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Responsible Gambling: The Ultimate Guide 2022

David Patterson
Being seasoned in computer science and having surfed the entire software development stack, David has something to say about how it all works. He’s also well aware of the gambling industry's best practices for turning client-customer concepts into workable models. Additionally, David's zest for cryptos makes him precisely that guy whose comprehensive expertise can save you from unnecessary (and costly!) mistakes. Blog 21 Nov 2022
All You need to know about Responsible Gambling
A step-by-step guide on the signs, risks, and types of treatment of responsible gaming

Gambling must implicate fun and amusing form of entertainment. The term ‘responsible gambling’ means playing in online casinos reasonably and in moderation. It entails sticking to limits and avoiding spending too much money. Although it is indeed what it ends up being for the majority of people, the bait to let it evolve into something debilitated is always there. As soon as gambling sets out to take over parts of our lives or induce us to make choices we otherwise wouldn’t make, it may be an alerting time to get some help.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive gambling guide and cover the following aspects: Sings, stages, risks, types of support available out there, how to help someone who gambles, and how to gamble responsibly. 

Understanding Someone who Gambles

Whether it is you or someone you know that is involved in gaming, it is important to first clearly understand the entire picture of what a gambler might be going through.

Signs of Excessive Gaming

Quite too often, you might not wish to believe that you or someone you know is having issues with playing in online casinos, but you may have discerned acting differently. Below are some signs to be on guard with that mean you or someone you know may be having specific difficulties with gaming:

  • Spend more time and money on playing in online casinos than they can afford;
  • Finding it hard to cope with or stop playing;
  • Arguments with friends or family about money and playing in online casinos;
  • Losing interest in familiar activities like hanging out together with family and friends;
  • Too much thinking or talking about playing in online casinos;
  • Lies about playing or hiding it from other people;
  • Chasing losses or trying to get out of financial trouble through playing in online casinos;
  • Playing until all money is gone;
  • Borrowing money, selling possessions, or shirking paying bills to pay for playing in online casinos;
  • Neglecting work, studies, family, private needs, or household responsibilities;
  • Playing in online casinos for a longer amount of time or with larger amounts of money;
  • Feeling anxious, distressed, guilty, desolate, or irritable.

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these cautionary signs, be it big or small, you should contact the National Gambling Helpline for private advice. Remember that leaving those signs unhampered could result in more serious harm (we are going to dwell on that later in the article). 

Hidden Gambling Behavior

Sometimes, it can be pretty difficult to understand whether or not someone is struggling with gaming because it is hard to notice any physical effects. Moreover, harm from gaming entails much more than financial losses as it can affect self-esteem, mental health, relationships, work, and social life. Quite too often, people say they feel that they should have discerned sooner but do not forget that a gambler may have done their best to hide it from you – especially if they were struggling with feelings of shame or guilt.

Beware of the Stages

Once someone wants or already starts to manage their gambling behavior, there are several various stages that they will most likely go through. These include:

  1. Not willing to change. In this stage, a gambler might feel that the benefits of playing in online casinos outweigh the drawbacks. They enjoy playing and do not regard it as a problem. At this point, neither to a gambler nor to their loved ones, gaming may be inducing any specific harm. 
  1. Pondering it. People may have mixed sentiments about their gaming. They might still enjoy it yet do know that it costs money and time. In this stage, they might be considering making a change.
  1. Getting ready. Now, people feel ready to handle or stop playing and have made up their minds to do something about it. They even could have picked a date in the nearest future on which to begin making changes.
  1. Taking action. They have already started to undertake some activities on changing their gaming behavior. People might be getting together a bundle of strategies and consider applying even more of them. Supporting gamblers in this stage is very important as they may be experiencing mixed feelings about the consequences of their gaming.
  1. Proceeding with change. This is probably the hardest stage. It happens when people singled out everything they need to do to change their gambling behavior and started to put it into practice. At this point, all they need is practice, practice, and some more practice. This stage is where they can turn new demeanors into a habit, which can be really hard to maintain, thus support from others would be invaluable. 
  1. Recovery. Recovery looks different for different people. Yet, most people in recovery from gaming disorder can live their lives relieved from worries about the burden of playing in online casinos. 

Gambling disorder must be perceived as a relapsing situation, meaning that someone, in an attempt to control their gaming, might start playing again. If that is the case, do not feel disheartened. Such a lapse might mean a way of figuring out how to fine-tune the treatment to stay on track. 

Grasping and knowing these stages can help you choose the best way to help. While you may be ready for someone to begin making changes, they still might be pondering it being not sure or ready that they wish and strive to change at all. Understanding and working within the stage that a gambler is in is crucial in helping with a safe gambling problem. 

Excessive gambling leads to mental health issues
The lack of safe gaming affects various parts of life, including finances, relationships, and social life

The Risks of Excessive Gambling

As a rule, when considering the harm caused by playing in online casinos, we pay the most attention to financial losses or relationship issues. However, when gaming becomes out of control, it can hugely affect other areas of our lives. Therefore, it is important to be more aware of the impact excessive playing in online casinos can have and, hence, be more mindful about gaming choices.

Finances

When playing in online casinos gets out of control, it results in problems with well-timed paying bills, taking out loans, or overdrafting to offset money a gambler is spending. All this can induce financial worry and stress, thus remember that chasing losses can only lead to even bigger losses.

Emotional Stress 

Regardless of how often or how much you gamble, playing in online casinos can have a great impact on the way you feel. Quite too often, people who have a game-safe gambling problem feel like they have little to zero control. This, in its turn, can cause struggling with shame and lack of self-worth, whereas remorse and guilt would be the results of how a gambler’s behavior may impact the surrounding people. Anxiety or even depression, mood swings, changes in a sleeping pattern – all this can significantly affect mental health. Experiencing those feelings is no shame but the condition to seek help and support. 

