Everything You Need to Know About Responsible Gambling
As fun and lucrative as gambling can be, it can also be quite a dangerous hobby. There have been numerous organizations around the world that have been created in order to help people who form a gambling addiction over time, and the practice of responsible gambling has become widespread – even in the biggest online casinos in the world.
We’ve made an incredibly elaborate guide on how to gamble responsibly and give you tips, ideas, suggestions, and general information on responsible gambling.
- Gambling advertisement should never target vulnerable groups
- Wagers and gambling are a hobby and should never be seen as a source of stable income
- Reliable online casinos should offer responsible gambling tools for the well-being of the player
- Men are more susceptible to becoming gambling addicts than women
- Gambling addiction could lead to depression, low self-esteem, anxiety, and aggressive behavior
- Mental health professionals can give you the necessary tools to deal with a gambling problem
Responsible Gambling – What Is Responsible Gambling and How to Practice It?
Responsible gambling refers to a group of incentives and initiatives that aim to promote the safety of gamblers across the world.
Originally, the concept of responsible gambling was rather intrinsic. It was taken as a given that people should be wary of their own decisions and don’t let gambling take control of their lives. However, as the practice of gambling became more widespread across the world, many organizations took it upon themselves to create a solid concept for responsible gambling and establish clear ideas on how to practice it.
Responsible gambling isn’t just something that applies to players. The gambling organizations themselves must also be taken into account when responsible gambling is not being practiced.
How Casinos Help with Responsible Gambling
The importance of each gambling entity in terms of responsible gambling couldn’t be any bigger. The environment that any given organization presents to a player can make the difference between a lifetime of addiction and a fun time had on a weekend afternoon.
As such, online casinos, sportsbooks, land-based casinos, and any other legal gambling platform must follow a certain threshold of patterns and rules to keep people in line and offer them a safe place when they visit their establishments.
Most importantly, online casinos have responsible gambling tools that help players keep their gambling in check. Some of them are:
- Reality check clocks, which remind players to take a break after a certain amount of time has passed
- Self-exclusion mechanisms, allowing players to call it quits and limit access to their casino accounts
- Deposit limits that can be set daily, weekly, or monthly, allowing players to control their expenditure
Responsible gambling goes way beyond casinos. Game developers also set responsible gambling mechanics within their games, allowing players to automatically play up to a certain amount of cash has been lost or won.
Responsible Gambling Material
The Casino Wizard has written guides with tips and information to keep your gambling in check and to further promote responsible gambling practices. If you're in need of help or advice, we recommend reading the following material:
Fair Gaming and Promotions
Casino promotions and the way they are marketed are directly related to responsible gambling.
The first job of a casino is to make the player feel safe, and that they are the ones making the decisions. If you happen to find an online site or a land-based casino that just wants you to deposit as much money as possible, we would advise you to get away from it as fast as you can.
- Non-invasive marketing
- No false promises
- No uses of ambiguous terms to trick players into claiming promotions or depositing
- Clear explanation of the rules. No small print that could affect the player experience.
Casinos, Responsible Gambling, and You
Every online casino, when licensed, needs to be committed enough to be able to fulfill a series of responsible gambling rules for every player. Every online casino has a sort of handbook of rules that must be considered and applied to the environment to make things work.
The following set of rules also applies to regular land-based casinos, but it's mostly related to online casino dealings:
1. Player Protection
The most important thing that casinos do as part of their responsible gambling policies is the protection of their players. These policies are not legally enforced unilaterally, and they're mostly available through responsible gambling tools that players have at their disposal in reliable casinos.
Some common player protection features include:
- Gambling limits related to deposits and reloads
- Self-exclusion features that permit players from logging in.
- Permanent exclusion features that permit players to close their casino account permanently.
- Reality Check controls to keep players aware of how much time and money they're spending.
The presence of these tools is required by licensing bodies. Reliable casinos that are licensed by reputable companies should offer these player protection featurs to their users.
2. How Responsible Gambling Prevents Criminal Activities
As you can imagine, online casinos and casinos, in general, tend to be seen as easy targets for criminals. The freedom with which players can deposit and withdraw funds makes them the perfect target for people who are looking to launder money. As such, online casinos in particular have had to strengthen their defenses against these irregular activities.
