Frequently Asked Questions about responsible gambling.
Make sure you treat gambling as entertainment and not as a source of income. Never bet more than you can afford to lose, do not bet while drinking alcohol, feeling depressed, upset or chasing a loss and take regular breaks from gambling. When the fun stops, stop.
Betting to a degree that compromises, disrupts or damages family, personal or recreational pursuits. It often entails betting beyond your means and sometimes feeling an uncontrollable impulse to gamble. People suffering from gambling problems often become increasingly preoccupied with betting and display behavioural changes like anxiety, depression, irritability and anger.
Each case is unique, but there are a number of signs to look out for. If someone is regularly strapped for cash, failing to pay bills and taking time off work despite not seeming ill, it could suggest problem gambling. If valuables go missing it could serve as a red flag, and someone with a gambling problem might become more secretive, withdrawn and irrationally angry.
There are a number of organisations that offer free, confidential advice and support to anyone gambling to harmful levels.
In the United Kingdom, BeGambleAware, GamCare, Gambling Therapy, Gamblers Anonymous, Gordon Moody, National Debtline and the National Problem Gambling Clinic all offer practical advice on gambling responsibly and managing problem gambling.
In the USA organisations like National Council on Problem Gambling, American Addiction Centers and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration all offer similar assistance.
All can be directly visited from this website.
You can set time limits on your gambling by imposing session timers on various casino games. It also helps to keep a gambling diary regularly updated, logging the amount of time you are wagering each day. Make sure you balance out betting with a number of other hobbies and interests, and do not neglect your social life in order to spend time gambling.
Your account information will provide details of how much you have spent, won and lost at a particular betting site. If you have accounts with multiple sites, you should create your own diary and record your winnings and losses on an ongoing basis. Download a budget calculator, work out how much you can afford to lose and never exceed it.
You can impose deposit limits and loss limits on your own account at various betting sites. You can decrease these limits at any time, and the changes are made instantly. If you want to increase the limits, you often have to wait 24 hours and then confirm that you are happy to do so.
You can choose to self-exclude yourself from the websites, betting shops and casinos you tend to visit. These operators are then obliged to stop sending you marketing materials, and to take reasonable steps to prevent you from circumventing the self-exclusion. Many of them sign up to multi-operator self-exclusion schemes like GAMSTOP in the UK, which allows you to exclude yourself for six months, one year or five years.
Taking time out is crucial for responsible gamblers. It allows you to clear your head and ensures you are not desperately chasing losses. You can contact most betting sites and ask to take time out, which involves your account being temporarily suspended for up to six weeks. You can only reactivate it once the predetermined time period has passed.
Consider using software like Net Nanny (UK), Cyber Sitter (UK), Kidlogger (USA) and Qustodio (USA) to protect your children from adult or inappropriate content.
Always log out of betting sites when you are finished, and do not leave your children near devices while a betting site is running. Educate them about the dangers of underage gambling and limit the amount of time they spend online, while regularly monitoring the content they are accessing.