Awareness and prevention
If you want to make sure gambling isn't having any harmful affects, the key is to keep track of how much time and money you spend gambling. Here are some practical tips to help make sure gambling doesn't sneak up on you.
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.
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.
Make sure gambling isn't your main pastime. When gambling becomes your only form of entertainment, your gambling could be a problem.
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.
Only gamble for entertainment. Think of gambling as an entertainment expense – just like buying a movie ticket.
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.
Gamble within your weekly entertainment money, not with your phone bill or rent budget.
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.
Alcohol and drugs cloud judgment and this can affect the decisions you make when gambling.
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.
Regaining control if your gambling is already in the way
Find out about what support is available
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.