Responsible Gambling is a great way to have fun and pass the time if done the right way. While most people will gamble without any problems, some may cross the line to become addicted gamblers. Gambling becomes a huge financial and social burden to the player when this happens. At Casino FAQs, we are committed to helping you gamble responsibly.
We understand that though gambling can be fun and exciting, it can also become a serious problem if not done moderately. This guide to responsible gambling covers advice and tips to help you prevent gambling problems. Also, you will learn what to do if you or someone close to you is addicted to gambling.
How To Gamble Responsibly
It is better to prevent a gambling problem rather than to deal with it when it develops. Below are tips you can follow to gamble responsibly. These tips will help you stay safe and reduce your risk of becoming addicted.
1. Understand that gambling is not a career or way to make money
Never view gambling as an investment, a way to make money, or a career. Treat it as a form of entertainment. Having a mindset that you can become rich or get out of a financial mess by gambling is dangerous. Playing with the dream of winning a big pot prize that will liberate you financially is the easiest way to develop a gambling addiction and go bankrupt.
Gambling is never for making money or getting rich. All land-based and online casinos are set up to favour the house. So the odds are always against you, and it is impossible to be lucky at all times. Having the right mindset will help you gamble responsibly and keep you away from problems.
2. View gambling as a form of entertainment that’s not free
As with other forms of entertainment like going to a cinema or attending an event, gambling is not free. Whether playing online or at a brick-and-mortar casino, you pay some bucks for your entertainment. Even worse, you are paying to play games that have the odds stacked against you.
As earlier discussed, you should only gamble because you enjoy playing casino games, not because you want to win. If you feel like you are already gambling because you want to win money and not for entertainment, it is time you stop. Better still, seek help if you think you can’t keep things under control.
3. Gamble only with what you can afford to lose
It is a no-brainer that you will end in a financial mess if you gamble beyond your means. Set a budget based on what you can afford to lose and stick firmly to it. Never play casino games with money meant for rent, food, school fees, or other essential bills. Bettors have a popular saying that any casino player placing a big bet can afford to lose it.
If you are already spending money meant for necessities like rent or food at online casinos, it is high time you stopped all gambling-related activities. Also, we recommend you check our tips and advice on how to overcome gambling problems.
4. Never chase the money you lose at a casino
Chasing losses will make you incur more losses. Always resist the urge to extend your playtime or place bigger bets because you want to recoup your losses. We understand that losing one’s bet isn’t a good feeling, and most people will want to win their money back. However, having the right mindset before gambling won’t make you feel this way.
View the money you lose as the cost you are paying for the thrills you are getting from the casino. In addition, if you play with the mindset that it is okay to lose, you won’t be tempted to chase your losses if you eventually lose.
5. Set a money limit
Most online casinos allow players to set a money limit. Before you set limits, the first thing is to figure out how much you want to spend on casino games. It should be an amount that you can afford to lose. Once done, use the figure to set up your deposit limits, loss limits, or session length limit.
The casino will not allow you to go beyond the set figure when you set this limit. For example, assuming you set your deposit limit to £300 monthly, the casino will stop accepting deposits immediately after your total deposit reaches £300. This way, you won’t be overspending at the casino.
6. Set time limit
Gambling can become an addiction if not controlled. Before you start gambling, decide how much time you want to spend playing casino games daily, weekly, and monthly. Then use this figure to set the casino session length time. Once done, the site will not allow you to play beyond the set time.
The casino will log you out when you reach the pre-set playtime. Online casinos use this feature to help their players gamble responsibly. However, if you are always extending your playtime beyond the set time, you likely have a gambling problem. In this case, you should seek help immediately by contacting a gambling support service.
7. Don’t gamble when you are drunk or on drugs
When you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your judgment is clouded, and it becomes difficult to make rational decisions. If you are gambling while drunk, you will likely make bad decisions and lose your money. What’s more, you are likely to spend more than you budgeted if you gamble while under the influence of any substance. Our advice is simple. If you want to play casino games, always do it with a clear mind.
In addition, gambling while drunk or on drugs may develop into a habit. You might start getting the urge to enter a casino every time you have a few bottles of beer. Combining drugs or alcohol with gambling is a NO-NO.
8. Never gamble when upset or emotionally unstable
Like you can get addicted to alcohol if you rely on it to escape from the realities around you, the same thing happens when you use gambling as a form of relief when depressed or upset. Additionally, gambling when upset may cloud your judgment and result in costly bad decisions.
