Responsible gambling is defined as:

Exercising control and informed choice to ensure that gambling is kept within affordable limits of money and time, is enjoyable, in balance with other activities and responsibilities, and avoids gambling-related harm.

Ways of achieving this include:

  • ensuring gambling is affordable by not gambling with money needed for necessities (such as bills or food)
  • ensuring gambling doesn’t dominate your leisure time, and you are engaging in other social and leisure activities
  • avoiding borrowing money or using a credit card to gamble
  • avoiding gambling when under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or as a way to manage emotions when you are bored, depressed or anxious
  • setting limits around how much and long you with gamble for, setting a limit on your maximum bet size, and avoiding increasing bets when winning or losing.

Additional tips for people gambling online include:

  • setting limits on how much you can gamble by only using websites with a daily limit spend
  • avoiding having multiple online gambling accounts.

How do I know if I have a gambling problem?

There are clear signs when gambling moves from being a hobby to becoming a mental health concern. These includes:

  • needing to gamble with increasing amounts of money to achieve the desired excitement
  • feeling restless or irritable when trying to stop gambling
  • trying to stop or cut back gambling unsuccessfully
  • spending a lot of time thinking about gambling
  • gambling when you’re feeling anxious or upset
  • chasing losses (by trying to make up losses with more gambling)
  • lying to others to conceal the extent of your gambling
  • relying on others for money
  • jeopardising relationships, job or opportunities because of gambling.

If you are concerned about your gambling, seek professional help and exclude yourself from gambling venues and websites. In practice, for online gambling, this might mean disabling automatic logins and deleting accounts.