Protecting your assets is an indispensable element of responsible gambling. Whether gambling is your hobby, your passion, or your addiction, it is critical to secure your personal assets.
Without control, you can find yourself spending and overspending, draining your bank account – and then borrowing money to gamble some more. Paying attention to the amount of money you are spending at the casino or poker palace is the only way to make sure gambling stays fun and doesn’t become a life struggle.
How much do you know about how to protect your assets? Determined gamblers are ingenious at devising strategies for getting hold of their next stack of chips. Our job, for the next few minutes, is to give you proven strategies for keeping yourself and your money safe.
When Gambling Isn’t Fun
Most people can enjoy gambling as a harmless hobby, an occasional pastime with no more severe an impact on their lives and fortunes than a fondness for Broadway musicals or college football.
For reasons no one knows, some people are unable to enjoy a little occasional gambling. For them, gambling is not a hobby but a compulsion. For some of them, compulsive gambling leads to an actual addiction.
The medical community isn’t sure why some people are more vulnerable to addiction than others. Susceptibility to alcoholism, to drug addiction, and yes, to gambling addiction tends to run in families. But scientists have not verified a genetic susceptibility. All they know for sure is that some people just shouldn’t gamble – because it’s a fair bet they won’t be able to stop.
The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky is among the best-known of history’s gambling addicts. He faced enormous difficulties and struggles after gambling binges, a fate he described in his short novel The Gambler. The book should be required reading for gamblers who are concerned with keeping money safe.
Gambling can be as addictive as any drug – and just as destructive. We often do not notice when the addiction starts growing within us. In fact, the very suggestion that we might have a gambling problem can lead to angry denials and broken relationships. That’s one way that the consequences of problem gambling aren’t confined to the gambler’s wallet. Family members, friends, colleagues – all are drawn in to the drama and losses.
That is why it is so important to seek help if needed and to ensure that you are protecting your personal assets – even from yourself if necessary.
Gambling-as-a-hobby can be entertaining, challenging, socially fulfilling, and fun, provided you can handle the adrenaline rush and you’ve got the self-control to stop playing. Gambling-as-a-compulsion isn’t so much fun. It’s toxic, dangerous to your career, your relationships, your friendships, your finances, and your health. Get help if you need it – for yourself or someone you care about. And take a look at our tips on protecting assets from out-of-control gambling. They could save you a lot of money and heartache.
15 Ways to Protect Your Assets
1. Create a Separate Bank Account for Gambling Money
To make sure you are securing your assets, create a bank account to hold money you have set aside for gambling. Setting up a secondary bank account is an effective way to hold all of your budgeted gambling funds. You can put your winnings there too if you like.
This approach can save you a lot of stress. It may sound complicated and time-consuming, but you can open an account in a matter of minutes, especially if you try an online-only bank.
Controlling the amount of money you are spending can help you avoid the siren call of compulsive gambling. This affliction, sometimes called “gambling disorder” by professionals, is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life.
Gambling means risking something you value in hopes of getting something of higher value. That’s the very definition. Problem gamblers value winning so much they are willing to risk very large amounts. That’s when they get into trouble. It’s much better to establish a betting budget and set aside funds in a special account. You can gamble as much as you like with that money – but when it’s gone, it’s gone. No more gambling until payday.
2. Redirect Your Direct Deposit
If your struggles with gambling are leading you to miss deadlines on your bill payments, you should consider redirecting your paycheck into the account of someone you trust. That friend or family member would pay your bills, set aside money for essential expenses, and then transfer an agreed-upon sum into your gambling account.
It’s one way to be sure that you don’t face a mailbox full of bills after you’ve emptied your bank account at poker or roulette.
3. Remove Yourself From Shared Accounts
Any financial counselor will tell you that it is very common for married couples to open joint accounts – both shared credit cards and bank accounts. It’s a common way of combining incomes to pay for common expenses.
But it’s also a temptation. And there is nothing worse than finding yourself lying to your loved ones about withdrawals, or trying to convince yourself you’ll borrow from the account only once, and only enough to score that one big jackpot. The next thing you know, you are over your head in debt. And family members no longer trust you with the authority to access the account or make cash withdrawals.
4. Be Open About Your Gambling Habit
If you have or suspect that you have a gambling problem, be sure to let your family know. It’s embarrassing, but they care for you and they can help you control your spending and get appropriate assistance if you need it. There’s no shame in addiction. It’s a medical problem, not a moral failing. So don’t hesitate to get family and friends involved when it comes to player funds protection.
5. Don’t Leave Money Lying Around
Be sure never to leave your money or credit cards lying around while gambling. Even if you do not have a gambling problem and you just enjoy playing the game of bingo or Texas hold ’em, you do not know which of the people around you might have a compulsion.
An addicted gambler who has fallen into hard times faces deep despair and self-recrimination. They’re willing to take almost any risk or cross any line that has a small chance of letting them climb out of the financial hole without anyone finding out. That includes taking money from your wallet to make one last bet on a “sure thing.”
