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high-risk vs. low-risk gaming

People who play in a high-risk way lose the sense that it’s only a game. They start to see playing as a way to make money. Or they think they have special luck or abilities. Often when they lose, they bet more and more to try to win back what’s been lost. People who play in a low- risk way naturally follow the principles of safer gaming. They see gaming as a form of entertainment. For them a small gaming loss is the cost of a night’s entertainment – just like the cost of a movie ticket or a restaurant bill.


Many people play. They buy lottery tickets, play casino games bet on sports events or play online poker. Most people who play can do so without developing a problem – but some people can’t.

For those who choose to play, there are some general principles that can help to make gaming safer and reduce the risk of a problem.

Safer Gaming Principles

If you choose to play, follow these guidelines to limit the risk of a problem

  • Set a money limit and stick to it “Set time limits and take frequent breaks.”
  • Don’t borrow money to play.
  • Use money put aside for entertainment, not money for necessities like groceries, rent or bills.
  • Balance gaming with other activities.
  • Don’t try to win back what’s been lost.
  • Don’t think of gaming as a way to make money.
  • Limit alcohol consumption when playing.
  • Don’t play when upset, stressed or depressed.
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