This is mostly done with KYC checks. “Know Your Customer” policies aim to study the origin of the players' funds, as well as the identity of players, to determine their legitimacy.
Likewise, casinos need to keep player data safe as a mandatory gambling practice. The presence of data encryption protocols and other checks is a requirement in most online casinos. SSL encryption, in particular, is fundamental when gambling online
3. Underage Gambling and How Casinos Deal with It
It’s no secret that minors often attempt to create accounts in online casinos and, at times, they even succeed at doing so. However, it is an online casino’s responsibility to keep underage gamblers from visiting the site, as well as it is the responsibility of a land-based casino to properly check the IDs of visitors to ensure that they are adults.
Likewise, casinos need to make sure that they do not advertise to minors or tailor their content towards the younger crowd. This is a fundamental of responsible gambling practices.
4. Targeting the Right Audience with Ads
Every online casino practices the art of advertising one way or another, but not every entity does it legally.
Thankfully, with the growth in awareness of responsible gambling, vulnerable groups are no longer targeted as they once were. Nowadays, casinos can be held accountable and face hefty fines should they happen to target a vulnerable group wrongly in one of their advertising campaigns.
Responsible gambling practices include:
- Not targeting children or creating promotional material that appeals to the underage
- Never mentioning “get rich quick” material when advertising
- Not targeting the elderly or people that aren't capable of making rational decisions
5. Safeguarding Player Information for Responsible Gambling Purposes
Have no doubts – there are people out there trying to steal your information. In fact, if you’ve already registered in an online casino in the past, it’s more than likely that hackers and data thieves have already tried to get their hands on your data. The good news is that they’ve probably failed countless times thanks to the casino’s safety mechanics.
Part of the casino’s responsibilities of gambling is to ensure that the information of each player remains tightly locked against all sorts of attacks.
Most casinos tend to be even safer than some banks, which makes gambling much better for every player. The information that you might need to share with the cashier will remain between both of you, and the info that you enter into the system will not be stolen in any sort of way.
6. Responsible Gambling Payments & Transactions
The finally important part of the activities that a casino needs to care for when it comes to responsible gambling is the way in which transactions are sent and received on the site or establishment.
There area a few things relevant to payments, but it usually comes down to how safe the method of payment is and how the casino deals with the transactions internally. What the player can’t see is what tends to make up the most important part of an online casino transaction.
Casinos are ultimately responsible for player funds. Fund segregation and ability to comply with payments are crucial. Likewise, players need to have access to safe payment methods that ensure safe transactions.
Responsible Gambling Tips – How to Gamble Responsibly
Gambling responsibly comes down to what the player wants to do when visiting a casino, and how they behave inside the gambling environment. As such, the best way to gamble responsibly is by controlling oneself inside an online or land-based casino by constantly keeping a check on their attitude to make sure that things aren’t getting out of hand.
Gambling should always be fun. To keep it fun, keep these tips in mind:
Remember – Gambling is a Hobby
One of the worst mistakes that people make when gambling in any type of casino is that they might think that they can make a living out of gambling. That’s never the case, unless you happen to hit a jackpot
You need to be aware that gambling is nothing more than a hobby, a form of paid entertainment.
If you’re thinking about quitting your job because you managed to win a few lines in a row in the last slot game that you played, then you might be better off rethinking what you want to do with your life. Luck always runs out.
Don’t Bet What You Can’t Lose
One of the breaking points of people who gamble as a hobby is when they start to gamble money that they can’t really afford not to have in their bank accounts.
When this happens, it often means that the player is starting to lose a strong grip of their self-control, and it might be time to call it quits before it becomes too late to stop.
The most important thing about gambling is to only wager money that counts as disposable income, or money that you’ve made with your bets. It’s not smart to start taking money out of your interest payments, for example, or from your credit payments themselves.
Set a Limit for Yourself – The Importance of Budget Management
The best way to not let your money run dry as quickly as possible is to set a limit for yourself. The best way to do this is by creating a small budget and a list of how you want to spend it. With a budget, even if you have more disposable income than what your budget shows, you’ll never run out of money when wagering. You do need to be aware that budgets are meant to be strict, so stick to it as closely as you can.
You may alter the budget a bit if you happen to win some money at the casino, but always be sure to save some of the money and keep it away from your wagering cash, regardless of how much you win.
