Gamble more safely
Three rules to help you set your limits
The first step to lower your risk of gambling harm is to put safeguards around how much you spend, and how often you gamble and how many products you gamble on.
How much? - no more than two per cent of your take home pay
So… how much can you spend on gambling each week?
|Weekly take home pay
|Maximum weekly amount for gambling
How often? - no more than once a week
How many products? - no more than 2 products
Deciding what’s right for you
Following these three rules is a great start. But remember to follow all three at the same and not be selective.
For some people, these three rules may not be enough.
You should consider setting stricter rules around gambling or not gambling at all if you:
have issues with alcohol or other drugs
have mental health issues such as anxiety and depression
have a personal or family history of experiencing gambling harm.
Sticking to your limits
Once you’ve set your limits, there are steps you can take to help stick to them.
If you’re going to gamble in a casino, club or pub, you can leave your bank and credit cards at home and only take cash you are happy to spend – and can afford to lose.
If you gamble online, you can set limits on how much you can deposit into your account, the minimum time between deposits and how much you can bet.
You can also get support from your bank. Your bank can help control what you spend on gambling through blocks and limits on gambling transactions from your account, spending trackers on banking apps and activity statements, and by setting general transaction limits.
Other tips for safer gambling
Think about how you gamble
Everyone is different. Some people place a bet on the Melbourne Cup once a year. Others bet a few times a week. For some people, gambling is a bit of fun. For others, it can cause serious problems.
Be honest with yourself about your reasons for gambling. If you’re gambling to escape problems, you’re more likely to experience harm.
Know how the game works
Do your research. You might be surprised to learn the real chances of winning for different types of gambling and what you stand to lose.
Have a game plan
Use the three rules above to set your limits before you start. Walk away once you reach your limits - don’t chase your losses.
Keep your head clear
Drinking or taking drugs affects your decision-making. You’ll have a harder time sticking to your limits if you’re under the influence.
Be aware of peer pressure
Gambling with other people can affect the way you gamble. It can be hard to stop when your friends are betting big and egging you on. Be aware of peer pressure and stand your ground.
If you have friendships centred around gambling, it is especially important to set limits and boundaries before spending time with your friends.
Use social support
If you tell your friends what your limits are, you’ll be more likely to stick to them. Having a support network can help if gambling is becoming a problem for you.
Get balance in your life
Balance is important in all aspects of life, so make sure gambling isn't your only interest.
Having other hobbies and pastimes is not only fulfilling but will reduce the amount of time and money you spend gambling.
Ask for help if you need it
If you’re worried about how gambling is affecting you, there’s no shame in reaching out. GambleAware is here for you with free, confidential support 24/7, and it could change your life. You can talk to someone over the phone, online or face to face.
The three rules are adapted from the Lower-risk gambling guidelines originally developed by Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction in 2021. The guidelines aim to help people make more informed choices about their gambling.