Online gambling is a massive industry worldwide. Millions of gamblers from around the globe register active online casino and sports betting accounts where multiple billions of Euros are spent on bets every year.
While the majority of players game for the entertainment value offered by the engaging pastime, there is a small minority of people who fall foul to the snare of gambling addiction or experience gambling problems of one sort or the other.
It would be remiss of the industry to shrug off this potentially life-destroying habit, which is why many operators across different jurisdictions around the world implement helpful tools for players to assist them in controlling their gambling.
Regulators work tirelessly to ensure that the vulnerable remain protected, while a right balance remains for those who are in it for fun.
As such, all well-licensed casinos will offer you various tools and protocols to help you manage your gaming under the auspices of responsible gambling.
The UK Gambling Commission is one of the strictest forces when it comes to this, followed by the Malta Gaming Authority. For this reason, the first step a player can make in ensuring that they gamble responsibly is to register and play at a fully licensed casino that offers these toolsets.
There are several tools that you can use to keep your gaming in line with healthy gambling protocols. You can manage each of the following at your discretion.
Setting up any of these options will take only a few minutes but could spare you needless frustration and even regret in the future.
Be sure to read on to the end to find out how these protocols can help you make your experience safer.
Responsible gambling involves good bankroll management, as well as budget management. If you are not able to control your spending from session to session, it may be beneficial for you to set a healthy deposit limit on your account. These are often compulsory for all players at some online casinos and even form part of the registration process.
In this instance, once you have set a deposit limit, you will be able to make deposits and play at the casino until you reach your pre-set cap. Your casino account will not allow you to load any more money onto your active bankroll once you are at the limit.
Deposit Limits can be set for:
You must take some time to think about your gambling budget and assess the limits based on what you can spend, remember that if you opt for a monthly limit and reach your cap in the first week or two, you will have to wait until the next month before you can deposit and play again.
It is, however, possible to change the Deposit Limits you have set, but the speed at which you can do this depends on varying factors:
All money that has been deposited into the casino account that exceeds the deposit limit set will usually be held until you’re your limit resets at the end of the period set.
Loss limit tools are not unique to the gambling business but can be found in the investment world too. In a real sense, Loss Limits are protocols we employ to lower the severity of loss wherever there is significant risk involved.
Players can set either a daily, weekly, or monthly loss limit at an online casino. If their net loss experienced while playing hits that safety net, the casino will no longer allow them to play anymore until the selected period is up and has reset.
Use this tool in conjunction with a deposit limit to tighten your gameplay. It forces you to think intelligently about each session so that you do not hit your limits too quickly. When thought goes into each spin or game session, you are gambling responsibly.
Some helpful tips to ensure you do not reach your loss limit to include quickly:
You can change your Net Loss Limit, but it usually requires a 24-hour ‘’cool off’’ period before such changes come into effect. This is to ensure that you are not making decisions in the heat of the moment and that you still want them to commence once you are calmer and thinking more clearly.
Wager limits are rare in the online casino world, but certain establishments employ them as a different way to tighten spending.
In this instance, players apply to the casino to cap the amount of money that they can spend on wagers per day, per week, or per month.
These types of limits are not popular and are often counter-productive when you are using casino bonuses that require you to play through rigorous wagering requirements. Players are better off using deposit and loss limits to curb their spending, instead.
Another great way to gamble responsibly is to manage the amount of time you spend playing online casino games. If you don’t have the willpower to stop when you ought to, you can employ a unique Session Limit tool provided by most licensed casinos.
Once set, the casino will stop your current gameplay when your preselected session time has expired. It will first remind you that the session will be coming to an end soon so that you can wrap up your play, but once the limit is met, your play will stop irrelevant to where you are in the game.
Gambling can be very immersive and what seems like minutes in your mind, could be hours of real play. Session limits are a way to ensure that you do not lose track of time in the real world.
You can change your limit, but it will take 24 hours to come into effect. The amount of time you set for your play is usually set by the hour and varies based on the casino you are playing at.
Perhaps not as abrupt and decisive as Session Limits, Reality checks can be a great avenue to wander if you want to keep track of your playtime online. Problem gambler or not, we advise that all players embrace this good tool to alert them of their session lengths.
You can usually set a Reality Check alarm on your account profile, which will periodically alert you throughout your gameplay as to how long you have been playing. This is usually set for every 30 minutes to an hour.
It is un-abrasive and certainly not restricting at all, making it the perfect option for all gamers to use. Unlike all other tools, you can turn Reality Check on and off in an instant.
Perhaps you have been spending a lot of money at online casinos lately, or it has been using up a lot of your spare time. You can opt to take a ‘Time Out’ from playing on your account. This is essentially a playing holiday, providing much-needed rest to those who need it, but perhaps succumb to temptation too easily.
There are several options to choose from when selecting the time frame that you want to opt-out for, but the most popular options include:
While some casinos may allow for longer periods, any longer than 6 weeks is more likened to Self-Exclusion rather than a mere ‘Time Out’.
This is usually the last resort for problem gamblers and is an extreme decision to make.
You can opt out of playing at an online casino for an extended period (3 months to 5 years). If players decide on this route, the operator will lock their account for the timeframe stipulated, and they will not be able to reaccess it until the period is complete.
Concessions may be made to unblock the account before the time is due if you can motivate it correctly with the casino. But bear in mind that the operator will look after your best interest and can refuse this plea.
While some believe that Self Exclusion is not a viable tool, because gamblers can register elsewhere, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) takes it very seriously and have launched multi-operator schemes. Here, your exclusion will be spread to all operators in the network. All UKGC licensed casinos must offer Self-Exclusion options by law.
In most instances, you can opt-in for the required limits manually from your account profile. All it takes is 4 easy steps:
If you find this a complicated process, you can continue to the Responsible Gambling page on the provider site and follow the links to their different tools. If you find that there are no manual settings for any specific limit, then you will need to contact the casino via live chat, email, or telephone to request the restrictions on your account.
While the casinos and regulators can implement tools and protocols to help you with problem gambling, the onus is on you to make use of the assistance.
If you are not sure whether you have a gambling problem or need to opt-in on any of the measures mentioned in this guide, then we recommend that you do a self-test. Read more about the safest online casinos for further assistance.
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