Gambling, which comprises of lotto, sports betting, casino, igaming etc. is in itself, a form of entertainment. Once again, gambling is the act of staking/betting something of value, with the expectation of gain but with no certainty of the outcome.

It can be fun if played responsibly and in the right way; however, when players stop viewing it as a recreational activity which can be fun, entertaining but sometimes yield dividend, and start seeing it as a do or die affair, a money making venture, a means to an end; then there is a problem and it is time to seek help in order to set clear limits or stop gambling altogether.

To minimise harm that can be occasioned by not gambling right, players need to set boundaries and adhere to rules, even if the rules are self-imposed.

Gambling becomes a problem when players become pre-occupied with gambling, continuing with it even after negative personal and financial outcomes.

The following are a few tips to encourage positive play and reduce gambling related harm.

  1. If you gamble in any form, ensure that you are in control of how much time and money you spend on your play.
  2. Always remember that gambling in all its form is meant to be an enjoyable activity and should always be viewed and played as such.
  3. Have a pre-set limit; only spend what you can afford to lose, and never borrow to play.
  4. Before you play any game, familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions governing the game, and the odds of the game and make sure it is acceptable to you.
  5. Always make sure that you understand the dynamics of the game and your chances of winning.
  6. If you play and lose; please don’t go back with the aim of winning back what you lost.
  7. Have a pre-set limit on your spending and never play with your credit card.
  8. Avoid peer pressure to continue betting/staking when you are losing or have reached your pre-set limit. Learn to be firm.
  9. Never gamble while you are under the influence of any form of intoxication, it is easier to forego any self-imposed restrictions, that way.
  10. Never play out of loneliness or when you are in a depressed or bad mood. Please don’t use gambling as a form of therapy.

In as much as consumers should learn to practice self-restrictions when they gamble, we know that as human, we tend to jettison even the best laid self-help plans, especially when emotions that comes with gaming are involved.

We don’t always act in our best interest, which is why government with its policies, restrictions and sanctions should come in.

It is acknowledged that gambling generates significant funds for the industry as a whole, and the government either through direct ownership or through taxation benefit from it, and so it will appear like a conflict of interest for them to embark on activities that will potentially reduce play and impact negatively on anticipated revenue.

However, the interest of the people and their public health (physical and mental) should supersede every other interest.

There should therefore be more gambling harm reduction strategies put in place by the government and other industry stakeholders to counter personal failings of self-control from consumers.


Gaming is Fun; Play Responsibly and Don’t Play if You Can’t Afford to Lose!!!

One comment

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