LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — The holidays can be a stressful time of the year for problem gamblers, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The department is offering these tips to protect yourself or a loved one from problem gambling this holiday season:
- Don't view gambling as a way to make money. Gambling should not be used as a way to supplement holiday spending.
- Be careful not to use gambling as a way to celebrate or mourn the holidays.
- A gift of gambling is not a gift. Avoid normalizing gambling through gifts of lottery, scratch-offs or other gambling activity; these are triggers to the unknown problem gambler.
- Make gambling a social activity - don't gamble alone.
- Don't wager more than you can afford to lose. Establish spending limits and stick to them.
- If you find that you’re gambling to escape the stress of the holidays, consider an alternative form of entertainment such as a movie, dinner or sporting event.
“As we gather with family and friends this holiday season, we encourage everyone to be mindful of the stress that holidays can cause,” said Nick Lyon, director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Be on the lookout for signs of family members or friends seeking isolation or turning to gambling as a way to escape or to help pay for holiday gifts. Call the Gambling Helpline if you suspect someone you care about may have a gambling problem.”
If you or a loved one would like help with a possible gambling issue, call the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline at (800) 270-7117.