Sports betting is one of the most popular forms of gambling in the UK and is an activity enjoyed by a high proportion of adults, whether it is just a cheeky flutter on the Grand National once a year or a more regular hobby. However, while visiting a bookmaker, either online or offline, can be a lot of fun, it is important to bet responsibly at all times.
Responsible gambling is all about staying in control, both financially and emotionally, and not allowing your sports betting habits to take over other aspects of your life. One of the major considerations is managing your money sensibly, so it is a good idea to set a budget aside for your betting. Just as you might work out how much you wish to spend each month on trips to the cinema or meals out, you should view sports betting as an entertainment expense, and not a way to make money.
Sports betting companies have a duty to provide a fair service and to highlight the importance of gambling safely, but they are also big businesses designed to make a profit and as such the responsibility rests with each individual for how they bet. To help yourself, you can not only set limits on how much you wager, but also the amount of time you spend at a bookie or a betting site. Above all, you should never chase losses and you should not bet when you are feeling depressed or under the influence of alcohol.
It is also advised that you keep a balanced lifestyle and pursue other interests in addition to sports betting. By being honest with those closest to you about how and when you make bets, you can make sure that your family life and social life remain as healthy as possible and are unaffected by your hobby. If you feel you are losing control of your betting habits, or you are concerned about someone you know, you can find considerable support online, in your local community or via telephone helplines.