Some people are particularly prone to addictive behavior, and most of those people can’t gamble like everyone else. For the same types of reasons that some people cannot just drink socially without it getting out of hand, a lot of people cannot gamble on some moderate level without it turning into problem gambling. Our goal here is to offer some advice on how to avoid developing an addiction centered around gambling. While this advice will not necessarily work for everyone, it will help you to recognize what compulsive gambling habit are and help you to stop them before they start.
The bottom line is that for some people, problem gambling isn’t a problem until it becomes a problem. What we mean by that is that compulsive gambling on such a small scale that it doesn’t impact you, your family or your finances will go virtually unnoticed. Unfortunately, it will almost always spiral out of hand and start to become a problem that greatly influences the course of your life. The key then is to look for the signs that indicate when gambling is becoming an issue, and one of the first places to start with that is money management.
If you have an item in your budget for your gambling expenses, then that’s really no different than any other form of entertainment. If you start spending more than your budget item dictates, then you know that there’s an issue there that needs to be addressed. Basically, any time you fail to use discipline with your gambling, it’s a sign that you could have an issue with problem gambling. Seeing these indicators ahead of time is one of the most important things you can do to help avoid developing major compulsive gambling habits.
Establishing rules and sticking to them are what identifies someone who can gamble without issues. Establish your own boundaries in terms of how much you’re willing to add to your bankroll each month and how you plan on using that bankroll. While your overall boundaries might change from time to time depending on your own personal circumstances, they shouldn’t be changing just to accomodate your most recent urge to gamble. Overall, the key to all of this is recognizing the signs of problem gambling ahead of time so that you can get some help instead of just ignoring them as they get bigger and bigger and eventually get out of hand.