10 Self-control Strategies for Managing Gambling Habits

gambling woman

Many people who like to gamble don’t experience any kind of harm from gambling activities. But some gamblers (around 4 to 10%) experience some negative consequences although they don’t have any kind of gambling disorder. Such harms may include relationship and money problems.

Why do many gamblers appear to be well-protected from the harm, whereas some are not? The researchers reported that gamblers who play various online gambling games develop certain strategies that will prevent harm from gambling. The responsible gambling guidelines generally suggest setting out certain time limits & spending limits for gambling. But, there is little research on the self-control strategies, which people who gamble often use to avoid any harm as well as prevent the gambling disorder. Let us check out some self-control strategies here:

Self-Strategies for change

Keep the gambling diary –It can help you to understand the problem. This includes the kind of gambling, time spent as well as the amount that you gamble. Note down every thought, situation, and feelings that happen before or during the gambling session, thus you may begin to know the primary causes of gambling.

Set the right goals

By setting out short-term & long-term goals will help you stay focused as well as clear on cutting down and giving up the gambling.

Avoid any high-risk situations

Use of credit cards, taking loans, carrying huge amounts of money, making use of gaming venues to socialize, and gambling as the reaction to your feelings. All these behaviors can weaken your resolve of controlling and stopping your gambling activity.

gambling cards

Stay kind

You need to see your positive achievements. You can write it down that will remind yourself about your strengths & attributes.


Once you admit you have the problem, you may look for useful gambling guides. You need to check out self-help tips that are offered as well as use your strength for dealing with this problem.

Group support

Also, you can join the group with others having similar issues. Suppose you do not want to get expose publicly, there’re anonymous and other groups online where you may help one another to go through overcoming this addiction.

Counseling & therapy

It’s good to ask for assistance from the professional. You can look for therapists having experience with gambling and other related mental health troubles.

Medical treatment

One can also talk to the medical expert about the medications that can help you to go through the rough patch. These can be antidepressants and other drugs that the doctor suggests.

Check alternatives to gambling

Lots of people continue gambling as they don’t know what to do with the spare time. You can explore some new activities as well as hobbies. 

Set certain limits

With a vast amount of money, sometimes people can’t keep a proper track of how much they’re gambling away. Thus, restricting the cash flow & creating the budget from beginning enforces the responsible gambling. There must be a certain limit when you enter the casino. The credit cards, various checks, and possibilities for monetary transactions need to be completely out of your reach to avoid any kind of temptation. Any additional cash must be left at your home.

Money comes in gambling floor must be the reasonable amount. But, as there’s a higher chance all the cash can be lost sooner, think of creating the mental plan of the reactions & following the actions.

Know It Is Going to Be Hard

The next step involves discovering various reasons for gambling. It can be an adrenaline rush or escape from the reality, but the desire of winning & improving your finances and life overall. One important thing to know is it’s just impossible to beat the addiction till you realize your opponent’s strength. It’s very important that you get ready for this battle & doing whatever is essential to put life in your control again.

Avoid Getting Tempted 

Gambling is one kind of temptation, however, seeing gambling as an addiction is one important step as it allows you to use various skills from addiction recovery & relapse prevention. For somebody in recovery, avoiding places, people, or activities linked to gambling will help them to avoid the setback. 

Article edited and fact checked by our editorial team


  • Gambling Commission. Safer gambling. Retrieved from: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/public-and-players/safer-gambling
  • Newall PWS, Rockloff M, Hing N, Thorne H, Russell AMT, Browne M, Armstrong T. Designing Improved Safer Gambling Messages for Race and Sports Betting: What can be Learned from Other Gambling Formats and the Broader Public Health Literature? J Gambl Stud. 2023 Jun;39(2):913-928. doi: 10.1007/s10899-023-10203-4. Epub 2023 Mar 24. PMID: 36961657; PMCID: PMC10175478.
  • Responsible Gambling Council. Take a Safer Approach to Gambling. Retrieved from: https://www.responsiblegambling.org/for-the-public/safer-play/safer-gambling-tips/
  • Hing N, Sproston K, Tran K, Russell AM. Gambling Responsibly: Who Does It and To What End? J Gambl Stud. 2017 Mar;33(1):149-165. doi: 10.1007/s10899-016-9615-9. PMID: 27150462.