Limit your access to cash. Expect to lose, and consider any winnings a bonus. At the end of the day, you are there for the thrill of the game – the pleasure of playing – not to become rich overnight. If you have trouble knowing when it’s time to stop, set yourself a firm loss limit.
People with a gambling problem are always looking to play another round in order to recover their money — a pattern that becomes increasingly destructive over time. So put all of your valuable items in a safety deposit box to avoid the temptation of pawning them. Make it your life mission to develop hobbies and interests that don’t involve betting.
6. Don’t Gamble Alone
Here’s a tip: Use gambling as a social event. Instead of gambling alone, take along someone you trust. Your friend can help you know it’s time to stop – and you can return the favor. That way, you both know you are safe while you are playing together, having fun, and catching up, all at the same time.
7. Visit a Therapist
After you have confessed your gambling problem to your family, consider seeking help from a therapist as well. Therapists are not judgmental and while they may not know tips for protecting money, they absolutely know proven strategies for beating addiction.
The gambling commission of Great Britain is there to make sure that you are protected and that there is no crime involved in gambling. The commission’s primary role is to regulate and supervise UK gambling, but it also requires gambling establishments to provide information about organizations that can help you beat problem gambling. At internet gambling businesses you’ll find a direct link to organizations that can help you address your gambling problem.
8. Reach Out for Help
The most important thing is that you seek help if you are losing control of your gambling. The Royal College of Psychiatrists has found that problem gamblers are more likely to suffer from low self-esteem, develop stress-related disorders, have poor sleep and appetite, develop a substance misuse problem, and endure clinical depression.
If these symptoms sound familiar, call the National Gambling Helpline. Or finding an online counselor who can help you take the necessary steps to beat your addiction and rebuild your protected assets. Help is as near as your telephone or Wi-Fi connection.
9. Be Optimistic
It’s important that you know – and believe – that whether you are a problem gambler, a compulsive gambler, or an addict, you can get your life back on track. The sooner you start, the sooner you will be able to reclaim your life without the financial and emotional burden of a gambling problem.
It all starts with believing that things can get better. Then you can start exploring tips for protecting money and cutting down on the hours you spend at the gaming tables. You will need to apply willpower and hard work, but at the end of the day, you can regain mastery of your life.
10. Let Loved Ones Help
It is sad but true that loved ones sometimes give up on gambling addicts. Compulsive gamblers are secretive. They spend family funds on their pursuit of jackpots. They lie. Sometimes they steal, all in hopes of getting dealt a great hand and returning the money before anyone notices it’s gone. It’s not a logical way of protecting assets, but addicts aren’t known for being logical.
Your odds of beating problem gambling are better if you can convince loved ones you’re serious. Their support and forgiveness are key to leaving addiction behind.
11. Play for Fun, not Money
Never enter a betting situation with the need to make up for past losses or score a win to pay the bills. Your intention should be to have fun. Some people see Broadway shows, some attend football games, and some visit the casino. We expect to pay by the hour for all these forms of entertainment. Keep that in mind, and keep your bills money protected, and gambling won’t own you. It will just be something you do sometimes for fun – as it should be.
12. Limit the Time You Spend Gambling
In addition to setting aside a limited amount of money for gambling, you should set aside a limited amount of time. Budget an hour or two on a weeknight. Three or four hours over the weekend. Set an alarm. Make and keep a promise to yourself to stop playing whether you are winning or losing.
Setting a time limit on gambling gives you time to develop other hobbies and interests, or simply to spend more time with your family. This article is mostly concerned about tips to protect money, but if you can strengthen relationships too, that’s even better.
13. Stop When You Win
Some gamblers find it easier to stop playing after they’ve won a spin, roll, hand, or wager. Make a pact with yourself: If I win this round, I am done for the day. Why play more and risk losing everything?
This is where your financial strategies pay off. If you’ve set aside gambling money, there is an upper limit to what you can lose. So ignore losing. Don’t count your losses – just celebrate your wins. Remember: You’re not there to make your mortgage payment, but to have fun.
14. Don’t Borrow Money to Gamble
Gambling addiction money management advice is simple, but it’s hard to follow. When you’ve lost the week’s grocery money to a streak of bad luck, it seems crystal clear that the solution is to ante up, play smart, and score a big win. The solution to problem gambling: more gambling.
That’s how gambling ruins people’s lives. They’re so desperate to set things right that they dig themselves deeper into debt. They’ll even borrow gambling money: from friends, on credit cards, from home equity lines of credit – anywhere there is money to be borrowed.
Of course that is a losing strategy. Money managers and financial counselors know all the best asset protection strategies, and none would ever advise you to borrow money so you can keep gambling. Don’t do it.
15. Find Another Way to Cope With Stress
Some compulsive gamblers hit the tables to release the stress and tension of everyday life. The casino is a place you can escape from real-world worries and focus on the click of the dice, the whir of the roulette wheel, the pounding of racehorses’ hooves.
Problem gamblers sometimes have trouble leaving gambling behind because the stress floods back into their lives when they quit. That’s why you need to plan for a replacement. Join a gym. Learn yoga. Ease back your work hours. This is how to protect your assets: Find a new way to relax.