How to start managing your gambling.

Not ready to stop gambling? You can still take more control and reduce the chance it develops into a problem that seriously impacts your life, finances and relationships. If you’ve made the choice to continue gambling, consider taking these steps to keep it manageable.



People who gamble frequently can develop beliefs or thoughts that can turn an occasional recreation into an activity from which they cannot stop as they continue to lose money.

Test your beliefs and thoughts and learn what others believe and think about gambling, too. You will learn which beliefs and thoughts can lead to problems.

Confidentiality: All responses will be kept confidential. No individual information will be released, and all responses will be treated with full confidentiality and respect for privacy.

Test Yourself and See How Others Answered: Please rate the following beliefs or thoughts based on your own experience over the past year. Use a scale from 1 (Not at all) to 5 (Very frequently).

1 . I believe that after a series of losses, a win is more likely to occur.

2 . I believe that I can influence or control gambling outcomes (e.g., possessing certain skills or knowledge will have a positive influence on the outcome of the game)

3 . I believe I can feel signs or cues while gambling (e.g., certain observations that have the potential to affect my decision-making in gambling, including bodily sensations, omens, intuitions, or unusual events).

4 . I see or look for patterns or connections in gambling outcomes (e.g., weather conditions, events).

5 . I remember wins more vividly than losses (e.g., I tend to remember my winnings and forget about my losses).

6 . I believe that a near miss, or almost winning, is a sign I will win very soon.

7 . I always try to win back my losses.

8 . I know when a slot machine is ready to pay out.

9 . My luck is always a factor when I win.

Do you believe you have to stop gambling before you can make progress on a gambling problem?

You are eligible for our program if you continue to gamble because you can make meaningful changes to your gambling even as you continue to gamble. GAP services do not require abstinence from gambling to get help.

Do you believe you have lost all control over your gambling?

Everyone deserves to take control of their lives. Control is something you can learn and practice, the confidence comes as you get good at it.

Did you believe gambling could harm you when you first gambled?

The majority of our clients learned to gamble from their friends and families when they were young. They never thought they would develop a gambling problem.

Do you believe a gambling problem is a behavior you can change?

You can change a gambling problem. People are attracted to the idea that overcoming a gambling problem allows them to grow and change for the better.

Do you believe gambling is the problem if you feel good when you are gambling but you feel bad when you stop?

Losing oneself in gambling is the quickest path to a gambling problem. As gamblers lose all track of time and place, they will continue to gamble. Being lost in this “zone” offers a great escape. But as you keep gambling, the financial losses will also escape your notice until you stop gambling. By then, you’ve racked up inescapable financial losses.

Do you believe you can be stronger and more resilient after changing your gambling than someone who has never had a gambling problem at all?

One GAP counselor’s observation after 20 years of helping Nebraskans and their families who suffer a gambling problem: You will be stronger when we’re done than someone who has never had a gambling problem. She has seen this growth in clients happen again and again.

Do you believe it is worth trying to change your gambling?

Most people are willing to try to change, even when they know trying will be difficult.

Beliefs can be stronger than facts, especially when we are struggling with a gambling problem. Your beliefs can stop you from taking action to control a habit that has taken over your life. Many people can break the problem gambling cycle on their own. But if you’d like to work with an experienced problem gambling counselor, please click here.

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