How do you gamble … minus the addiction?

I have a bit of experience with gambling addiction. When I was just a few days old, I was given up for adoption. In my 20’s I met my birth mother. She told me that my grandfather was a gambling addict. Now, I am not referring to the classic “he lost all the family money”.  I am referring to a very advanced deterioration, in which my mom had to have meals delivered to him because he would prefer gambling over eating. He literally would starve for days if given 20 dollars because using that money to gamble had a higher importance. Well, before I heard this story I had already visited some casino’s and noticed that I enjoyed playing a lot more than other folks. Fortunately, I stopped before it turned into an addiction. Ironically, I live in Las Vegas now. However, like most residents, I have not played the tables even once.

Gambling Addiction
I wrote a Gambling Addiction 101 article, which can be found here.

In any case, I found an article on an online gambling website that shows “how to gamble without turning into an addict”. How quirky? Here are the instructions:

Budget Approach

The secret to staying debt-free is playing for enjoyment and fun. However, many people think of gambling as a way to make easy money, use gambling to distract themselves from life problems or just spend way more than they can actually afford. If you have a gambling problem or you just want gambling to not become a problem, follow these budget tips.

  • Play for entertainment, don’t play for money
  • Only gamble with cash you can afford to lose
  • Set a money & time limit in advance
  • Never chase losses
  • Don’t take the credit/debit card with you
  • Take breaks frequently
  • Don’t use drugs/drink alcohol when gambling
  • Casinos use gambling to make money. They are not designed to work the other way around. By playing a lot you will lose more money than you receive! Make a budget and check your expenses all the time.

Banking Approach

Well, avid gamblers are famous for financial problems including bankruptcy, high debt, or poverty. Let’s see some banking tips to avoid a hugely negative effect. Set credit cards limits, one’s spare money to the limit when it can’t lead to excessive spending online.

Open a separate bank account just for your gambling funds (!).

Set a weekly limit for yourself when gambling – for example, $200. Even if you lose them all in one day, you SHOULD NOT use other funds. Wait for the next week instead. Go ahead and set a loss limit in order to avoid this.

The ”Hobby” Approach

To handle the addictions it is really good for your body and mind to incorporate activities such as meditation, yoga, breath gymnastics. Find something you are passionate about such as music, art, music, books, or sports then find friends with the same interests.

The addicted gambler should understand how different factors trigger the gambling, and then he or she should start learning a number of ways of changing their behaviors and thoughts in order to avoid this bad habit. Avoid the social reasons or overcome boredom just by incorporating new habits into your daily routine – join a social group, start practicing a new hobby, exercise or talk with a friend.

What is Responsible Gambling?

Gambling in a responsible way means staying constantly in control of how much money and time we spend gambling. Even if we are placing a sports bet, playing bingo or poker, playing slots or buying a scratch card or a lottery ticket, gambling with a sense of responsibility means seeing this activity as just a typical entertainment form in a really balanced lifestyle. All the forms of entertainment are expenditures, just as gambling, and responsible gambling means spending the time and money that we can afford in a reasonable manner while not forgetting the other responsibilities in life.

All venues are obliged to promote a responsible gaming, but remember that they are still businesses, and businesses run with money. Know when to stop.

What is Gambling Addiction

It wasn’t until 1980 that the American Psychiatric Association identified pathological gambling as a mental disorder. Gambling addiction (compulsive gambling), is a type of impulse-control disorder. Problem gamblers are unable to control that impulse to gamble, even when their behavior becomes highly destructive – ruining themselves, their jobs or relationships with their loved ones. Gambling becomes their new world and all they want to do.  The consequences don’t matter. Problem gamblers keep gambling whether they’re broke or flush, up or down, happy or depressed – they can’t stop.

Gambling and Gaming
Young people and teens who start compulsively playing online games are vulnerable.

Health Problems

The gambling will produce health problems like depression, suicide and insomnia among compulsive gamblers:

Medical: Pathological gamblers have higher occurrences of ulcers, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines, high blood pressure, and other stress-related physical issues.
Psychiatric: Gambling addiction is highly associated with bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, panic and anxiety disorders, and hypomania. Addiction: 50% of gambling addicts are also substance abusers.
Financial: Pathological gamblers also accumulate large debts that often result in bankruptcy and foreclosures on mortgages.

When Gambling Is A Problem

  • You have little or no control over your urge or desire to gamble. How difficult is for you to walk away?
  • You gamble until you have spent all your money. You usually spend everything you have in an effort to win the cash back.
  • You spend cash that is not available to spend on gambling. If you spend credit cash advances, bill money, cheat, steal, borrow, then you have a problem. If you lie or sell possessions in order to get money for gambling, then you have a HUGE gambling addiction.
  • You hide your bad habits like gambling from family and friends.
  • You start abandoning old habits
  • You are not socializing enough. You don’t plan outdoor activities.


Like most addictions, admitting you have a problem is the hard part. Gambling problems affects folks in different ways and gamblers often have unique needs for recovery. There’s no no cure but there are several types of treatments that can be used alone or combined to fix the problem. Once, the addict has stopped gambling the recovery process should continue for a lifetime, so that the behavior does not return.
I write this blog for fun and for free. But, if you know someone who needs help – go to the company page.

Free 24-hour Problem Gamblers Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.Another resource is Gamblers Anonymous

7 thoughts on “How do you gamble … minus the addiction?

  1. Great blog . My dad and brother were both addicted. My own loved it in highschool but is aware of the dangers. My dad was buying lottery tickets on his deathbed. I think he thought a win might buy him into heaven.


  2. This was great article. I’m glad that Bipolar Disorder was mentioned and the abuse of Alcohol or Drugs. My brother started his life with nothing. He started drinking and smoking pot at an early age. My parents were talked into doing “Tough Love” with him and kicked him out of the house at 17. He pulled himself together enough to get through a tech school as a computer programmer. He got married and had 3 children. He was still drinking and smoking pot but somehow was highly functioning and making a lot of money. They bought a mini-mansion on a lake. Then suddenly he wouldn’t come out of the basement where his computer was. He couldn’t find work. He was in that basement for a year gambling and drinking. He would lose up to $30,000 in a week. They lost the boat first, then the cars, and finally the house. My mom was giving him money without my dad knowing it. He refused to admit there was a problem even when he lost his wife and kids. Now he makes good money again living hotel to hotel, seeing his children once in awhile, still drinking and I’m sure still gambling. His explanation is he doesn’t have a drinking or gambling problem, he has an ex-wife problem. No one laughs.


    1. Who a gambling addiction takes hold of a person it can be tough to quit. Folks that are in recovery have to keep a “stop date”. They will say “it’s been two years since my last bet”. It is not an official rule, but most ex gamblers don’t drink or do drugs of any kind. They have to be very vigilant too — no raffle tickets, carnival games or bingo.

      Thank you for sharing your story. Gosh, I hope your bother hits his bottom and gets help.


  3. Cool post. I had a gambling addiction in my late twenties and lost a lot of shit to the pawn shop so i could gamble. I get addicted to everything though and it’s the stories of my addictions that give me insight to write. Everything in moderation is good I believe.

    Liked by 1 person

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