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Play within budget and know to ask for help if you get in trouble.
Online gambling is a form of entertainment. Like dinner and a show at the casinos, weekend visits to Las Vegas, or a night out with friends and family at a bingo parlor - online gambling is first and foremost about a good time.
And yet the most enjoyable gambling experience is a responsible one. What does that really mean?
You've set yourself monetary limits and learnt about odds - what else could you do to stay in the clear? For a start, it is extremely important that you recognize the characteristics of what makes gambling responsible:
- Responsible gambling is a social activity for friends, family, or colleagues.
- Responsible gamblers have fixed limits for losses.
- Responsible gamblers understand that odds are predetermined and always in favor of the casino. As such, gambling involves a given level of risk.
- Responsible gambling is done for limited amounts of time, both in regularity and duration.
Other important aspects of responsible gambling that you should be aware of include:
- Gambling as the personal choice of the player and not a result of pressure from others.
- Gambling as a fun activity, but not an essential activity in order to have fun when with friends or family.
Like we explained earlier in the personal finance and budget session, gambling is a fun and recreational activity. When you stop enjoying yourself it is a sign that you are no longer gambling responsibly. A great way to know whether or not you are gambling responsibly is to regulate your activities in and out of the casino. Think of this as a checklist of simple questions that you should ask yourself every now and then.
The following is a 20 question self-check quiz. According to Gamblers Anonymous, answering 'yes' to 7 of these indicates that you have or are beginning to acquire a gambling addiction:
- After a win, do you feel an urge to continue gambling?
- Do you ever borrow money to finance your gambling?
- Do you feel you must win back your losses after losing?
- Do you gamble longer than what you intended to?
- Do you gamble until you have no more funds left?
- Does gambling give you a bad reputation?
- Has gambling ever caused you to feel unhappy?
- Do you feel regretful after losing?
- Do you use gambling as a way to celebrate something good?
- Do you miss work to gamble?
- Do you ever gamble as a way to pay back debts or solve financial difficulties?
- Have you ever sold anything in order to finance you gambling?
- Are you reluctant to use your gambling funds for other expenses?
- Do you gamble in order to escape worry or things that are troubling you?
- Does gambling cause you sleeping difficulties?
- Does gambling decrease your ambition or efficiency?
- Do arguments or frustrations give you an urge to go and gamble?
- Have you ever committed, or considered committing, an illegal act in order to finance you gambling?
- Does your gambling interfere with or damage the welfare of your family and friends?
- Have you ever attempted or considered suicide as a result of your gambling?
By setting yourself the monetary guidelines we already discussed, and staying within the boundaries that characterize responsible gambling, you can be sure that you are safe and that your gambling is healthy. If, however, you feel that you are losing control over your new hobby and finances, get help now!
Remember, the best way to stay clear of trouble is to always keep it fun!
Five Top Tips for Safe Gambling
Responsible gambling is easily achieved if you set and follow simple rules. As long as you gamble for recreational purposes and have safeguards in place then there is no reason that gambling should ever be anything but a fun past time.
Check out our five Top Tips for responsible gambling below.
- Keep it fun. Remember that gambling is a form of entertainment and shouldn't become something you feel compelled to do and should always be fun.
- Set a budget. Sensible players set a budget and stick to it. This prevents overspending. If you feel you might find this hard, why not use a prepaid card that where you cannot exceed the set limit?
- Set a time limit. Keep an eye on the clock; remember that gambling shouldn't become something that becomes all encompassing in your life.
- Know when to quit. Never continue gambling to cover your losses. No player wins all the time and throwing down your money to try to recover losses is just as likely to result in an even bigger loss.
- Play at reliable casinos. Check for eCOGRA certification and that the casino is licensed.
- Check yourself. Organizations such as Playscan help you monitor your gaming habits. Make sure you stay within your limits and play responsibly.
Resources and Sites for Dealing with Gambling Problem:
Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a fellowship that was founded in 1957 to help gamblers - men and women - solve their gambling problems.
Compulsive gambling is a problem, an illness that can occur, and be cured, or arrested at the very least. Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is one professional resource that helps such people who are in need of help.
To become a member of GA, an organization that helps such gamblers, one must wish to stop gambling. No dues or fees are involved, instead the organization is self-supported by contributions.
GA is not allied with any institution, political, religious or other. Rather its only mission is to help compulsive gamblers recover.
GA offers a recovery program, a unity program, questionnaires to fill out for self, meeting groups and more. These services are provided in every one of the 50 states in the US and internationally in dozens of countries. The recovery and support programs are guided by certain spiritual principles, which had been utilized by thousands of people who were recovering from other compulsive addictions over the years.
Visit gamblersanonymous.org to learn more
Supported by funds, both from the industry and from concerned individuals, GamCare has stepped up to become one of the leading authorities and a resource to help gamblers in need.
GamCare is active on two fronts: the registered charity helps anyone, any individual gambler, to overcome a gambling problem. It is an easily accessible and widely available for support, information and advice.
It is also active in the industry realm, working with and supporting the development and implementation of responsible practice by the gambling industry.
In its nature, GamCare is a registered charity. It is focused on the UK market, and is supported by it too, through donations from companies and users.
In approaching both practices, most significantly when dealing with players, GamCare takes a non-judgemental approach to gambling. It does not act to ban gambling or criticize those who engage in gambling.
What GamCare does do is spread awareness of the social impact of gambling, promote responsible gambling as an ideal, and help the individuals who contact it on a personal level. It does so over the national telephone helpline, face-to-face and over the web.
Adictel is a free online service aimed at assisting problem gamblers. It works quickly, effectively, and responsibly by focusing on the issues that cause online casino players to become addicted to online gambling.
As the leading interactive organization for the prevention and support of problem gambling, Adictel is the name that helps gamblers more often. It works in 3 easy steps: informing Adictel where players play and setting gaming limits, limiting access to gambling for a time period, and making the necessary change to eliminate a problem gaming habit.
All the services provided by Adictel are 100% free and confidential. Gambling addictions in the following domains are catered to Internet casinos, lotteries, betting shops including clubs, bars and bookmakers, and horse betting.
Whatever the gambling problem may be, Gambling Therapy can help resolve it. All measures should be taken in order to keep online gambling fun and safe. In case it gets out of hand, for those affected by compulsive gambling or know someone who has, Gambling Therapy has a variety of services to help.
Catering to specific needs of compulsive gamblers includes several means to contact Gambling Therapy and ask for help.
Email advice and counseling are available for those akin to one on one service. Other means include group chats, where players can meet others with similar problems. There are even number you can contact via sms and more.
Visit GamblingTherapy to learn more