The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation (SARGF) is urging the public to gamble responsibly, particularly during this Festive Season.
Responsible gambling means setting reasonable boundaries. It means having fun with friends and family, while adhering to strict self-imposed time and budgetary limits. It does not mean chasing losses, spending more time than necessary at casinos or using money that one can ill afford to lose.
Also known as the silly season, December is a difficult time for recovering gamblers and is also the time of the year most likely to create new problem gamblers. This is because for many people the Festive Season is a time to let their hair down. People tend to take bigger risks and view gambling as a way of rewarding themselves for getting through another difficult year.
People tend to over-indulge and overspend during the festivities. Alcohol consumption rises sharply across the country and people lose their inhibitions. With more time on their hands, many people become bored and restless. Entertainment and excitement are accessible and high on the agenda.
While some are fortunate enough to receive a 13th cheque, others mistakenly believe that gambling is the bonus they never got. This is a critical mistake. With further downgrades looming, it is more important than ever to be financially prudent. Everyone should aim to reduce their debt.
Given the above, here are five tips from the SARGF to make it through the Festive Season, without forming a gambling addiction:
- Set a time and monetary budget for gambling and stick to it!
- Take regular breaks – do not pull all-nighters!
- Be mindful of giving large sums of cash as Christmas gifts to known gamblers
- Limit your alcohol intake while gambling
- Plan your holiday to include other fun activities that do not include gambling
It is also wise to enforce a level of self-discipline. Just because you have some extra cash, doesn’t mean you have to spend it. In fact, the best thing to do with that extra cash is bank it or to invest it in something that will realise definite returns. At worst, you will have some reserve funds for when that rainy day arrives, which may be sooner than you think.