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How to Get Set Before You (Virtually) Bet

As the world continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic, people are more reliant on technology and virtual experiences to do everyday things like work, exercise, or even grocery shop. Now, you can do all of that without having to leave your home, keeping yourself and others safe.

Virtual reality technology has also reached the gambling industry. Before, the only way to traditionally gamble was to walk through the doors of a brick and mortar bingo hall, casino, or corner market for lottery tickets. But now, you can do all of that and more with virtual reality.

While this might seem like a fun hobby in quarantine, it could quickly turn problematic for someone who might struggle with problem gambling.

Virtual reality, or VR, casinos are more than just a simple video game. The visual technology mirrors 3D interfaces, making you feel like you’re right on the casino floor. And with a VR headset, users can experience interactive, lifelike casino encounters with other players.

These virtual encounters also extend to slot machines, roulette tables, and blackjack tables with live dealers. Users can even stop by the bar for a drink and talk with others. Players can electronically pay instead of using cash, which has been shown to increase the amount people bet.

Here are some ways you can get set before you virtually bet:

Set limits on time and money spent. When you’re playing online, it’s easy to keep playing for hours. Before you know it, one hour has turned into eight, and your wallet is empty. Setting limits will help keep your experience responsible and safe.

Don’t gamble when stressed, depressed, or in recovery. It might feel like a relief to sit down and play a few rounds of virtual blackjack after a hard day, but gambling can increase your stress and make you feel even worse.

Bet only what you can afford to lose. Don’t go into a game to gain back the money you previously lost, earn income, or place a wager that you cannot afford.

Balance recreational gambling with other healthy activities. Don’t rely on gambling as your only hobby. Balance it out with other activities like cooking, reading, or exercising.

Know where to get help. If you think you or a loved one might have a problem with gambling, support is always available. You can call the gambling helpline for free, 24/7, confidential help at 1-800-589-9966 or by texting 4HOPE to 741741

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The 18th Annual Problem Gambling Conference, presented by the Problem Gambling Network of Ohio, starts next week! It will be held virtually every Tuesday and Thursday during March 2021, which is Problem Gambling Awareness Month. Learn more: https://pgnohio.org/conference/conference.html

If someone you know often exaggerates gambling wins or downplays losses, they may be at risk of #ProblemGambling. Learn more about the warning signs at https://www.beforeyoubet.org/the-issue/ #GetInformed

Children introduced to gambling by age 12 are four times more likely to develop a problem with gambling. Don’t let the children in your life be another statistic. Read this week’s blog to see how you can help prevent #YouthGambling. #ChangeTheGameOhio https://www.beforeyoubet.org/blog/