We are excited about the many possibilities that will open up if video gaming terminals (VGTs) are legalized in the state of Indiana. The boost they will give our economy alone is enough to get many on board.
But like all forms of entertainment and recreation, moderation is key when it comes to having fun with games on a VGT. We would like to offer some helpful tips to spread awareness of the importance of responsible gaming.
Tip One: Play for Fun
Games are supposed to be fun—that’s why it’s human nature to be drawn to them. They can break up the monotony of everyday life and distract you from other responsibilities.
However, playing games—especially games where money is involved—always should be looked at as a form of entertainment and not a way to earn money.
Tip Two: Set Limits
Before walking into a situation in which you will be engaging in gaming, set a limit for yourself, including how much money you will spend and how you will know when it’s time to walk away from the game.
Decide how much money you are OK losing before walking away from the game. To ensure you don’t blow through a winning streak, set a limit to the amount of time you want to spend playing.
Whether money, losses or time, once you make these limits for yourself, stick with them.
Tip Three: Don’t Play on What You Don’t Have
Since playing should be looked at as a form of entertainment and not a way to turn a profit, make sure you’re not borrowing money in order to play, thinking you will earn it back and then some if you play. Only play with money or assets that are there in your pocket and you are willing to part with if necessary.
Tip Four: Know Why You’re Playing
Note the times you are most likely to spend money on gaming and make sure you are not using it as a way to mask other feelings.
If you notice you most want to play when you’re feeling anxious, rejected or any other negative emotion, it’s possible that you are using gaming as a way to mask those feelings.
Tip Five: Expect to Lose
Sure, lucky streaks can happen and some people can walk away with a great deal more money than they walked in with. However, it’s important to be realistic about the odds of winning right from the start.
If you walk in knowing your odds are low to get a big win, you’ll be able to have fun playing without the pressure of playing until you walk away a winner.
Tip Six: Make Sure Your Life Is Balanced
When looking at the ways you like to have fun or release some of the stress of your day, make sure that gaming isn’t the one and only way you do this.
Gaming is great in moderation, yes, but if it is your one and only source of entertainment, you might want to think about diversifying your interests. Look into hobbies and pastimes that are just as fun but easier on your budget.
Tip Seven: Educate Yourself
Make sure you educate yourself about the dangers of problem gambling and know the signs that a problem is happening in case you begin to exhibit them. Problem gambling is often a hidden affliction, so family and friends may not be aware enough to talk to you or intervene if you have a problem.
Educate yourself on problem signs, and know that it is a 100-percent treatable issue. If you find yourself exhibiting signs of problem gambling, know where you can find help to get your life back on track.
Being responsible is the key to making sure that your good time doesn’t turn ugly in a hurry. Play all games responsibly and make sure you aren’t taking unnecessary risks in the name of entertainment.
After all, your health and happiness aren’t always worth the gamble.