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Advice for safer gambling

Some people gamble for fun and enjoyment. However, some people think of gambling as a way to make money, spend more than they can afford, or use gambling to distract themselves from everyday problems.

Following the advice below can help you to stay safe if you choose to gamble.

Set a money limit in advance
Before you start playing, decide how much you can afford and only gamble with that. It can sometimes be hard to stick to a self-imposed limit, but setting a limit on the gambling company’s app or website can help. 

Walk away from your losses
If you've lost the money limit you set yourself, it's time to walk away. Chasing your losses will usually just lead to bigger losses. 

Treat gambling as an expense
Gambling companies are designed to make money. Over time you'll give away more money than you receive. If you do gamble, think of it like buying a cinema ticket to help you remain happy with what you're spending. 

Set a time limit in advance
It's easy to lose track of time - and miss other life moments - when you're gambling. Odds are that the more time you spend gambling, the more money you'll lose. Set a time limit or alarm, and when time's up, quit and do other things. 

Be aware of how you're feeling
Taking note of how you're feeling can help you make the best decisions about whether to gamble or not. It can be easy to bet as a distraction or escape from something else, but this can make things worse.

Keep other activities in the mix. 
If gambling has become your only way to have fun, consider whether it might be starting to cause you problems. It can help to balance gambling with other activities. 

Take frequent breaks
Gambling continuously can make it harder to keep track of time and perspective. Stepping out at regular intervals for some air or a bite to eat can help clear your head. 

Be careful if you drink or do drugs
Drugs and alcohol make it harder to stick to your limits. If you do drink or use drugs, tell a friend about your gambling and limits, to help you stick to what you have decided.