Gambling can be fun and sometimes very profitable. But it can also be addictive. That’s why in securing their licenses, online casinos have to demonstrate they have policies in place for responsible gambling. Teenagers are especially at risk, and casinos have a blanket prohibition on under-18 gaming. Adults, however, also need to be careful. We’ve all heard of stories, even if it’s second or third hand, of people chasing after their losses and losing more than they can afford. When it gets out of control, gambling will stop being fun.
Reputable online casinos, such as the ones we list on this site, will have mechanisms available to their players to help them control their gaming to prevent problems. There are also a few things players can do on their end to help themselves. We’re going to run through a few of these things here.
This is perhaps the most important thing you should do. Look at your budget and figure out how much you can afford to lose. Yes, there are poker players who quit their day jobs and play for a living, but they are the exception, not the norm. Playing casino games is not a sure way to make money, and at times you will lose money. Make sure that even when you lose, you can still pay rent, eat and meet your responsibilities in life.
If you have a hard time keeping with limits, online casinos can help you set a maximum budget limit. For example, you only want to play with $500 a month. If you reach that limit, the casino will stop you from making further deposits until the month if over. If you can’t find it in your account settings, talk to the casino’s customer service – they will be more than happy to help you because they know a player going into debt is also bad for them in the long run.
Don’t drink and play. It’s obvious. But it’s also advisable to avoid online casinos when you’re feeling moody or depressed. We’ve all been there when we want to take out our frustrations on something. Moodiness affects our decision making process, and sometimes it might make us take risks that we normally wouldn’t take.
Sometimes it helps to speak with someone. A lot of addictive behaviours stem from other problems. Or sometimes, it’s just hard to resist temptation. Whatever the reason, if you find that you’re out of control, there’s professional help out there and it’s free and confidential. In New Zealand, the Gambling Problem Helpline has a toll free phone number that’s open 24/7. Trained counsellors are also available for free via the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, which also has a toll free hotline.
Alright, so that was some pretty serious stuff, and most people will be fine. But that doesn’t mean you should let your guard down. It’s also your responsibility to avoid rogue casinos. How do you tell if it’s a rogue or not? Look at casino reviews, check that the games come from reputable developers. Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech are the 3 biggest game developers, but there are also other smaller, trustworthy developers out there.
By choosing a secure casino, you will prevent fraud and other financial losses that aren’t your fault. Make sure you play at a licensed casino – Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney and the UK Gambling Commission are the most common licenses, with the UK license currently being considered the strictest. A good casino will also be audited – look for the eCogra, GLI and TST symbols. These are external agencies that make sure casinos and their games are paying out as they should. Our site only lists licensed casinos with a good reputation.
Yes, responsible gambling is a serious topic. It’s because casino games involve real money that can have a very concrete impact on your lives. You put in real money to win real money, but at the same time, you can lose. Bear that in mind, and know that when necessary, there is always confidential and professional help available.