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Responsible Gambling – The Festive Period

Responsible Gambling – The Festive Period
© Racing Post / Patrick McCann
Charlie Scutts
Charlie Scutts
Monday 2nd December 2019

Charlie's interest in racing first started when he got a job working at a high-street bookmakers in the year before he went to university. Four years later, having finished his degree in History, a career in horse-racing journalism provided the perfect blend for his interests in both writing and sport.

Here at myracing.com, we are determined to help our followers to use our Horse Racing and Greyhound Racing Tips in a responsible manner, with the aim of helping you to gamble in a positive and unproblematic fashion.

Responsible Gambling is the principle that gambling should be enjoyable and helps to identify any warning signs for those that feel like their betting levels are becoming out of control.

The 7th to 13th November marked Responsible Gambling Week. The principles we outlined then run just as true as we lead up to the festive period.

Set A Budget

Christmas can be expensive enough without the added financial pressure of gambling. Adding betting to the already long list of activities that demand our money in December will only limit enjoyment.

You may be tempted to turn to betting as a way to pay for an expensive period in the year. Financial returns from gambling are never guaranteed. This approach is more than likely to lead to more pressure on your finances, rather than alleviating the problem.

Having separate budgets for personal responsibilities and gambling can help. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose, making sure that all other spending is accounted for before you spend money on betting.

Time Management

The Christmas period plays host to a large quantity of racing, with Boxing Day a feast for fans of our sport featuring upwards of ten meetings. Attempting to keep up with the action over this period can place unwanted stress on your time and finances.

Place spending time with your family at the head of your list of priorities. Only if you have spare time should you consider engaging with the action over Christmas, rather than the other way round in which the racing is at the forefront of your mind.

Switch Off from Gambling

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are two of the only days in the calendar on which there is no racing. This provides a ready-made break. Spending time with your family can provide a welcome relief from the trials and tribulations of gambling. Use the Christmas period to recharge and refocus.

There are plenty of things more important than gambling, something that is just a hobby. Spending time with your loved ones is a far more rewarding use of time over the festive period and can help you reassess your relationship with betting.

More Permanent Solutions

If you’re unable to monitor your own gambling through these solutions, then it’s time to reach out for help. This can involve reaching out to your bookmaker to help limit access, or to organisations which can help you stop gambling.

Bookmakers offer two features which enable you to take time away from gambling. The first is the Cool Off Period, which prevents access to a site in the short term, most often a period of around a month. This can also be extended through Self Exclusion, which usually lasts a year and can continue indefinitely.

If these options don’t help, then you should consider reaching out for professional advice. This is available from a number of sources, including groups such as BeGambleAware, Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare and Gambling Therapy.

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