The online gambling industry has come under scrutiny in recent years, due to the huge increase in activity. This has led to huge push for responsible gambling from both the licencing agencies and the industry itself.
A lot of the emphasis on helping people to gamble responsibly is based around what is considered to be healthy play. Which gives players ways of making sure they are gambling for the right reasons, for fun and also within their means.
If you feel you may be in need of some gambling help or support, whether that be preventative or as a result of letting your gambling get out of hand; our responsible gambling guide will help you spot the signs of a potential issue as well as where you can get gambling help.
How to Gamble Responsibly Online
Fundamentals of Responsible Gambling
Although were focussing on online gambling, everything we mention can also be applied to any form of land based gambling; such as casinos or high street bookmakers.
There are several ways in which your gambling can get out of control and have a detrimental effect on your life; as well as the life of your family and friends. Taking the necessary steps beforehand can not only help you to gamble responsibly, but it can also prevent any unnecessary issues your gambling could cause.
What is Responsible Gambling?
Responsible gambling is all about taking control. The last thing we want is for any of our visitors to spend more than they can afford at gambling sites. Whether that be down to making bigger bets or playing longer than you anticipated. It’s actually easy to let your spending get out of hand if it isn’t monitored appropriately.
By implementing the recommendations set out below, you be able to gain control of your online activity and gamble responsibly.
Making Money with Responsible Gambling
The first thing you should know about gambling responsibly is that it should not be seen as a way of making money or a source of income. The fact of the matter is that the gambling site is set up to make money, it isn’t designed for the player to always win.
You may go through a bit of a winning streak, but overall you will always spend more than you win. It’s always best to think of gambling as a form of entertainment like bowling or a trip to the cinema.
Set a Budget for Gambling Responsibly
Gambling Budget Calculator Example
There are several tools available online to help you work out a responsible gambling budget, these include this budget calculator or one of the tools at your chosen gambling site. Having your household and gambling budgets set out in writing helps you to visualise your spend, removing the temptation to push through a loss; as you can see other bills which will be affected as a result.
Once have worked out an acceptable spending limit, you can adjust your limits at any time in the banking section of your account. Reducing your limits takes effect immediately, while increasing your limits will take 24 hours. This is perfect as it allows you to cool off after losing bets and stops you chasing those loses.
Chasing a loss is the worst thing you can do when trying to gamble responsibly, as it can quickly spiral out of control; resulting in you losing more money than you can afford.
It’s also worth noting that a sudden increase in spending activity can trigger a source of funds check at your gambling site. This check is a requirement of holding a UKGC licence and can often lead to your activity being suspended temporarily or even permanently.
Limit Your Gambling Time
Another way of ensuring you gamble responsibly is to track your actual playing time. This obviously doesn’t apply to sports betting but is definitely a consideration for casinos, slots and bingo.
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re playing, especially as a lot of online gambling takes place at night. So why not set up an alert to remind you how long you’ve been playing for?
Alerts can either be set up within your gambling site or your laptop or mobile if the site you’re playing at doesn’t have the facility. We recommend setting a time alert every 20 minutes or at the very least 60 minutes. 2 hours would be our recommended maximum, provided you can afford to play that long; mainly because you can become tired staring at a screen that long and that can affect your judgement.
Track Your Gambling Activity
Just implementing spend and time restrictions may not be enough for some people, so we recommend accurately tracking your gambling activity; everyone should do this as it will definitely be a surprise to you at the end of the month.
To do this all you have to do is accurately make a note of the following;
The time you log in to your account
The time you log out
Bets placed/slots spend
Looking at how much time and money you spend over a set period of time can often be an eye opener and an early wake up call for problem gamblers. The reason we include bets placed and the amount spent on games and slots is that this can often be overlook as actual spend. But when taken in to account along with money withdrawn, it’s a great way to determine your overall spend and just how much money you could have potentially withdrawn as winnings.
Take a Break from Gambling
If you are shocked or concerned about your gambling activity after implementing the recommendations, then it may be time to take a break.
Thanks to the UKGC’s push on responsible gambling, most gambling establishments offer the ability for you to take a break. This is done by activing self-exclusion, where you place a short term, long term or permanent exclusion from gambling online; which can be applied as follows;
Take a short break from one day up to a maximum of 90 days
Take a long break for 6 months
Set a lifetime (permanent) exclusion
Any exclusion period will be put in place with immediate effect. If you change your mind you will need to remove the self-imposed break by contacting customer services and even then there is no guarantee the exclusion will be removed; especially if they feel you could still potentially be at risk.
It’s also worth noting that a lot of casinos linked when it comes to exclusion, similar to pub watch. So when you exclude yourself at one, you will automatically be blocked from either opening a new account or playing at an existing account with other gambling sites
It may also be worthwhile opting out of any app/web notifications or email marketing, as well as any direct debits. This way you will not be tempted to revers your decision and cut short your break.
Be in the Mood to Gamble Responsibly
The frame of mind you are in can have a significant effect on your gambling activity. Decision-making can be affected if you are going through a stressful period or if you are emotionally upset. Gambling when angry after a loss is also not recommended, as you tend to jump at unlikely big odds bets in order to get your money back; it may also have a detrimental effect on your personal life. Therefore we recommend you only gamble if you have a clear mind and are generally in a good place mentally.
The same goes for gambling while under the influence of drink of drugs. Again, your judgement can be impaired and you are more prone bet more than you can afford or place bets you wouldn’t normally make.
Responsible Gambling Support
If you’re considering excluding yourself from playing, there are a few ways you can get gambling help. These are external bodies who specialise in gambling support and they are in no way linked to any licenced operators; so they only have your best interests at heart.
GAMSTOP a free service to self-exclude from online gambling websites and apps in Great Britain. Please be aware that GAMSTOP will only exclude you from gambling sites that are registered with their services. It can take up to 12 hours for your self-exclusion to become effective, so you will need to exercise some self-control during this time. To find out more and sign up, visit GAMSTOP.
Another external body helping people to gamble responsibly is Gamban, which is a gambling blocking software. Gamban can be installed on any computer or mobile device and blocks access to online gambling websites and applications. Once it has been set up it will apply any setting across all of your devices.
When the Fun Stops – BeGamble Aware
You may recall seeing this slogan on the likes of sky sports or following any gambling advert. It was an initiative set up by begambleaware.org in order to raise awareness of problem gambling.
By following the when the fun stops mantra, players can regain control of responsible gambling; or get the help and support they need if it turns out to be a bigger issue than they anticipated.
If you have implemented the safeguards we have suggested above but are still struggling with responsible gambling. BeGamble Aware offer free, confidential help and support to anyone who’s worried about their gambling activities; they even offer support if you suspect a friend or family may have an issue or are displaying signs of problem gambling.
If any of the above is the case for you or someone you know then we suggest you contact them as soon as possible before things get out of control.