3 min read

This Diwali, “shine a light” on safer gambling

By: RGC
November 12, 2020

While all these traditions will continue in altered forms this year due to COVID fears, we also know that having a plan before you gamble is always a good idea. At the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) we encourage those who choose to gamble to keep it fun and know the risks.

Like all traditional holidays in the time of COVID-19, Diwali celebrations will be different this year than what we’re used to. This year it is important to take precautions against infection: social distance, wear face masks and avoid large events, particularly those held indoors, that may carry the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Traditional Diwali festival of light celebrations include lighting lamps, lanterns and candles that are intended to illuminate knowledge. Fireworks are often a big part of the festival. Family and friends spend time together and often indulge in large feasts and delicious sweets. Another Diwali tradition to encourage good luck and prosperity is to play cards or dice and sometimes that includes gambling.

While all these traditions will continue in altered forms this year due to COVID fears, we also know that having a plan before you gamble is always a good idea. At the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) we encourage those who choose to gamble to keep it fun and know the risks.

This Diwali, we’re “shining a light” on the risks of gambling and the importance of having safer play strategies.

If you gamble, have a plan.

Prepare yourself beforehand:

  • Decide on a time and budget before you begin. If gambling online, use the site’s precommitment tools to set loss and win limits and stop when you reach those limits
  • Be self-aware – Diwali is a time of illumination and celebration, don’t gamble when you’re upset or stressed. Gambling is not recommended if you suffer from anxiety or depression
  • Gambling is not a way to earn or replace income so don’t think of it as a chance to win money for a trip, to pay bills or to pay off debt.
  • Only gamble with money you have – never borrow money or use money intended for necessities, like rent or food
  • Take frequent breaks – move around, get some fresh air, have a coffee or something to eat
  • Don’t try to win back what you’ve lost

Visit www.planbeforeyouplay.ca for more planning-related information.

Worried about gambling? Support is available:

If you have concerns about your gambling or are worried about someone close to you, help is available. You can contact ConnexOntario for free and confidential help by calling 1-866-531-2600. You can also learn more about the signs of a problem by visiting www.responsiblegambling.org.

Signals that you may be going over your limits:

  • Feeling guilty, anxious, frustrated, or worried about your gambling
  • Thinking or talking more than usual about gambling more to win back losses
  • Experiencing extreme highs from gambling wins and extreme lows from gambling losses
  • Getting irritated more easily or having less patience when dealing with normal, everyday activities

We wish everyone celebrating Diwali this year a safe and enjoyable holiday

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to problem gambling prevention. RGC works to reduce gambling risks by creating and delivering innovative awareness and information programs, for a wide range of different groups including youth, young adults and the general public.

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