Use Time Limits if Budget Isn't a Concern
There’s another good reason to set a time limit for yourself, apart from the clear implications that gambling for extended periods of time has on your mental health. If you have a lot of money, your budget can be quite large, which means that you can get easily carried away if you don’t set a time limit for your gambling.
Just be sure to start at a certain hour and don’t go over your limit.
Time limits are especially important if you’re on a roll. Keep in mind that win streaks ALWAYS come to an end, and the best thing that you can do is go out on a high.
Be sure to stick to your time limit even if you’re winning.
Stay Clear of Superstitions
Gamblers tend to think that playing at a certain table, or sticking to certain numbers when betting in Roulette, could be the difference between a good and a bad day. However, superstitions are just that – things that aren’t real, but make you feel like they are.
Admittedly, having certain superstitions could make gambling a lot more fun, but it’s never going to help you win more or lose less.
Learn the Rules and Play to their Strengths
Even though games are more often than not defined by luck, you can play to the strengths of each game’s mechanics if you thoroughly understand how they work. The trick here is to not get carried away by the game’s colors, slots, and promised prizes. If you happen to study a game before approaching it, you’ll be taking a very responsible approach that will help you place smarter bets.
Here are a few tips that will help you:
- Practice skill-based games and master most possible plays
- Learn which slots have their return rates affected by bet size
- Only play low RTP games if you know what you're getting into
Keep a Clean Slate of Mind When Gambling
One of the worst mistakes that people make -often related to the practice of irresponsible gambling- is to place wagers when the mind isn’t right.
Gambling while or after drinking or doing drugs is not recommended at all.
This is especially true for those people who often get agitated or angry when gambling. If you can’t keep a hold of yourself when sober, you’re highly unlikely to do so when under the influence of any substance.
Learn When to Gamble
Are you one of those gamblers who place wagers when they’re angry, as a way to relieve stress? If so, that’s a clear sign that you might not be gambling responsibly. Gambling is an activity that should be done to have fun! If you’ve been under scrutiny at work, or if you’ve been having issues with your partner, the best thing you can do is avoid gambling.
Your anger might spiral down, and you might get to a point where you just take it out on those who live around you. If you’re heavily stressed, and you feel like gambling could help you loosen up some stress, you’re probably not a responsible gambler.
Responsible Gambling Codes of Conduct – What Needs to Change?
Responsible gambling isn’t something local. In fact, the practice or responsible gambling is one of the most globalized activities in the world, as every prestigious casino on the planet earns the trust of millions by setting an environment in which players can feel safe at all times. This, however, leads to some troubles.International gambling organizations have all agreed that the concept must be revised and evolved as time has gone by. The most important entities that ensure that gambling is practiced under safe circumstances are often European, American, or British.
The main organization that creates responsible gambling measures and regulations is the European Committee for Standardization, but there are many responsible gambling bodies across the world, present in countries where gambling is relevant. These are some improvements that could be coming:
Promoting Responsible Gambling
The vast majority of casino ads that we see tend to include a small footnote asking people to “gamble responsibly”. However, very few casinos or entities actually go through the trouble of explaining to users what responsible gambling is, and how they can enjoy their favorite games without having to worry about it taking a toll on their mental health.
As such, many of the world’s largest ONG’s, amongst which stands the European Gambling and Betting Association, have called for online and land-based casinos to step up and start promoting safe gambling practices amongst their users.
One of the most important things that can be done by gambling organizations is creating special events, encouraging gamblers to attend, and using part of the time of the event to educate people.
Responsible Gambling and Casino Owners
It’s always good to hold conferences for casino players and gambling fans from all over the world, as to educate them on their responsibilities as gamblers. However, little can be done to help people out if casinos and betting companies don’t decide to help players as well.
Conferences need to be held, in one way or another, to encourage casino owners and the higher-ups of the industry to attend. These conferences must be used to educate industry owners on the dangers of gambling and the part that they play in helping people bet their money without causing them mental distress.
The lack of responsibility of some casino owners is one of the main reasons as to why The Casino Wizard only presents and promotes websites that have proven to be trustworthy.
Identifying Casinos That Care for Your Mental Health
One of the main indicators that help you determine when casinos care for you is when they have a special section on their site that talks about gambling problems. External links don’t count – a link inside their own website where the casino staff explains how troublesome gambling is often a good sign that casinos care.
