Understanding the term "responsible gambling" would require to move away from the idea that it relates only to "gambling addiction". In fact, responsible gambling is best used in a positive context as it also indicates the readiness of businesses, lawmakers and regulators to work together towards establishing the best customer protection measures.
What does responsible gambling cover?
- Underage gambling – Individual operators are legally obliged to ensure that the players who sign up for their offer are of the legal gambling age. This is done through the "account verification" process.
- Fraud – Licensed operators perform anti-money laundering (AML) checks and assess an individual's wealth to ensure that the origin of the money is truthful and comes from established sources.
- Secure Data and Information – A responsible operator is tasked with maintaining high-security standards. Each licensed operator needs to introduce SSL encryption and other safeguards to prevent ill-meaning third parties from breaching the web site's database and accessing personal information.
- Fair Gaming – Operators need to prove the fairness of the games they offer by allowing accredited third-party agencies to conduct the necessary tests. This involves testing of the Random Number Generator (RNG) that establishes the random outcome of all games available at an online casino website.
Gambling addiction is a danger that is further exacerbated by the accessibility of online gaming. The ease of access can lead certain people to develop unhealthy gaming behaviour. It is important to monitor your gaming habits and remind yourself of several essential rules:
- Gambling is not a source of income, but rather entertainment.
- Losses are to be expected and players shouldn't try to recuperate them in a single big bet.
- Gambling should not be the only source of personal entertainment and it should be limited.
- Entering a spending limit at a gaming site allows you to keep your spending low.
- Limit your gaming sessions not only financially, but also in terms of the real-time you spend gambling.
- Avoid gambling if you are stressed or depressed. Losses can only perpetuate feelings of negativity.
It's up to each individual customer to recognize that gambling addiction is an ever-present danger. If you find yourself struggling with the rules and recommendations outlined in this guide, you will need to contact the customer support service of your casino. The support staff is trained to provide you with help, including, but not limited to restricting your deposits as well as patching you through with specialists.
Recognize the Issue
Recognizing the dangers of gambling addiction is the first step towards resolving the problem. However, there are other symptoms that should prompt you to seek help. Consider turning to a licensed specialist or pursuing guidance from a trusted helpline if you exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- You regularly spend more than your allocated budget on gambling
- You are irritated if something or someone is interfering with your gambling sessions
- You chase your losses often even when it's not logical to do so
- You spend too much time gambling
- You immediately stake any small and big winnings
- You avoid talking openly about your gambling hobby
- You are preoccupied with thoughts about gambling
- Bigger stakes make you happier, even though winning is not an end in itself
- You start to borrow money, steal or sell the property to be able to continue gambling
- You ignore family, work and other social responsibilities to continue playing
Resources and How to Get Help
It is never too late to address the issue and we recommend that you do so in one of several ways:
- Set spending limits - The quickest way to start working towards a solution is to set limits within the casino or casinos you play on. You can further contact customer support to guarantee that you won't be cheating yourself.
- Join temporary self-exclusion - Self-exclusion schemes are efficient as they log your legal data into a national database that blocks you from accessing any licensed gambling website in your jurisdiction. A temporary exclusion period could be anything from 6 months to 1 or 5 years.
- Exclude yourself for life - If you think that gambling simply isn't for you anymore, you can address the issue by excluding yourself entirely for life.
- Limit exposure to gambling websites and news feeds - Try to gradually cut the bad influences out of your Internet feed. This is a surefire way to ween yourself out. It's natural that you will come across gambling focused materials, but reminding yourself not to dwell on these would be for the best.
You can always ask your casino for assistance with a referral to support groups or other forms of aid. The most popular, trusted and respected agencies are gamblersanonymous.org, as well as responsiblegambling.org, and gamtalk.org. If you are playing with a reputable casino operator, you will see the logos of one or all institutions featured.