Keep a notebook to record details of your online gambling activity. It is very easy to delude yourself into thinking that you do not lose. A record also helps you judge how well you are playing. If your records reveal that you are losing too much, too often, then you can analyse what is going wrong and take measures to reduce losses. Maybe you need more practice. Maybe you need to modify your betting strategy.
If you are gambling in the USA you will find the record useful if you have a big win. In the USA, gambling wins are subject to tax by both the IRS and many state governments. If players win more than $600 on the sports betting, $1200 on slots or $1500 on keno, the casino will notify the IRS. Players may offset gambling losses against winnings, but it is necessary to keep detailed records. The IRS requires players to keep an accurate diary. detailing dates, bets made, address of gaming establishment, names of people with you and the amount won or lost. Proof of expenditure like casino receipts and bank records will need to be shown if you are audited.
Know when to stop gambling
It can take an enormous amount of discipline to stop betting, particularly If you are on a winning streak. It is possible to get carried away by the excitement of the game. You may have intended to spend only an hour gambling but you’re on a winning streak, so you continue. Because you are betting with your winnings rather than the initial stake money, you decide to place larger bets. Your next best loses, what do you do? For a lot of people, the tendency is to bet more heavily to recoup that loss. This will usually continue until you run out of funds.
Try to decide in advance at what stage you are going to stop betting. Set yourself an amount to win or lose or impose a time limit. Stop playing when you have reached your limit. As soon as a winning streak stops, either bet smaller stakes or stop playing. This approach will minimize your losses.
You should always stop playing if you are tired. You need to ensure that you are concentrating on the game. When you are tired, you take longer to make decisions and are more likely to make mistakes.
It is also wise to avoid alcohol. It tends to slow down your reactions and your ability to think. It also lowers your inhibitions and makes you less likely to care about losses. You should certainly never play if you are drunk.
Staying in control
The majority of gamblers are able to keep to their budgets and bet without its becoming a problem. However, for some people, it can become addictive, leading to financial ruin and family breakdown. If you start losing more than you can afford, seek help.
You can recognize that you have a problem if you:
• view betting as a way of earning money
• continually exceed your budget
• bet money that was intended for living costs
• borrow money for betting
• take days off work to bet
• spend all your free time betting
• find your betting interferes with family life.
There are organizations that can offer solutions. Many have a telephone help line where you speak to a councillor. They also hold meetings where gamblers can discuss their problems and find solutions. There are also organizations that support gamblers’ families. Your general practitioner will also be able to offer advice on counselling.
Some sites also offer self-exclusion schemes. During the period of self-exclusion, they will not take bets from you.
GamCare is a registered charity that is the UK’s national centre for information, advice and practical help regarding the social impact of gambling.
It gives certification to businesses that implement the GamCare code of Practice for Remote Gambling, which involves Implementmg the following practices:
• age verification systems
• controls for customer spend
• reality checks within game screens
• self-exclusion options for players
• information about responsible gambling and sources of advice and support
• social responsibility content and sources
• training for customer services in problem gambling and social responsibility.
Details of accredited companies are available on the GamCare website