They are willingly compromising their services in order to keep you aware of the dangers of gambling.
Finding an online casino that is proven to be trustworthy and interested in the health of its players can be quite problematic, as it’s hard to tell when a casino only wants you to wager and when it wants you to wager but have fun while doing so.
Land-based casinos that hold activities to keep players aware of problems can also be considered good places to gamble.
Promotion of “Own-Limit” Rules
Casinos in the United Kingdom have a set rule that every single gambling entity must comply with. This rule is a necessary requirement that allows every player to set their own limits when first registering into a website. That’s why many casinos in the UK ask for the player to enter a set amount of money that they wish to wager and how much money they want to deposit per day, week, or month.
This is one of the best examples of practices that aren’t global but should be. The imposition of a self-regulatory system is one of the clearest and most transparent ways of promoting responsible gambling, as it encourages players to set their own limits without having the casino interfere with their activities.
Paying on Time and Responsible Gambling
Oddly enough, there are no global gambling regulations that make casinos pay the players in time. In fact, online casinos have a free pass on how much time they can wait to pay players, which is far from ideal if they want to access their money quickly. Most online casinos that comply with responsible gambling conditions tend to pay within a week of requesting a withdrawal.
Most of the sites on The Casino Wizard will give you your money within 1 to 7 days, depending on the payment method of your choosing. Bitcoin casinos tend to pay much quicker, while direct wire transfers could take the whole week to be processed. This also depends on the volume of players that a casino has.
Regulating bonuses is one of the best ways to check the quality of an online casino, or any gambling institution in general. Having promotions that deliver on expectations is the most important part of a casino bonus, which means that a regulated bonus should always deliver what it says that it will deliver. Overpromises and non-payable bonuses are not ethical.
There should be a globalized approach for bonus regulations, but it’s good to have the chance to judge a casino based on the licenses that it holds. For example, knowing that a site holds a Curacaoan, Maltese, or British license is often a good sign that the casino sticks to responsible gambling regulations and the environment that it offers is safe for every player.
Responsible Gambling Misconceptions
Given how popular gambling has become, it’s only natural to expect the development of misconceptions on various things that surround responsible gambling.
Many of these misconceptions are wrongfully promoted by some entities, while others were generated as part of the culture that surrounds gambling. In any case, let’s take some time to clear up some of these incorrect thoughts.
Gambling Isn’t an Issue if You’re Rich
It doesn’t matter how much money a person might have; compulsive gambling is always an issue, and you might have a gambling addiction even if you aren’t close to running short on cash.
The main reason as to why this is true is because of how gambling affects the life of those that surround a compulsive gambler. It goes far beyond winning or losing – the emotional status of a person changes drastically when gambling (mainly when the person is addicted to the activity), so those people around them will suffer to some extent the effects that gambling has on the person.
Irresponsible Gambling Affects Gamblers Alone
Everyone who lives with a gambler or has to interact with them on a daily basis will be exposed to the effects of gambling.
When someone suffers any type of gambling addiction, the person becomes far more likely to act in manipulative manners towards others, even getting to the point where it’s impossible to tell whether the addicted gambler is telling the truth or lying. This could cause a constant state of paranoia on those who surround the gambler, and an environment of distrust that could take years to recover from.
Men Are Worse Compulsive Gamblers Than Women
Some people think that men are far more susceptible to have secondary effects when gambling compulsively than women. However, it has been proven by various studies that the main difference between genders is the way each person reacts.
- Women are far more susceptible to showing signs of emotional distress in manners such as depression or even mood swings.
- Men tend to be far more aggressive in the way they respond to lost bets or even unwanted results. Mentally, both genders take a similar toll when it comes to gambling.
What is proven, though, is that men are far more susceptible to becoming gambling addicts than women. This is mainly because men are far more likely to gamble than the opposite gender. The sample is much bigger with men, but women can also fall victims to the damages of compulsive gambling if they don’t look after themselves.
You’re Not a Gambling Addict if You Don’t Gamble Every Day
Some people think that you can’t be addicted to gambling if you don’t do it daily. Some addicted gamblers only gamble once or twice per week, but they simply can’t seem to stop. It is the fact that you can’t stop what truly makes you a compulsive gambler and an addict to the activity.
It’s important to judge the damage that gambling is having on a person’s life to determine the extent of their addiction. Those who gamble only during the weekends, for example, could be causing a lot of damage to the people around them if they don’t spend time with their families in order to spend time on any online casino.
