It's time to talk about Safer Gambling
As part of Safer Gambling Week 2022, we at No Wagering are focused on stimulating conversations around safer gambling and driving awareness of the campaign.
For those unsure of the event, from the 17th to the 23rd of October 2022, the entire gambling industry joins together to promote responsible gambling and highlight all of the resources available.
Our first point of interest is to talk about responsible gambling and how to approach gambling more safely. In this article, we'll discuss all the key points to remember whilst gambling and the signs and behaviours to look out for.
Points to remember when gambling
Gambling is intended to be an entertaining activity that provides enjoyment to its players. Unfortunately, it's possible to sometimes get carried away which is why Safer Gambling Week has highlighted four points to remember when gambling.
Firstly, it's always a good idea to set your limits. Decide exactly how long you want to play for and how much you are willing to spend, and be sure to stick to it. If you are struggling to do this yourself, then there are a handful of useful tools available at all UK licensed casinos that can help.
There are three ways to set your limits when gambling:
- Deposit Limits determine how much money you can deposit into your account over a period of time.
- Loss Limits determine how much money you're comfortable with losing over a period of time.
- Session Limits determine how long you can play for before taking a break.
If these limits have been reached, then you will not be able to continue to play until a certain timeframe has passed.
Gambling is not a way to make money
As gambling is a form of entertainment, it should never be considered as a career or a way to make money. Although there can be the opportunity to get lucky and win money, the very nature of gambling means that the casino will always win in the long term, so do not be tempted to gamble money that is needed for important items such as rent and bills.
Be sure to only stake what you can comfortably afford to lose. This relates back to the first point, so be sure to set yourself a spending limit to prevent things getting out of control.
It's good to take a break
Like everything else in life, it's always good to take a break from time to time. Stepping away from a game gives you time to pause and time to think about whether you should continue playing or not. It also allows us to make time for the more important things in our life such as social events, friends and family.
Friends and family are important
Do not let gambling interfere with your life and make sure that you take time to spend valuable moments with family and friends. If gambling is becoming all-consuming and interfering with relationships then it's probably time to seek help.
GamCare (part of the National Gambling Treatment Service) is a free provider of advice and support and is available 24 hours a day on freephone 0808 8020 133. There is also a live chat feature on both websites if telephone isn't inconvenient.
Know the warning signs
Safer Gambling Week also raises awareness of 12 signs and behaviours that gambling may be getting out of control. These include:
- Spending more money than you can afford on gambling.
- Finding it difficult to manage or stop gambling.
- Arguing with family members or friends about your gambling.
- Losing interest in other activities that you usually enjoy.
- Always thinking and talking about gambling.
- Hiding gambling from friends and family through lies.
- Gambling to get out of financial trouble or chasing losses.
- Gambling until all your money is gone.
- Selling possessions, borrowing money or not paying bills to fund gambling.
- Needing to gamble with large amounts of money.
- Neglecting day-to-day responsibilities such as work, family or studies to gamble.
- Feeling worried, guilty, anxious, depressed or irritable.
Gambling is an enjoyable activity and most players gamble responsibly, but it's easy to slip. If any of these aspects apply to you, free and confidential help is available to help you take back control.
Aside from GamCare's helpline above, you might also want to check out the GamCare online forum and chatrooms. These allow you to connect with others in familiar situations to share your experience or even just to support others.
There are also dozens of self-guided resources that help you keep control of your gambling and include worksheets such as stress checklists and mood diaries. All of this is free and available right now.