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Having fun gambling means knowing your limits. When you know how and when to remind yourself to take a break, you will keep gambling as an enjoyable hobby for you and those in your life.
Having gambling as just part of a set of fun activities in your life will help you play responsibly. When you know that you can enjoy other recreational activities as an alternative to gambling, it will make it easier for you to take a break when you need to.
REMEMBER THAT IT IS A GAME
Casino games, like any other form of entertainment, have a cost to participate. To see a movie you purchase a ticket. To go out bowling you pay for a game and rent shoes. If you think of gambling in the same way, it will help remind yourself that you are paying to play in the casino. Sometimes you win, but playing over a longer period of time the house will probably come out on top. If you remind yourself that you are paying out in the casino to engage in a fun activity, it will help you remember to stop when you need to.
KNOW HOW MUCH TIME YOU CAN SPEND
Many casinos are open 24 hours a day, but your own personal gambling should have a closing time. When you promise yourself not to exceed a set amount of time playing in the casino, it will make it easy to call it a day when you need to. Before you walk through the door of the casino, make sure you have already decided what time you will leave by, and stick to it.
KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY YOU CAN SPEND
Playing casino games can be even more fun when you play with others. The most important thing is that you play in the casino with friends who also have fun gambling as a hobby to be enjoyed responsibly. When you are with others who know each other's limits, you will have a supportive voice there to remind you when to put on the brakes.
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THOSE WHO CARE ABOUT YOU
Everyone has a different budget on what they can spend on entertainment. Knowing in advance how much money you can allocate to your gambling hobby will help you decide how much you can spend on the various fun activities found in the casino. Don’t draw off your credit cards to play, and only gamble what cash you wouldn’t mind losing and still be able to go home feeling that you had a good time.
If gambling is no longer fun for you because you have trouble playing responsibly, know that there are resources available to help you.
How to identify a gambling problem
Continuing to gamble despite the negative effect that it is causing in your life is an issue that must be taken seriously. Trying to relentlessly win back gambling losses, turning your back on healthy relationships, and neglecting daily responsibilities due to gambling are all signs that you have a problem.
Wondering if you have a gambling problem?
Answering “yes” to any of the questions below will help you identify signs of a gambling problem.
Do you get anxious or aggressive with others when it comes time to stop gambling?
Are you consumed with compulsive or uncontrollable thoughts about gambling?
Do you want to gamble when you are feeling sad or depressed?
Do you feel like you have to keep returning to gambling to make up for past gambling losses?
Do you tell lies to others about how much time or money you spend on gambling?
Has the gambling in your life caused stress in your relationships, personal or professional?
Have gambling losses put you into a financial situation where you have to ask others for money?
Washington State Gambling Helpline
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, please call the Washington State Gambling Helpline.