Staying in control

If you want to make sure gambling doesn't become a problem for you, the key is to gamble responsibly. This means, staying in control of how much time and money you spend gambling. Here are some strategies to help make sure your gambling doesn't sneak up on you.

1. Set money and time limits and stick to them

Sticking to limits means you'll have more time and the money to do other things you enjoy, like going on a holiday or buying something you really want.

2. Take regular breaks

Gambling continuously can cause you to lose track of time and perspective. Step out for some air or a bite to eat at regular intervals.

3. Balance gambling with other activities

Make sure gambling isn't your main pastime. When gambling becomes your only form of entertainment, your gambling could be a problem.

4. Never chase your losses

Gambling is a form of entertainment so if you start chasing your losses, walk away. Chasing your losses will usually just lead to larger losses.

5. Don't think of gambling as a way to make money

Only gamble for entertainment. Think of gambling as an entertainment expense – just like buying a movie ticket.

6. Don't gamble to escape

If you are gambling because you are lonely, bored, stressed or anxious, you are using gambling to escape. Decision-making can be more difficult when you're emotionally upset. Make sure you only gamble when you're feeling happy and clear headed.

7. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose

Gamble within your weekly entertainment money, not with your phone bill or rent budget.

8. Leave your credit and debit cards at home

Using cash and leaving the cards at home is a good way to manage the amount you spend and help you stick to your limit. This is a good way to safeguard your money limit and not let being 'in the moment' warp your judgment.

9. Limit drinking when gambling

Alcohol and drugs cloud judgment and this can affect the decisions you make when gambling.

10. Learn from past gambling experiences

If you sometimes feel anxious, guilty or just uncomfortable during or after betting, recognise it and do something about it. Follow these tips to minimise harm from gambling. Don't let it lead to something bigger.

Useful links

Download The Responsible Gambling Guide (PDF - 7007 KB)

How can you tell if there's a problem? Take the test

Regaining control if your gambling is already in the way

Find out about what support is available

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This information should not replace or be considered as an alternative to professional advice. If you need help, please call Gambler's Help on 1800 858 858. This service operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and is free and confidential.