Personal Relationships, Social Life, and Work

Everyone should understand that playing in online casinos may become an addictive behavior, causing people to behave in ways that might seem hard to explain or out of character. Some specialized organizations provide confidential advice and help with a range of gambling-related issues. Whether you just need to talk, require emotional support, seek advice on relationship problems, lost the idea of how to communicate with loved ones, there is help for you out there. 

How to Gamble Responsibly

If you do not feel like having a gambling disorder yet, but do acknowledge you might need to impose some restrictions on yourself or someone you care for, consider the following limiting options. 

Self-Exclusion

Self-exclusion entails asking a gaming provider to exclude you from playing with them for a set period of time (typically between six and twelve months, although might be for up to five years). All top online casinos must provide users with this option, enabling every player requesting self-exclusion to be denied a gaming service and prevented from playing in online casinos for a set time period.

How it actually helps safe gambling? Having provided your identity proof, you will be eliminated from all marketing databases and not reached out during the period of your self-exclusion. Moreover, you will not be able to leave the scheme prior to the expiration date of your self-exclusion period. The best gambling sites guarantee that, after the self-exclusion period ends, you will not be automatically re-added to any marketing databases.

To self-exclude from a particular gaming site, either search for the Responsible Gambling section or ask the staff there for details. 

Gambling Blocking Software

It can be downloaded onto your computer, smartphone, or tablet and limit access to various gaming services available on the internet

There are two types of gambling-blocking software that may include both free and paid options:

  1. Gambling-specific blocking software (designed to block particularly gaming websites); like Gamban, GamBlock, BetFilter, and BetBlocker
  2. And general blocking software (developed to block a range of sites with the ability to set permissions like parental controls, etc.); like NetNanny

Some internet service providers and even devices, too, allow users to set restrictions, which require no downloads.

Types of Support to Help with Gaming

Seeking help in relation to either your own or someone else’s gaming can feel terrifying. However, there is always a way to ask for help and get it. Learn more about the types of support available out there for you to deal with a casino-safe gambling problem.  

One-to-One Support

CBT, counseling,  and other therapies provide you with a chance to discuss your thoughts and feelings with a professional in a secure, intimate, and non-judgemental environment

However you are feeling, you should not try to cope with your emotions on your own. Not only does having someone to talk to make a great difference, but the research also shows that it is quite fruitful for most people. Therapists or counselors are there for you to listen, encourage, advise, and support you to explore options to find fortitude and move forward in a confident way.

Support Groups

This is a secure way to connect with other people who experience a similar bet-safe gambling problem like you.

While struggling with excessive playing in online casinos, you may feel like nobody else can actually relate to what you currently are going through. Hence, speaking to other people who are going through something comparable can make a significant difference. In fact, support groups enable you to share your story, give heed to the experiences of others, grasp from one another, and encourage each other on the way to regain control and proceed positively with your life.

Residential Support

If you are struggling with a gaming-safe gambling problem, residential treatment programs may become an effective way of assisting you to win back control of your life in a secure and non-judgmental aura.

Residential support provides you with the opportunity to evade your usual routine and environment to help you break away from your regular gaming habits. Working with competent program coordinators, therapists, and counselors will help you learn more about yourself as well as your relationship with gaming. An intensive program also implies consolidated work on techniques and strategies to help you quit playing in online casinos and regain control over your future urges. 

Using gambling tips enhance responsible gambling
Gambling tips and strategies are the main line of defense against gambling disorder

Safe Gambling Tips

Following these tips can help you with ultra casino-safe gambling: 

  1. Do not consider gaming as a way to make money

Once you shift your attitude to playing in online casinos from fun to making money, you will give away more funds than you receive. Instead, consider gaming as an entertainment expense. 

  1. Only gamble with amounts of money you are ready to lose

We advise you to gamble within, say, your weekly budget for entertainment. 

  1. Set your money limit ahead of time

Decide on the amount you can afford to lose prior to starting playing. Once it is gone – then it is over! 

  1. Set your gambling time limit in advance

Every gambler knows how easy it is to lose track of time during playing. Set an alarm or a time limit, and once the time is up – just quit! Odds are that the longer you gamble, the more money you will lose.

  1. Do not chase your losses

If you set your money limit, lost it, yet still have time to gamble, trying to win some of it back will only lead to even bigger and bigger losses.

  1. Never gamble while being upset or depressed

When you are emotionally stressed, decision-making might be more challenging. Hence, we recommend gaming safe gambling only in a happy mood and clear-headed state.

  1. Harmonize gaming with other activities

As soon as you notice that playing in online casinos becomes your only form of entertainment, it means that you no longer play for fun merely, which may lead to various problems. Therefore, you must ensure that gaming does not become your only pastime.

  1. Do not pick up your bank card with you

This is another way to safeguard your money limit and avoid being “at the moment” warp your decisions.

  1. Take regular breaks

Excessive and continuous playing in online casinos can lead to losing track of perspective and time. 

  1. Never gamble after alcohol drinks (or drugs)

Alcohol and drugs cloud judgment, whereas clear judgment is the main line of defense against letting gaming get out of hand.

Final Words

If you stick to the gambling tips given in the guidelines above, you should find yourself casino-safe gambling. Remember that moderation is key. Responsible gaming is indeed best enjoyed when it is limited. Game-safe gambling entails staying in control and keeping your expectations low. You can always win as well as lose. Gamble online casino games for fun and not for the money side of things.

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