While gambling is great fun and a wonderful pastime, the reality is that there are those who are prone to addictive behaviours. This is why many online casinos have undertaken the commitment to protect their players with a responsible gambling policy, and have instituted many helpful tools to prevent possible gambling problems.
Responsible Gambling Support
As with any addiction, certain people are at a higher risk than others. The very young are particularly susceptible, which is why all casinos have a blanket ban on players who are under the age of 18. People who battle with anxiety, depression and other mood imbalances are also more likely to become addicts, as well as players who are already addicted to substances like alcohol and drugs.
The New Zealand Ministry of Health established that “at any given time, between 0.3% and 1.8% of adults living in the community in New Zealand are likely to score as problem gamblers on standard questionnaires. This is between about 10,000 and 60,000 people.”
According to the Problem Gambling in New Zealand summary, research confirmed that:
Gambling-related harm affects some sections of the community more than others. In particular:
- People living in high deprivation neighbourhoods are more likely than people living in other neighbourhoods to be problem gamblers, and are more likely to suffer gambling-related harm.
- Mäori and Pacific peoples are more likely than other groups to be problem gamblers, and are more likely to suffer gambling-related harm.
- Mäori and Pacific women are more likely than other groups to suffer harm related to non-casino gaming machines.
- Some Asian groups, Pacific peoples and Mäori, are more likely than other groups to suffer harm related to casino gambling.
Here are 5 simple and easy to follow steps that you can follow to ensure you or your loved one’s gamble safely.
1. Time Out
A great tool that is made available by all reputable casinos is to set time and money limits on your profile. Your hobby should never overtake the need to put food on the table and risk the roof over your head, so carefully think about what you can afford to risk and then set this amount as your budget in the software. If you are not sure how to do this, Customer Support will be able to guide you through the process.
A handy tip is to simply take a break from all the bells and whistles. Set a time limit on your profile where your device reminds you to take a break. Decide what would work best for you and step away from the screen at least once every hour.
2. Don’t Drink and Gamble
Having a glass of your favourite tipple is a wonderful way to relax while you play, however, having too much to drink can negatively affect your experience. We all know what happens when alcohol strips us of our inhibitions and, even though mistakes made at an online casino probably won’t land up on social media, it can be financially devastating.
Losing track of your predetermined budget or beginning to chase your losses is a potential side-effect of gambling while inebriated. Rather avoid regret and keep hold of those faculties.
3. Recognize Red Flags
Addiction can lead to feelings of shame and cause those affected by it to hide their activities. The best way to help those you love avoid the pitfalls of addiction is to be aware of the warning signs that accompany it.
Seek help if you or a loved one display the following red flags:
- You gamble during working hours or wake up late for work after gambling all night.
- You stop taking care of your personal hygiene and spend days in the same clothes.
- Your family life suffers as gambling takes priority in your life.
- You start selling heirlooms, vehicles and other valuables to fund your gambling habit.
- You go into debt and apply for extended credit or new credit cards so that you can play casino games.
- Your health starts to suffer as you fail to get sufficient exercise or drink enough water.
- You consider getting involved in criminal activity to fund your gambling habit.
- You start lying about your gambling activity and try to hide the addiction from your loved ones.
The Gambling Helpline is there to help you and will refer you to assistance in your area. Trained counsellors are available to chat free of charge, night or day. Give them a call on 0800 654 655 or text them on 8006.
4. Select a Secure Casino
How do you tell the reputable casinos from the dodgy ones? Well, just look at the quality of the games they provide. Do they use professional game developers like Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech? These are just 3 of the biggest game developers, but there are also other smaller, trustworthy developers out there.
All good casinos are audited. Look for the following symbols which indicate external agencies that make sure casinos and their games are paying out as they should:
- eCogra stands for the eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance group which certifies websites. This organisation indicates trust and credibility to reassure players that sensitive information is appropriately secured and managed in accordance with an internationally recognised standard.
- GLI provides independent testing and inspection of electronic gaming products and certifies gaming products based on the testing, inspection and compliance determinations.
- TST puts stringent legislative requirements that regulate online gaming into practice. The company also certifies and audits the security, transparency and fairness of the online gambling legality and its compliance with industry standards and requirements made by corresponding licensing jurisdiction.
Our site only lists licensed casinos with a trustworthy and secure reputation. That means you can choose one of our recommended sites and play with peace of mind.
If it’s not clearly visible on the website, chat to the customer support team and find out whether the casino is licensed or not. Casinos that are licensed and regulated in Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney and by the UK Gambling Commission are the most common licenses. The UK license is currently considered the strictest.
5. Fraud Protection.
Once you have verified the game providers, discover what steps have been put in place to protect you from fraud and other financial losses which aren’t your fault.
A good casino keeps diligent watch over player activity and will reach out to you should they notice suspicious activity.
Responsible gambling is a serious, but necessary, topic because casino games involve real money that can have a very concrete impact on your life. You put in real money to win real money, but at the same time, you can lose it all so, bear that in mind as you play.
Confidential and professional help is on hand to help you through and beating your addiction is a guaranteed way to win.