Often times we’ll see the term responsible gaming and immediately turn our attention to gambling addiction. While the two are similar by definition, there are other issues to consider from the online casino standpoint that needs to be addressed and understood.
- Underage gambling – It is the responsibility of the operator of the site to prevent underage customers and browsers from patronizing them. This can be done in a couple different ways: age verification through software or proof of age with valid ID.
- Fraud – It is required that any online casino business implement anti-money laundering procedures as well as local and international policies
- Secure Data and Information – Protecting the customer’s personal and financial data from disclosure is the sole responsibility of the operator. The customer must be assured their data - name, address, age, telephone number and email address – will not be used without consent.
- Fair Gaming – Operators must ensure that all online gaming products are tested for fairness. Third party sources are often utilized to conduct external audits and promote the use of RNG (random number generators).
Fortunately, not everyone becomes addicted to gambling. With the easy access to online casinos in today’s modern world, it is becoming a bigger problem. Many can maintain a healthy level of online gambling just by following some tips:
- See gambling as entertainment not a way to make money
- Never chase losses, take them as they come
- Balance your gaming with other forms of entertainment, hobbies, etc.
- Budget yourself – set a spending limit
- Set a time limit. Do not lose track of time.
- Don’t gamble under emotions. Make sure you are doing it for fun, not an escape
It is the customer’s responsibility to recognize that they may be vulnerable to addiction. Should you notice that you are unable to keep the above ideals in check, you should immediately consult with the support team at your casino. They have tools and are geared with information to help you get back on track – or even stop altogether.
Identify the Issue
In the rare instance you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to abide by the above outline for responsible gambling, it is important to recognize risk behaviors in order to get the help you will need.
• Spend more money on gambling than budgeted.
• Are easily annoyed if something disturbs you while gambling.
• Chase/try to recoup losses.
• Lose your sense of time and stay in the game longer than planned.
• Don’t tell the truth to people that are close to you.
• Don't quit when you’re up.
• Have a strong belief that you will make big or bigger wins.
• Think that you lose because you didn't play well enough.
• Overwhelmed with thoughts of gambling.
• Increase betting to increase excitement.
• Hide or lie about how much you spend on gambling.
• Choose gaming before family, friends or work.
Only 10% of gamblers with a problem seek help due to stigma and embarrassment. There is nothing to be ashamed of. Gambling is fun and it can be easy to get carried away. There are ways to get help. Even subtle ways if you don’t want your friends or family to be aware of the issue. Online casinos are willing to step in if you reach out to them, they take this very seriously.
How to Get Help
Here are some things you can do in the event you find yourself in a problematic situation:
- Spending Limits: Contacting your online casino support to advise you would like spending limits added to your account. You can control how much you spend very easily by requesting a limit of XX dollars per day, week or month.
- Self-Exclusion: Take a break. Have your account closed for self-exclusion. Self-exclusion begins with a minimum of 6 months and can be carried out as long as you need thereafter. You cannot break the minimum 6 month period.
- Permanent self-exclusion: Is exactly what it sounds like. Admitting to gambling addiction to casino support will result in your account being closed permanently. Many online casino sites have procedures, so make sure to work closely with them to achieve the desired result.
- Changes in online associations: Make sure to unfollow any gaming related social media groups as well as seeking outside support through friends and family, a counselor or a group.
Often times, your online casino can provide information on local support groups and other online assistance – as well, you can check the internet too. There are many ways to get the help you need, including anonymous methods such as gamblersanonymous.org, responsiblegambling.org, gamtalk.org or search for local gambling help online or gamblers help hotlines.