People are creatures of habit, also when it comes to gambling. Once there’s a certain pattern of behavior, it’s not easy and quick to change it. We have good news though: you don’t have to do that all at once. But if you really want it, you can change your behavior step by step. That goes in different phases.
The first phase: no worries at all
The first phase is usually characterized by not thinking about your gambling behavior at all. You don’t worry about it. So when someone else starts talking about it, you think: ‘That’s not about me, I play well, isn’t it? There’s nothing wrong with me.’
The second phase: wondering have much you’ve lost
The next phase is that you start wondering what the advantages and disadvantages of gambling are. Is it still as much fun as it was in the beginning? How much money would you have lost by now? Gambling is fun and you are entitled to some fun, aren’t you? How badly do you want to change your gaming behaviour? And would you be able to do that? It is wise to realize all of this well and to talk about it with someone else.
The difficult third phase: how to quit gambling?
After step two you can decide to change your behavior. It might be that you want to stop gambling altogether, but it could also be that you want to play less often and with smaller bets and/or with a lower spending amount. The actual implementation of your decision is the next step. You can do this independently, or with the help of trained staff from the casino or amusement centre, friends, family, a self-help group or professional counsellors. Keeping your decision is an art in itself and perhaps the most difficult part.
What happens when there’s a relapse?
After the third phase, be prepared for the possibility of a relapse. You’re not the only one, because it often happens to a lot of people. It doesn’t have to be a disaster, certainly not if you know that you can feel your relapse coming. Moreover, if it does happen anyway, you can limit the damage yourself and make agreements with the amusement centres about the maximum frequency of visits, maximum length of stay or playing time of a visit and the maximum amount spent.