Gamble Responsibly

Be Prepared

What is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible Gambling is gambling which does not cause problems in your everyday life. The key to responsible gambling is to establish limits and stick to them.

It’s important to remember that gambling is meant to be a form of entertainment – just like going to the movies or a nice dinner. And as with those activities, it should just be one of the activities (not the only activity) you do for fun, and should be paid for with money that is intended to be used for entertainment expenses.

If you find that you are unable to gamble responsibly, you can learn more about problem gambling here, or view below to learn more about responsible gambling.

Is Gambling a Problem or Not?

These are some ways you can tell the difference between gambling for fun or entertainment (ie. social gambling) versus problem gambling.

Social Gambling
  • Plays occasionally
  • Spends what they can afford
  • Hopes to win, expects to lose
  • Plays for fun
  • Can take it or leave it
Problem Gambling
  • Gambles frequently
  • Uses money needed or borrowed
  • Wins never enough; chases losses
  • Gambles to win and/or escape
  • Life revolves around gambling


In the US, there is 1 gambling addict for every 4 drug and alcohol addicts – yet there is 334 times less public funding available to help problem gamblers!

About Gambling

Due in part to the rapid rate of expansion, many Americans have not been educated about the dangers associated with problem gambling, or the best ways to avoid developing a problem. In this site we take a look at what gambling is, how it has evolved and the best methods to Gamble Responsibly.

There is no way to know who “invented” gambling, but scientists believe that gambling dates back to the caveman days, in part because of cave drawings depicting gambling and dice-like objects made of sheep and dog bone believed to be over 40,000 years old!

Illegal and/or socially unacceptable for large parts of American history, gambling has proliferated throughout the US over the past few decades. Today, gambling has become integrated into our society: at least 83% of Californians have gambled, and some form of gambling is legal in 48 states.

Although most people are able to gamble responsibly, for some it becomes a devastating addiction. As many as 1,200,000 (1.2 million) Californians are problem or disordered gamblers!

Yesterday versus Today:

1975: 13 states with legalized gambling – 12 of them lottery only

2019: 48 states with legalized gambling – second largest entertainment industry in the country


California is the largest gambling state in the country (by revenue), with 7 forms of legalized gambling including casinos, race tracks and the lottery!

Gambling Hurting You

Watch for Harmful Gambling

Does gambling seem like less fun lately? Do you have a desire to gamble more often, for longer periods of time or with more money? These are some of the signs that gambling may be becoming harmful to you. Other signs of problem gambling include:

  • Lying about or hiding your gambling
  • Losing track of time while gambling
  • Feelings of depression or anger
  • Spending money you “couldn’t afford” (i.e. money meant to pay bills)
  • Ignoring work, family or other responsibilities
  • Borrowing money more frequently
  • “Chasing” (trying to win back lost money)
  • Believing that you are “due” for a win or that things will “balance out”
  • Viewing gambling as the most important thing in your life
  • Gambling to cope with or avoid problems
  • Fighting with family or friends over gambling
  • Ignoring your physical and emotional health because of gambling


To help avoid experiencing the above symptoms, check out how to lower your risk of gambling becoming a problem up above.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, we recommend that you call 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537).