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Know how to stay in the black

Having a flutter on the races or a bet on the footy is a pastime enjoyed by millions of Australians – and surveys show that tradies are among the groups of workers who love a punt as much as anyone.

Like a punt? You are not alone. But how much do you know about how to stay ahead of the game - like how much and how often you should gamble and the impact gambling can have on your finances, relationships and overall well-being?

Always remember that the odds are stacked against you, and that gambling should be thought of as an entertainment expense, no different to buying tickets to a movie or a festival.

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Know how to stay in the black

Incolink is the financial, health and wellbeing safety net for the construction industry, and provides a range of wellbeing and support services to Master Plumbers members.

Their new online resource Doug the Mug is a one stop shop for tips and self-help tools about how to keep your gambling habits healthy - and what to do when things might be getting out of control.

“Many people gamble socially with friends for entertainment, and that’s ok when it’s done responsibly, within their means and it’s under control” says Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly.

But unfortunately, what can be a hobby for some can become extremely harmful for others. These harms can range from financial, to emotional stress, relationship problems and even work performance.

These resources are not about saying ‘don’t gamble’ - they’re about equipping people with the tools they need to gamble responsibly, understand the risks involved and when and how to seek help if they need it.

As outlined by the website, some of the early warning signs that gambling can be becoming a problem include thinking about it constantly, betting larger and larger amounts and feeling guilty about your losses.

Speaking of losses, they are always far more common than wins. According to Gamblers Help, the odds of winning the top prize on the pokies is one in almost 10 million and the odds of winning top prize in Tattslotto is one in 8.1 million.

Always remember that the odds are stacked against you, and that gambling should be thought of as an entertainment expense, no different to buying tickets to a movie or a festival.

Experts also advise to keep drinking and gambling separate, and not to gamble when upset or depressed. Bad moods and alcohol can impair decision making, and coupled with gambling can be a dangerous combination.

Only gambling with money you can afford to lose, and setting betting limits, are other ways to ensure you don’t get in too deep.

If you think your gambling has become a problem, there are many resources available from the ability to block access to online gambling apps to Incolink’s free confidential support available 24/7.

Some of the ways you can establish healthy guidelines around gambling include engaging in no more than two different types of gambling and gambling no more than four times a month.

Setting and sticking to rules and boundaries can help to ensure that your gambling stays a healthy hobby and doesn’t stop you achieving the things you want to.

For more information, visit dougthemug.com.au For free, confidential, 24/7 support, call Incolink on 1300 000 129, Gambler’s Help on 1800 858 858 or visit www.gamblershelp.com.au

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Always remember that the odds are stacked against you, and that gambling should be thought of as an entertainment expense, no different to buying tickets to a movie or a festival.

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