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Gambling Safety 101: Money Management

12 January 2011 by admin

This is the second part in an educational series on gambling safety.

Safety-First---14--x-10--5197980As I wrote yesterday, gambling is an activity that can be dangerous if done irresponsibly. Just like using scissors or driving a car, though, it can be relatively safe if you pay attention and take the proper precautions. Education is important when it comes to gambling and that is why we are running this series called Gambling Safety 101.

As I wrote yesterday, the most important rule is to never wager money that you cannot afford to lose. Always assume a loss and go from there. While that’s a good idea, it can be easy to lose track of how much money you are spending and accidentally spend more than you intended. To avoid that, the key is money management.

To manage your gambling money responsibly, you need to create a gambling budget. I know for many people, this is the last thing you want to hear, but it’s of the utmost importance. If you are going to be responsible with your money, you need to create a budget for all of your regular expenditures. Before you ever step into a casino or log onto an online casino, you need to have a pre-determined amount that you can spend.

Everyone has their own ways of budgeting, but you need to take into account the amount you spend on necessities, the amount you generally spend on pleasure and entertainment and make sure you have some left over, just in case something unexpected comes up. Once you have done that, you should have an amount that you consider acceptable for spending at the casino. I recommend coming up with weekly, monthly and yearly amounts. You also need to keep track of how much you’re spending, to know how far under budget you are and to make sure you never go over budget.

Making sure you don’t go over budget is the easy part, though. All you have to do is physically set the money aside ahead of time. Let’s say you’re visiting a casino in Las Vegas and you budgeted $500 for that night. That means before you enter the casino, set aside exactly $500 in cash or a check. Leave all other money (including credit cards) behind if you think they will tempt you. Then go to the cashier and exchange that $500 (or some of it) for casino chips.

If you run out of chips or money from that $500 during the night, your gambling is over. You can enjoy the stage show if you want, but don’t play any more games. Do not use more money to keep playing, no matter what the situation is. If it’s getting late and you still have money left over (or have increased your bankroll by winning), that’s even better. That money can be added to your budget for next time or you can use it to buy something.  The important thing is that you stick to the budget and don’t increase your bankroll to win back your money or continue a hot streak.

If you are gambling online, this is even easier. Use your credit card or whatever you make payments with and deposit your budgeted amount at the casino. Then put your credit card away. No matter what happens, do not get it back out and make another deposit.

I also recommend keeping wagering money and winnings separate. Every time you win money, instead of putting those winnings with your wagering money, keep it separate. That way, you can’t lose the money later. A lot of players like to immediately gambling their winnings, since they are “playing with the house’s money.” However, once you win the money, it’s yours, and exposing it to the house edge means you could lose it. While there is nothing wrong with wagering your winnings, as long as you stick to your budget, I recommend keeping them so you will always leave the casino with something.

One Response to “Gambling Safety 101: Money Management”

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