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Managing Your Play

Budgeting Money

Keeping gambling fun and safe can mean gambling only with the money you can afford to lose. Click through on the links for some practical advice on setting a budget and sticking to it. (BCLC does not endorse any of the services offered on these sites.)

TD Canada’s Budgeting Made Simple

Vancity’s Six Steps to Budgeting



Once you have a budget in place, here are a few suggestions that may help you stick to it while gambling.

  • Use the budget tools on
  • Only take cash with you to the casino. With your cards stashed at home, you won’t be tempted to spend more than you budgeted for. 
  • Use your Encore card or PlayNow account history to monitor how much you’re spending.
  • Going ‘over budget’ happens sometimes. Try to stay flexible and update your budget regularly to reflect actual spending

Budgeting Time

Gambling is a form of entertainment, and like other entertainment offerings, it can provide an escape from the realities of every day life. But whereas a movie has a definitive end, gambling can be available 24/7. It’s up to you to determine how much time you can afford to spend gambling, and to stick to your time limit.

Here are some practical tips on how to stick to your time limit:

  • Use your phone - Smart phones often have timers on them. Set the timer and take a break when the buzzer goes off. You can stretch your legs for a few minutes, have a coffee or a bite to eat, or head home.
  • Ask a friend to call you at a certain time. When the phone rings, you know someone is expecting to talk to you, not your voicemail.

GameSense Tips

Play for fun, not to make money.

Know how the game works and what the odds are before playing.

Set a budget and stick to it.

Don't chase losses. Accept them as the cost of entertainment.

Balance gambling with other types of leisure activities.

Take frequent breaks.

Set a time limit before you play.

View All Tips

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