13 Mar 17

Caution: this article may be triggering for some people who are trying to avoid gambling.

For people in South Australia, today may be a difficult day to avoid gambling as it is the state’s largest horse race, the Adelaide Cup.

Just like with other major sporting event, there can be a pull towards gambling today because it’s being mentioned more than usual and can be more difficult to avoid.

It may be best to try and avoid gambling and temptations today, try to take part in activities that don’t have any link to the race. This could include going for a walk or watching a film.

As it is a public holiday people may be hosting gatherings of family and friends that include some mention of the race,  

If you are considering going to the race, think about whether this is a really good idea? If you must attend, take a moment to think carefully about whether to gamble if you have been trying hard to abstain. You may try and gamble responsibly but carefully consider your options before taking part.

Many people call the Help Line upset that their initial plans to limit their gambling to an affordable few bets resulted in a session where gambling became out of control.

For example:

Sam called for help after he gambled at the races. He described planning for weeks how he would manage the excitement of his favorite sport race. He did not consider the encouragement from his friends to bet more money than he planned. After a few drinks, he gave in to this peer pressure.  His mistake was to take his credit card with easy access to money that he did not want to gamble. This one session at the races caused him significant financial consequences.

Here are a few tips that may help you avoid Sam's situation:

  • Take a moment to think do you really want to tempt yourself by going to the races or an event where they will be featured?
  • Setting a betting limit can help you ….  but if you have access to money this may not be so easy!
  • Only take money you can afford to lose
  • Keep track of how much you are spending
  • Have a support buddy who can help you identify when it’s time to leave
  • Have regular breaks for example touch base with friends or have some food
  • Have a few reasons ready on why you need to leave early or manage peer pressure

You can always seek support from a qualified counsellor who is ready to have a chat – get started here.

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