Responsible Gambling Guide
November 30, 2019
The world of online casinos and everything it entails is often scrutinized. As a form of entertainment that requires you to spend your hard-earned money, there can be negative side effects.
As with any form of fun, too much of a good thing can mean have you questioning yourself and whether you have a problem.
Thankfully, in recent years, responsible gambling practices have become a large focus for those involved in the casino industry. Especially the online casino industry. This is largely due to regulators insisting that players need to be protected.
And we agree! If you frequent online casinos, you need to know the ins and outs of being a responsible gambler. Keep reading and find out more about playing safely at your favourite online casino with this handy guide.
What is responsible gambling?
Responsible gambling is all about taking care of yourself when spending time at an online casino. It means being able to play fun casino games with real cash, without the chance of placing yourself in debt or any other harm.
It sounds simple, right? That’s because it is. There are steps you can follow and precautions you can put in place if you’re not entirely sure you can walk away when you need to.
Being a responsible gambler is also about being able to reach out to those who can help you if you need it. There’s no shame in needing a helping hand when you’re struggling to keep your head above water!
10 ways to be a responsible gambler
There are a number of ways that you can be a responsible gambler. Take your playing habits into your own hands and follow these steps tips.
- Do your online casino research – It’s important to join an online casino that is fully regulated and offers responsible gambling features. If the casino you’re considering doesn’t offer any such features, walk away and try a different site instead.
- Set your budget and stick to it – Possibly the most important point of all, setting a budget means you know exactly what’s going and out of your pocket. When you start playing your favourite casino game, be sure to set a budget and once it’s gone, walk away. It’s the only way to play like a pro.
- Keep a clear head – It may be the norm to knock back a drink or 2 while seated at a table game of your choosing or while spinning the reels of a slot, but it’s not advised. Keeping a clear head and staying aware of your budget is an important factor to consider when being a responsible player.
- Pay attention to the time – Keeping a watch on hand or setting an alarm on your phone is a smart way to play. Don’t get sucked into thinking that “just one more game” is worth it when you’ve predetermined a certain amount of time to spin the reels.
- Take a break – It’s always a good idea to walk away from your game of choice, stretch and take a break from time to time. Even when you’re winning! Clear your head before setting off on your winning streak once more.
- Don’t chase down your losses – We’ve all been there. You’re playing a fun online slot, placing bet after bet, when suddenly, it’s all gone. You may feel the urge to chase that loss and hopefully make back your money, but we all know that the odds are stacked against you. If it’s the last of your budget, it’s best to log off and try again another day.
- Take it slow – Many online casino games have the option to speed up gameplay. You can spin through an online slot in double or triple time, but as you’re doing so, keep in mind that your cash is dwindling too. Instead, play on the slowest possible setting and keep an eye on your cash.
- Never gamble with your credit card – Be sure not to get yourself into debt while playing at an online casino. Once again, playing with a budget is very important!
- If you have a problem, reach out – There are many different organizations out there looking to help those who are struggling with any form of online gambling addiction. If you find yourself unable to focus on anything but wanting to visit an online casino again, you may need help.
- Read the terms and conditions – Last, but not least, read the terms and conditions of every online casino, each promotion, and all offers. It’s important to know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. This way, you could avoid losing loads of cash.
Responsible gambling features at online casinos
Gambling authorities are in power so that they can ensure the safety and fair conduct of online casinos. It’s thanks to authorities such as the UK Gambling Commission that responsible gambling features are now in play at many online casinos.
These special features have been designed as tools to help you keep your head clear and focus on the fun side of online gambling.
Take a look at some of the responsible gambling features you’ll find at online casinos and how they can help keep you safe.
Self-exclusion – If you’re feeling the pressure of a gambling issue or you simply want to step away from your account without the temptation of logging back in, this feature is for you. Use it to self-exclude from your account for a predetermined period of time. During this period, you will not be able to access your account, make deposits, or withdraw funds in any way.
Cooling off period – Need a short break to catch your breath? Use the cooling off function and take a short break from your account. This period could be as short as 24 hours, but it will provide a bit of insight as to whether or not you can go any amount of time without logging in and playing.
Deposit and loss limits – Set limits on your account so that you’re not able to make deposits over a certain amount. If you set a loss limit, once you’ve hit the number you set, you will no longer be able to play on your account.
Each of these simple options lets you create a safe and secure gambling experience for yourself!
Do you or a loved one have a problem?
If you’ve reached the point where you’re not sure how to proceed and you’re unsure of whether or not you have a gambling problem, help is out there.
There are a number of questions that you can answer to determine if you need help or not. Take a look at these questions and be sure to answer them honestly.
- Do you ever find yourself gambling instead of spending time on work or with your family?
- Has gambling ever caused you distress or made you unhappy?
- Has gambling affected your reputation negatively?
- Do you hide how much you spend or how often you gamble from your loved ones?
- Do you gamble with the hopes of winning money to pay off debts?
- After winning, have you ever felt the need to play even more?
- After losing, have you ever felt the needs to play again in order to win back your loss?
- Have you ever sold anything in order to have money to gamble?
- Have you used gambling as a way to escape your worries or troubles?
- Do you find yourself wanting to gamble when you’re feeling down?
If you’ve answered these questions with a yes, you may need to speak to a professional. Again, there’s no shame in needing help. Reach out to someone you trust or speak to a professional who can help you on your way to being a healthy and happy person once more.
Need help? Contact these services
There are many services online and available in different countries. If you’re unsure where to begin, simply reach out to one of the services listed below and chat to them for more information.
BeGambleAware – https://www.begambleaware.org/
National Gambling Helpline (UK) – 0808 8020 133
Gamblers Anonymous – http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/
Hotlines in the US – http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/hotlines
GamCare – https://www.gamcare.org.uk/
International Suicide Helpline – https://www.befrienders.org/