If you’re worried about your gambling, you can get help and advice from BeGambleAware.org. The independent charity GambleAware® was set-up to keeping people safe from gambling harm.

GambleAware® provide information to help people make informed decisions about their gambling. We will help you to find out more about gambling and what safer gambling means, to understand and recognise the risks of gambling, and show you where to go for further information, help and support should you need it.

Advice From BeGambleAware

Most people gamble for fun and enjoyment. However, some people think of gambling as a way to make money, spend more than they can afford, or use gambling to distract themselves from everyday problems. Following these tips can help you to gamble more safely.

1. Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money:
The venue is using gambling to make money. It’s not designed to work the other way around. Over time you will give away more money than you receive! Think of gambling as an entertainment expense – just like buying a movie ticket.

2. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose:
Gamble within your weekly entertainment budget, not with your phone bill or rent budget.

3. Set a money limit in advance:
Decide how much you can afford to lose before you go to play. When it’s gone – it’s over! If you win, you’ve been lucky, but don’t be disappointed if your luck doesn’t continue.

4. Set a time limit in advance:
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re gambling. Set a time limit or alarm, and when time’s up – quit! Odds are that the more time you spend gambling, the more money you will lose.

5. Never chase your losses:
If you lose your set money limit and then try to win some of it back before you leave, then you haven’t really set a money limit. Chasing your losses will usually just lead to bigger and bigger losses.

6. Don’t gamble when you’re depressed or upset:
Decision-making can be more difficult when you’re stressed or emotionally upset. Make sure you only gamble when you’re feeling happy and clear headed.

7. Balance gambling with other activities:
When gambling becomes your only form of entertainment, it’s unlikely that you’re still just gambling for the fun of it, and your gambling may even be a problem. Make sure gambling isn’t your only pastime.

8. Don’t take your bank card with you.
This is a good way to safeguard your money limit and not let being “in the moment” warp your judgment.

9. Take frequent breaks
Gambling continuously can cause you to lose track of time and perspective. Step out for some air or a bite to eat at regular intervals.

10. Don’t drink or use drugs when gambling
Drugs and alcohol cloud judgment, and good judgment stands as your main line of defence against letting gambling get out of control.

For more advice and help with gambling issues, visit BeGameAware. You can also call the National Gambling Helpline (Freephone 24/7) on 0808 8020 133.

Luck O'the Pots
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News out today reports the UK is sitting on £125 million of unclaimed scratch cards prizes! Financial website THISISMONEY broke the depressing news on the 10th August this year.

The unclaimed amount totald three per cent of the entire prize funds available, according to data from the UK National Lottery operator Camelot. The figures cover the period from 2018/19, ending in March 2019. The percentage of unclaimed money is up 2% from the previous year.

The surprising stat from the figures released by Camelot is the number of scratch cards left unclaimed in London. The capital city is accountable for HALF the unclaimed cards! You guys really have too much money, if you can’t be bothered collecting those winnings!

Although, London isn’t the only part of the country which is forgetful when it comes to redeeming winning cards. East Lothian in Scotland is just one of six areas outside the capital where £1 million in jackpots is still waiting to be dished out by the National Lottery.

It goes without saying that many of the outstanding prizes are probably in the region of £2 – £10. Like most people, I throw my winning tickets in the car with the notion of collecting the money when filling up on petrol. Only to forget and rediscover the card six months later when hoovering out the glovebox! Unfortunately, by then the damn thing has expired! Yes, scratch cards can go out of date.

It’s worth noting that Camelot only publicises prizes over £50,000 that aren’t claimed. Don’t expect them to run a Nationwide press campaign for your £2 win on Monopoly scratch! There is one positive for those who forget to claim a prize. The money will find a good home as Camelot donates unclaimed prizes to local charities and good causes. Next time you see a gold plated playground, just think, your winning scratch card might have funded that!

One lucky punter who didn’t forget to claim his jackpot is Andrew Hancock. Andrew, 46 who lives in Nottinghamshire scooped £1 million quid on the Monopoly Millionaire card! What makes Andrews story more remarkable is the nature of his win. After completing a weekly run to the supermarket, Andrew realised he’d forgotten to buy his cat food for his moggy ‘Shortcake’. Dashing to his local petrol station for a tin of whiskers, Andrew picked up the scratch card as he left. Incredibly, it turned out to be a £1 million jackpot-winning card. Mr Hancock said Shortcake would now “absolutely” be getting an upgrade on his cat food.

That’s a purrfect ending to the story!

Pots O'Luck
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