Not Every Gambling Addict Wishes to be Rich
There are many factors that affect a person when they’re gambling, and many factors contribute to their problem. However, becoming rich with their bets isn’t always one of the main reasons as to why people become gambling addicts. In some cases, people only need to feel the rush of a win go through their minds.
As such, identifying someone as greedy doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re addicted to gambling or not. In most cases, compulsive gambling goes far beyond the simple fact of having a hefty bank balance.
It’s Not Possible to Become Addicted if You’re Responsible
Gambling is an addiction. It doesn’t really matter if you’ve never been addicted to anything before, or if you’re not even a fan of consuming alcohol. Anyone can become a gambling addict regardless of their psychological backgrounds.
Everyone has impulses, which means that anyone can become a gambling addict if they don’t properly take care of the way the gamble. Just be sure to control your gambling habits before they take a life of their own and you shouldn’t have any issues in any gambling site or establishment.
The Influence of Responsible Gambling on Our Youth
Responsible gambling exists in order to keep everyone at check, and to prevent people from getting addicted to their hobby. That’s why responsible gambling is so important for the modern youth – children nowadays are exposed to a constant bombardment of advertisements that encourage people to wager and promote those “big wins”.
Children and teenagers are easily susceptible to these adds, even though they aren’t directed towards them. This can cause very negative effects and make them want to gamble even when they know that they shouldn’t. This has lead to many young children grabbing their parents’ credit cards and registering in betting websites to try their luck there, which causes an early start to an addiction.
It’s of utmost importance for online casinos to keep young players from registering, using the methods that we mentioned earlier in this article.
How Games Encourage Gambling
It’s very common for children and young teenagers to play video games nowadays. But many of these games have gambling mechanics that have caused controversies in the world.
For example, most online titles tend to feature something called “Microtransactions”. This is a form of payment that the player can do in the game with real money to obtain certain rewards.
Sports titles are mainly to blame for this. Games like EA’s FIFA or NHL franchises feature game modes where the player is encouraged to spend real money to obtain card packs, which contain random cards, but promise high rewards.
This is very similar to encouraging children to play with slot machines, and many countries have picked up on it and banned companies from selling games to children in the country (Belgium being the prime example of this).
Mobile Gaming and Responsible Gambling for Children
Mobile gaming has to take a lot of the blame as well for children who fall addicted to gambling from a young age. In many cases, children can just access their phones’ stores and download any game that they want, amongst which they’ll find countless betting games that can be played simply because they don’t involve any real money, so children don’t need to register any credit cards and its easy to lie about their age.
You can imagine, however, how dangerous it is for a child to play betting games without truly grasping the concept of what they’re doing. They might see it as a regular activity, thinking that what they’re doing has no dangers, and they’ll grow up with that idea in their minds.
- Mobile gaming needs to be properly monitored by companies and parents to ensure that children aren’t downloading any betting games from a young age.
- Microtransactions in children's games are also common and should be strongly regulated to prevent children from developing issues.
Are Children the Only Ones in Danger?
Oddly enough, homeless people tend to be very prone to becoming gambling addicts. They see gambling as a way out of their current economic state, which makes them believe that a huge jackpot win will solve all of their troubles. In most societies, gambling addiction tends to affect around 1% of people that inhabit it, with many of them being homeless people.
Furthermore, it’s common for homeless people to fall victims to gambling as a side effect from other issues. The homeless are also very prone to drinking and drug abuse, which in turn leads them to try gambling as a means to generate more money to fuel their other addictions. It’s a vicious cycle that doesn’t let them get any better or grow their wealth in any way.
Responsible Gambling and How it Influences Society
The whole idea of gambling has made it to a place in society that not many thought it would reach merely 50 years ago. Gambling has become such a common activity that we see gambling ads and promotions almost everywhere, with TV being one of the main responsible outlets of promotion.
There are many regulatory entities (often operated by the State) that aim to look after people and prohibit certain commercials from going live, to the point where some countries have even made gambling advertisement illegal.
- The presence of gambling advertisement in some sports organizations has been heavily criticized by some of the biggest responsible gambling advocates in the world.
- The constant exposure to gambling ads makes it important for parents to educate their children in the aspects that influence gambling if they are to keep them mentally healthy
- Adults are constantly exposed to gambling ads and must be aware that they are in control of their own lives.
