How to Recover from Gambling Losses
Gambling and playing at casinos, whether physically or online from the comfort of the sofa, is a fun and exciting activity that can sometimes become addictive.
Unfortunately, gambling addiction can cause significant losses that can leave people feeling helpless and in debt.
If you’ve suffered from a big gambling loss, you might feel like giving up gambling entirely. Or it could encourage you to gamble even more in the slight chances you could offset your losses.
However, it’s not always necessary to take either extreme.
There are steps you can take to recover from gambling losses and learn to gamble responsibly.
How Gambling Addiction Takes Hold of Your Daily Life
Gambling addiction can creep up on you slowly.
Initially, you might spend a little more time and money than you intended after some big and unexpected wins. This is known as the infamous ‘winning stage’, and creates the hook to allure people into gambling even more.
Over time, the need to gamble can take hold of your daily life. You have entered the ‘losing stage’ and you are starting to lose a significant amount of money. However, you know the thrill of that winning bet, so you continue to gamble. You might spend hours gambling instead of spending time with friends and family, working, or engaging in other activities you once enjoyed. The urge to gamble can be overwhelming, which in turn leads to financial problems and emotional distress.
Finally, you’ve hit the ‘desperation phase’, more commonly known as ‘chasing your losses’. This starts when gambling has cost you so much that you will do anything to get it back, including borrowing money, stealing, and lying to those closest to you.
How to Stop Chasing Previous Losses
One of the most important things you can do to recover from a big gambling loss is to stop chasing your previous losses.
It can be tempting to keep gambling in the hope of winning back what you’ve lost, but that can quickly spiral out of control.
Instead, take a break from gambling, and evaluate your financial situation. Create a budget and a plan to pay off any debts.
Once you’re in a stable financial position, you can consider returning to gambling if you wish, but only if you can afford it and gamble responsibly.
Fortunately, the most trusted and reputable casinos have self-exclusion features and set limits. You can exclude yourself from sites until you are ready to gamble again and prove that you can handle it and have the means to gamble responsibly. Also, set limits restrict you from gambling beyond your means you can keep gambling to a minimum while still experiencing the joy of betting.
How to Recover from a Significant Gambling Loss
Recovering from a big gambling loss takes time, effort, and commitment.
Here are some steps you can take to recover:
Accept your loss
Acknowledge that the loss has happened and try not to dwell on it. Don’t suppress your feeling either. Feelings are good to help reflect on what has happened. Accepting the loss is the first step towards moving on.
Talk to friends, family, or a support group like Gordon Moody. Sharing your experience with others can be helpful and can provide a sense of community.
Seek professional help
If you’re struggling to cope with the loss, consider speaking to a professional counsellor or therapist who specialises in gambling addiction.
Create a financial plan
Make a budget and plan to pay off any debts resulting from the loss. Seek advice from a financial advisor if necessary.
Delete the temptation
Phones and mobile applications have become an extra appendage for most of us. As a result, the temptation to simply fire up the casino app and place a bet will always be at our fingertips. To avoid this temptation, it might be recommended to delete the apps and bookmarked casino sites from your phone. This will help make you think about the reason the app is no longer there when you go to your phone to place a quick bet.
Take a break from gambling
We do not mean taking a breather for an hour or two before coming back to place more bets. Take an extended break from gambling to give yourself time to recover and evaluate your relationship with gambling.
Self-Help Tips for More Enjoyable Gambling
If you do decide to return to gambling, it’s important to gamble responsibly. Here are some self-help tips:
1️⃣ Set limits: Set a time limit and a budget for your gambling activities, and stick to them. Most betting sites and apps have features to help you with this.
2️⃣ Avoid risky situations: Avoid gambling when you’re feeling down, upset, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
3️⃣ Know the odds: Understand the odds of the games you’re playing and don’t rely on superstition or hunches. If you’ve been stung before by playing a casino game or betting on a sport you don’t fully understand, maybe do some research before gambling on it again. Or better yet, stick to things you know.
4️⃣ Take breaks: Take regular breaks to prevent boredom and fatigue.
5️⃣ Smaller Bets: To enjoy the thrill of gambling, you don’t need to place sky-high wagers. To avoid getting into gambling trouble, make smaller bets. This way you can still feel the high of winning, but chances are it won’t spiral out of control if you lose.
Seek help when needed: If you feel like you’re losing control again, seek help immediately.
A Worthy Challenge
Recovering from a big gambling loss can be challenging, but it’s possible with the right mindset, support, and self-help strategies. Remember, gambling can be a fun and enjoyable activity when done responsibly, so take steps to protect yourself, gamble in moderation, and only play at the most trusted casinos in the UK.
Peter is our Editor-in-Chief at Gamblingauthority. He has more than eigth years of experience from the iGaming industry and is a valuable resource for everything related to online casinos.Read more about the author