Ultimate Guide to Responsible Gambling

Ultimate Guide to Responsible Gambling

Responsible Gambling Guide: How to Stay Safe & Find Help

If you can play for fun and stay in control, online gambling is enjoyable entertainment. That all changes if it stops being fun. At The Casino Wizard, our team strives to keep you safe online. We carefully vet the casino sites we promote and help players gamble responsibly.

If you think you or someone you know may have a problem with their gambling, there are plenty of resources and information in this helpful guide. We’ll explain how you can play within your limits and give you tips, ideas, suggestions, and general information on responsible gambling.

Key Takeaways:

  • 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

What Is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible gambling promotes the safety of gamblers. There are tools and resources to help players during gameplay. This is all part of preventing people from developing an addiction to gambling.

There are tools that can prevent overspending and playing for too long, and self-exclusion tools can help you take a more extended break when needed. Responsible gambling measures also include resources and support when players feel they need help or guidance in their gambling habits.

All responsible gambling measures are designed to help you enjoy casino games without going too far.

Many regulatory entities help to protect players. In some regions and countries, it’s illegal to have gambling ads. Some regions don’t allow any advertising about bonuses and casinos must be transparent about their terms and conditions.

Recognizing the Signs of Problem Gambling

Everyone who uses online casinos should understand the signs of problem gambling. This knowledge can help you manage your time and spending effectively. Here are the main signs to look out for:

  • Playing for long periods of time.
  • Not being able to stop because you think the next spin or round will be the big winner.
  • Spending more than you’d planned to.
  • Difficulty resisting urges to gamble.
  • If you do resist, you feel restless or irritable.
  • Frequent thoughts about gambling.
  • Gambling as a means to escape problems or relieve negative feelings.

If you relate to any combination of these, it could be a sign to take a step back and examine your relationship with gambling.

Responsible Gambling Self-Assessment Questions

Many online casinos have a self-assessment on their site, usually in their responsible gambling section. It’s a good idea to check in with yourself and do these assessments occasionally. They take a couple of minutes and can give you insight into your gambling habits.

As you answer the following questions, consider how they apply to you:

  1. Have you bet more than you were able to afford to lose?
  2. Have you had to up your gambling amount to feel excited while you play?
  3. Have you tried to win back losses?
  4. Did you borrow money or sell things and then use the money to gamble?
  5. Have you had people around you mention or criticize your gambling habits?
  6. Have you had a sense of guilt for how you gamble?
  7. Has gambling created anxiety?
  8. Have you experienced financial issues due to gambling?

Tools for Responsible Gambling

Online casinos have a range of tools to help you manage your gambling. They also offer training for customer support to help players. They can also detect problematic gambling based on the player's playing history. A properly licensed online casino will take action to help its users when needed. 

Here are the essential tools used for responsible gambling:

Responsible Gambling Page

This is a page designated solely to responsible gambling. The page will explain what responsible gambling is and often include a self-assessment. This is where you get in-depth information on how to set limits or self-exclude, as well as links to other helpful resources and support.

Deposit Limits

If there is an option to place limits at an online casino, it’s a good idea to do this. Set your budget and then set the deposit limit based on how much you can afford. This is going to make sure that you’re well aware of when your budget is spent. Beyond deposit limits, you can also set time and loss limits daily, weekly, and monthly.

Reality Check

The Reality Check feature is a pop-up that reminds a player how long they’ve been playing. The game freezes so players have a chance to “come up for air.” The pop up often lets you know how much you’ve wagered and lost. It will also let you know how long you’ve been playing for.

Time-Outs

Time-out is an option for players who don’t quite want to self-exclude but feel they should take a break. It could be called “Cooling Off” as well. Players have the following options in terms of how long they want the time-out to be:

  • One day
  • One week
  • One month
  • Two months
  • Three months

Self-exclusion

This allows players to self-exclude, which prevents access from accessing their account for longer periods of time. Players won’t be able to sign into the casino for the time they’ve confirmed they want to self-exclude. During a self-exclusion period, you’ll no longer receive notifications from the casino. 

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Strategies for Responsible Gambling

It’s always a good idea to have a few strategies on hand to help you stay in control of your spending. It’s important to stay mindful, have a budget, and stick with it. Above all, gambling should always be fun. 

Here are some essential tips for keeping it fun:

See Gambling as Just a Hobby

Your mindset towards gambling is important. If you remember that it’s just a hobby and not a means of making a living, it can be a lot of fun. It’s always unlikely that you’ll hit a massive jackpot as they’re completely random and shouldn’t be relied on as a guarantee. Gambling is meant to be a paid form of entertainment. 

Don’t Bet What You Can’t Lose

Don’t spend more money at online casinos than you can afford to lose. Stay aware of the amount you’re spending, losing, and winning. You can always access your transaction history in your casino account.

Only wager money that is disposable income or from winnings you’ve made from the casino. Once you start to spend more money than you can afford, this could be a sign that you’ve lost some self-control. 

Set a Strict Budget

Before you even start wagering, set up a budget for yourself. Take a look at what you can afford to lose and stick to your limit. Casinos offer a history of your transactions, and we suggest you use this to help you understand where money was spent. 

You can alter your budget a little if you happen to win some money at the casino. However, always make sure to save some of the money and keep it away from your wagering cash regardless of how much you win.

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Use responsible gambling tools to set deposit limits if you struggle with budget management.

Set Time Limits

Not only does setting a time limit prevent you from overplaying, but it also helps you stay within your budget. Playing for long periods of time can have a negative effect on your mental health.

Even high rollers with big budgets can still stand the risk of playing too often. Setting a time limit will help you stay mindful and take a break when you’ve been playing for too long.

