Gambling can be an entertaining hobby, and it is certainly one that has exploded in popularity recently thanks to the increasing availability of online casino sites.
However, it is also a pastime that comes with costs, and unless you are proactive in your approach to managing your spending, you could find that your finances suffer as a result.
Thankfully there are a number of effective tactics and tools that are ideal for ensuring that you can gamble responsibly without encountering some of the more common conundrums of people who place bets or play casino games.
Avoid the temptation of casino loans
Before you take a line of credit from a casino, whether a land-based venue or an online service, ask yourself how much do you know about casino loans? The answer is likely almost nothing, in which case you should definitely do your research before taking the plunge, and preferably steer clear of them altogether.
In short, casinos will offer players short term loans to allow them to keep playing, with zero interest to pay. This might sound good in principle, but in practice it means that you are basically being encouraged to spend money you do not yet have to keep gambling, and since most of these loans will need to be paid off in around 30 days, it is far more sensible to avoid them altogether.
Work out an affordable budget
You have to treat gambling like you would any other hobby, which means you should set aside an amount you can afford to spend on it each month and stick to this limit.
Budgeting can be tricky to get right, but so long as you weigh your incomings against your outgoings, determine how much disposable income you have and consider this your maximum limit for gambling spending, you will be on the right track.
The old adage of “never gamble more than you can afford to lose” still holds true. It is when you ignore this advice that you can quickly lose control of your gambling spending.
Make use of spending blocks if available
With the rise and rise of online gambling, more banks and payment card providers have introduced measures to allow their customers to place wagers in as responsible a way as possible.
This includes the implementation of features that allow account holders to block payments to casino sites and operators for a fixed period, or over a certain amount. You can even set limits that last for a predetermined period, meaning you will not be able to make further deposits at casinos sites until a fixed amount of time has elapsed.
Unfortunately, not all financial organizations have implemented this kind of functionality yet, but those that have should be able to point you toward where this feature can be found within their given mobile app or online portal. You can also find out more by calling your bank and enquiring with a customer support employee, as they should know exactly what measures are available to control gambling spending in your unique context.
Play for free
The only surefire way to minimize your gambling spend is to eschew the paid-for options altogether and instead get your fill from the free versions of many popular casino games that are available online.
Demo versions of slots, as well as free-to-play equivalents of table games like slots and even roulette, can all be accessed from the very same casino sites that have premium wagering variants of the exact same experiences.
Of course you will not have a chance of winning anything if you take this route, but equally, you will not be losing anything if you are playing the free versions of casino games.
Use sign-up bonuses
If you still want to gamble and have the chance to win or lose, but you want to do so without risking your own money, then online casino sites will also be appealing thanks to the incentives they offer to get new players to register for an account.
You could receive an initial amount of credit as a new user, which can be wagered on certain games, and if you win then all the better. Of course minimum wagering requirements are often imposed in this case, so read the fine print.
If you have tried all of these options for controlling your gambling spending and you are still struggling, remember to seek professional assistance.
Gambling should be fun, but for some people it is impossible to enjoy safely, and there is no shame in asking for help.