Responsible Gambling - Advice on Preventing Problem Gambling
Participating in real-money online casino games and taking part in gambling activities is supposed to be fun. When gambling becomes a problem, these online casino games lose their appeal and you start to lose money.
Sure, you will lose money from time to time, but that is part of the game. It is important to understand where your limits are so that you do not spiral out of control.
Our gambling guides and expert interviews at American Casino Guide are meant to help you become a more knowledgeable and more strategic player.
Our experts aim to help you:
- Understand how online casinos operate
- How to choose the best online casino games
- How to play these online casino games in the smartest way possible
Our goal is to help you feel more confident when you join an online casino and start playing real money online casino games.
What is Responsible Gambling?
Responsible Gambling is about being smart when you wager online. According to research studies, 98% of the people who visit casinos find the activity fun and enjoyable.
Most people play for recreational purposes and enjoy the excitement of playing online casino games. Most players understand that they will not win all the time and that over time, there will likely be more losing sessions than winning sessions.
This is the cost of playing online casino games, as the casinos must make money to operate. Losses incurred are the price for the fun of playing these games and smart players only gamble with money they can afford to lose.
Casino gambling is a form of entertainment, and just as going to a movie or attending a concert would cost money, so does playing games in a casino.
Do you have a Potential Gambling Addiction?
When gambling becomes a problem, it loses its charm and can become dangerous. If you are unsure whether or not you are a problem gambler, you can take the following quiz to find out.
According to Gamblers Anonymous, you may be a problem gambler if you answer yes to at least seven of the following 20 questions:
- Do you lose time from work due to gambling?
- Does gambling make your home life unhappy?
- Does gambling affect your reputation?
- Do you ever feel remorse after gambling?
- Do you ever gamble to get money with which to pay debts or to otherwise solve financial difficulties?
- Does gambling cause a decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
- After losing, do you feel you must return as soon as possible and win back your losses?
- After a win, do you have a strong urge to return and win more?
- Do you often gamble until your last dollar is gone?
- Do you ever borrow to finance your gambling?
- Do you ever sell anything to finance your gambling?
- Are you reluctant to use your “gambling money” for other expenses?
- Does gambling make you careless about the welfare of your family?
- Do you ever gamble longer than you planned?
- Do you ever gamble to escape worry or trouble?
- Do you ever commit, or consider committing, an illegal act to finance your gambling?
- Does gambling cause you to have difficulty sleeping?
- Do arguments, disappointments, or frustrations create within you an urge to gamble?
- Do you have an urge to celebrate good fortune by a few hours of gambling?
- Do you ever consider self-destruction as a result of your gambling?
If you answered yes to at least 7 of these questions and believe that you may have a gambling problem you should be aware that help is available.
Helping Someone with a Gambling Addiction
It’s important to be able to spot a gambling problem with someone else, just like yourself. Those who are trying to overcome a gambling addiction might not be very open about it and will need the support of their loved ones.
By using the questions from the quiz above, you can talk to a loved one you think may have a gambling problem. Look for the signs and make sure they know about all of their resources to seek more help.
Legal Age for Gambling and Protecting Minors
The legal age for gambling in the United States is 21. It doesn’t matter what state you’re in or which online casino you are trying to sign up for.
Every online casino in the country requires you to provide the last four digits of your social security number to verify your age. If you can’t do this, you will not be able to create your casino account.
If you’re trying to prevent someone from accessing gambling sites, there are a lot of useful software you can download to block them from your internet browser.
A few includes:
Responsible Gambling Tools
You can find a number of tools online to help you be a smart, responsible gambler. All of the settings below can be accessed from your online casino account. If you have any questions on how to activate any restrictions, be sure to check the Responsible Gambling page on the selected casino site.
Set restrictions on how much you can deposit in a session and manage your money better. Deposit limits can be set daily, weekly, or monthly and be taken off when you choose.
Like your deposit limit, you can also set limits on how much you lose. Once you lose the amount set, you will not be able to wager at the casino anymore.
Gambling sessions can end up going for hours and could cost you a lot of money. For this reason, you can set up session limits to prevent you from playing too much,
If you find yourself playing too much and want to take a break, you can set up a "time out" option. You don’t lose any of your account information or winnings, as it acts as a small pause.
Wagering limits are for those who want to keep track of their wagers. It’s a good way to control how much you deposit and prevent losing too much.
To observe how much you’re spending and how regularly, take a look at your transaction history. By looking at this document, you can access if you’re spending too much and if so, set the right restrictions to cut back.
Self-exclusion is one of the biggest restrictions you can set, as it involves you freezing your account for a period of 6 months to a few years. If you request to join the self-exclusion list, you will not have access to any online casinos in the state.
This is the best option for those who need a more serious break, as it forces you to take a long time off.
Often, online casinos will offer a self-assessment test to help players who think they might be developing a gambling addiction. Most of the questions are related to spending habits and characteristic changes that occur from gambling.
If you answer yes to any of these, it’s a good sign to reach out for help and talk to someone.
If you want to be reminded when it’s time to stop a session, you can set a time alert. This is like a small alarm that will let you know when you have played through the allocated time.
Organizations that can Help and Provide Counselling
Find a list of useful resources below to get help for problem gambling. These include anonymous groups, helplines, and aid specifically for the loved ones affected by someone's gambling addiction.
The National Council on Problem Gambling
The National Council on Problem Gambling, Inc., headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the best advocacy in the country for problem gamblers. Formed in 1972 as a non-profit agency, this organization promotes public education and awareness of gambling problems. It operates 24-hours a day, nationwide, offering a helpline reachable at (800) 522-4700. You can check out their website at www.ncpgambling.org.
Another good source for those seeking help with a gambling problem is Gambler's Anonymous. They have chapters in many cities throughout the U.S. as well as in most major cities throughout the world. You can see a list of all of those cities on their website at www.gamblersanonymous.org. The organization can be reached by phone at (213) 386-8789.
Finally, Gam-Anon specializes in helping the spouses, family members, and close friends of compulsive gamblers. If you are adversely affected by a loved one who is a compulsive gambler, then Gam-Anon could benefit you. The organization’s website, www.gam-anon.org, lists all cities which host Gam-Anon meetings. You can reach the Gam-Anon representatives at (718) 352-1671.