4 THINGS YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE GOING TO THE CASINO
February 22, 2016
The Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling recently participated as a vendor at the Dragon Parade, a community event in Orlando, Florida. The event was a celebration of Asian culture, and thousands of community members were in attendance. Of the many conservations we had with attendees, we found it interesting that two questions we were consistently asked.
Question 1: Are you for or against gambling?
Question 2: What kind of message do you have for people who do gamble?
The answer to the first question is simple, we are gambling neutral. We realize that gambling is a recreational activity that a majority of people partake in responsibly. Our mission is to provide services and supports to those people negatively impacted by gambling while also providing the public with information on what they can do if they feel their gambling is getting out of control.
The second question can be answered below. Gambling is only growing in popularity, especially with the increase in availability of activities like fantasy sports that can be accessed anywhere and at any time. We urge people to take precautions to protect themselves when gambling. Here are four things you should do, should you go to the Casino this weekend.
I. Bring a set amount of cash you can afford to lose
Before a night out at the casinos, you need to plan ahead. Consider how much money you spend on entertainment, and be prepared to part ways with it. Just like any other night out, designate how much you intend to spend as your limit and stick to that limit. If you’re prepared to spend $50 for a night on the town, then only take out $50 in cash when you go gambling. Setting limits on the amount of cash you bring to the Casino and the way you conceptualize money is an important responsible gaming tip we strongly advocate. Think of the money allotted for gambling as the cost of entertainment.
II. Don’t Bring a Debit Card or Credit Card
If there is something that can get gamblers into big trouble, real quick, it’s chasing their losses. Sometimes you have to know when to walk away. You can make walking away easier if you don’t bring a debit or credit card or any other means to access more cash; when your designated money is gone, your night is over, plain and simple. Limiting your access to cash by leaving the ATM and credit card at home is a good idea. Next you can enjoy the other amenities the casino has to offer.
III. Bring a Buddy
Use the buddy system! Do not gamble in isolation. Having a responsible friend with you is a good practice. You can help each other know when to walk away. If I had a dollar for every time I saw someone double their stack at the poker table only to be pried away by a friend, urging them to take their winnings and walk away, I’d be a rich man. Even when you are up at the casino, the allure to win more is sometimes greater than your will power. Sometimes nothing is better than an outside voice, telling you the car is leaving in 5 minutes and its a long walk home.
IV. Set a Time Limit
Setting a time limit of how long you intend to stay at the casino is important. In casinos there are no windows or clocks, so it is very hard to tell time is passing by. It is very easy to spend more time than you intended to at a casino. Setting time limits and sticking to them is a very important responsible gambling tip to adhere to!