The takeaway here is never to suppress an unpleasant feeling by gambling. It will affect your mental health badly, and you will end up with more problems. Always remember that gambling is not a way to escape from your problems.
9. Know how to spot a gambling problem
We recommend knowing the symptoms of gambling problems so you can spot them immediately you or someone close to you is manifesting them. If you feel you are starting to have a gambling addiction, you should immediately stop gambling. You can also help yourself by following our tips on how to overcome gambling problems.
Better still, you can contact a gamble support organisation for help. Please note that gambling problems can be very devastating. Aside from messing up your financial life, addiction can affect your relationships with your loved ones. You should tackle it immediately the problem starts to develop.
10. Speak out if you or someone you know needs help
Gambling addiction is a serious issue. You should seek help immediately you start feeling that things are out of control. Keeping things to yourself will only make your condition worse. You should try talking to a trusted friend, family member, or professional. Furthermore, you can contact any of the gambling support centres we listed in this post to get help.
11. Keep up with your other hobbies
Balance playing casino games with your other hobbies and interests. Too much gambling can lead to an addiction. If you are already neglecting your loved ones or prioritising gambling over your other hobbies, it is a sign of problem gambling.
12. Play at legit and reputable casinos
Bad or scam casinos use many tactics to milk their unsuspecting players dry. So it is not enough to be a responsible gambler; it is also crucial that you play at credible casinos only. Before choosing a casino, make sure the appropriate authority licenses them.
Furthermore, you should check their reviews to know what to expect after signing up at the casino. You can save yourself the time and energy of scouring the internet for the best sites by starting with our picks for top online casinos in the UK.
What Is Problem Gambling?
Problem gambling is any form of gambling that disrupts your daily life and causes damage to you or your loved ones. It is the desire to gamble continuously irrespective of the adverse effects. Problem gambling is an addictive disorder. It is also sometimes called a gambling disorder or pathological disorder.
The condition can start at any age and can happen to anyone. According to the UK government, about 0.5% of adults have a gambling problem. The problem starts when gambling goes from an exciting and harmless way to enjoy yourself to an unhealthy obsession.
When problem gambling is not tackled early, the person becomes a compulsive gambler. At this stage, it becomes more difficult to control the urge to gamble even when it has a serious negative effect on you. Problem gambling can interfere with your work life, strain your relationships, and damage your financial life.
The best way to prevent serious gambling problems is to identify the signs and symptoms early. Once you realise that you have an addiction, it becomes easier to overcome. When you seek help and take the right steps, you can regain control over your life, fix your finances and mend your broken relationships.
Signs And Symptoms Of Problem Gambling
Below are some five signs and symptoms of problem gambling to help you assess your gambling habits:
1. Money-related problem gambling symptoms
If you are losing a lot of money to gambling, it is a sign that you are addicted. Problem gamblers don’t stop betting at casinos until they lose everything they can possibly lose. Spending money meant for essentials like food, rent, water bills, or school fee on gambling is a sign of addiction. Another thing to look out for is the urge to place bigger bets. Something is wrong if you are no longer thrilled by placing small bets. If you are unsure about your symptoms, answering the questions below can help you determine whether you need help or not.
- Do you spend more money on gambling by the day?
- Have you ever borrowed money to gamble?
- Have you ever stolen money to play at a casino?
- Do you always feel the urge to place a bigger bet?
Are you finding it difficult to control the amount you spend on gambling? If you answer yes to any or some of the questions above, you likely have a gambling problem and should seek help immediately.
2. Time-related problem gambling symptoms
Another way to assess your gambling habit is by checking the amount of time you spend gambling. You have an addiction if you spend most of your time playing casino games. Furthermore, the inability to control your playtime indicates that you have a problem. When gambling problems get serious, addicts find themselves doing nothing else aside from sleeping, eating, and gambling. If you answer yes to any of the questions below, it indicates that you likely have a gambling addiction.
- Do you gamble for long periods?
- Have you ever lied to cover up the time you spent gambling?
- Do you always feel the urge to extend your playtime?
- Do you feel you can’t control the length of time you play?
3. Psychological problem gambling symptoms
Problem gambling is a disorder that can mess up your mental health. When you get addicted to gambling, you may start feeling fear or irritable when you are not placing bets. Another symptom of this condition is being preoccupied with gambling to the extent of finding it difficult to sleep at night. Some problem gamblers say they become depressed and suicidal as their addiction worsens. You also need to seek help if you have started using gambling to escape your life’s problem. Let’s take a look at some questions that can help you determine whether you have gambling problems or not.
