In many cases, people think of the term “responsible gaming” and they think only of gambling addictions. However, the term “responsible gaming” extends far beyond gambling addiction and includes the following:
- Underage gambling – The operator of the website is responsible for preventing underage users from accessing their gambling services. This can be achieved by way of proof of age using valid ID combined with age verification software.
- Fraud – All online casinos are required to implement anti-money laundering procedures while simultaneously adhering to local and international fraud policies.
- Secure Data and Information – The operator is responsible for protecting user data, including personal and financial information. Users must be assured that any details including name, age, address, email, and phone number are not used without consent.
- Fair Gaming – Operators are required to establish that online gambling products are tested ahead of time, and intermittently, for fairness and safety. Third party resources are used to conduct external audits and confirm the reliable use of RNG (random number generators)
There are times when certain individuals do become addicted to gambling, something that has been exacerbated by online ease of access. In order to maintain a healthy level of gambling play and avoid becoming addicted, users should note the following tips:
- Gambling is a form of entertainment, not a way to make money.
- Users should never chase losses, but instead accept should they arise.
- Gambling should be balanced with other forms of entertainment and hobbies.
- A spending limit and budget should be kept and maintained throughout play.
- A time limit should also be set, so that users do not lose track of time.
- Gambling should never be done when under emotional strain. It should be a form of entertainment and fun, not escape.
It is the responsibility of the user to recognize that every person could be vulnerable to addiction. If users notice that they are unable to abide by the aforementioned ideals, they should contact the support team at the casino. These teams are equipped with information and tools to keep gambling on track for fun, not escape, and if stopping entirely is necessary, they can help.
Recognize the Issue
In the event that you find you are unable to abide by the tips and suggestions listed above for responsible gambling, you need to know what the risk behaviors are so that you can take action when things have gone too far. If you do any of the following, you should seek help:
- Spend more money on gambling than you originally budgeted, regularly
- Get annoyed when things interrupt you, even for a split second, while gambling
- Try to regularly recoup losses
- Lose your sense of time while playing and end up playing for too long
- Don’t quit when you are ahead
- Don’t tell people close to you the truth about your habits
- Are overwhelmed with thoughts of gambling
- Increase your bets to increase your excitement
- Lie about how much you spend
- Choose gambling over family, friends, or work
Just 10% of gamblers with problems seek help, but rest assured there is no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. Gambling is fun, but players can easily get carried away. Online casinos are willing to step in and lend a hand if necessary. So let them.
How to Get Help
If you find yourself losing control of your gambling, here are some things you can do:
- Set spending limits—You can contact online casino support and advise them of what limits you want added to your account. They can set controls that help you stick to your limits.
- Set up self-exclusion—Take breaks and have your online account closed for self-exclusion purposes. These breaks are often a minimum of 6 months after which time you can gamble again.
- Set up a permanent self-exclusion—If you have a serious problem, you can have your online casino site permanently close your account and prevent you from playing again.
- Change your online associations—Make sure you no longer involve yourself in news, social media pages, or other related groups and seek outside support instead.
Your online casino can provide you with information on local support groups and anonymous online forms of assistance. Some reputable sites include gamblersanonymous.org, as well as responsiblegambling.org, and gamtalk.org.