Gambling should be a bit of fun, affordable and voluntary without being compulsive. The difference between gambling and other addictions is that on a single daily basis you can spend sums of money that could damage your finances and well-being for years, with all the negative consequences that this could have on your family, mental health and personal relationships. Responsible gambling is a must.
Fortunately the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) have set rules about responsible gambling limitations that all UKGC-licensed casinos should offer, namely deposit limits, loss limits, temporary breaks and finally self-exclusion. Most casinos will have these easily accessible in your account and they are set instantly and automatically by yourself. There are few though that are obstructive and for example delay the process by you needing to contact Customer Services or e-mail support. This is not what was intended by the UKGC RG terms but due to loopholes in the wording some less reputable sites still delay matters when the problem gambler is in ‘the zone’ and really needs to stop there and then. Not good, but again these are a small minority.
Exclusion online should theoretically be simple due to information being checked via software the casinos use, unlike in Land-Based bookies whereby it relies on a form with a photograph that the busy clerk may not be able to see all the while, or the person you handed the form in to isn’t always in the shop. Remember, if you exclude from one casino under a license, you cannot play at the rest sharing it, or White Label sites. If you do, your bets should be voided and refunded and no winning paid or deposits kept. Unfortunately until casinos sharing the same licence are compelled to list their co-licensees this problem will continue to recur.
Tactics To Stay In Control:
Many sites will offer you a deposit limit option while you are signing up via their responsible gambling box. If not, set one before you play if you need to do so. Some casinos encourage irresponsible gambling by making sure any winnings you withdraw are available for reversal as long as possible to exploit the feelgood factor after a win, and allow you to play it back – so don’t! You can get around this by using the TAB (Take-a-Break) tool in the account. For example, if the casino doesn’t process for 2 working days, then TAB for 3 days so your withdrawal will be processed before you can log-in again. If they don’t process at weekends, then add 2 more days to this TAB to be safe. If you need to submit documents they will ask via e-mail so you can still do this while under the TAB as it doesn’t involve logging-in to your account.
Handling Big Wins:
Sometimes we all get lucky and a small deposit can turn into hundreds or even thousands of Pounds. It may be tempting to raise stakes to say £10 or even £20 a spin knowing that this is coming from your profits thus far. THINK! Get your wallet or purse and put it on the table and take out 40p or whichever small stake you started with. Then take out a £10 or £20 note and THINK! this is what you are spending each spin and that each time you do this, a few gallons of petrol or a day’s food shop is what you’re betting! Stay in perspective at all times, it helps responsible gambling. Withdraw you winnings!
It’s Still Money:
Webwallets which can be loaded with a credit card, or credit cards themselves can be dangerous to responsible gambling – all you see are numbers going out and then appearing in the game balance. Think of this in terms of what the cash in notes would look like, because that’s what it is! One day’s play could take years to pay back if you lose control; the money may be invisible when you load up, but it’ll soon become very visible, for a very long time when that statement arrives.
Set a deposit limit BEFORE playing.
Set a budget that you can afford, and only that.
Set yourself a withdrawal target and stick to it, i.e. when the deposit is doubled.
Use the TAB if the casino is tardy with withdrawals and you know your level of temptation.
Do not use credit cards or gamble on other forms of borrowing – it isn’t clever!
Don’t be afraid the self-exclude if your spending is causing issues.
Do not re-deposit to chase your initial loss – write it off and move on.
Do not play if under the influence or depressed – gambling should not be a form of escapism.
You can buy some very effective blocking software from Gamblock if necessary:
Use the above free helpline or get advice and help from Gambleaware or Gamcare if gambling has become an issue for you! STOP!