Gamble Aware – How to stay in control.

Dec 12, 2016

Gambling, parlaying, punting, waging, laying – whatever you want to call it, gambling can be one of the most thrilling pastimes going. Here at Tips & Stats we have a passion for gambling, which is why we set up this site. All those last minute acca winners, those markets you just knew the bookies had priced up wrong, horses winning by a nose and ante-post winners you have to wait what seemed like an eternity to win – these are the reasons we love gambling, and the reason we spend day after day pouring over form, local news streams, stats, weather conditions, injury reports, distance travelled by teams etc to pick up snippets of information that will give us an edge over the many betting sites. 

But we are also aware that, like any activity that can create such excitement, there is also the chance that things can get out of hand. Gambling can be addictive, we all know that, and like any addiction it can happen to anyone regardless of sex, age, race, socio-economic background – addiction doesn’t discriminate! 

That is why we have put together this handy guide on how to stay in control of your gambling. Follow these five steps and you’ll be enjoying battling with (and beating) the bookmakers for a long time to come: 

1: Know your limits 

Every person has different limits when it comes to gambling, dependant on a lot of factors. We could never suggest an amount for each person to gamble with as different people have different levels of disposable income. But the one thing we would always suggest is knowing just how much you are willing to spend in a given period, and stick to it. This could be achieved by things as simple as not taking your bank card with you if you are going to the bookmakers, or by setting betting limits online (see point 2). The most important thing here though is knowing when to walk away if you have are losing, and say enough is enough. 

2: Use deposit limits 

Every online bookmaker will allow you to set limits on your gambling, and in my opinion this is the easiest way to stay in control and ensure a healthy relationship with gambling. Following on from point 1, you can set a deposit limit each week/day/month with your online bookmaker, and they will not allow you to go over that amount. Another helpful aspect of this is that to increase your deposit limit will mean waiting for a 24 cool-off period, stopping impulsive betting. 

This is an excellent idea in the modern world where it is far too easy to spend money online without thinking about the consequences – far too often it doesn’t feel like you are spending real money until you check your bank balance, by which time it is too late. If you aren’t sure how to set these deposit limits, then contact your bookmaker directly and they will be obligated to help. 

And if you feel this is not enough, and you worry your gambling may be out of control, most online (and retail) bookmakers will be able to offer you a time-out period, a set period of time where you will not be able to deposit or gamble with them.  

3: Never chase losses 

We’ve all been there – waiting on a bet to come in, spending the money in your head, certain it’s going to win – only for a 90th minute cock-up by a usually rock-steady defence messes it all up. Instead of walking away, many people go back in and try to recuperate their winnings, oftentimes doubling their stake in order to win some cash, and get their original losing stake back. This can lead to impulsive gambling and losses spiralling out of control, especially when the second bet loses and you put on that third losing bet then a fourth losing bet, then a fifth losing bet etc trying to make up the losses from before.  

I have worked in the gambling industry for eight years in different roles and the number of times I have seen this behaviour is frightening. A £10 loss can turn into £100’s in the blink of an eye.  Again the important thing to do is know your limits and know when to walk away – or set deposit limits. 

4: No such thing as a sure thing 

This may seem obvious, but there really is no such as a sure thing, and before you risk your hard earned cash gambling you should always weigh up the risk v reward. Odds-on shots get beaten on a far more regular basis than you would realise. Fair enough if you have done your research and truly believe that odds-on favourite is worthy of the price, but please don’t ever back a favourite just because it’s odds-on – that is easily the quickest way to be parted with your money in the long run. Here at T&S we do back odds-on favourites, but only if they justify the short price and we will always prefer to look for the value in the outsiders first. 

5: Visit Gamcare if things are getting too much 

We’d like to think if you followed the first 4 steps in this guide, then you will stay in control of your gambling. However, as mentioned earlier, addiction can happen to anyone. If you feel that things are getting out of hand then we would recommend visiting Gamcare.  

Gamcare offer free support and counselling to anyone and in a variety of different formats. You can speak to somebody on a free phone number (0808 8020 133 8am – midnight 7 days a week), speak to a trained advisor online through netchat or speak with fellow gamblers on support forums. 

If your not sure you have a problem, or are starting to worry that you may be developing a problem then the place to start would be at GamCare’s self-assessment tool. This can give you an idea of where you are at with your gambling, and whether it is worth speaking with somebody further in regards to your gambling. 

Best of luck, as always.

Tips & Stats

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