The Presence of Gambling in Pop Culture
Gambling is often represented in many pop culture endeavors, amongst which you’ll find movies and television to be the most popular of them all. There are some modern movies that serve as a way to represent betting in a negative manner, while others do so in a rather positive one.
If you’ve ever watched a movie where the actors are often visiting casinos, you’ll notice how different the vibe feels to the one you get when it is you who’re making the wagers in a real casino. Movies and television make it seem much lighter than it really is – even when the actor is constantly losing money.
Some people see the representation of gambling in films as a positive way to combat it, while other people judge it as a way to promote it.
Responsible Gambling and the Effect of Big Wins & Jackpots
Jackpot games, especially slots, are one of the main sources of responsibility for gambling addiction. Being so close to win a life-changing amount of money is just too much for some people to handle, and hence they become addicts to the idea of being rich.
In fact, some people that actually win a jackpot can become even more addicted to slots than those who haven’t won anything. The idea of having already won makes them think that they are luckier than the rest, hence they can’t stop wagering in hopes of obtaining another large win.
The Effects of Behavior in Gambling
The behavior of each individual plays a significant part in the way they perceive gambling. In fact, the cognitive responses of each person tend to be different, hence why some people are more susceptible to becoming addicts than others. It is thought that people who release more dopamine when they are close to winning are far more susceptible to becoming addicts.
The human brain is certainly incredible, but it can prove to be quite challenging to overcome some of its self-inflicted damage. People who are prone to releasing a lot of dopamine when gambling need to take a lot of care if they wish not to become addicted to the activity.
Some negative effects of gambling include:
- Aggresive behavior
- Low Self-esteem
The More You Spend, The More You’ll Win?
One of the major mistakes that gamblers tend to make (and one that justifies their addiction in their own minds), is that spending a lot of money will equal a lot of profit. Some people refuse to stop wagering because they’ve already invested too much of their own cash in the game, while being unable to realize that they might just keep spending more with no guaranteed wins.
Gamblers might take a lot of time to realize that the money spent in one game doesn’t justify their constant spending.
This is usually caused by an emotional reaction to losses and potential wins. It can prove to be very tricky to deal with, but some gamblers manage to come to terms with their losses by their own means.
How to Know if You Have a Gambling Problem
If you happen to have any of these signs in your day to day gambling life, and you still feel like you can make a turnaround by yourself, then, by all means, do it.
Do not let gambling take control of you before it's too late. If you still haven’t gotten into gambling, but you’re just trying to be preventive, then keep all of these bullet points in mind and be ready to seek help if you fall victim to any of these signs.
- Borrowing Cash – The first sign that you’re really addicted to gambling is when you start borrowing cash from friends, or even worse, from people you don’t even know that well. Those who are close to you will pick up on your lies and start calling you out on it, which can cause divisions and problems that could potentially break your interpersonal relationships with those you love.
- Trying to Recoup Losses – Another clear indicator that you’re way out of your depth is when you start wagering cash in order to win back what you’ve already lost. This is one of the most evident signs that you’re not a responsible gambler, and that things have gone out of control.
- Only Thinking About Gambling – Getting to a point where gambling is the most important thing in your life is very dangerous, and if your mind keeps going to those thoughts of how to win and how not to lose at random parts of the day, you might need to seek help from a medical health professional.
- Having Problems to Stop – If you find yourself in a position where you keep saying that “this is the last bet”, you’re most likely having issues, and you’ve failed to be a responsible gambler. This usually happens when the regular wagers that you place aren’t fulfilling you anymore. You keep feeling the constant need to upping the money that you’re betting; otherwise, you won’t feel the excitement that you’re after.
You Can Get Better from Your Gambling Addiction
Most companies that offer responsible gambling programs tend to also offer paths which addicted gamblers can follow in order to get better. It’s not impossible to go back to who you used to be before the betting, so fear not! It will take a lot of willpower, but you’ll be able to return to your normal self in no time if you follow the instructions that these experts provide.
There are many ways in which you can practice responsible gambling to avoid becoming addicted to it. It’s always going to be much easier to avoid becoming a gambling addict if you take good care of yourself before starting to gamble, but don’t worry – there’s always a way back. You’re never too far gone to not be saved from gambling addiction.
