Being a responsible gambler means balancing an enjoyable pastime with the other areas of your life. Here is some advice on how to game safely.
Distribute your energy
Responsible gambling, whether online or offline, is a function of dividing your time and money in a equal and fair manner, therefore achieving a happy balance in life.
If you make sure that you give enough attention to your friends and family, and restrict the amount of money you gamble to a reasonable amount, then no other part of your life will be negatively affected.
Staying aware of your own behavior is an excellent way to ensure responsible gambling. Again, the goal is to find balance between enjoying the explosive excitement of betting and the other aspects of your life.
An easily recognised marker of responsible gaming is attention. If you feel like you aren’t seeing your children enough, that you’re always late for meals and meetings with friends, this should turn on a red light for you that something is wrong.
Additionally, if all you can think about when you’re with your loved ones is the next bet you’re going to place, then this is also a sign of a problem, and the people around you will feel it. Stress is something that we are very sensitive to, and if you’re always stressed about gambling, it will hurt your relationships.
Can you afford it?
Another informative self-check is seeing if you can still meet your other financial needs, such as rent, bills and school fees. Finding the perfect financial balance is an art-form, but here is a good general rule to follow: If no other financial area of your life suffers because of your gambling, then you're probably doing ok.
The easiest self-check to perform is testing your own emotional state. Are you unhappy with life besides when you’re gambling? Do you get irrationally angry and then feel sorry about it afterwards?
These are all clear signs that you need to re-evaluate how you’re balancing your time, money and feelings. If you find that you’re still having trouble after trying to deal with it yourself, it might be best to consult an organisation that specialises in problem gambling.