Staying On Track

If you gamble, think about it as another form of entertainment, not as a way to make money.

Tips for gambling responsibly

There are many ways to keep gambling fun and entertaining. It starts with knowledge. Taking an informed approach to gambling before, during and after you play is your BEST BET for enjoying games of chance without spending more time and money than you can afford.

Gambling always involves risk. if you play for money, you risk losing it.

Where can I get some?

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Risk Factors

There are certain factors that may increase the risk that someone will develop problems with gambling. Some of these include:

  • Family history of alcohol, drug, gambling and/or overspending problems
  • Financial problems
  • Having a big win early on
  • Stressful life events
  • Loneliness, depression, anxiety
  • History of trauma, mental health, substance issues
  • Misunderstanding of how games work
  • Being impulsive, a risk taker, easily bored
  • Belief that persistence in gambling pays off

Sometimes, one or a combination of these risk factors can move gambling from a fun form of entertainment to a behaviour with negative consequences.

If you have concerns about your own or someone else’s gambling, call the Gambling Support Network at 1-888-347-8888 (TTY access through 711).

Fun VS. Frustration

Some people gamble on weekly lotteries; others participate in the occasional Poker tournament. While most people gamble for fun and entertainment — as well as the potential for winning — a few become overly involved to the point that gambling is no longer an enjoyable activity. If you feel that gambling is taking time and pleasure away from the rest of your life, call the Gambling Support Network at 1-888-347- 8888 (TTY access through 711).

1. Before You Gamble

  • Remember that gambling is like many other forms of entertainment; it comes with a cost – it is NOT a way to make money.
  • Take time to understand the games you will be playing and, most importantly, the cost associated with playing them. Learn the odds and other facts about gambling at yourbestbet.ca.
  • Set a time limit and stick to it.
  • Set a spending limit – know how much you have in your budget to spend on gambling and stick to your limit.
  • Do not use your credit and/or debit cards to access cash beyond your pre-determined spending limit.
  • Do not borrow money to gamble.
  • Do not gamble with money needed for necessities, like rent or groceries.
  • Create a monthly budget for all your expenses, including things like gambling. See the Gambling, Money and You brochure and a Monthly Budget Template for more information.

2. When You Gambling

  • Resist the urge to chase gambling losses. Continuing to try to win back lost money will likely lead to more losses.
  • Take breaks regularly. Grab something to eat or go for a walk.
  • Be aware of how much you are gambling. Do not lose track of the amount you have spent within your gambling session.
  • Separate some, or all, of your winnings from money you’ve budgeted to spend.
  • Keep your emotions in check. Know that losing is part of gambling. If this causes frustration or anger, then re-examine your entertainment choices.

3. After You Are Gamble

  • Review the limits you had set on the time and money you spent gambling. Did you stick to your limits? If not, examine why and consider changes that you will make next time.
  • Think about what motivated you to gamble and how you feel now. If you don’t like that feeling, then you need to make some changes – like taking a break from gambling, or spending less time or money the next time your gamble. Balance gambling with other activities you enjoy.