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Gambling is a fun activity and it can be a way of socialising for many people, such as checking guides for football and placing a bet on the latest game or heading to the races to watch the events unfold in person. But things can quickly turn sour if you’re not responsible with how you gamble your money. Here are some tips on staying safe and setting limits when you’re gambling.

Remember That It’s Paid Entertainment

Gambling is fun but you should always keep in mind that it’s paid entertainment in the same way that going to the cinema or buying a ticket to a theme park is. The experience itself is exciting and if you can win something extra, that’s great too. But just focus on enjoying the experience itself and then draw a line under your time there. Gambling isn’t about chasing wins or trying to boost your bank balance – it should be treated as something that is fun to do from time to time.

Set a Budget

When you’re in the moment, it can be hard to keep track of your funds. But staying on top of your budget is essential – you don’t want to find that you’ve been betting money you need for other, more important things like bills. Before you start betting, set a strict budget and ensure that you still have enough money for your usual expenses. Once you’ve used up your gambling budget, it’s time to stop.

Stick to a Time Limit

As with a financial budget, it’s a good idea to set a time limit on your betting activities too. Time can get away from you quickly when you’re betting and before you know it, you’ve eaten into more time (and money) than you wanted to.

Don’t Chase Your Losses

Gambling has an element of strategy to it but it’s also about luck – some days you’ll have a winning streak and others you won’t. Providing you’re keeping to your gambling budget, you will be fine, but don’t gamble in the hopes of making back your losses as it can quickly lead to problem gambling.

Know the Rules Before You Begin

Some games have better odds than others in terms of success, but before you start betting away your funds, it’s vital that you know what you’re getting into. This means fully understanding the rules of the game before you start and knowing the odds. This way, you can enjoy the fun without worrying.

Never Gamble Under the Influence

Betting is often coupled with a fun atmosphere and the usual suspects associated with that, including alcohol. But gambling while you’re under the influence is never a good idea, as your decision-making skills will be impaired, and you might end up playing beyond the scope of your time limit or budget.

Gamble During Happy Times

Gambling is a fun activity so it’s one you should enjoy when times are good, with friends or family. It shouldn’t be used as a way of getting over hard times or to escape depression or anxiety. Gambling when you’re in a low mood can mean it becomes a problem for you, so don’t use it as a way of solving tough issues.