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Gambler’s Help Southern understands that Stage 4 restrictions are making every day a little tougher than it used to be. Whether you’re an essential worker heading to work every day or someone who is at home with or without work - the desire to seek distraction from our ‘norm’ is a natural and often essential thing.
But when that distraction comes in the form of gambling, we should take a minute to check whether that is the best decision we can make and find ways to defend ourselves from the harm that can all too often come from it.
If you decide to bet, try these tips to protect yourself, and those you love.
Set a time limit - It’s easy at the moment to get lost in online play without some of our usual routines and commitments filling our day. Think about how much of your time you want to set aside for play and once you’ve reached it get into the habit of switching off.
Set a money limit – When we’re not physically handing over cash or using a bank card it’s easy to lose track of our spending. Keep an eye on your account and remember the extra dollar here and there can quickly add up.
There are also many online games available that you do not have to spend money to enjoy. Choose free games, with no micro transactions, or in-games purchases.
Check out the Gambling calculator to see how much you’re really spending.
Break up your routine - If you’re finding yourself online at the same time every day, maybe after you’ve put the kids to bed or on a lunch break set a day aside to do something different with that time. Listen to a podcast, message a friend, do a cross word, or try some meditation.
Know the odds – Remember the chances of winning are not in your favour and gambling is designed to make the company rich not you. In the words of Len Ainsworth, CEO millionaire of Aristocrat Leisure, the 2nd largest producer of pokie machines in the world.
“We have built a better mouse trap”.
Check how you’re feeling - If you’re jumping online every time you’re feeling lonely, anxious or even bored it’s important to try and break the cycle. Plan ahead and have a list of activities ready to go when you’re feeling like you want to dabble online.
Don’t play for profit - We know money is tight for many people right now but this is NOT a way to make money. Remember gambling companies are experts in enticing you to spend more and exceed your set limits. If you want to play keep it as a ‘’sometimes activity’’ and remember playing games should be about fun not money.
Take a break from gambling.
Gambler's Help Southern provides free, confidential support on 03) 9575 5353.
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