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Exploring Responsible Gambling

what is responsible gambling

Since the dawn of online gambling, responsible practices have become more and more necessary. The idea of responsible gambling can be observed as a guiding factor, considering that the thrill of gaming draws interest from various people. The purpose of this principle is to guarantee safety and fun for all involved. Whereas there are many tools for responsible gambling even on casino sites that are not on GamStop self-exclusion program, the topic requires an in-depth overview to fully comprehend its nuances.

As gaming platforms develop further, maintaining an environment that puts player welfare in focus is crucial, which is what the UK Gambling Commission has been trying to do since its inception. Responsible gambling does not only meet ethical standards but also acts as a preventive measure to deal with addictive behaviours and financial risks. Let’s learn more about it.

Understanding Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling is a series of measures and guidelines aimed at ensuring that people participate in gaming activities consciously, rationally, and within control. Essentially, the concept of responsible gambling focuses on staying in check regarding gaming activities thereby abstaining from any undesirable behaviour that could potentially affect the player adversely.

Responsible gambling is a critical factor in the iGaming industry as it demonstrates an ethical obligation of gaming operators to pay attention to player welfare. It’s often characterised by the provision of information on risks related to gaming, measures taken to prevent gambling among minors, and tools for self-exclusion or limiting betting activities (such as placing a monthly limit on your deposits on an online casino site).

Gambling operators are also often required to include such responsible gambling measures in their platforms to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations. Not doing so may lead to punitive measures such as fines and withdrawal of gaming licences.

Furthermore, the practice of responsible gambling is widespread in gaming sites where operators incorporate tools and features to regulate player behaviour. Such platforms usually have self-assessment tests, reality checks, and depositing limits or self-exclusion period options.

Guiding of Responsible Gambling Tips and Principles

At the heart of the entire practice and research of responsible gambling is minimising gambling-related harm, most particularly financial losses that cannot be recuperated. It’s quite crucial in the modern gaming industry. There are several key principles that underpin responsible gambling to foster a safer environment for all. Let’s take a look at these.

  • Set and Stick to a Budget
    The most important thing when it comes to gambling responsibly is setting a budget and sticking to it. In other words, it’s also known as bankroll management. In case you didn’t know already, efficient bankroll management allows you to win more often and be more successful over the long run. See, the casino games are designed in a way that gives the house an edge. The RTP is always lower than 100%. As such, bankroll management is the only long-term strategy that can help you beat the house edge by cutting your losses.
  • Manage Your Gambling Time
    Your gambling sessions need to be controlled efficiently. Set time limits and stick to them. Just like your financial budget, your time budget is also crucial and therefore, needs to be regulated. Manage your time and shut down any gambling session when you hit the time limit. This can have some surprising benefits, as it clears your head and allows you to get back in the game later with a better mindset.
  • Use Gambling Blockers Effectively
    There are different types of gambling blockers. Some block all gambling-related websites and apps across your devices when you install them, with the help of their own database of such sites. A leading example is GamBlock, quite well-known in the UK. Apart from that, there are other software and apps too that can be used, including browser extensions and even manual blacklisting of certain sites at the router level.
  • Avoid Chasing Losses
    Chasing losses is the #1 culprit. It’s a shortcut to lose money that you can’t afford to lose. Gamblers who chase losses almost always end their day on a bad note. This is not recommended at all. So, when you are on a losing streak, just accept that it is what it is. An unlucky streak doesn’t mean that your day has to be ruined or that you have to recover your lost funds. This is the same mistake that amateur stock traders also make.
  • Treat Gambling as Entertainment, Not Income
    If you look at online gambling as a mere form of entertainment, you will not only have a better time gambling but also much-needed peace of mind. Gambling is never a substitute for a formal income that is earned by hard work of some kind. So, gamble because you like to, not because you have to pay the bills. This calls for a major mindset shift but unless you make this shift, chances are that you will succumb to problem gambling sooner or later.
  • Don’t Avoid Organisations that Help Problem Gamblers
    Another mistake gamblers make is that they completely ignore organisations that help problem gambling and those at risk of financial harm. It’s just like how a lot of people are still hesitant to get professional help for mental issues. Problem gambling needs support, and the sooner you get it, the better. The personnel behind these organisations are well-trained to handle your case and it’s worth a try to approach them if you feel the need.
Organization How They Can Help Contact Information
TalkBanStop Helpline and tools to control gambling habits. tbs.gamban.com
GamCare Support and advice for gambling issues. gamcare.org.uk
GambleAware Funding treatment and support for problem gamblers. begambleaware.org
Gamblers Anonymous Support group for individuals with gambling problems. gamblersanonymous.org.uk

Empowering Responsible Gambling: Steps to Overcome Issues

We need to empower responsible gambling from within ourselves. Organisations and the government can’t do much if the players themselves are not willing. With that in mind, here’s a simple 5-step process that you should go through to improve your preparedness for responsible online gambling tools and principles:

  • Self-Awareness and Acceptance: The first thing that has to be accepted is the need for change, which creates an environment where responsible decision-making can take place. Recognising the connection with gambling always initiates a journey of positive, proactive play.
  • Seek Support from Loved Ones: This is a constructive step for those who are challenged by problem gambling and don’t mind talking about it. Friends and family can serve as a good support system, offering understanding, support, and guidance.
  • Professional Help and Counselling: Therapists and counsellors can provide personalised information and help in dealing with gambling addiction. Professional intervention gives you systematised guidance, enabling you to analyse the underlying causes of your gambling behaviour and acquire efficient coping mechanisms for lasting change.
  • Financial Management and Restriction: Responsible gambling can be empowered by taking control of your money. One of the ways to avoid impulsive behaviours is by implementing strict financial management practices like establishing spending limits and staying within a predefined budget.
  • Self-Exclusion and Blocking Tools: Self-exclusion and blocking tools become useful companions for people in search of more organised methods of self-control. Many gaming platforms provide self-exclusion options so you can exclude yourself from gambling for a specified time. Blocking tools can be used to prevent accessing gambling websites and apps altogether.

Gambling Self-Exclusion Programs

There are several well-known and reliable self-exclusion programs that you can use. In a short span of just a few years, they have already helped thousands of gamblers achieve a better and more stable life without discarding all that they love. Trust in the process of these responsible gambling tools and feel free to give them a spin, much like a new casino game itself.

  • GamStop: One of the most prominent is the GamStop self-exclusion tool, supported by the UKGC itself. You can register with this tool to voluntarily exclude yourself from all UKGC-licensed online gambling websites for a chosen period. This period ranges from six months to five years and cannot be changed.
  • Spelpaus: Established by the Swedish Gambling Authority, this is the national self-exclusion program in Sweden. The Spelpaus self-exclusion program has already benefited countless people from Sweden and other parts of the world. Here too, you set your exclusion period ranging from one to twelve months and forget about gambling. It’s a practical way to limit your online gambling. Note that not all non-Swedish casino sites are under this program.
  • BetStop: BetStop is another tool made after years of research. It learns from previous experiments and offers a better approach. You can customise your exclusion settings, set specific timeframes, and do more than just register yourself on a database with this program. Needless to say, the BetStop program has also solved many cases of problem gambling and continues to aid the UK gambling community.
  • SENSE: On a different tangent, the SENSE scheme takes an approach quite different from the others that disallow you from registering or depositing money in online casino sites. This program allows you to exclude yourself using a simplified process from all land-based casinos. Note that SENSE does not apply to online casino sites, even those licensed by the UKGC.
  • ROFUS: ROFUS, the Register Over Frivilligt Udelukkede Spillere in Denmark, is a national self-exclusion system administered by the Danish Gambling Authority. Much like the UK’s GamStop and Sweden’s Spelpaus, ROFUS also allows you to self-exclude yourself from gambling. The key feature here is that the minimum time you can self-exclude yourself is just 24 hours. There is no upper limit either, so you can exclude yourself for as long as you want. By far, this is the most flexible option.
  • RGIAJ: In Japan, the RGIAJ, or the Gambling Addiction Countermeasures Office, provides a self-exclusion tool as part of the nation’s efforts to address gambling-related issues. Similar to other national-level programs, here too, you exclude yourself but only from land-based casinos. Player welfare has already seen a remarkable uptick since this program was launched.

FAQ About Responsible Gambling

What does responsible gambling mean?

Responsible gambling involves several principles and practices that are designed to ensure individuals gamble with control and caution. It entails an effort to maintain equilibrium, avoid harm, and minimise losses associated with problematic or excessive gambling behaviour. It’s not a single tool or principle, but a set of principles and tools that work in tandem to target multiple types of gambling-related issues.

Why is taking breaks important in the context of responsible gambling?

In the context of responsible gambling, breaks are vital as they help to preserve a healthy balance between gaming activities and other areas of life. People get chances to take some time off gambling, reconsider their actions, and prevent overindulgence and impulsiveness. Routine breaks ensure that gambling sessions are not prolonged or uninterrupted, hence minimising the chances of forming addictive patterns. Self-exclusion programs are the best way to take a break from gambling activity.

Which organisations can be contacted if a gambling problem worsens?

Several organisations offer support and assistance for individuals facing gambling-related issues. Some notable organisations include Gamblers Anonymous (GA), National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), GamCare, Gambling Therapy, and BeGambleAware. Some also share resources among them, making their approach more versatile.

Why is it essential to track gambling expenses?

There are many benefits. For starters, you can stay within predetermined budgets, which ultimately helps you prevent financial strain as well as potential losses. Apart from that, it also gives you an opportunity to take a step back and monitor your patterns as well as behaviours. All this allows you to make informed decisions, prevent overspending, and support your financial budgeting.