Do you feel irritable anytime you are not gambling?
Do you gamble to feel relief from life unpleasant experiences?
Do gambling thoughts affect your ability to sleep?
Do you feel depressed or have suicidal thoughts? You should stop gambling and talk to a professional if you answer yes to one or some of the questions above.
4. Social problem gambling symptoms
Gambling is a form of entertainment that should never affect your relationships with friends, families, and co-workers. You likely have a gambling problem if it is already straining your relationships. Gambling addiction can destroy the relationships you have built over the years. In addition, it can ruin your reputation because you will likely be lying to cover up your gambling habits. Seek help immediately if your answer to any of the questions below is yes.
Are your relationships deteriorating due to excessive gambling?
Are you lying to cover up your gambling habits?
Have your loved ones criticised you over gambling?
5. Work-related problem gambling symptoms
When your work starts suffering because of gambling, it is an obvious sign of a gambling problem. Spending more time on gambling means you will have less time for work. Aside from lack of time, gambling addiction can also affect your efficiency at work. The more your mind becomes preoccupied with playing casino games, the harder it is to concentrate on other things. Lastly, gambling addiction can make you care less about your goals and ambitions. Please note that this condition can affect you regardless of whether you are a business owner or an employer. Below are some questions to help you know if you are already manifesting a work-related problem gambling symptom.
Have you ever stayed away from work to gamble?
Is gambling making it difficult to concentrate at work?
Do you feel less committed to your goals and ambitions?
Triggers Of Gambling Addiction
There is no way to predict who will develop gambling problems. However, some factors can increase your chances of becoming a problem gambler. Some of the causes of gambling addiction include:
• Mental health problems
Those suffering from depression, personality disorder, or other mental health illnesses are likely to become addicted to gambling. For example, people with depression or anxiety issues may become addicted to using the euphoria of gambling to relieve their unpleasant feelings.
• Family history of a gambling problem
Your risk of becoming a problem gambler is higher if one or both of your parents are problem gamblers. Being raised in a home where many people are addicts makes you more prone to developing the same problem.
• Early exposure
Those exposed to gambling at a young age are at a higher risk of becoming gambling addicts.
Men are more likely to become problem gamblers than women.
• Other addictions
People with other addictions like drugs or alcohol are more likely to develop gambling addiction than others.
• Use of certain medications
Some studies have linked the use of medications like antipsychotic medications to a higher risk of developing a gambling addiction.
How To Overcome Gambling Addiction
Do you feel like your gambling habit is getting out of hand? If yes, try these steps to overcome your gambling addiction.
1. Acknowledge the gambling problem
The first step to getting over your gambling addiction is admitting that you have a problem. It is when you accept that you have an addiction you can start doing something about it. If you agree that your gambling has moved beyond being a form of entertainment to an addiction, you are on the right path to overcoming the problem.
2. Talk to a trusted person and seek professional help
After admitting that you have an addiction problem, the next step is to talk to a trusted person that can offer you emotional support. The person can be a close friend, family member, or long-time associate. Once done, you can work with the person to create an action plan on how to get professional help.
3. Block all gambling access
Get rid of anything that could tempt you to gamble. Block gambling websites on your phones and desktop computers. You should delete all your gambling apps. Additionally, quit all gambling forums or groups.
4. Take charge of your finances
Get someone to help you manage your finances while dealing with your gambling problem. This way, you are not tempted to spend your money at casinos or other betting sites.
5. Get busy with other activities
Withdrawing from gambling can be difficult. You will have to keep yourself busy with other hobbies to resist the urge to relapse. Find other things that interest you and start engaging in them to keep yourself busy.
Where To Find Help If You Have A Gambling Problem
If you need further help to overcome your gambling addiction, you can contact any of the following independent gambling support services.
Gamcare offers free, confidential, and non-judgmental services for people having gambling problems in the UK. You can connect with them by calling 0808 8020 133 or visiting their website, www.gamcare.org.uk.
BeGambleAware is a free gambling support service managed and funded by Gamble Aware, an independent charity organisation. They provide confidential help to people with gambling problems. You can contact their team via their website, www.begambleaware.org.
• Gamblers Anonymous
Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of gamblers sharing their addiction experience and how they overcome the problem. You can visit their website, www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk, to seek help and connect with other gamblers trying to get over their addiction.
18+ Please Gamble Responsibly. Begambleaware.org