Responsible Play When Gambling Online

Responsible Playing at UK Online Casinos - GambleHero

Playing at internet casinos is supposed to be fun. While it is always nice to win a handsome jackpot, that will, sadly, not happen for everyone. Therefore, having fun when you play online is of paramount importance. The best way to have fun is to gamble responsibly. While there are plenty of spoilsports and naysayers out there who might argue that gambling is simply too harmful a pastime to be fun and that responsible gambling does not exist, there are plenty of decent resources out there for you to stay safe. In this guide, we will look at some of the many (and there are indeed many of them) ways that you can engage in safe, fun, responsible gambling at online casinos.

You Must Gamble Responsibly

One of the main reasons you would choose to gamble responsibly is to avoid becoming a problem gambler. You will undoubtedly have heard all sorts of horror stories about people who slipped into debt and threw away their marriage or worse because of gambling. Casinos that promote responsible gambling give you a plethora of tools to ensure that you do not end up going down this slippery slope. Before we come to those, though, let us first explain some of the key warning signs of problem gambling for those who are already betting online.

The Warning Signs to Look Out For

If you are already signed up to a casino and actively betting online, you should do a self-assessment test to ensure that you are gambling safely. If any of the following “symptoms” seems to match your gambling habits, it could indicate problem gambling.

Some of the most common early warning signs of problem gambling include:

  • Lying about whether you gamble online
  • Borrowing money from another or stealing to fund your habit
  • Realising that you cannot stop gambling online
  • Not withdrawing winnings, especially when you win decent sums of cash
  • Continually depositing to chase your losses and “win money back”
  • Being in denial (to yourself and others) about how big the problem is
  • Maintaining an air of secrecy, such as only gambling when you are on your own

What Can You Do If There Is a Problem?

If any of the above warning signs ring a bell with you, this could be an indication that something sinister is starting to happen. In which case, it may be time to get help. Now, you can always use responsible gambling tools, which we will discuss in a moment. However, if things are at the end of the road, then seeking urgent help is advised.

Most reputable casinos are affiliated with problem gambling programs such as GamCare, Gambling Therapy, GamStop, BeGambleAware or Gamblers Anonymous. These problems allow you to sign up and are time-based. When you are a member of the program, you will be automatically blocked from any casino (well, any betting site) affiliated with the same program. It becomes challenging, if not impossible, for you to gamble online until this period has elapsed.

Casinos Have Responsible Gambling Policies and Tools

Even if you have not developed problem gambling symptoms, it is undoubtedly worth making yourself aware of them. Moreover, reputable online casinos are required by their licensing authorities to provide responsible gambling tools so that you stay on the straight and narrow when betting online. These tools can be used at any time and are most effective when you implement them before a problem occurs. Let us look at each briefly in closer detail.

Deposit, Wager and Loss Limits

One of the main responsible gambling tools that you will come across online are deposit, wager, and loss caps. You can set these at any time. Once set, you are not going to be able to alter them without first contacting customer support, and even then, it will be difficult. Deposit, wager, and loss limits effectively put a cap on what you can deposit, bet, and lose when playing at a casino. By making sure that you use them, it is impossible for you to overspend and end up in trouble at that casino.

Opt-Outs for Bonuses

Casinos love to dole out bonuses, but some of them come with extensive terms and conditions. These may be excessive wagering requirements that can keep you playing longer than you would like. Moreover, some bonuses are so appealing that you will naturally want to claim them, thus getting you to gamble more frequently. To avoid this, reputable casinos must give you the choice of “opting-out” of these promos. Only choose to claim fair bonuses, and make sure you are selective about which ones you claim. Do not take any and every bonus you find.

Reality Checks

Reality checks are a recent addition to the online casino world. When set up, players can use them to receive a reminder concerning how long they have been betting. This system gives you a friendly nudge and might just make you think about some of the other things you “should” be doing instead of gambling.

Withdrawal Locks

Withdrawal locks are not common, but they do exist. This feature will allow you to earmark your winnings for withdrawal without being able to change your mind. One of the biggest problems is that casino players tend to want to withdraw winnings, but the casino takes so long processing them that they change their mind and cancel the withdrawal to gamble more. By using withdrawal locks, this cannot happen.

Cool-Down, Self-Exclusion and Account Closure

Signing up for a problem gambling program is risky, as some casinos will continue to think of you as a problem gambler even when your “term” has expired. To get around that, casinos have cool-down and self-exclusion options. These allow you to take a brief break, lock yourself out of your account for a more extended period, or fully close your account down. This is advantageous in that you can still join other casinos if you choose to. However, that can also be its downfall, as they do not help those who are in real trouble. If you do want to take a break, consider using cool-down and self-exclusion options before problem gambling programs.

Stay Safe When Betting Online

If you follow the gambling advice above and use the responsible gambling tools that are open to you, you will most likely stay perfectly safe when betting online. As mentioned, gambling online at casinos is supposed to be fun. When it is no longer fun, it may be time to implement some of these tools and keep yourself safe.