The Importance of Responsible Gambling: A Guide for Gamblers
Gambling is a fun activity, but for some people, it can become addictive and encourage problematic behaviors. In this guide, we highlight the signs to look out for in yourself or someone you love and discuss the tools available for managing addiction.
Understanding responsible gambling
Responsible gambling refers to fun, safe gambling where players are entirely controlled and do not suffer mentally or financially from playing. Gambling becomes problematic when players gamble with more money than they can afford to lose or rely on gambling as a source of income. If you feel a loss of control over your spending, you may have already developed a gambling addiction.
Under licensing from US regulators, all legal online casinos must provide help and assistance for players who wish to control their gaming habits. The goal of gambling operators is to prevent problem gambling behaviors from developing in the first place by highlighting the warning signs and offering tools such as time and deposit limits.
Recognizing a gambling problem: warning signs and self-evolution
Anyone can develop a gambling addiction, especially if they ignore responsible gambling advice. To help you spot a gambling problem within either yourself or someone that you care about, we have listed some of the critical warning signs to look out for:
- Lying to family and friends about how much money and time you spend gambling
- Struggling to manage impulsive urges to gamble, even when the odds are against you
- Using gambling to escape from real life
- Impact on personal relationships
- Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pain, anxiety, and other stress-related symptoms
- Chasing losses, for instance, betting again after losing in an attempt to win back the money
You can check your behaviors or the behaviors of a loved one by taking a self-assessment test provided by a responsible gambling service.
Staying in control: deposit limits and playing time notifications
Many online casinos offer responsible gambling tools such as deposit limits and playing time notifications to help players control their gambling spending. Deposit limits allow players to set a maximum limit on how much money they can deposit into their gambling account in a set period, such as a day, week, or month. Deposit limits allow players to plan their spending based on what they can afford to lose and avoid getting caught up in impulse spending in the heat of the moment while gambling.
Players can activate deposit limits in their account settings. Where to set limits will differ on each casino site, but it should be easy to find. Once they have spent up to their deposit limit, gamblers will be unable to deposit again until the time period they have selected is up, and the betting site cannot override the period as this would defeat its purpose.
You can also set time limits and wager limits and turn on playing time notifications that alert you when you have been playing for longer than you planned or longer than the casino would recommend. Gambling providers also allow users to self-exclude, meaning that they can ban themselves from gambling for a specific period.
Understanding account history and its role in responsible gambling
Players can easily access their gambling history across all platforms (e.g., desktop, mobile browser, and app), including time and money spent, amounts wagered, and net wins/losses. Players can use their account history to help determine whether they are gambling responsibly or if they may need help. From there, they can decide which tools or resources to use. Various tools, such as self-exclusion, time limits, and deposit limits, are available.
Gambling support organizations
A wide range of helplines and professional counseling services are available in the US. If you need tailored advice or to speak to someone in person, you can get free and confidential support from trained experts. Below we have listed some of the most popular organizations and charities offering gambling support to help you find somewhere.
National Gambling Helpline: This helpline is operated by the National Council on Problem Gambling, connecting callers to local health and government organizations that can assist them with their gambling addiction. The helpline is open 24/7 and is 100% confidential.
National Council on Problem Gambling: The council is the oldest organization on gambling issues in the US. The website offers text and chat services to assist gamblers and their families. The organization also provides a comprehensive list of resources to help with a gambling addiction.
Gamblers Anonymous: Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of people who share their experience and hope with each other to help them recover from gambling problems. Anyone who has a desire to stop gambling can join. Members can attend meetings in their states and have open conversations about gambling.
GAM-ANON: GAM-ANON is a self-help fellowship composed of individuals affected by another person’s gambling problem. The organization welcomes and assists those affected and allows them to share their personal experiences to nurture spiritual and emotional recovery.
Responsible gambling in the US
If you struggle to control your gambling habits, many organizations are available to offer you help and support. Below are contacts for some helpful organizations in different states.
|Responsible gambling resource
|The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling
|Delaware Council on Gambling Problems
|The Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline
|Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey
|Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania, Inc
|Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia
Responsible gambling summary
Responsible gambling ensures that gambling operators are taking measures to protect players from mental and financial harm caused by gambling. Players must look out for the key signs of gambling addiction in themselves and others to ensure that this recreational activity does not become a harmful addiction. Gambling should never compromise your personal life.
If you gamble, are looking to start gambling, or someone you know already engages in gambling, take advantage of the support and resources available to you to avoid any of the harmful implications of gambling. Make sure to look for the signs we have listed on this page.
Frequently asked questions
Responsible gambling refers to fun, safe gambling where players are in complete control of their playing and spending. Gambling can become problematic and harmful when players gamble with more money than they can afford to lose or rely on gambling as a source of income.
This page lists the main warning signs of a gambling problem. They include lying to family and friends about their habits, struggling to resist urges to gamble, and physical symptoms of stress. Look out for these signs in yourself and your peers before the issue worsens.
Many online casinos offer responsible gambling tools such as deposit limits and playing time notifications to help players control their gambling spending. If you need tailored advice or to speak to someone in person, you can get free and confidential support from trained experts through the National Gambling Helpline.
Self-exclusion and blocking tools are essential to controlling a gambling addiction, but it is always a good idea to seek professional help. Contact the National Gambling Helpline or a helpline in your area for tailored advice and support. You can join support groups to connect with others who are struggling.
Online casinos offer self-help tools for players at risk of developing a gambling problem, such as the ability to set time and money limits. Gambling providers also provide the option for self-exclusion, meaning you ask them to exclude you from gambling for a specific time.