UNLESS you are a professional gambler, and even then, the odds are stacked against you. You are almost certainly going to lose money if you choose to gamble. For every person that wins the lottery, many millions have failed, have lost money and you have contributed to their lottery win. The majority of gamblers believe that they can win and many end up chasing an increasing debt, losing their family, their home and their livelihood.
Although you may believe that a small gambling craving is just a simple habit; it is a bad habit that can grow into a devastating addiction. During 2007, Americans lost over $92 billion while gambling, which is more than 10 times the amount they spent on going to the cinema. Recreational gambling for just a few dollars here and there is extremely dangerous because it builds contempt for everything else around you and makes it more likely that you will continue, while striving to win.
You can avoid gambling, simply, by not taking part, but where you have already built a small craving for gambling, you will be able to reduce your opportunities for losing money by avoiding any social activities where people gather to play poker or make bets with real money. You need to learn how to say no to any form of gambling, even if this means losing people who are not really your best friends.
Gambling causes significant damage against family and home harmony. Many gamblers hide the fact that they are losing money regularly and may only mention the occasions when they win. This leads to family feuds, particularly where desperate gamblers ask other family members for financial help, and where offered should lead to a mortgage repayment, but often goes direct to the gambling addiction.
Casinos and other forums, both real and online, are cleverly designed to lure you into gambling, often providing a free opportunity to practise so that you can’t lose your own money in the early stages. It is easy to see that it is best to avoid the temptations so you do not get lulled into a full sense of security.
Where you have a gambling problem, an addiction, it is better to share the information with your family as soon as possible so that they can understand the hole that you have dug yourself into, giving you all the opportunity to find the way forward. It is better to seek professional advice as the majority of addictions cannot be stopped overnight, without a well thought-out plan and process.
Betting, gambling and casino games may be fun for a short while, but only when you give yourself a maximum amount of dollars that you are prepared to lose, before you walk away, forever.
In business, you will need to take risks from time to time, but these will be educated risks which bear no resemblance to gambling, whatsoever.
By saying no to gambling, you may risk losing a few friends, but were they real friends in the first place if they force you to take actions against your will? To maintain your family, your home and your work, avoiding gambling will provide you with a greater opportunity for success.
Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to [email protected]