What is Responsible Gambling?


There is nothing quite like the thrill of gambling. Across the globe, casinos are always packed with patrons hoping to “get lucky”.  Whether you have only a few dollars to spend or a few thousand to spend, casinos welcome patrons with open arms, offering tables and machines to suit every budget.   Whether you love stepping into a live casino amidst all the bells and whistles or you enjoy an entertaining online game of Texas Hold’em, you may have had to ask yourself the important question, “What is responsible gambling?”


The truth of the matter is that some people can’t come up with an answer to the question “What is responsible gambling?”  Perhaps they know the answers but suffer from a serious gambling addiction.  The bottom line is that there are people who linger in casinos or online forums, spending dollar after dollar after dollar.  In extreme cases, gambling addiction has cost people their homes and their livelihood. 


So what is responsible gambling?  In essence, it means not spending more than you can afford to lose.  There is no magic number that you shouldn’t exceed in spending.  The truth of the matter is that the answer to the question “What is responsible gambling?” differs from person to person, depending on their budgets, financial obligations, and lifestyles.


When asking yourself “What is responsible gambling?” a good rule of thumb is to set an amount that you are willing to spend on your trip to the casino or online experience.  Find a number that you can lose comfortably.  What figure would you not be upset parting with if you enjoyed a good time and didn’t have any luck that night?  You never want to take more money than you can comfortably afford to lose.  Compulsive gamblers report going home with sick feelings in the pit of their stomachs as they curse themselves for their lack of self control.


Another answer to the question, “What is responsible gambling?” can be gambling without your ATM card.  For some people, having a pre-set spending amount isn’t enough.  When the money runs out and you’re not ready to go home, you may pull out your wallet and reach for your ATM card.  It’s easy to swipe the card, grab another wad of cash, and not really consider how much you are wagering.  Leave your ATM card at home.  If not, at least leave it in your car.  The long walk to the parking lot away from the lights and action of the casino can give you a level perspective.  You will be forced to take a few minutes to decide whether or not you really want to part with more money than you first attended.  Once you’ve exited the casino, it is a lot easier to walk away than when you are surrounded by the flurry of casino activity. 


If you find yourself constantly asking the question, “What is responsible gambling?” you may need to consider the fact that you may have a gambling problem.  Take time to really sit down and consider how much money you are spending on gambling.  Are you comfortably paying all your bills and enjoying the lifestyle you are accustomed to?  Is gambling interfering with your life or your state of mind?  If you have concerns, the good news is that there are many gamblers anonymous programs throughout the country to offer support to compulsive gamblers. 


When answering the question “What is responsible gambling?”  You should remind yourself that gambling should be recreational fun rather than a “budget-buster”.  If your wins or losses have a big impact on your life, it’s probably time to distance yourself from the casino and put things in proper perspective.


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