If you choose to gamble online, it’s important that you gamble responsibly to avoid spending more than you can afford or develop an unhealthy habit or attitude towards gambling.
Online gambling is the same as gambling in high street casinos or bingo halls and therefore adheres to the same gambling laws in the UK. You must be over 18 to gamble online and sites have measures in place to try and ensure minors are protected. Anyone under 18 caught gambling may be reported to the police and could have their winnings forfeited.
Although online casino sites have processes in place to ensure players are over 18, it’s also important for parents to stay vigilant, know what sites their children are visiting and put in the appropriate filters and blocks within their home to protect them.
Online casino and gambling sites now have processes in place to help players gamble responsibly, so let’s have a look at what’s on offer:
In more extreme cases where a player is concerned over the amount of money or time they’re spending gambling, they can exclude themselves from particular gambling sites or individual games. You can head to your account settings and either opt to exclude yourself from a particular type of game that you may have issues limiting yourself with, or from the whole site itself.
Self exclusions time periods vary, but are often a minimum of 6 months. If you feel the need to self exclude yourself, then it’s advisable to do this on all sites you may visit or even adjust your internet settings and filters to block gambling sites.
If you’re concerned over online gambling there is support and help available:
GamCare offers advice and support via both their website and helpline and can even offer free counseling to help with any gambling issues.
Tel: 0808 8020 133
Gamble Aware is an organization which provides information on how to gamble responsibly and what steps you can put in place to ensure what starts as a bit of enjoyable fun, doesn’t end up out of hand. It’s aimed at all kinds of gambling, both online and on the high street so visit their website for more details www.begambleaware.org
This well known organization is available to access all over the world and help bring together people with gambling issues to work through their problems. There are groups available throughout the country where you can join and get support. Visit www.gambleranonymous.org.uk for more information.
Set yourself limits
Most players that enjoy online casinos or online bingo sites gamble responsibly and see it as a bit of fun or leisure time but it is still worth putting steps in place to ensure you don’t overspend. Here’s how:
Deposit limits can be set to stop players from depositing more than a specific amount in any given timeframe. They can be set as a daily, weekly or monthly amount. Even if you don’t play regularly or feel you’re in control of your limits, it’s worth setting up a deposit limit on any site you play on just as an extra safety net.
If you set up loss limits, then this means if you lose a certain amount within a specific time period, you will be unable to play any further and therefore unable to lose any more. Loss limits are great to stop players from trying to chase their losses or from spending their whole monthly budget in one fail swoop!
Most sites should allow you to set up loss limits on both specific game products or on the site as a whole.
Check if you’re gambling responsibly
If some of the following sound familiar to you, you might want to consider if you’re gambling responsibly and if necessary, seek advice:
- Are you gambling in secret or lying about the amount of time or money you’re spending gambling?
- Are you often chasing your losses?
- Are you using gambling as a way of escaping reality?
- Are you stealing money to fund gambling?
- When you stop, are you eager to start gambling again straight away?
- Are you using every penny of your spare cash to fund online gambling?
- Are you spending less time with family or friends or doing hobbies you previously enjoyed in order to spend that time gambling?
- Have you ever felt that gambling has made you depressed or feel suicidal?
Always set up limits, research the games you play so you understand the odds of winning, never try and win back money you’ve lost and never spend more than what you can happily afford to lose.
Online gambling should always been seen as a bit of fun and responsible gambling should be encouraged by all sites you play on. If you feel you are experiencing issues with online gambling, put in preventative measures beforehand and always seek help and advice where necessary.