Playing in a land-based or online casino is a hobby for most players. It is a fun way to experience some thrill and entertainment. It is even possible to win very large amounts of money!
Unfortunately, it is also possible that this hobby can turn into a nightmare. A few players develop problems with pathological gambling, and for them the simple act of playing online or in a land-based casino is no longer a healthy activity, but a disease that results in uncontrollable urges to bet money. This dependence is characterised by a strong urge to play and bet money, and is usually accompanied by intense feelings of anxiety.
In order to protect yourself from a risk of addiction to online or offline gambling, it is important to have a responsible attitude towards gambling and to take it what it should be: a leisurely activity that should not be performed in excess.
Don’t try to win money
A good attitude for responsible gambling is to have a healthy view of what online and land-based casinos are and what they offer.
If you bet money you can win some, but you should always keep in mind that you can also lose money in the long run. Some players seem to be very lucky when they play, especially when they win a progressive jackpot, but they are not the majority of players, and it is not a general rule that you will win. It is important to keep in mind that online and land-based casinos offer you entertainment and the chance to win money, but you can also lose your money.
Set yourself different limits
In order to keep control over your gambling activity is important to set yourself some limits before you start to play. These limits should be set with regards to your losses, your winnings and the time you spend playing. Once you have reached one or more of these limits, it is important to stop playing, even if you only played for a short time. Take a break and come back another time.
A loss limit
When you play these money games it is important for you to decide in advance how much money you intend to put into play. The amount should be regarded as a loss when you start playing. If you do this you do not risk regretting having played, and it will make your gaming session a lot more enjoyable, especially when you win some money. It is also important that you only play with an amount of money that you are able to lose without regret, and you should only choose an amount that will not affect your daily life.
A winnings limit
At the same time it is also important to set yourself a limit for winnings. Think realistically about how much money you would want to potentially win, without being excessive, and keep it in relation to the money you intend to spend. If you have a decent limit for winnings, it is less likely that you risk falling victim to the adrenaline rush of the games and losing everything just because you want to win more and more.
A time limit
It is sometimes difficult to reach a limit for losses or winnings, but you should not be playing for too long. It is important to also set yourself a time limit of how long you want to play. This will help you to not get too tired when playing and to keep a clear head in the games.
Do not try to win lost money back
As I already mentioned in the paragraphs above, it is important that you stop playing once you have reached either the time-limit, the loss limit or the winning limit. However, when you have lost a larger amount of money it is very tempting to try to win it back. This is the worst thing that you could possibly do! It would mean that you will have to bet additional money, and you risk losing it again with even more serious consequences. You also have to play longer, which may make you tired, and you might make the wrong decisions in the games. You anxiety level will also rise, and you will risk betting in an irrational manner, which may result in even more losses.
Only play when you are in good shape
Sometimes, when you feel a little tired, stressed or down, you may want to play in an online or land-based casino to change your mind. However, you should avoid playing games in this state. If you are not in good shape, your judgement may be affected, and you risk making mistakes and playing too emotional. It is important to always play with a good mood and when you are healthy, only then you are really fit to play.
The best habits for responsible gaming
- always consider playing at an online or land-based casino as a leisurely activity, and not a means to make money,
- set yourself limits for losses, winnings and the maximum playing time, so that you will always keep control over your playing,
- never try to win back money that you have lost, as this will only lead to you losing more money,
- only play in good condition, and not tired, stressed or depressed, as you risk making irrational decisions and mistakes.
As an independent charity, BeGambleAware’s mission is to create awareness of problem gambling while reducing the effects of addictive gambling as well as funding research, education and treatment of gambling-related harms.
- Web: www.begambleaware.org
- Live chat: Yes
- Tel: 0808 8020133
One of the UK’s leading responsible gambling organisations, GamCare provides support and information to those affected by addictive gambling, offering advice, education and treatment for problem gamblers throughout the UK.
- Web: www.gamcare.org.uk
- Live chat: Yes
- Tel: 0808 8020133
Gamblers Anonymous facilitates the meeting of men and women suffering from gambling addiction in an effort to help them support each other through their compulsive gambling issues.
- Web: www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk
- Live chat: Yes
The Senet Group
The Senet Group is an independent organisation made up of online gambling operators including Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Betting and Gaming and William Hill. Its purpose is to improve standards in online gambling, particularly around responsible gambling.
You may be familiar with its “When The Fun Stops, Stop” campaign which is heavily advertised on TV in the UK. While not a gambling addiction charity itself, it works with BeGambleAware to help those in need.
- Web: www.whenthefunstops.co.uk
- Live chat: No