Gambling is considered a recreational activity in many places around the world, but there’s a dark side to it. So, many people want to learn how to stop gambling.
Most of us are no stranger to the many forms of gambling. From harmless video games to the random number generator at an arcade, we are vulnerable to mild forms of gambling from a young age.
Among the many types of gamblers, professional and social gamblers indulge in a healthy outlook toward gambling. Professional gamblers treat it as a source of income that depends on skills rather than luck, while social gamblers consider it entertainment, paying to gamble as one would pay to watch a movie. Both gamblers know how to stay in control of their time, money, and the energy they invest in gambling.
The issue begins with problem gambling. Despite the negative impact it has on their lives, problem gamblers will continue to get involved in gambling. They lose control of how they spend their money and time, often spending too much.
This behavior usually leads to negative social and financial consequences such as accumulating debt, going bankrupt, and losing touch with loved ones.
In this article, we’re going to discuss some ways you can stop gambling and save money.
Let’s get started!
Money management tips for problem gamblers
Typically, the onset symptom of problem gambling is failing to manage your money. We all know why it is important to save money.
However, the more you spend at a casino or gambling online, the closer you are to being a problem gambler. Thinking about saving money and trying to do so could be the first step toward stopping yourself from developing a gambling addiction and maintaining a healthy balance between rationality and entertainment.
You can take some steps to ensure you don’t go too deep into becoming a problem gambler by self-controlling and managing your spending. Some money managing actions that have helped people reduce their gambling use include:
- Keeping a record of how much money they spend on gambling
- Allocating themselves a budget and sticking to it
- Planning in advance and leaving credit cards, extra cash, and non-essential luxury items at home
- Placing a limit on their debit and credit cards and carrying limited cash
- Clearing essential utility bills and other payments first after receiving a pay check, reducing the chances of jeopardizing the household money
- Self-excluding or using gambling blocks at casinos to block yourself from taking part for a set amount of time
- Letting your parents, spouse, or mature children handle your savings accounts and finances
Self-help tips for problem gamblers
Here are some self-help tips that can help you recover and gain back control if you’ve already experienced problem gambling for some time.
Replace gambling with a different source of entertainment
The world has so much in store for all of us. While trying to break away from your gambling habit, you can try picking up a new hobby or learning a new skill. Try as many new things as possible until you find pleasure in doing something that you find just as enjoyable as gambling but more productive and less damaging.
Ask yourself, “Is gambling really worth the self-destruction?”
Many problem gamblers argue that gambling helps them make more money or brings them happiness. Neither narrative is true. Instead, they are simply a source of false hope.
The games at a casino or online are designed to make more money for the house, not for the players. The odds of winning are mostly 50/50, and sometimes even less. By the time you win a game, you’d have lost more than you won.
As for happiness, becoming a social outcast, neglecting your loved ones, or falling into a pit of financial difficulties would bring you anything but joy. The aftermath of gambling is often very destructive.
Understand your triggers and avoid them
Stay vigilant of your surroundings and the situations where you feel compelled to gamble. Is it the bar you visit, your group of friends, a stressful day, or the app on your smartphone that triggers you to indulge in a gambling spree?
Find your answers and avoid those situations. Stop visiting the bar, distance yourself from friends who have a similar problem, and unwind on a stressful day by spending some quality time with others. Pick another comfort hobby and delete or block all apps from your phone that you use for gambling.
How to identify a gambling disorder
Compulsive gambling (also called gambling disorder) is the uncontrollable urge to continue gambling. This is more severe than problem gambling, and those with this condition find themselves unable to quit despite their constant efforts.
Compulsive gambling is a serious condition directly related to impulse-control brain disorders like OCD. If you see the following symptoms and experience them intensely on regular basis, reach out to a professional as soon as possible.
- Being constantly preoccupied with thoughts about gambling
- Gambling for longer durations and using more money to experience the same thrill
- Failing to control your gambling addiction even after becoming aware of it
- Becoming irritable, anxious, and depressed when trying to gamble less or completely stop
- Using gambling as a method of escapism
- Uncontrollably gambling to chase previous losses
- Lying to your family about your activities in fear of being discovered
- Jeopardizing or losing important relationships or social standing
- Resorting to theft or fraud to get more gambling money
Seek professional help and advice
If you’ve tried everything in your power to overcome your gambling addiction, or if you think you or someone close to you is developing symptoms of problem gambling or a gambling disorder, seek help from a professional psychologist, therapist, or gambling counselor before anything else. Professional advice and support will save you from the worst possible scenarios.