Chasing losses is when you keep gambling to win back money you’ve
already lost. You believe you’re eventually going to win, so you spend more time
and money gambling, even though the losses keep adding up. You go deeper into the
red instead of inching towards the black. It’s just the start of bad things to come.
When you’re in the chase, you’re filled with anxiety, frustration, and worry.
Gambling doesn’t feel the way it did before — it’s not just a fun night out with
friends anymore. It’s about getting even and finding ways to rationalize the losses.
You might tell yourself:
It all leads to betting more often, with more money, and betting
on the long shots even though you have that feeling you probably won’t win.
Now the losses add up. Way up.
Everyone wins once in a while, but thinking that your next
bet could be the big one makes it hard to stop.
When you’re fixated on trying to win back your losses, you don’t consider
all of the additional losses that are adding up. You might think it’s just a
“losing streak” or that you can get your money back in no time, but you’re
entering dangerous territory.
Losing isn’t a great feeling for anyone — it’s normal to take it personally.
When you want to prove to yourself or others that you didn´t make the wrong
decision, chasing seems like a logical way to get back your losses. But in the long run,
the more you risk, the more you hurt yourself.
Over time, you may borrow money to win back your losses, which can create more problems.
Now you may feel even more pressure to get back your losses.
If you ever find yourself wanting to get the money back that you
lost gambling, it’s your signal to stop. It’s an early warning sign,
and when you get that feeling, it’s time to take a break. Walk away.
Stop and clear your head. Do something you like. Watch a movie, go to the gym,
make a meal, or text a friend. Know that this feeling of wanting
to go back won’t last.
Just be real with yourself – know how much money you can afford to lose,
so that you can wake up the next day feeling as good as the day before.
If you think your friend or family member is caught up in the chase,
it´s only natural to want to help. Just be prepared that they may not
be ready to hear your advice. Here’s what you can do:
Get information about how gambling problems develop and find resources for help. Click for more info.
Acknowledge the problem by identifying and naming it. When you make excuses for your friend or lend them money, the problem continues. Let them know you’re willing to support them.
If your friend seems to feel bad about gambling,
this may be a sign that they want to talk.
Give a shout-out to the positive steps the person
is making, especially when they take breaks from gambling.
Remember, it may take several attempts for your friend to change their behaviour.