Skip to Content

Tips to Control a Gambling Problem

problem gambler.jpg

It's all fun and games until someone gets addicted.

If gambling activities are having a negative impact on your life, here are four tips to regain control of your spending and avoid developing a gambling addiction.

Tell others about your gambling problem and your decision to control it

You are more likely to stick to your decision if you tell other people about it. Tell at least one person, whom you can trust and depend on, that you are going to cut back on your gambling. This person should be someone who you believe will check in on you from time to time and make sure you are in fact cutting back.

Set limits and stick to a budget

Decide how much money you can afford to spend on gambling each week. Keep in mind that you may lose this money, so the amount should not exceed that which you’d spend on other entertainment activities. Remember that gambling is entertainment, not an investment.

When you go out gambling, stick to your budget. If you win, don’t add the winnings to your initial limit - spend it another way.

Keep track of the money you spend on gambling

Recording your spending keeps you honest about how often you gamble and how much you lose. It can also help you develop self-awareness and change your behavior.

Additionally, you may want to write about the thoughts, feelings, and situations that occur before and during a gambling session. Is there a specific emotion that sparks your desire to gamble? How does gambling make you feel? The answers to these questions and others like them will help you identify triggers and better understand your problem.

Match your thoughts to your records

Problem gamblers tend to underestimate how much they lose and overestimate how skillful they are at gambling. They often have no idea how much they’re spending, but they believe they are ahead.

To help you think straight, check your records. Do they actually add up to a profit? If not, acknowledge that you are behind and then adjust your thinking to fit the facts.

Source: Problem Gambling