Managing Your Online Gambling Budget
The online gambling sector has grown exponentially in recent years, with accelerated growth further propelled by increased use of iGaming sites during the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you choose to play casino favourites like slot machines, digital card games, and table games, or you enjoy gambling on bingo, scratchcards, sports, or e-sports, it’s essential that you keep yourself safe when gambling with real money online. A major factor of responsible gambling is playing within your means, but what are the best ways to manage your budget, avoid debt and stay safe online?
Create a Sensible Budget
The first step in managing your funds is thoroughly assessing your finances in order to figure out how much money you can responsibly spend on gambling each month. In order to calculate a sensible budget, you’ll need to assess all of your income and outgoings – this may include wages, savings, benefits, household bills, and essential expenditures.
Once you have a better idea of your expendable income, it will be easier to set aside and budget funds for leisure activities that you enjoy, such as gambling online. It is of great importance not to cross your already defined limits, so play smart.
Prioritise Bills and Other Necessities Over Gambling
When creating a budget for online gambling, ensure that you take into account essential household expenditures and everyday costs such as child maintenance payments, utility bills, council tax, income tax, groceries, and rent and mortgage payments – failing to pay these on time could lead to financial hardship, debt and even potential bankruptcy, so make sure that there’s plenty of space in your budget to accommodate the essentials and that these are always prioritised over gambling.
Always Play Within Your Means
With expendable income for online gambling each month, try to plan out when and how you’ll wager the money. You may decide to split the total sum into weekly or daily portions, depending on your game of choice and how regularly you play – once you’ve divided your gambling funds accordingly, stick to your daily/weekly budget and always play within your means. If you have an unlucky streak and happen to spend your weekly budget more quickly than expected, give yourself a break from gambling until the next week – if you don’t have the budget to play, don’t gamble!
Register at Reputable Casinos and Gaming Sites
While the majority of online casinos and iGaming sites provide a safe, high-quality service (including fair odds and online games and secure payment processing), there are some unscrupulous providers out there. In order to keep your playing funds safe and avoid unnecessary loss at the table, ensure that you always play with reputable providers – a selection of top online casinos are reviewed here for your convenience. Proven and reliable online casino platforms offer even a special limit deposit feature, which may come in handy if you fear you can lose control.
Also, many of them offer help and assistance with managing playing budgets, including self-exclusion systems. Do not hesitate when in doubt to contact the casino’s customer support.
Assess Your Gambling Behaviour
Gambling should be an enjoyable leisure activity rather than a means of generating income. If you feel that you’re gambling more regularly than you used to or that you’re having more trouble managing your gambling budget, it’s important that you assess your gambling behaviour.
Does your game of choice affect the amount of money you spend or lose? Are you playing too often? Are you sticking to your gambling budget? Problematic gambling is generally defined as that which is disruptive or damaging to the everyday lives of you and those around you – if you feel as though your gambling is getting out of control, don’t hesitate to seek professional help with problem gambling and gambling addiction. You have two choices, either to engage in smart gambling or, worst case scenario, avoid online gambling for a while.
Reduce Problematic Gambling Behaviour
If you’ve identified issues with your gambling, consider taking up a new hobby or interest – this can go a long way in improving your health and well-being, providing a distraction from online gambling and helping you to save money.
AI self-exclusion systems may be effective in reducing problem gambling, so make use of these wherever available – you may also decide to give your funds to a trusted friend or family member to keep hold of. Try to reduce or cut out your gambling altogether if possible, and remember that gambling should never be a means of generating income – thinking this way could help you to save the pennies, stay safe online and reduce the chances of falling into debt.
Tackle Debt Head-on
By gambling responsibly, playing with reputable sites, and sticking to a sensible budget, you can drastically reduce the chances of incurring debt when gambling online; however, if you’ve found yourself in debt because of gambling, it’s important that you address the problem head-on. Contact the creditor as soon as possible to try and work out a debt management plan – the sooner you act, the less likelihood there is of the debt spiralling out of control.