Opportunities to gamble abound due to the availability of lotteries, casinos, and VLT venues. While gambling is a form of entertainment, it should be budgeted for and enjoyed responsibly. Like going out to a movie or attending a sports game, gambling can be tremendous fun. It becomes a problem, however, when it is seen as a way to make money or solve financial problems. If you choose to gamble, have fun playing and understand that the house always wins.

Gambling responsibly means being able to exercise control over your gambling activity and not letting it negatively impact other areas of your life. The following are some responsible gambling tips to keep the games fun:

  • Set a Money Limit: by ensuring that you know exactly how much you have to spend, it becomes much easier to simply draw that amount of money in cash, and to leave your credit card at home and out of reach of temptation.
  • Set a Time Limit: If you want to know how to gamble responsibly, allocate a certain amount of time in the casino to avoid overspending.
  • Set Acceptable Limits for Losses: For example, betting $1.00 per spin instead of $2.50 will reduce your cost of play by 150%.
  • Slow Down your Rate of Play: Playing 2 seconds slower will reduce your cost of play by $21.00 an hour if you’re betting $1.00 per spin.
  • Only gamble with money you can afford to lose and never borrow money to gamble:
  • Take regular breaks to determine how much money and time you have spent gambling during each session.
  • Stay social! Gambling alone is usually one of the signs of a developing problem with gambling.
  • Never try to win back money you have lost: Don’t “chase your losses” by gambling more.
  • Have realistic expectations of what gambling will accomplish – it will not help you pay your debts and bills, but it will provide a few hours of fun.
  • Avoid gambling when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as it impairs decision-making and can lead to overspending.
  • Always play only one machine at a time – playing multiple machines at once is bound to cause overspending.
  • Don’t borrow money to gamble – as the saying goes, “Don’t play with money you don’t have.”
  • Gamble during the good times – when you feel positive and happy, rather than during difficult times. When depressed, angry, or under pressure, gambling becomes a high-risk situation. Don’t use gambling as a way to cope with problems.