Playing at online casinos or wagering on sports can be extremely entertaining. But it’s important to keep your gaming under control – this is known as responsible gambling.
How to Gamble Responsibly
To ensure your gambling is responsible, don’t gamble with money you can’t afford to lose, and never treat your gaming as a source of income. Along with sticking to these fundamentals, experts recommend using responsible gambling tools available at your casino. These include:
- Prompts – tell the casino how long you want to play for, and you will receive a prompt before your time is up
- Deposit limits – the casino can place a limit on the amount you can deposit within a set timeframe
- Gambling history – check your deposits and withdrawals history to keep a tab on your gaming
- Breaks – these can stop you from accessing any of the site’s facilities for a set amount of time
Other Ways to Control Your Gambling
Along with using online casino tools to help you practice responsible gambling, you can adopt other practices to keep your gaming under control.
Calculate what you can afford to gamble before starting. Once you’ve established your budget, always record your wins and losses in a log. You could use a physical book or a free online Google Sheet to do this.
Setting a deposit limit and sticking to it can stop you from chasing losses. Determine a sum you don’t mind losing within a specific timeframe and don’t go over that limit.
Dedicated Gaming Account
Putting your gaming funds in a separate account can also prevent you from spending too much. If you bet directly from your bank account, other transactions can complicate tracking your wins and losses. Therefore, it may be advisable to open a digital wallet, such as PayPal or Skrill, to create a dedicated gaming account.
Signs of Problem Gambling
There are various gambling problem signs. Some of the most common include:
- Being preoccupied with gambling
- Having to wager with increasing amounts of money to get the same thrill
- Finding it challenging to cut back on your gambling when setting out to do so
- Feeling irritable when trying to cut down on gambling
- Gambling to relieve feelings of guilt, anxiety, or depression
- Chasing losses
- Lying to family members or others to hide the extent of your gambling
- Losing meaningful relationships or work opportunities because of gambling
- Committing crimes to fund your gambling
- Borrowing money to gamble
Support for Problem Gamblers
If you’re based in the US, you can call the NCPG (National Council on Problem Gambling) helpline on 1-800-522-4700. Lines are open 24/7, and it’s 100 percent confidential. What’s more, the helpline provides support to families and loved ones of problem gamblers.
For players in the UK, various organizations can provide help for gambling addiction issues.
GamCare provides support to anyone in the UK affected by problem gambling. Its services are confidential, free, and non-judgemental. Call its free helpline on 0808 8020 133, which is open from 8 am to 12 am. This organization also offers a live chat service, a live text chatroom, and a forum available 24/7. Additionally, GamCare holds regular meetings to provide in-person support.
Visit the GamCare website for more details.
Gamblers Anonymous UK
Gamblers Anonymous has been helping gambling addicts since 1957. Visit its website to learn about meetings close to you and gain access to its online forum and chat rooms. What’s more, you can get free links to helpful educational resources that teach you how to recover from gambling addiction and how to help anyone affected.
Visit Gamblers Anonymous to find out more.
Contact Your Online Casino
Additionally, no matter where you are based, you can contact your online gambling provider to see if they have self-exclusion programs. These preventative programs limit access to its services and are designed to help problem gamblers play an active role in changing their behavior.