Responsible Gambling and Gambling Addiction Help & Resources

Eddie Griffin

Written by: Eddie Griffin

Last Updated:

Read Time: 4 minutes

Sports betting is certainly a serious business, but it is important to remember that it is meant to be entertainment and that gambling should be done in a responsible manner.

Sure, it’s nice to think about going on a hot streak or hitting a big parlay. But for all of the social media posts you see of four, five, and six-figure wins, that only depicts a small part of sports betting.

As experienced bettors can attest, betting for any length of time comes with ups and downs. You cannot predict or dictate the outcome of the events you bet on.

Many people can navigate the rollercoaster ride of sports betting well enough. But for others, managing those ups and downs is much more difficult.

That is why it is important for all bettors, whether new or experienced, to know what responsible gambling is and how to proactively deal with any potential issues.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling, and referral services can be accessed by calling:

  • 1-800 GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (USA)
  • 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN only)
  • 1-800-NEXT-STEP (AZ only)
  • 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA only)
  • 1-800-522-4700 (CO Only)
  • 1-866-531-2600 (Ontario Canada)

What Is Responsible Gambling?

1. Set limits for yourself.

Many of us have a budget for leisure activities like travel, dining out, or video games. Treat sports betting the same way. What you spend on it should be what you can reasonably afford. Do not bet beyond your means.

One bettor’s unit size is not another bettor’s unit size. What you see one bettor wager on a game may not be what you can bet.

Even if you get on a roll, it is important to continue to be responsible and not stray from the gambling limits that you have for yourself. Don’t allocate too much of your bankroll on one bet or a couple of bets.

2. Do not chase your losses.

No one is going to win every single bet they make. Sure, you may have a perfect day or a perfect stretch, but it will not last. And just as easily as you can have a perfect day one day, everything can go in the opposite direction the next day.

But when you encounter a rough day or a bad beat or two, do not bet reactively and chase your losses, especially with bigger amounts to try to recoup what you lost quickly. If you do, you can quickly find your bankroll depleted.

A big part of responsible gambling is knowing when to take a step back or step away completely.

If it doesn’t feel like it is your day, step away. Or if you are going to continue betting, continue to stick to the limits that you have set for yourself. Don’t make things worse trying to make them better.

3. Don’t bet under stress.

For many, betting on sports can be a way to unwind after a busy or stressful day.

But if placing bets only makes exacerbates the stress you are already under, opt for a different activity that doesn’t run the risk of making things worse for you. And do not bet with your emotions.

If you bet while stressed, you can find yourself betting bigger amounts than you would otherwise, trying to chase losses, or dipping into funds beyond what you have set aside for betting.

4. Make a responsible gambling plan and stick to it.

It can certainly be tempting to deviate from your plan when you are on a hot streak or when you have a hit a cold spell, but making a plan and sticking to that plan is key to being a responsible gambler.

  • Don’t get caught up in the social media posts you see of other people’s big wins.
  • Make sure to not go beyond your budget for the day, week, or month. Keep a log of your bets and your budget to stay on top of things.
  • Don’t chase your losses or place bets when you are not in the right frame of mind.

All of these steps won’t help you make a profit as a sports bettor short or long term. But they will help you gamble responsibly and not lose sight of the place that it has for most bettors as a source of entertainment.

What to Do If You Have a Gambling Problem

While taking all of the above responsible gambling steps may prove to be effective for many people, there are some who are unable to enjoy betting in moderation or without adversely affecting themselves or their lives.

Sometimes that means taking an extended break. Sometimes that means not betting at all.

But whether you need a temporary break or a permanent ban, there are resources that you can utilize to help yourself or a loved one who may be dealing with a gambling addiction.

Those resources vary from state to state, but a great place to start is the National Council on Problem Gambling.

There, you can find screening tools, state-by-state information on available resources, and much more, including contact information for the National Problem Gambling Helpline.

If you have a problem, it can be easy to be caught up in shame or hopelessness. But there is no shame in knowing when you have a problem and proactively tackling it.

Betting News is meant to be a resource to help bettors in a variety of ways, and that includes gambling responsibly. Any of the information we provide here pertaining to betting itself is meant to be for informational and entertainment purposes.