favor of the casino. Knowing this can help you avoid falling into the trap of thinking you can beat the system or win big.

To understand the odds better, take the time to gather information and research the specific games you plan to play. Make sure you understand terms like Return to Player (RTP), Game Variance and Skill Vs. Chance. Read up on the rules, strategies, and odds associated with those games. Many reputable gambling resources provide comprehensive guides and tutorials that can help you obtain a deeper understanding of the odds.

By understanding the odds, you can make more informed decisions, set realistic expectations, and engage in responsible gambling practices. Having a clear comprehension of the likelihood of winning or losing in different games empowers you to make decisions based on rationale rather than emotions, enhancing your overall gambling experience.

Tip 8 – Don’t Chase Your Losses

One of the most dangerous behaviors for problem gambling is chasing your losses. When you have a losing streak, it can be tempting to keep playing and try to win back what you’ve lost. However, this can lead to a cycle of increasing bets and mounting losses. It’s important to know when to cut your losses and walk away.

Recognize that the outcome of each game or bet is based on chance, and there will inevitably be periods of both wins and losses. Accepting this reality helps you develop a healthier mindset towards gambling, reducing the inclination to chase your losses.

Remember that gambling should be seen as a form of entertainment, not a way to make money or recoup losses. Focus on enjoying the experience rather than solely focusing on the results. Keep a realistic approach!

In order to avoid chasing losses, it is crucial to practice self-discipline and self-control. Recognize when you are starting to feel the urge to chase losses, and be prepared to walk away from the gambling activity.

Tip 9 – Seek Help

If you find that you are struggling with the urge to chase your losses, seek support. Talking to a friend, family member, or professional can help you find healthier ways to cope and avoid unhealthy gambling habits.

Reach out to friends, family, or professionals who can provide guidance and assistance in developing healthier gambling habits. If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible.

There are many resources available, including support groups, counseling, online resources, and helplines available for those who struggle with gambling addiction.

The National Council on Problem Gambling offers a toll-free helpline (1-800-522-4700) that provides confidential help and support for anyone struggling with gambling-related issues.

Tip 10 – Use Gambling Blocking Software

Gambling blocking software is designed to help individuals limit or completely block access to gambling websites and apps. It acts as a digital tool to support responsible gambling and self-exclusion strategies. By using gambling blocking software, you can create additional barriers and reduce the temptation to engage in gambling activities online.

To effectively use gambling blocking software, you need to install and configure it on your devices. The software may allow you to customize the level of blocking you desire, such as blocking access to all gambling sites or specific categories of gambling-related content.

To enhance the effectiveness of gambling blocking software, consider using password protection. Choose a strong and unique password that is not easily guessable or shared with others. By having a password-protected blocking tool, it adds an extra step and provides an additional barrier, making it more challenging to disable or circumvent the software.

Remember, gambling blocking software should be seen as a complementary tool in your responsible gambling toolkit. It can serve as a valuable aid to support your efforts in managing your gambling habits and minimizing the risks associated with problem gambling. However, it’s important to combine the use of gambling blocking software with other responsible gambling strategies and seek external support whenever necessary.

Tip 11 – Take Advantage of Self-Exclusion Programs

Many casinos and gambling sites offer self-exclusion programs, which allow you to voluntarily ban yourself from gambling for a specific period of time. This can be a helpful option for those who are struggling to control their gambling behavior and need to take a break.

Self-exclusion is a voluntary program offered by gambling establishments, whether online or land-based, that allows individuals to request to be excluded from participating in gambling activities for a specific period. It is an effective tool for individuals who want to take a break from gambling or who are struggling to control their gambling habits.

There are typically two types of self-exclusion programs available: Venue based and online self exclusion

Venue-Based Self-Exclusion is generally applicable to land-based casinos or gambling establishments. It involves filling out a form or meeting with a designated staff member to request exclusion. Once enrolled, you will be denied entry into the establishment for the designated period. Some programs also include additional support, such as counseling services or resources to help you stay on track.

Online self-exclusion programs are specifically designed for online gambling platforms. These programs allow you to voluntarily exclude yourself from accessing gambling websites or apps for a specified duration. Once enrolled, the online gambling operators will block your access to their platforms, preventing you from participating in any form of online gambling during the exclusion period.

If you engage in online gambling across multiple platforms or with various operators, it’s essential to explore self-exclusion options with each of them individually. Self-exclusion programs are typically specific to the platform or operator implementing the program. Therefore, you may need to self-exclude from each platform or operator separately to ensure comprehensive exclusion from online gambling activities.

Self-exclusion programs provide individuals with the opportunity to take a break from gambling and regain control over their gambling habits. By actively participating in self-exclusion programs and utilizing the resources and support available, you can create a safer and more responsible gambling environment for yourself.

Tip 12 – Gambling is not a solution to any problem.

It’s common for individuals to turn to gambling as a way to escape or solve their problems. However, it’s essential to understand that gambling is not a viable solution to personal or financial difficulties. It would be best if you kept in mind that gambling is not a way to make money or fix anything else in your life that you’re not happy with.

In fact, gambling can often exacerbate existing problems and create new ones. It’s important to address the underlying issues directly and seek appropriate help and support. Whether it’s seeking financial advice, therapy, or support groups, there are alternative and more effective methods to deal with life’s challenges.

Recognizing that gambling is not a solution is a crucial step towards maintaining a healthier relationship with gambling and seeking healthier avenues for problem-solving.

Using gambling to escape problems in your life, whether personal, financial or any other, will not help, and you should know that gambling will only make them worse.

If you feel like you need help regarding your gambling or you would like to stop altogether, please speak to a specialist adviser:

Closing thoughts.

We all have problems in our lives, which can be overwhelming from time to time. We all have bills to pay, relationships that can be difficult to deal with, unresolved emotions and life challenges that we need to overcome.

That’s all just part of life and being human! There’s nothing wrong with recognizing that we need help from an adviser, a therapist or a friend. Don’t let your emotions bottled up. Solitude is rarely a good adviser. Reach out to someone you trust or a professional and ask for help. Be proactive and don’t wait until things become a problem to address them.

Following these tips and recommendations will go a long way towards keeping you safer when gambling and staying out of trouble.

Remember, gambling blocking software should be seen as a complementary tool in your responsible gambling toolkit. It can serve as a valuable aid to support your efforts in managing your gambling habits and minimizing the risks associated with problem gambling. However, it’s important to combine the use of gambling blocking software with other responsible gambling strategies and seek external support whenever necessary.

In conclusion, practicing safer gambling habits is essential to reducing the risk of developing problematic gambling behavior. By setting a budget, limiting your time, taking breaks, knowing your limits, and seeking help when needed, you can enjoy gambling as a fun and recreational activity without negative consequences.


National Council on Problem Gambling:
American Gaming Association:
National Institute of Mental Health: