How to I know if my gambling is safe
It is important to remember that all forms of gambling have an associated risk. If gambling is causing you any family, work, mental and physical health problems and or financial problems, it may be important to consult with a professional gambling help counsellor.
A counsellor will help link you to a financial counsellor (if needed) support you in better understanding the gambling behaviour and its impact on your life. The gambling help counsellor will also help you reassert control over your life by learning new more effective ways of coping.
Gambling can be safe if you consider and implement the following strategies:
- Be honest with family and friends about your gambling
- Limit the amount of time that you spend gambling (put an alarm on your watch/phone)
- Book something (a call from a friend, or an appointment) immediately after your gambling time expires – this prevents you staying longer
- Expect to lose the money as a cost of your entertainment/recreation – how much is your entertainment worth?
- Avoid gambling if you are feeling emotional or there has been a recent change in your circumstances, or if you have urgent debts
- Prepare a budget prior to coming to a gambling venue
- Talk to someone for 30-60 minutes prior to playing
- Leave your bank/EFTPOS card at home
- Never go to a gambling venue with a NEED to win money, or even strong thoughts about winning – you’ll chase the win and end up well behind
- Only come to the venue with the amount that you plan to spend
- Make yourself a very clear rule – buy your food and pay bills first, never hock personal or family items, collect all credits over $100
- Never gamble with borrowed money – the odds are always against you, it will just lead to more debt
- Take regular breaks whilst gambling – go get a coffee, go for a quick walk etc.
- Don’t mix gambling with alcohol or other substances
- Consider leaving if you have a big win – your feelings will be high and you are likely to spend it on gambling chasing another big win