Take control of your gambling

Take control of your gambling

“I get an adrenaline rush from gambling I get nowhere else. I keep going back because I think I will win big one day.”

Sound familiar?

There’s no doubt about it, gambling can be exhilarating and the anticipation of winning can make you feel good. But when you’re losing more than you’re winning? It’s hard not to take it personally and feel like you’ve got something to prove: the next hand or the next game is sure to pay off, you’ve just got to make better decisions, right? No one likes to lose and when it happens over and over again, it can turn any good feelings you had into anger and resentment.

Chasing your losses

Trying to win back the money you’ve lost can be a vicious cycle. Fueled by frustration and anxiety, chasing losses can lead to betting more, borrowing money, and taking chances on riskier bets. The thing about the chase, though, is that it’s easy to spiral out of control, trying to catch up to something that’ll always be just out of your reach, and rationalizing that “just one more game” will make all the difference or that your luck is bound to change. And if you could just get one big win, all the pressure you’re feeling will fade away.

But, it won’t. 

In the end, the chase only ever leads you to one thing: more losses.

Take back your control

While it’s easy to get caught up in the chase, there are a few ways to take control before you gamble again.

1. Set a budget. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose. Setting a budget will help ensure that if you lose, it’s money you were okay to part with.

2. Set a time limit. Spend too much time doing the same thing and it can take a toll on your mind and body. Set a timer and be ready to walk away from the game when it goes off.

3. Take breaks. Check in with yourself and take stock of how you’re doing. Grab a bite, exercise, see a movie, or meet up with friends. A break from gambling will let you reassess where you’re at and give you a much-deserved break.

Find resources

Visit a GameSense Info Centre and speak with a GameSense Advisor who can help you get access to any support you need. You can also contact the BC Responsible and Problem Gambling Program by calling the BC Gam Info Line 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-888-795-6111.