Gambling has been part of our culture since early times. For most people gambling is-a recreational pastime and a form of entertainment. They have a bet with what is affordable, and enjoy it regardless of whether they win or lose.

However, for some, gambling can begin to create problems in various areas of their lives, due to the loss of money they cannot afford. This may be money that has been set aside for rent, bills, food or other essential payments. The consequences of problem gambling are not only financial – emotional stress can affect marriage, relationships, work and health.

Some handy hints to help you control your gambling

1. Set yourself limits in both time and money, and most importantly do not `chase’ your losses
2. Have realistic expectations as to the likely outcome of your gambling
3. When playing poker machines – only play ONE machine at a time
4. Keep a weekly inventory of your gambling, such as a bank account specifically to track your gambling
5. Do not use your or anyone else’s ATM card to access extra money to gamble

Above all else, remember that gambling is meant to be fun. If you have difficulty following these responsible gaming practices, you may have a problem.