Is it Possible to Gamble in a Fiscally Responsible Way?

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The following is a guest post. Enjoy! 

Everyone loves the occasional flutter. And, with the wealth of sporting events going on recently, what better time is there for throwing a cheeky few quid/Dollars on the athletics or boxing event you’re watching?

Indeed, if you know about sport, then the time could be ripe to take your winnings to the max. And, with the football season set to get back underway in a few weeks, more fruitful days could lay ahead for the sharp gambler.

When Gambling Becomes of Problem

But, the key to any successful gambler is discipline. While the feeling of winning is one which is rarely rivaled in life, it is important to ensure that any money you lay down is done in a responsible manner. Unfortunately, some people do not know their limits and end up in serious debt. In 2008, it was suggested that as many as 284,000 people in the UK were in debt because of their gambling habits, with the average person owing £17,500. And, it is believed that these figures have risen further in the four years since.

But, how do you recognize if your gambling has gone from being the harmless bit of fun it is intended to be, to something much more serious? Well, there are a few tell-tale signs. These include having arguments with your family and friends over money issues, yet still being able to scrape enough cash together to go down to the bookies, losing interest in other activities and thinking of gambling constantly. You’ll know that things really have come to crunch point when you are forced to borrow money off people, can’t afford to pay bills because of gambling, or even have to sell your possessions just so can rustle up enough money for groceries.

If You Must Gamble, Gamble Responsibly – Here’s some tips

When gambling, be it on the horses at your local turf accountants, online using a dedicated account, or even on the fruit machines in a pub or nightclub, there are some simple rules which will keep your gambling in check, up your enjoyment, and ensure you don’t lose your shirt.

  • The first of these involves setting money and time limits. Tell yourself that the most you are prepared to put down is, say, £50 and that the maximum length of time you are willing to spend checking forms in the bookies or online is 20 to 30 minutes. This way, you’ll ensure that you can only lose what you can afford to and you also avoid the temptation to lay bets on other races or events happening later in the day.
  • It’s also important not to overestimate the likelihood of a win. While you might be certain that Sad Ken will romp home at Kempton Park, nothing is guaranteed, so you should never gamble money you don’t have on what at first appears a no-lose situation.
  • Another no-no is chasing your losses. Just because your last bet didn’t come in doesn’t mean that you should stake more funds trying to get your lost money back. This often just makes the issue worse and can be one of the trigger points to a serious gambling problem.
  • It’s also a good idea to have a spreadsheet or database which tracks your betting. This way, you’ll know exactly what you bet on and when and how much you won or lost. Heck, you could even set up a bank account just for gambling as this would ensure that you only spend what money is transferred into it.

A final suggestion is not to gamble when you’re under the influence/drinking. While a quick bet here and there can be good fun when you’ve had a few drinks with friends, alcohol can impair your judgement and make you do things which you’d avoid when sober, such as making ridiculous bets.

How about you all? Do you ever gamble with your money on sporting events or at casinos? If so, has it ever had any negative effects on your finances? 

What tips do you use for helping to keep your gambling fun in check?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

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