The Importance of Responsible Gambling
Whenever you visit an online sportsbook’s site, they will proudly boast that they promote responsible gambling. Companies such as Bet365, Betfair and Ladbrokes have been asked by companies such as Gam Care to exclude any customers who they believe are out of control or spending beyond their means as the industry aims to crackdown on the problem.
Staying in Control
The importance of self-control is hugely undervalued when it comes to betting. Punters are always dreaming of winning big or developing a system which nets them regular profit but simply isn’t as simple as that. Gambling was originally intended as a leisure activity and that’s the way it should be seen.
Professional gamblers and those who make a regular profit through betting on sport will always preach the importance of self-control. Long term profit is based on placing bets after taking numerous factors into consideration and ensuring the price/odds are suitable and offer value. Those who rush into decisions or simply place a bet on the proviso that there is a football or rugby match taking place are never destined to succeed long-term.
Taking a step-back
Every punter will embark upon a poor run of form. It’s simply inevitable. Even the professionals occasionally hit a barren run where their chosen horse is impeded at the start or the home side are denied a stonewall penalty in the last minute and there’s little which can be done to change the outcome.
Some bettors will re-evaluate their approach or simply shrug their shoulders as these things happen. If gambling is becoming a daily frustration and it’s occupying too much space in your brain, it could be time to take a step back.
The general advice would be to take 2-3 days away from the betting shop or online sportsbook and do something a little different. This could range from going to visit a friend through to starting a new box-set which has been waiting to be watched for a number of months.
Of course, stepping back is easier said than done but it is important to enjoy other aspects of life outside of gambling.
If you’ve developed a system and things aren’t working out, it may be time to take a week off to tweak it. Placing imaginary stakes on selections may be advisable as this still allows you to follow all of the action and may open up ideas of how to develop the system further going forward.
Only Bet What You Can Afford to Lose
You’ve probably heard this said on numerous occasions but it’s absolutely imperative to successful betting. There are numerous methods of depositing into an account nowadays and it may be advised to stick to one particular way. Online wallets such as Neteller and Paypal allow customers to keep a set amount of money aside to use on various online transactions. This is handy way of budgeting when it comes to working out monthly outgoings.
DO NOT spend money which has been assigned to paying household bills and NEVER bet with money which is in a joint account as this will only create problems with partners/co-habiters/flat-mates.
It’s very easy to lose track of how many deposits have been made via VISA debit or credit cards so if you set aside a certain amount and pop it into an online wallet, it will help keep everything in control and it is likely to prove less tempting to make another quick deposit should you chalk up some losses.
If it’s been a particularly expensive month, you can always reduce your betting budget accordingly.
Balance Gambling with Other Leisure Activities
Ensure that gambling does take over your life and become the only thing occupying your brain. Regular exercise will help clear the brain and often release some of the endorphins which may have previously only been achieved through betting on sport. If you don’t fancy a rigorous workout, just getting some fresh air can certainly help and give a fresh perspective on things.
Seeing family and friends or going out for a meal can often be other ways to get away from gambling. Whilst these may only be temporary, it will help occupy the brain with something different for at least a couple of hours.
Don’t discard hobbies or interests in favour of gambling as this can often lead you into a downward spiral.
Never Chase Losses
This is arguably one of the most important factors when it comes to responsible gambling. Some days, you just don’t get the rub of the green and there is little you can do about it. Your ‘simply can’t lose’ selection is beaten by a 40/1 outsider or the prolific striker picks up an injury after just two minutes on the pitch and has to be replaced, it’s simply par for the course.
If you’ve lost money earlier in the day, it is ill-advised to continue betting throughout the evening or even place a wager for the sake of it.
Many punters have been guilty of dipping into unknown leagues later that day in a late and desperate bid to recoup some of their losses. It is an extremely tempting thing to do but rarely will it pay off. Take a deep breath, turn off the laptop and step away from the sportsbook until tomorrow.
If you’re £100 betting balance has been halved by a bad run of luck, simply adjust your stakes the following day and slowly begin to build it back up.
With the rise of mobile betting, it is easier than ever to place a bet on an iPhone, android or tablet whilst feeling sorry for yourself but resistance is important. It can wait until tomorrow.
Never Bet Under the Influence
This seems fairly self-explanatory. If you’ve been to the pub or consumed numerous alcoholic beverages at home, it’s best to stay away from the sportsbook. With the 24/7 nature of betting, there are likely to be events taking place throughout the night (NFL or NHL if you’re in the UK) but it’s best to avoid betting if you aren’t completely sober.
Your brain isn’t working to its full capacity and it’s very easy to start gambling recklessly once alcohol or drugs have been consumed. This is an extremely quick way of reducing your betting balance.
As the regulators begin to tighten up procedures, there have been numerous techniques introduced by bookmakers. Online sportsbooks have introduced account limits which are extremely handy to those who fear their gambling may get out of control.
These limits can be set-up upon registering for an account or they can be added a later date if necessary. They can be set across a 24 hour period, 7 days or even per month and the amount can encompass a huge range of figures. For small stakes punters, you may to wish to limit yourself to £15 per month or those with a larger budget may wish to set the mark at £50 per week.
You can decrease the limit at any point and although it’s generally not advised to increase the limit, this can be achieved although users are generally asked to wait 24 hours for this to be activated.
Another technique which has been introduced fairly recently is a reality check. This will arrive in the form of a pop-up message at the bottom of the screen which will display how long an account has been logged in for. This may just remind the punter that it is time to step away for a bit. Customers can personalise these reality checks to emerge every couple of hours.
There are plenty of sites and advisors online who will be happy to talk through any early signs of a gambling problem. Each individual bookmaker will also possess a team of advisors who will be willing to make suggestions on how to combat the problem.
One of the first hurdles to overcome is recognising the problem and admitting that gambling has taken over. Unfortunately this is where the majority of addicts come unstuck.
There are numerous organisations available to offer advice and support.
- gamble aware (www.gambleaware.co.uk)
- gambling therapy (www.gamblingtherapy.org)
- Gam Care (www.gamcare.org.uk) who also have a free telephone number for anyone who is concerned. The latter also offer support to families and friends of those affected by gambling.
There is plenty of help and advice available online plus numerous local charities who will aim to help people affected by problem gambling. Group have also been set up for like-minded individuals who wish to discuss their affliction. Following the correct steps can help combat the issue and it’s always important to gamble responsibility and at all times remember that it is just a game.