Responsible gambling & personal finances: How to match these two 

Sports betting is designed to be fun but at the same time can be an incredibly dangerous hobby to pursue. It’s one that shouldn’t be taken lightly as it’s easy to get drawn into the world of gambling addictions that can affect your personal life and your family for years to come. With that, it’s always important to be able to combine both having fun but also gambling in a responsible manner. If you’re able to combine the two, it is quite possible to set yourself up for success not just in winning bets but also managing your personal finances and ensuring it will not have an impact on your day-to-day life or the lives of your family. 

In Michigan, online gambling has been legal for over two years via Michigan’s online casinos but everyday more and more residents are entering the world of online gambling and sports betting. Perhaps you’re new to the state after moving from a state that didn’t have legal online gambling or perhaps you’ve just reached of legal age to gamble. 

Either way, here are a few tips for combining both personal finance and responsible gambling to ensure your success long term. 

Budget your finances to include money to use for sports betting:

Before getting into sports betting or putting more money into your accounts, it’s important to budget out money from your personal finances that you’re willing to put into your account whether it’s monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. Figure out how much you’re willing to enter on and how often and stick to that budget. If you’re bankroll becomes low or is empty, wait until the next time you’ve scheduled to put money into your account. Don’t be chasing losses on a smaller bet by bet basis or on a bigger basis when your account gets low. 

One way to also help budgeting your money is by taking advantage of individual sportsbooks limits. Most sportsbooks today allow for users to set limits when it comes to deposits per month, the amount you can bet at one time and more. Use these tools to your advantage, don’t be afraid to set limits for your future self. 

Bankroll management:

The most important aspect arguably of being a responsible sports gambler is bankroll management. Let’s say you start with $100 in your account at the beginning of the year. The goal from here should be to find an unit size you would like to use going forward as your average unit sized used when making bets. So if you had $100 in your account and would go with a 3% unit size, your average unit size would equate to $3. Yes, it’s a small bet and therefore would be smaller returns if the bet was hit. That $3 of course will change over the course of your account, if you have $250, that 3% is now equal to $7.50, $500 would be $15 per bet and $1,000 would be $30 bet. 

These are all hypotheticals, but the overall point of bankroll measurement is to keep bets rather consistent in order to minimize your risk per bet. While returns may be smaller early on, it’s better and safer to play for long term success rather than chasing one big win using 25%, 50% or more of your bankroll. 

Another key to good bankroll management is also to withdraw money from your account after reaching a set amount. Perhaps you hit that big bet that turned $15 into $500. Suddenly you go from $500 in your account to $1,000. Whether it’s $750, $1,000, or $1,5000, set a dollar amount that once you get to, you will withdraw money from. While it may seem more fun to play with these higher amounts, and there for bigger units on individual bets, ensuring you walk away with those profits rather than trying to increase those profits and possibly either losing part of it, or perhaps all of it. 

Don’t chase losses…

We’ve mentioned it above but it’s also one of the biggest keys to being a successful sports bettor. Do not chase your losses. Did you go for that big parlay and lose $15 and are now down a sizeable chunk of your bankroll? It happens. We all sometimes take those one time big bets and hope for the best. Those are okay once in a while but don’t make them a consistent part of your overall betting. Additionally, whether it’s one big bet or perhaps a string of losses, don’t chase your losses. It’s still okay to bet, but don’t immediately bet following a loss on the lone idea of getting your money or back or possibly even making more. Stay true to your bankroll management and limits. 

Don’t be afraid to seek help or take a break…

Sometimes sports gambling can become either too big of a part of our lives or maybe you’re just on a string of bad luck. That’s okay but it’s always important to know when to seek help or when to take a break from the hobby for a period of time. 

If you or a family member has a gambling addiction, you can call the National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG) at 1-800-522-4700 or go to for access to a 24-hour confidential national helpline. Each individual state as well has their own gambling addiction helpline that you or a family member can call.

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