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Whether you just enjoy the odd bet once in a blue moon or regularly enjoy spending your leisure time playing in online casinos or having a flutter for fun, it’s imperative that you’re gambling responsibly and it’s not getting out of hand.Online slot sites and casinos have to have processes in place to help ensure players gamble responsibly and can get access to help and support if required. Both players and operators have a duty of care to ensure the gambling taking place is responsible and we’re going to take a look at what players and sites can do to protect players.
Legal age to gamble
Gambling laws governing online casinos are just as strict as on the high street. Players under the age of 18 are not allowed to register or play on any gambling site and sites will have measures in place to ensure that no minors are able to play. Sites may block players until they’re able to successfully prove their age.
Parents should also be aware of the sites their children or young people within the home, are accessing. Set up parental controls on your home internet to block any websites unsuitable for under 18s and ensure any mobile devices have the correct blocks and filters.
Be responsible for yourself
If you gamble online regularly, ask yourself the following:
- Have you lied about what you’re spending gambling?
- Have you lied about the amount of time you spend gambling online?
- Are friend worried about the time or money you spend gambling online?
- Have you ever missed work or studies in order to play online?
- Have you got into debt to fund online gambling?
- Have you ever stolen to fund online gambling?
- Do you try and win back your losses?
- Are you so desperate to get online to gamble that you’ve lost interest in other hobbies?
- Do you spend ALL of your spare money on gambling sites?
- Do you see less of your family or friends because you’d prefer to be online gambling?
If any, some or all of these are true, you might want to assess your online gambling and question whether you’re still gaming responsibly and if appropriate, seek further advice or information.
Setting limits for yourself
You can set up both deposit and loss limits when gambling online and if needed, exclude yourself from specific games or sites. This is a great way of deciding what your limits are to begin with and then sticking to them.
A deposit limit will stop you from depositing more than a certain amount to a specific site, so if you have a run of bad luck and lose it all, you won’t be able to top up your account with any more until the time period has expired. You can usually set deposit limits by the day, week or month.
Loss limits really do help you gamble responsibly and help stop players losing all their funds by chasing any losses. You can set loss limits by the day, week or month so that if you lose a certain amount of money with the allotted time frame, you’ll be unable to play further.
If you really feel the need to take a break from a site or feel you’re unable to control your gambling on a certain type of game, then sites allow you to self exclude. This will either freeze your account for a set period or will block you from playing certain games.
If for example, you enjoy playing a few games of poker on a Saturday night but find yourself getting carried away with slot games, you can self exclude from slots while continuing to play poker. You may want to them self exclude from all slots on all sites you play across.
If you feel the need to self exclude from an entire site you may also want to stop following them on social media or change the filters on your home internet to block gambling sites.
Help and advice
While most people will gamble responsibly, if you feel your online gambling is getting out of control, you’re spending more time or money than you would like or would just like a little extra advice on how to gamble responsibly, there are organisations out there to offer support.
Gamblers Anonymous is one of the most well-known, world-wide organisations that was set up by people with gambling addictions to help other people overcome their issues with gambling. For more information, check out their website www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk
The Gamble Aware logo is plastered across most online gambling sites and is specifically there to help players gamble responsibly. It’s set up to offer advice and information on all types of gambling, not just online. www.gambleaware.co.uk
GamCare is a great organisation with a telephone helpline and free counselling where necessary. They can be contacted on 0808 8020 133 or www.gamcare.org.uk