Responsible Gambling: The Ultimate Guide
Gambling addiction is a serious issue that both online and land-based gamblers face. When ignored, it can cause financial issues, family problems and even pose a threat on a person’s general well-being.
At SlotsMate, we spend a lot of time talking to our community about online slots and games, reminding them that these are meant for pure entertainment purposes.
However, we are aware that some players might lose control of their gambling and treat it as an income source. This is exactly what we’re trying to avoid.
Instead, we want everyone to continue playing for the right reasons - to have fun and relax.
In case you suspect that you or one of your loved ones might be addicted to gambling, we’re here to provide access to useful resources that will help you keep everything under control.
That’s why we’ve created this page - because we want all our users to enjoy a safe casino environment and teach you how to get assistance from addiction institutions in case gambling becomes a serious issue.
Responsible Gambling Tools Offered by Casinos
Players shouldn’t have to deal with their addiction by themselves.
That’s why casino regulators are also responsible to provide support for the gamblers that feel addicted. Because of this, all regulated casinos have partnerships with institutions that help problem gamblers.
Every licensed casino is required to provide the following responsible gambling features:
History of Gambling Activity. Online casinos will give you access to your account activity so you can see when you’ve gambled, how much you spent, and what that money was spent on.
Gaming Reality Checks. Operators can view a player’s gaming time and send them a reminder after a certain period of time has passed (after 30 minutes, 1h, 2h, or more). The reality check can be set up by the users, according to their needs.
Deposit Limits. Your online casino account will allow you to set deposit limits. Of course, you can change these from your account settings. Some countries even take it a step further and don’t allow credit card transactions for gambling purposes.
Standard Account Termination. Any online casino will allow you to immediately close your account should you request it.
Self-Exclude. Self-exclusion happens when you ask a gambling provider to exclude you from spending time and money with them for a longer period of time. This period usually varies between 6 and 12 months and can go up to 5 years or even permanent. Of course, you can request removal from the casino self-exclusion list whenever you feel ready.
Time-Outs. When you’ve gambled for a long period of time or spent too much money, an online casino will give you a time-out. This will allow you to take a break.
Autoplay Controls. Research has shown that using an autoplay feature was linked to some players losing track of their gaming session, making it difficult for some of them to stop playing. In some cases, gamblers have even used this feature on multiple games simultaneously.
Compulsive Gambling Behavior Tracking. Some casinos can and will flag user accounts if they detect problematic gambling activity. This includes spendings, deposit frequency and session duration.
Bonus Legislation. Some countries (such as UK, Germany, Italy, or Australia for example) will forbid casinos from offering free bonuses without the player having verified their account prior to that. This stops players from gambling when they have no money available.
All of these tools are as effective as you want them to be. When used correctly, they can be extremely useful in reducing gambling-related harm.
However, it also falls on the players to do their part to prevent gambling from becoming problematic. Here’s how you can do it!
11 Responsible Gambling Tips to Keep it Fun
Here are some useful tips to keep your gambling in check and prevent it from becoming a more serious issue:
Only gamble for entertainment purposes.
Treat your losses as the cost of your entertainment.
Never bet more than you can afford to lose.
Set a spending limit and stick to it.
Never use a credit card to gamble.
Never gamble if you’re drunk.
Don’t make gambling your only passion or hobby.
Take breaks whenever you feel the need.
Never gamble when you’re depressed or upset.
Understand how the game works and carefully read the terms & conditions.
Quick Test - Are You Gambling Responsibly?
If you want to be completely sure you’re not developing an addiction, you can take this quick test that includes questions used by addiction treatment patients to identify problem gamblers.
Just take a few minutes and answer these questions:
Do you spend a lot of time gambling?
Have you ever put off important activities (such as work or sleep) just so you can gamble more?
Do you feel like gambling is a good escape from the problems you have in life?
Are you keeping your losses hidden from your friends and family?
Have you ever borrowed money so you could keep on gambling? Have you found yourself unable to pay back that money because you gambled it away?
Are your gambling activities isolating you from friends and family?
Have you ever sold or pawned personal belongings to get money for gambling?
Did you ever feel like increasing the stakes so you can get the same feeling of excitement?
Do you often gamble to win back the money that you’ve lost?
Do you feel like gambling has become a problem?
If you answered “Yes” to any of the questions above, you might want to consider taking control of your gambling habits. So if you’re concerned about problem gambling, you can take a confidential test at BeGambleAware.org.
Getting Professional Help
Gambling addiction is a serious problem and shouldn’t be ignored.
According to addiction psychologists, problem gambling is harmful to both your physical and mental health. Based on psychological trials, people who experience this addiction often battle depression, distress, migraines, and other anxiety-related issues.
As it’s the case with other addictions, gambling addiction can lead to feelings of helplessness and despair.
Our main goal here is to make sure you get the help you need. We want all our users to gamble responsibly and treat this as a fun activity that shouldn’t interfere with their lives.
For that reason we’ve put together a list of helpful responsible gambling resources that can help you get the proper assistance for your issues:
|Addiction centers||American Addiction Centers|
|Support group||Gamblers Anonymous|
The 3 Main Rules of Responsible Gambling
According to gambling addiction psychologists, there are three important things you can do to make sure you become aware or stay away from gambling addiction:
Be honest about your gambling behavior. This is the first and most important step you can take in solving this problem.
Stand back and think about your gambling activities. This can be very insightful, as you might be able to adjust your spending and compulsive gambling. You will manage to stay in control and continue gambling for fun.
If everything else fails, don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Remember that asking for help isn’t something to be ashamed of and it can truly make a difference.
Get the Help You Deserve
If you believe that you or a loved one is struggling with a gambling addiction, it’s important you understand that this is a problem. Still, it can be fixed with proper treatment from gambling addiction specialists.
Most countries offer specialized help and have systems set up in place to ensure providers offer all the resources necessary for gamblers to curb their addiction.
We cannot stress the importance of professional help enough. This can truly make a difference and change your life for the better.
We hope these resources will set you on the right path to recovery.
Always play responsibly, whether you do it online or in land-based casinos.