To understand more about your relationship with gambling, you can Take the Test to see how your gambling compares to normal and what you should be doing to manage your gambling.
There are some important rules to follow to help you make sure you’re gambling responsibly and maintaining control.
Make sure that:
- You’re sober
- You’re in a good mood. Don’t gamble big when you’re upset, down or angry.
- Manage your money. Set a limit for the night and stick to it and never gamble more than you can afford to lose.
- Set a time limit and don’t gamble beyond that time.
- Don’t be afraid to leave when you’re ahead.
- Keep a record of your winnings and losses to see how you are doing over time – and don’t lie to yourself.
- Treat gambling as a leisure activity not a way to gain money or hide from problems.
- And most importantly, never chase losses – there is nothing more dangerous that gambling more to try to win back your losses.
Warning Signs of Problem Gambling
It’s important to remember that gambling behaviour is often hidden and it can be difficult to know if someone has a problem as they may go to great lengths to hide it from friends and family. However there may be some warning signs that may indicate someone is developing an unhealthy relationship with gambling:
- Unexplained sources of money
- Unexplained borrowing from friends or people less likely to ask questions
- Becoming secretive or lying (especially about financial records or unexplained absences)
- A lot of interest in gambling, odds, tips, and winning money
- Becoming withdrawn from friends and family situations
- Poor performance in training or turning up late/leaving early
- Mood-swings if they are not able to gamble
- Changes in personality - sleeping, eating, or sexual relationship patterns
- Bragging about winnings
- Talking about gambling as a certain way of making money
GamCare has plenty of advice on other things you can do if your gambling is more serious:
- Changing your behaviour – Find out how you can manage the urge to gamble and make changes to your life to break out of old patterns and routines
- Self-exclusion - Find out how you can bar yourself from betting shops, casinos, arcades and online gambling companies
- Blocking software– Find out how you can set up your computer or phone to stop you accessing gambling websites
- Managing your finances and debt– Find out how you can get out of debt and organise your finances Rules