Responsible gambling is an issue that we all need to take very seriously, losing control and spending more than you can afford to lose can lead to serious problems very quickly, here we will look at ways to keep your gambling activity in check, tell tale signs to look for and the support that's offered if you feel that either yourself or somebody that you know may need help.
WAYS TO KEEP CONTROL OF YOUR ONLINE ACTIVITY
Ultimately it's down to you, the player, to impose restrictions on yourself once you have registered at any online casino, there are key facilities in place to help you do this and I can't stress enough how important it is to do this as soon as you register with any casino.
SET DEPOSIT LIMITS
On signing up, some of the online casinos will ask you immediately if you want to place a deposit limit for the day / week / month, others however will direct you straight to the deposit page, if this is the case then click out of this screen and head to your account page, from here you will be able to access your limits and get them in place before any depositing has happened.
Unfortunately some online casinos make this action a little harder to find, if you are struggling to access the deposit limit actions section, then head to the bottom of the page you are on and click on the responsible gambling tab, from here you should be able to find the deposit limit section.
In some cases you have to email the support to change your deposit limits, if you ever come across this I would suggest to completely avoid the casino altogether, deposit limits are there to protect the player, so any casino that doesn't offer this option to be immediately implemented needs avoiding at all costs.
Any limits you impose on your depositing that decrease the amount you can spend will take place instantly, if you decide that you want to increase them again you will have to wait 24 hours for the changes to reflect on your account.
INTERVALS, TIMEOUTS AND SELF EXCLUSION
Options are also available on the your account page and during your game play to remind you of how long you have been playing for, it's very easy to lose track of time whilst playing so this is a good tool to take advantage of to keep your perspective of how long you are spending gambling.
If you feel you need a break from gambling but don't want to close down your account, there is also a section on the limits page to take a time out, this can be set for a time decided by yourself and will not allow you to access the site that you make this action on.
If you feel that you need to stop gambling completely then also on the your account page you have the option to self exclude yourself from the casino, this will take place instantly and you will no longer be able to gain access to this site or any other site that is in connection with the casino you have self excluded from, please be aware though that although the majority of sister site casinos you may try to join in the future will not allow you to do so, there have been several cases where players have been able to join a sister casino and then proceeded to win, only to later find out they cannot collect their winnings due to already being self excluded at a casino of the same group. If you are self excluded already from any online casino be certain to check any that you may join to make sure they are not associated in any way.
HAVE YOUR PROOF OF IDENTITY AND PROOF OF ADDRESS ORGANISED
At some stage during your online gameplay you will be requested to send in proof of your identity if you request a withdrawal. This can happen the first time you try to make a withdrawal or it could be 15-20 withdrawals into your account, however if you request an amount to be withdrawn that is over £1500 you will definitely have to provide them with the information they request as they are bound by law to do so for anything over that amount.
Before you deposit at any casino be sure to check the documents that they will require from you for this process, to make sure you have them already. Some casinos have an option on the your account page to upload them for processing, whilst others will only ask you after you have requested a withdrawal, look through the terms and conditions page to check what is required, if you cant find it then ask them on the live chat option or email the support.
Completing this if possible before you deposit or at least making sure you have what is required, will speed up any withdrawal you may request, this is extremely important because if you are requested to provide proof to the casinos this will delay your pending withdrawal, and regardless of the reasons they may tell you why its taking that little extra longer, rest assured they will be hoping that you choose to reverse your pending withdrawal and get the money back into your account to potentially lose, and maybe even re-deposit again.
DON'T REVERSE PENDING WITHDRAWALS
This is personally one of the things I really dislike about online casinos and hope that in the future the option to reverse a pending withdrawal is reviewed by the authorities and scrapped.
Some online casinos process your winnings a lot faster than others, it can literally be a couple of hours at one casino to as much as 1 week at another, whether you have hit a big win for thousands or you've withdrawn the minimum amount allowed, don't ever reverse the pending withdrawal, before you know what's happened that money will be gone and you will be depositing again.
DON'T CHASE YOUR LOSSES
Arguably the most important thing to keep in mind with any form of gambling is to never chase your losses, if you have imposed deposit limits on your account this will help prevent you doing this.
Take the loss on the chin, put the device you are gambling on away and remind yourself that the money you have lost should only be money that you can afford to lose.
NEVER SEE GAMBLING AS A WAY OF MAKING EXTRA INCOME
If you are saving up for something or need some extra cash, gambling is not the answer, the most likely scenario here is that you will lose your initial deposit and then break the golden rule of never chasing your losses to try and win your initial deposit back.
KEEP PERSPECTIVE ON WHAT YOU ARE STAKING
It can be easy to get carried away with online gambling and completely lose perspective of the amount you are staking per bet, whether that be on sports, slots or table games, the biggest problem is that unlike walking into a land based gambling premises you don't see the cash you are staking on your bets. This can be a sure fire way to lose the value of the money you are spending.
I good idea is to place your initial stake in front of you before you start gambling, with every tap of your finger on your phone or a click of the mouse button, that is what you are potentially going to lose at the end of your gambling session.
NEVER GAMBLE ON CREDIT
This is another absolute golden rule if you gamble online or at any land based premises, never make deposits via a credit card unless you have sufficient funds to be able to pay it off, keep in mind if you do choose to gamble you should only be gambling with money you can afford to lose.
Gambling on credit is a slippery slope and will soon lead to serious problems when you don't have enough money to pay off your cards.
PLAY YOUR OWN STAKES AND DONT TRY TO REPLICATE WHAT YOU SEE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Becoming ever popular on social media are gambling streamers, these guys stream their online gambling activities which are usually slot games and viewers tune in to watch their fortunes unfold. These guys have some big wins and no doubt some big losses, but stick to your own style of play, big wins can and do happen online but remember these guys are playing for hours on end several days a week, don't ever try to replicate the sometimes huge stakes you may see them placing on the slots. Know your limits and stick to them, no matter what.
POSSIBLE SIGNS OF GAMBLING ADDICTION
If you can relate to or know anybody that shows signs of the list below, then it could be signs of a gambling addiction. Be sure to ask for help as early as you can, information will be provided at the bottom of this article on where you can gain expert help with gambling addiction.
Spending more money and time on gambling than you can afford.
Finding it hard to manage or stop your gambling.
Having arguments with family or friends about money and gambling.
Losing interest in usual activities or hobbies like going out with friends or spending time with family.
Always thinking or talking about gambling.
Lying about your gambling or hiding it from other people.
Chasing losses or gambling to get out of financial trouble.
Gambling until all of your money is gone.
Borrowing money, selling possessions or not paying bills in order to pay for gambling.
Needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or for a longer time to get the same feeling of excitement or buzz.
Neglecting work, school, family, personal needs or household responsibilities because of gambling.
Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable.
RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING ONLINE CHECKLIST
Key points to remember and implement for any online gambling activity.
ALWAYS SET DEPOSIT LIMITS
DON'T EVER CHASE YOUR LOSSES
NEVER REVERSE A PENDING WITHDRAWAL
DON'T GAMBLE ON CREDIT
HAVE ALL NECESSARY FROMS OF ID READY OR ALREADY UPLOADED IF POSSIBLE
WHERE TO GET HELP
There are various organisations in place to help anybody that has a gambling addiction, as I've said previously if yourself or somebody that you know has an issue with gambling then contact one of the organisations below that can assist your or their recovery,.