The Best Way How to Stop Playing Pokies

The Best Way How to Stop Playing Pokies

Pokies are a favourite pastime of many Aussies, but to be truly enjoyed and appreciated they require a degree of restraint. Recognizing this, the Australian government introduced BetStop — the National Self-Exclusion Register on 21 August 2023. Although it’s a valuable safety measure, many punters are reluctant to use it as it could end their gaming days. Once you register at BetStop, you won’t be able to make bets or open betting accounts. So, if you want to know how to stop gambling pokies, without resorting to BetStop, stick around. There are several ways to do so.

Why Is it So Hard to Stop Playing Pokies? 

It makes the answer to ‘’Why am I addicted to pokies?’’ not a simple one. For one, the bright colours of the games’ designs and the meticulously composed soundtrack create a stimulating environment that our dopamine-loving brains find hard to pull away from. Players also often develop a logical fallacy that all previous losses must be a prelude to the win that’s around the corner. Finally, pokies are just so accessible. Every gambling venue or online platform has them, so it’s easy to fall back in. As a result, survey findings show that about 73% of Australian adults gamble at least once a year. However, there are a few ways to stop playing pokies.

7 Working Strategies on How to Stop Gambling Pokies

Our team takes gambling addiction very seriously and we’re committed to being a positive force in the industry. To that end, we’ve made a list of practical advice that can help in the long run. These strategies will help you pave the way towards a more balanced lifestyle.

1. Identify Your Triggers

One of the potential answers to the question of how to stop the pokies addiction is developing self-awareness. Can you think of certain triggers for your gambling? Which emotions tend to arise? Is there something you could do in such scenarios instead of playing pokies? Reflect on what drives your gambling behaviour.

2. Monitor Your Progress and Setbacks

Now that you understand the importance of identifying your triggers, you should learn the best way to do it. Tracking your gambling behaviour can give you invaluable insights into your habits. This practice highlights patterns and areas for improvement and serves as a motivational tool. Make sure to celebrate your milestones and treat yourself but not with gambling!

3. Develop Self-Exclusion and Limit Strategies

In our expert opinion, self-exclusion is the most effective way to stop playing pokies. Out of sight, out of mind. Many casino operators feature responsible gambling tools, such as self-exclusion and setting gambling limits. All you have to do is contact customer support and request it. This isn’t even permanent; it can only be a time-out if you wish. It’s also a good idea to find someone to keep you accountable.

4. Replace Gambling with Other Activities

Embracing healthy, fulfilling alternatives to gambling is crucial for recovery. Play sports, create arts, volunteer, and go out with friends. It would help if you replaced the temporary thrill of gambling with lasting joy and contentment. These alternatives foster personal growth and resilience against addiction’s pull.

5. Manage Your Finances

Establishing a strict budget that explicitly excludes gambling is vital to combat addiction. It creates a clear financial boundary, redirecting funds towards constructive and essential expenses. This discipline strengthens your financial health and diminishes the temptation to gamble. 

6. Find Out What’s Driving Your Gambling

Reflect on your journey and identify your stressors. Are you under financial strain? Are you going through any emotional distress? Maybe you’re socially isolated, causing you to find relief in gambling. Acknowledging these pressures is the first step toward healing and finding healthier coping mechanisms. 

7. Relax and Look After Yourself

If you’ve decided to learn how to quit playing the pokies, it’s necessary to give yourself grace, because the journey isn’t easy. Healthy habits like regular exercise, a good night’s sleep, and nutritious eating can significantly reduce stress and fill the void left by gambling. Taking care of yourself will make you more equipped to handle challenges.

8. Asking Family and Friends for Help

An important thing to remember is that you don’t have to go through the struggles alone. Relying on friends and family can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, these are the people you love and trust, but at the same time, they might not know how to adequately respond to the problem. When someone doesn’t experience the same struggles it’s hard to empathize with those that do.

If you want to help someone who is trying to quit gambling then compassion is the key. What that means is that you should encourage them to talk about how they feel, and suspend your judgment. They should talk when they are ready, and you shouldn’t force it. You can encourage them by explaining that this isn’t their fault and that many factors, including genetics, can lead to addiction development. 

Another way to help is to spend time with them and participate in activities that won’t trigger their desire to gamble. 

9. Professional Help and Therapy Options

There are plenty of professional organizations and programs that specialize in gambling addiction. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is widely regarded as a good option. In essence, a gambling problem is a form of cognitive distortion that leads to impulsive decision-making. So, becoming aware of the cognitive distortions allows you to challenge them and suppress them.

A good example of this would be the gambler’s fallacy. To be specific, when gamblers start to believe their luck will start to turn based on previous outcomes and that they will win in the near future. This kind of thinking only further sparks the gambling urge. It’s important to notice it, discuss it, and lead the conversation in a direction where the gambler realizes that the theory makes no sense. 

10. Legal and Financial Advice

This type of addiction tends to lead to financial instability and even debt. In a way, this situation only fuels your desire to gamble because you need to come up with funds and cover your debts. This is just another example of thinking you should avoid. You’ll be better off thinking – what’s done is done, now let’s try to fix this, and talk to a financial advisor. 

The goal is to come up with a savings strategy that will over time make up for your losses. This will give you a goal to work towards, and even keep you preoccupied thereby preventing you from playing pokies. If you get the counsel you need and create an acceptable solution to the problem it can be a huge step in the right direction. It can show you that not everything is lost and that there are other ways to solve problems caused by gambling.  

Where to Get Help 

There are plenty of resources that’ll show you how to stop playing the pokies, and that will support you along the way:

Whether calling the gambling hotline for immediate help, or joining a support group, reaching out is the fastest way to recovery.

Final Takeaways: Gamble Responsibly

The most important thing to remember about any addiction is that you’re not alone in your struggles. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel and you will definitely get better. Use the practical advice and strategies from this article. Read more of our content about reliable casinos, written by gambling industry experts. Staying informed and getting your info from the right source is crucial.