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How To Practise Safe and Responsible Gambling

Jordan C

Feb 12, 2023

Responsible Gaming

While gambling is a fun and exciting pastime for many people, it’s always best when it’s done responsibly. However, it’s easy to find yourself getting carried away with gambling, and a subset of people suffer from gambling addiction. When playing, it’s important to always be responsible with the amount of money you’re spending and the amount of time you spend gambling. 

We’ll be looking at exactly what responsible gambling is, how to know if you have a gambling problem, and what you can do to stay safe while gambling online.

What is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible gambling is a concept centred around ensuring that people are gambling within their means, in a safe manner, and completely aware of the risks at play. A responsible gambler will have a set monthly for gambling which they can afford to lose and will never overspend this amount. They also only gamble on legitimate gambling websites and know they will lose in the long run.

When gambling is done in this way, it can be a fun and safe hobby. However, if players do not gamble responsibly, then it can develop into a problem.

When Does Gambling Become A Problem?

Gambling or sports betting becomes a problem when a player is gambling with money they can’t afford, gambling in an unsafe manner, or unaware of the risks involved. The most common form of a gambling problem is gambling addiction, where people have a compulsive need to gamble and cannot stop themselves from doing so. Let’s have a closer look at what these problems could mean for you.

  • Overspending - Spending more money than you can afford to lose while gambling can cause significant issues. Many people who overspend believe they will “win the money back eventually,” but this is a fallacy. You will not win in the long run, so set a budget and stick to it.

  • Unsafe Gambling - Gambling in an unsafe manner could refer to two issues. One is gambling on unregulated and unsafe sites, often done when people cannot access legitimate sites. This is a danger to both your money and personal data, as these unregulated sites often have weaker security. The second issue is gambling when emotionally unsettled. Gambling should always be fun, and gambling while upset, angry, or depressed could lead to overspending. 

  • Unaware Of Risks - While online gambling is a fun hobby, it should never be used as a way to make money. Playing casino games is a losing proposition, and while there may be some days where you go home a winner, you will lose money in the long run. Players who are unaware of this are more likely to overspend in an attempt to “win their money back” and are at risk of becoming problem gamblers.

How Do You Know If You Have A Problem?

Signs of Gambling ProblemsIf you feel like any of these issues apply to you, you may have a gambling problem. Gambling addictions are often hard to identify, as most people are unaware that it has become a problem for them until it’s too late. Most problem gamblers will start to display symptoms of a gambling disorder, so if you’re concerned that you have a gambling problem, look at this list below and see if any of these symptoms apply to you.

  • Gambling with larger amounts of money to experience the same thrill.

  • Unable to cut back or go without gambling for extended periods of time.

  • Experiencing negative emotions when trying to stop gambling.

  • Chasing losses.

  • Lying to friends or family about the extent of your gambling.

  • Borrowing money for the purposes of gambling.

If you’re still unsure whether you have a problem, there’s a helpful quiz you can take to understand the impact that gambling has on your life. 

Who Is Most At Risk Of Becoming A Problem Gambler?

It’s a common assumption that younger people are the only people at risk of becoming problem gamblers. This is why there is a legal gambling age in almost every country around the world. While young people, particularly children and teenagers, are vulnerable, people of all ages and backgrounds can be vulnerable to gambling addictions.

Elderly people are at a high risk of developing gambling addictions as a result of mental health challenges, such as Alzheimer's, dementia, and general cognitive decline. People who suffer from these kinds of impairments lack the ability to control their activities as someone who is functioning normally.

It’s not just age that’s a factor; your socioeconomic status also plays a part in how vulnerable you are to becoming a problem gambler. A lower socioeconomic status is linked with problem gambling, and people in lower income brackets often spend a larger overall percentage of their income on gambling than those in higher brackets.

It truly is an issue that affects everyone, so don’t assume you’re above it just because you’re not of a certain age.

Tools For Responsible Gambling

Tools for Safe and Responsible Gambling
If you want to ensure that you gamble as responsibly as possible, there are certain tools that can help you do so. Many online casinos recognise the problem that online gambling causes and will include some of these tools on their website, making it easier for you to stay in control of your gambling.

Deposit Limits

One of the best ways to stop overspending is to use deposit limits on your casino accounts. These limits can be set daily, weekly, or monthly and can be easily lowered when necessary. Most online casinos will prompt you for more information if you try to drastically raise these limits, which can help break a spiral of overspending. If you want to ensure you don’t spend more than you can afford to lose, set a deposit limit and stick to it.

Reality Checks

When playing casino games, it’s easy to lose track of time and gamble for much longer than you had initially planned. We’re seeing an increasing number of online casino sites introduce these reality checks that remind you how long you’ve been playing. These reality checks are essentially time limits that keep you updated with how long you’ve been playing. They can be set to remind you every 10, 20, 30, or 60 minutes.

Self Exclusion

If you want to restrict yourself from gambling altogether, the best way to do that is to request a self-exclusion. This will prevent you from accessing your online casino account for a minimum of 6-12 months, depending on your location. This option is often seen as a last resort, as there is no easy way to overturn this self-exclusion once it’s in place. If you do want to end it early, you have to apply to do so, with no guarantee that your request will be accepted. 

If you feel that gambling has become too much of a problem in your life, this is the step to take.

Gambling Addiction Contacts

If you or someone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction and want to receive help or discuss treatment options, there are groups you can contact for more information.

UK

US

Canada

Citizens of other nations should check their government websites for information on the resources available in their area.