It’s a good idea for everyone and their sister to limit gambling time to a certain extent.
There are only so many hours in the day and we’ve all got responsibilities, interests and hobbies. There’s no way anyone can spend all their time gambling.
But having said that, it can be easy for time to pass us by fast when we’re engrossed in something like gambling. And before you know it, your quick session has turned into several hours. You’re tired, you’re frustrated and you’ve wasted your time (and quite possibly money).
Why should I limit my gambling time?
As we touched on before, gambling for a prolonged period of time can have negative impacts on a lot of things. It can simply mean you have less time for other things, including other hobbies, relationships, family time, study time and even work.
Losing track of time spent gambling can be really annoying. But another major element of it is that you are more likely to spend more money. Gambling isn’t free, after all. And even if you are sticking to your gambling budget, it can still be annoying.
Plus, when you gamble for a long time, you’ll start to get sloppy. You might get tired, you might get frustrated, perhaps you’ll start wanting to chase your losses… All of that leads to bad decisions and, quite often, bets that you regret.
Ways to limit your gambling sessions online
Most decent gambling websites make it relatively easy for you to limit your gambling time online. You can set up pop-up notifications to remind you when you’ve spent a certain amount of time gambling. On some online gambling sites, they’re called reality checks. You can change them to be more frequent at any time. If you’d like them to pop up less frequently, usually you’ll have to wait 24 hours for that to come into effect. However, they don’t always cover poker. So if you’re a poker player, look into other ways to limit your play there.
Another option is to set up time outs. These are short breaks from online gambling, which can last up to 30 days. You can set a time out to last the duration of a holiday period, for example. Or just if you feel like taking a break. Alternatively, you can set custom time outs and, if you like, make them recurring. For example, some people don’t like to gamble during the working week. Time outs are perfect for that.
For a more long-term break, there’s also the option to self-exclude. These breaks can last from a couple of months to forever.
Limit your gambling time in person
If you’re going to a betting shop, a casino or a card room, sometimes it can be more difficult to regulate the time you spend gambling. But there are a few ways you can do it.
For example, if you’re going with a gang, agree a time you’ll all leave together. It’s easier to leave when everyone has a set time.
You could also set an alarm on your phone to go off at a certain time, to remind yourself to leave.
And if you’re leaving via taxi, how about pre-ordering one? That way, when the taxi comes, it’s time to leave. No ifs or buts about it.
Getting help for a gambling problem
Of course, setting a limit on gambling time isn’t really going to help if you think you have a gambling problem or you suspect a loved one does. It’s important to get help from an external organisation who are specialised and trained to support you.
Visit Be Gamble Aware for support groups and detailed advice that you can use to overcome your problems.
And if you’re interested in our other responsible gambling articles, you can find more of them here: