The majority of people do gamble responsibly. It may help you to keep your gambling under control by remembering the following:

  • you are buying fun, not investing your money
  • before playing, set strict limits on how much time and money you are going to spend
  • quit while you’re ahead
  • only gamble with money you can afford to lose
  • don’t spend more money on gambling with the hope to win back money that you've lost
  • keep up other interests and hobbies - don’t let gambling take over your life
  • don’t gamble in order to escape from stress or boredom
  • gambling in moderation is okay.

Are you gambling more than you really want to?

For some, however, gambling can become a problem. If you're concerned about the amount you're gambling and feel it is taking over your life (or if you're concerned about a friend or relative), the following questions may help you:

  • Have others ever criticised your gambling?
  • Have you ever lied to cover up the amount you have gambled or time you have spent doing it?
  • Do arguments, frustrations or disappointments make you want to gamble?
  • Do you gamble alone for long periods?
  • Do you stay away from work or college to gamble?
  • Do you gamble to escape from a boring or unhappy life?
  • Are you reluctant to spend 'gambling money' on anything else?
  • Have you lost interest in your family, friends or pastimes due to gambling?
  • After losing, do you feel you must try to win back your losses as soon as possible?
  • When gambling and you run out of money, do you feel lost and in despair, and need to gamble again as soon as possible?
  • Do you gamble until your last penny is gone?
  • Have you lied, stolen or borrowed just to get money to gamble or to pay gambling debts?
  • Do you feel depressed or even suicidal because of your gambling?

If your answers to some of the above questions are yes, then it is likely you may have a gambling problem.

Speak to a counsellor

For friendly and helpful advice from trained counsellors call the GamCare helpline on 0808 8020 133. The helpline is open from 8am to midnight, seven days a week.

Sometimes just telling someone about your problem can be a relief and it is the first step towards dealing with your problem. You can also visit the GamCare website for more information and advice.

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