Time limits are especially important if you’re on a roll. Keep in mind that winning streaks ALWAYS come to an end, and the best thing that you can do is go out on a high. Even if you’re winning consistently, stick to your time limit to stay in control.

Keep a Clear Head

It’s best to be sober whenever you’re gambling. Brick-and-mortar casinos will often serve free drinks. This is for good reason. Alcohol alters your state of mind and can lead to making poor decisions. You’re generally going to take greater risks and not be fully aware of what you’re doing.

Avoid Emotional Gambling

Playing at an online casino is never advisable if you’re in a bad mood. Don’t gamble if you’re angry, stressed out, or depressed. Being in a bad mood can lead to riskier decisions. Instead, play when you’re in a neutral mood and can focus on playing responsibly.

Understand the Risks

While it’s fun to spin the reels and wager on table games, there are risks involved. When you don’t play responsibly, you can develop a gambling disorder. Gambling can become an urge that is uncontrollable despite the problems that may come up as a result.

Gambling can stimulate the reward system in your brain. It’s a similar effect to drugs or alcohol with the potential of addiction. This can result in you chasing bets to make up for losses, spending money you can’t afford to lose, incurred debt, and negatively impacting your relationships. 

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Common Gambling Myths & Misconceptions

There are many popular misconceptions when it comes to gambling. Here are the most common myths you should be aware of:

1. Gambling Isn’t an Issue if You’re Rich

It doesn’t matter how much money a person might have; compulsive gambling is an issue beyond cash losses. It can lead to compulsive gambling or addiction, which encompasses a myriad of mental health issues. When your gambling is out of control, it affects your life and the lives of your loved ones. It goes far beyond winning or losing as the emotional status of a person changes drastically when gambling compulsively.

2. Men Are Worse Compulsive Gamblers Than Women

Studies indicate that while both men and women experience the psychological effects of compulsive gambling, their reactions may differ. Women are more likely to exhibit emotional distress, such as depression, while men tend to show aggression following losses. Nevertheless, the impact of gambling on mental health is significant for both genders.

3. You’re Not a Gambling Addict if You Don’t Gamble Every Day

Anything that feels out of control can be a cause for concern. Some people think that you only have a gambling problem if you play daily. However, symptoms of compulsive gambling and addiction can still arise in those who play less often. While playing all the time is one symptom, there are other concerning behaviors as well. This includes going over your gambling budget consistently or playing for long periods of time when you do play.

4. Gambling Addicts Want to be Rich

There are many factors that affect a person when they’re gambling, and many factors contribute to their problem. However, trying to get rich isn’t always the main reason behind a gambling problem. Compulsive gambling goes far beyond the simple fact of having a hefty bank balance.

5. It’s Not Possible to Become Addicted if You’re Responsible

Gambling addictions can develop for a variety of reasons. It’s complex, with root causes that can include trauma, mental health issues, environment, and genetic predisposition, among other things. It doesn’t really matter if you’ve never been addicted to anything before. Anyone can become a gambling addict.

For Friends and Families

Issues with gambling can lead to financial, social, emotional, and work-related problems. These problems impact the people around you, too, negatively affecting family and friends. Conflict can arise where people feel powerless to help a loved one who us struggling with their gambling.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of support out there for family and friends as well. 

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 Gam-Anon and GamFam are a couple of examples of organizations that are there to help you and your loved one.

Are you Concerned about a Loved One’s Gambling?

It’s important to understand what a gambling disorder is so you can react to it accordingly. Someone who develops a gambling problem has a disorder so it’s not easy for them to walk away.

Here are the main things you should keep in mind:

  • Approach the situation with kindness.
  • Be compassionate and open to the person so they know you’re there to help once they’re ready.
  • Share resources and support them as they navigate the situation.

Stay Informed

It’s important that you understand the odds with any casino game you play. Games are defined by luck with the chance of winning. The colors, features, and other elements of games can be a distraction, causing you to overspend and overplay. Familiarize yourself with the RTP percentages and what that means in terms of what you might win back. 

Don’t ever forget that the casino is almost always the winner. Use the useful tools an online casino offers you by going to your account section. Use reality check and take breaks when it pops up. Lastly, check your transaction and playing history regularly.

Conclusion

Online casino games are intended as a form of entertainment. They’re supposed to offer a fun way to spend some of your disposable income without exceeding your financial limits. 
At The Casino Wizard, your safety and well-being are our top priorities. We are committed to providing continuous support, promoting responsible gambling, and ensuring our community is secure while enjoying their online experience.

Helpful Resources

Gamtalk

Gamtalk is an online, community led resource for people who are struggling with gambling problems. Players can access responsible gambling information, see expert interviews, and hear stories from those who have overcome their addictions. There are chat options and features that allow you to connect with the supportive community. 

Gam-Anon

Gam-Anon is a support group for the friends and family members of gambling addict. It’s a safe and confidential space to talk and support one another.

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous has been around since 1957 and is part of the AA method of recovery. Available throughout the world, their program offers resources like meetings and virtual support.

Be Gamble Aware

UK-based Gamble Aware is a charity dedicated to gambling-related harm reduction and has a ton of resources to help anyone who needs them.

Last updated  May 22, 2024

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.

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About the author

Marco

Marco

Chief Content Writer

Marco

Chief Content Writer

Marco is an experienced casino writer with more than half a decade of gambling-related work on his back. He took a keen interest in gambling as a young adult and started writing expert content for the casino and sports betting niche in 2015. Now, he specializes in online slots, table games, and sports betting – producing well-researched content on all fronts of the iGaming world.

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