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Responsible gambling

Many people play. They bet on sports events or play online poker, play casino and buy lottery tickets. Most people who play can do so without developing a problem – but some people can’t.

For those who choose to play, there are some general principles that can help to make gaming safer and reduce the risk of problem gambling.

If you choose to play, follow these guidelines to limit the risk of a problem.

Consider your gambling behaviour and keep the following tips in mind:

Gambling isn´t for making money

If you think closely, you will realize that gaming/betting companies  and other gaming websites take in more money than they pay out. This means whoever gambles loses more than they win over time.

Gambling can never be a way to make money. A responsible gambler keeps track of his money and knows that no matter how much you win over time, you will always be giving out more money. That’s the basic principle of any kind of gambling – 99% of gamblers must lose so that 1% can sometimes have big wins.

Compulsive gamblers harbor the false belief that someday they will be big winners, and this belief makes the problem worse.

Have a game plan

Set your gambling limit before you start and walk away once you hit your betting ceiling. Don’t chase your losses.

Set a limit on your funds

Only gamble what you can afford. If you know you’re going to gamble, it’s a good idea to leave your ATM and credit cards at home and only take with you the amount of cash you can afford to spend.

Don’t get caught up in the moment

It can be hard to stop gambling when your friends are betting big around you. Don’t get caught up in the moment, stand firm and don’t succumb to peer pressure to keep on betting.

If you want help or advice on gambling, speak to someone you trust or contact us at GamCare Uganda.  We’re here to help, anytime.

Gamble money that you don´t need.

Everyone keeps money aside for fun stuff like eating out, movies, shopping, etc. When you go out for gambling, make sure you are using only the money that you had set aside for that purpose. It shouldn’t be the money that could buy food, pay for gas or be used for emergencies. Responsible gambling means building a habit of gambling only occasionally and using only the money set aside for the purpose.

Set limits.

Gamblers usually lose their sense of time and money. If you are trying to practice responsible gambling, the first thing you must do is set limits for yourself. This includes money limits and time limits. Every day, set firm rules for how much money you’re willing to lose. Also set firm rules for how much time you’re willing to spend gambling.

Don´t try to win back losses or get even

If you lose money gambling/betting, do not try to get even by going for more games. This is a vicious cycle where you will keep losing more and keep trying to get even while never being able to do so. Remember that the money that’s gone is not going to come back. The sooner you stop chasing the losses, the better for you and your well-being.

Remember to gamble responsibly.

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Don´t gamble along with alcohol

Most gamblers also tend to suffer from an alcohol problem. If you gamble under the influence of alcohol, then you probably have a bigger problem. Gambling in an inebriated state leads to bad decisions that you may regret later.

Think of your hard work

When you spend money gambling, just think how hard you had to work to make that money. No money comes without working for it, and when you realize that you are wasting your hard-earned money, it will help you become a more responsible gambler.

Cultivate other interests

If gambling/betting is your only hobby or leisure activity, then start taking up other activities that interest you in order to distract yourself from gambling. This will prevent gambling from becoming too big a part of your life.

Don´t gamble in a bad mood

It’s hard to make any good decision about gambling/betting  when you’re sad, depressed, angry or in a bad mood. Like all addictions, gambling is often done for distraction, but this can make the problem worse. Responsible gamblers stay away from betting, gambling or any kind of wagering when in a bad mood.

Test yourself. Use our self assessment tool.

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