Staying safe when gambling at online casinos
We here at No Wagering are wholly committed to promoting safer, responsible gambling. In order to do so we'll be producing and sharing a number of informative and insightful guides throughout the next week that can help raise awareness of the risks and dangers associated with excessive online gambling.
We can all agree that gambling can be fun, especially when we're winning, however it's incredibly important to remember that moderation is key... Thinking about your own playing habits and recognising the signs of a potential problem is an important step to take when gambling online.
Need-to-know tips for when gambling online
There are a number of important things to remember when playing online. We've compiled a list of tips that should help you play safely and responsibly going forward.
Only bet what you can afford
When deciding on how much your bankroll should be when playing online it's essential to ensure you're only spending within your means. Betting more than you can afford comes with the risk of plunging you into debts.
Don't chase losing bets with bigger bets
If you've lost your bankroll then chasing after your losses by depositing even more money is certainly not the answer. Gambling is a game of chance, just because you've lost does not mean you're due a win.
Understand that there are no winning formulas
As mentioned above, a series of unfortunate losses does not mean you're due to win again soon. Casino games utilise random number generators which ensure that payouts and jackpots are not paid on a cycle - the outcome of every spin is truly random.
Avoid gambling as a form of relief
Getting into the habit of gambling online when you're feeling low can be a very slippery slope. Whilst the short term buzz of potentially winning enhances your mood, that mood could be very short lived. Your judgement tends to be clouded when you're highly emotional or under the influence of alcohol, therefore it's highly advised to avoid playing altogether in situations such as these.
Do not treat gambling as a form of income
We cannot stress this one enough, gambling should not be used as a full-time legitimate career... Whilst there are very rare notable exceptions such as poker players, gambling is not to be used as a method to make money quickly and consistently. Gambling is a leisurely past time, if you find yourself playing to pay the bills then you're putting yourself and those around you at serious risk and should seek immediate help.
No Wagering's tips for preventing excessive gambling
It's easy to fall into bad habits. To keep your gambling safe and fun we strongly recommend implementing the following actions.
Set a deposit limit before you play
Most, if not all online casinos allow players to set a deposit limit when they first sign up (or at a later date if they so wish). This allows players to specify a set figure that they're comfortable spending over a certain period of time, whether that be a daily limit, weekly limit or monthly limit.
The limits can be decreased immediately, however, requests to increase deposit limits will only be actioned after 24-hours giving you time to mull this over and decide whether that's really the best course of action.
Enable and pay attention to the reality check feature
Most casinos offer players the use of a reality check feature. Enabling this will periodically stop any game after a certain amount of time and will remind the player how long they've been playing for, and in some cases how much money they've won/lost.
Remember that stopping playing when you're in profit is just as important as when you're losing.
Set a time limit if you think you may spend more than you can afford
With many online casinos it's possible to set a time limit for your online play, which will ensure you only play for a time period you're comfortable with. It's incredibly easy to lose track of time and how much you're spending.
Activate a cooling off period for a short break
Most reputable online casinos will allow players to temporarily lock themselves out of their account for a short period of time, usually 24 hours, 48 hours or a week. This gives players the opportunity to take a step back and assess the situation. As soon as the cooling off period has been initiated players will not be able to play any games or make deposits until the time period comes to an end. Players will also not be sent any marketing materials during this period.
Activate a temporary suspension for a longer break
A temporary suspension follows all the same rules as a cooling off period, however will keep you locked out of your account for a much longer period of time, usually this is 30 days, 60 days or 90 days. You will be able to access your account when the time us up.
Self exclude yourself if your gambling becomes out of control
Self exclusion is the most extreme way players can ensure they put a halt to their excessive gambling habits. Players can self exclude from any online casino for a period of time between 6 months and five years. In some cases problem gamblers will just find a new online casino to play at, which is why it's often a better option to use a service like GAMSTOP if you feel this could be you.
Using GAMSTOP players can self exclude themselves from every online casino at once, regardless as to whether they've signed up for them or not. It should be noted that despite being signed up to GAMSTOP players will have to manually unsubscribe from marketing materials from each individual casino they're registered to.
This article was originally published as part of Responsible Gambling Week 2019.