Are you gambling responsibly?
Gambling of any form should always be, above everything else, fun. Whether that’s online, in a physical casino or betting on sports; once it stops being about entertainment is when it becomes an issue. We implore anyone who is having difficulties in controlling their gambling to seek help with any one of the organisations we list below.
Most of us will thankfully never experience that step over the line into problem gambling, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also be thinking about responsible steps and measures at all times.
For this very reason, we vow to only cover casino companies who are serious about adhering to, and promoting, safe and responsible gambling for each and every one of their customers.
A few of the things we look for when choosing whether to feature a casino here on our site are:
- Reality Checks – do they allow players to set time limits to keep their play time to a safe level?
- Financial Limits – are there reasonable deposit and withdrawal limits in place to help combat irresponsible gambling?
- Accountability – does the casino allow a player to keep track of what they’ve played, for how long and record a history of all deposits and withdrawals?
- Self Imposed Breaks – can the player choose to set a break of a determined period (from 24 hours to 6 weeks, for example)
- Self Exclusion – can all accounts opt to be excluded, prohibiting any further transactions or play?
- Local Regulations – does the casino respect local laws and restrictions
How can you recognise when you have a problem?
If you’re beginning to ask yourself if you are gambling responsibly or not, this is the first step towards recognising a problem. Other questions that might help are:
- Do you choose to gamble away from others, often not telling family or co-workers?
- To maintain the enjoyment you experience when gambling, have you felt the need to increase your stake levels?
- Does your mood alter (more irritable or increased anxiety) when not gambling?
- Do you use gambling as a way of escaping or avoiding other issues in your life?
- Have you ever lied about winning when gambling, when in truth you have lost?
- Have you been unsuccesful in any previous attempt to reduce the amount of time or money you spend gambling?
- Have you ever been dishonest in order to fund your gambling?
- Have you ever attempted to win back losses from previous days?
- Have you ever borrowed money or gone into debt in order to fund gambling?
- Have you ever funded gambling by means of selling possessions?
- Have you missed out or avoided on meeting family and friends in order to gamble?
If the answer to any one of those questions was a hard yes, or even if you had to think long and hard before answering them, it may likely be an indication that your gambling is becoming an issue for you.
Still not sure?
BeGambleAware.org have put together this quiz: ‘Worried about your gambling’. This will offer a general idea and if you want to think about it in even more detail, they also have a handy Gambling Calculator.
Another great idea is talk with someone. Ask those close to you if they’ve noticed anything, and be completely honest with them. Often they’ll pick up on tiny details we might never consider ourselves.
What to do if there is a problem
If you’ve identified and admitted you have a gambling problem, then you’ve already started to solve it.
Next, you have to be open and honest with yourself and confront it. Take back control of the gambling. It might be that just viewing things with some level of clarity means you are now able to gamble more responsibly and stick to sensible measures. It might also be that you recognise that you will need further assistance, which is where the groups mentioned below may help.
Turn the tables on problem gambling
Overcoming problematic gambling is not easy, but there are some methods people have used to make it that little bit simpler:
- Implement a budget, and if you don’t fully trust yourself to stick to it ask someone close to you to handle your money for you
- Set limits on both how much you deposit and how much time you spend gambling (the casinos we review here will all include measures to assist you in this)
- When you succeed in “gamble-free” time, treat yourself. You may replace that excitement of gambling with a trip out with friends or buying something with the money you have saved
- Remember, if you’re still struggling – stop gambling. Use the Self Exclusion function on the casinos settings and distance yourself entirely
- Track your progress by marking on a calendar each day you avoid gambling. This will give you a visual indication of your progress
Where to seek further help
Depending on where you are in the world there are a number of organisations which can help you overcome a problem with gambling.