How to Get Help If You’re a Gambling Addict
The first step that you’ll need to take to get help (and eventually get better) is to recognize that you have a problem. You can take a look at the following page to get gambling help.
There are some people that may be able to recover from a gambling addiction on their own. We advise you to seek professional help if you want to ensure that results will be optimal. Not everyone can get better on their own, and you might be one of those who can, but is it worth taking the risk?
Play it safe and search for professional help.
Talking to a Psychiatrist
You need to understand that gambling, or the activity of gambling, is a behavior. Getting addicted to gambling means that the behavior has become part of your life, of who you are, and you need to change that inherent behavior if you are to get better.
That means, in most cases, that you’ll need to take time to go see a specialist that knows how to deal with behavioral changes – in other words, you’ll need to see a professional of mental health.
A psychiatrist may suggest a variety of different options, and will treat your condition during each session. You will not notice instant results, but it’s of utmost importance that you stay as committed to the therapy as possible.
The best way to treat someone who has fallen victim to irresponsible gambling and is, thus, destroying themselves, is to try to change their behavior using cognitive therapy. The whole point of this therapy is to show the patient that things aren’t as bad as it seems by breaking down problems and presenting solutions to each individual issue.
As a patient, you’ll need to put in practice the solution that your medical health professional suggests, all of which will help you get rid of the problem once and for all.
Why You Should Use Reality Check
Like we mentioned further up in this guide, there’s an option that many casinos have that allows you to be reminded of your playtime after a certain amount of time. If you think that you need to stop after a couple of hours, or if you’re planning to start reducing your playtime as much as possible, then you should try to download Reality Check.
This will set a reminder on your computer or device to keep you aware of the time that you’ve spent playing, and to remind you to do something else.
One of the best things about the Reality Check feature is that it also shows how much money you’ve won or lost during the time that you’ve spent playing.
Enough is Enough – Telling Yourself to Stop
Some people, albeit a small minority, will be able to tell themselves that they’ve overdone it with their gambling and simply call it quits on their own.
You don’t need to be a gambling addict to tell yourself to quit, or to self-exclude yourself from gambling practices. Self-excluding is also an amazing option (and a good choice) if you feel like you’re starting to become too close to gambling, and you just want to put a stop to it before it’s too late.
Some ways to stop gambling include:
- Trying to quit or reducing your playtime significantly on a daily basis
- Slowly detaching yourself from frequent gambling until you're able to completely cut it off
- Outright stopping to gamble. This can be difficult, even if you're not completely addicted.
How to Block Betting Websites
Another incredible solution that will force you to quit is downloading an app that stops you from visiting gambling websites in general. When quitting on your own feels like an impossible task because you can always visit a website and the temptation is too big, then blocking the website entirely could be the best decision of your life.
There are many programs and apps that do this, but BetFilter and BetBlocker are two of the most popular options out there. You’ll be able to freely browse the Internet without feeling tempted to gamble, and even if you feel like you want to visit one of these sites, you won’t be able to do it.
Wrapping It Up
Responsible gambling practices aim to keep players safe. Being aware of the dangers of gambling is crucial when gambling online, and taking necessary measures to keep your gambling in check should be your priority. Knowing the damage gambling can do doesn't make you immune to them, but it gives you the necessary tools that you need to avoid life-changing problems.
Play in casinos that promote responsible gambling and tackle any issues before they become a serious cause of concern.
ReferencesResponsible gambling: a synthesis of the empirical evidence (Taylor & Francis Online) Responsible Gambling: A Scoping Review (Critical Gambling Studies) Responsible gambling strategies for Internet gambling: The theoretical and empirical base of using pop-up messages to encourage self-awareness (Science Direct)
Frequently asked questions
You can read our complete list of resources to get gambling help, should you feel like you're addicted or close to becoming an addict.
RG tools are elements that casinos provide and that help to control problem gambling. Reality check features, self-exclusion mechanisms, and deposit limits are some of the most popular tools.
Vulnerable groups are people who are more prone to falling victims of a gambling addiction, such as elders, the homeless, or children.
People can get in touch with responsible gambling organizations like BeGambleAware, Gamcare, the Responsible Gambling Foundation, and QuitGamble.com.
Responsible gambling is a set of initiatives that aim to tackle the issue of problem gambling across the globe.