Gambling should be fun and entertaining and we will always aim to keep it that way on this website. But what can be fun can turn into a problem as there are risks involved and we should all be aware of how to look out for the signs. Either for ourselves or for someone we care about.
Statistically people are going to end up losing when they gamble whether it’s just playing the lottery, placing a bet on the horses or playing on online slots. It can therefore have an affect on your finances, relationships, your mental and physical well being and health. Knowing this it is important to understand what your limits are and how you can best enjoy gambling so it remains a fun leisure activity.
We don’t profess to being the biggest fountain of knowledge on all the information and issues regarding responsible gambling so we have provided some great information from the best sources on the topic.
What is problem gambling
Problem gambling can affect anyone. It can happen at any age, to males or females, and to people from any ethnic background. Studies have shown that you are more likely to develop a problem if you have a family history of problem gambling and if you started gambling at an early age. Find out more about young people and problem gambling here.
Problem gambling has been called the ‘hidden addiction’, meaning that unlike other addictions such as alcohol or drug addiction, the physical effects of the problem are very difficult to see. You are unlikely to know that someone has a gambling problem unless they tell you.
The impact of someone else’s gambling problem can be very stressful for friends and family members. GambleAware® offer support to anyone struggling with a loved one’s gambling problem. Find out how to talk to someone about their gambling here, or call the National Gambling Helpline to receive support and access free, confidential counselling.
They also have some good resources which include; information of what to look out for if you think you or someone else may have a gambling problem and a quiz you can take to see how you rate.
Tips for Safer Responsible Gambling
Begambleaware.org.uk offer some helpful tips to ensure you gamble in a safe way:
1. Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money:
The venue is using gambling to make money. It’s not designed to work the other way around. Over time you will give away more money than you receive! Think of gambling as an entertainment expense – just like buying a movie ticket.
2. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose:
Gamble within your weekly entertainment budget, not with your phone bill or rent budget.
3. Set a money limit in advance:
Decide how much you can afford to lose before you go to play. When it’s gone – it’s over! If you win, you’ve been lucky, but don’t be disappointed if your luck doesn’t continue.
4. Set a time limit in advance:
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re gambling. Set a time limit or alarm, and when time’s up – quit! Odds are that the more time you spend gambling, the more money you will lose.
5. Never chase your losses:
If you lose your set money limit and then try to win some of it back before you leave, then you haven’t really set a money limit. Chasing your losses will usually just lead to bigger and bigger losses.
6. Don’t gamble when you’re depressed or upset:
Decision-making can be more difficult when you’re stressed or emotionally upset. Make sure you only gamble when you’re feeling happy and clear headed.
7. Balance gambling with other activities:
When gambling becomes your only form of entertainment, it’s unlikely that you’re still just gambling for the fun of it, and your gambling may even be a problem. Make sure gambling isn’t your only pastime.
8. Don’t take your bank card with you.
This is a good way to safeguard your money limit and not let being “in the moment” warp your judgment.
9. Take frequent breaks
Gambling continuously can cause you to lose track of time and perspective. Step out for some air or a bite to eat at regular intervals.
What else can you do if you think you have a problem
You can choose to self-exclude your self from online casinos for a set amount of time. Each casino will have this information in different areas some more obvious than others. Our casino reviews detail where you can find this on the sites we have reviewed.
GAMSTOP lets you put controls in place to help restrict your online gambling activities.
Sign up for the service and you will be prevented from using gambling websites and apps run by companies licensed in Great Britain, for a period of your choosing.
GAMSTOP is a free service for users. GAMSTOP is available for consumers resident within the United Kingdom (Great Britain and Northern Ireland) only.
Responsible Gambling Resources
Need help? If you think that you may have an issue with gambling or know someone that does there are great resources to help you.
National Gambling Helpline Freephone 0808 8020 133 8am-midnight 7 days a week. Calls to the National Gambling HelpLine are free from landlines and mobile phones within the UK and do not appear on itemised bills. Calls from BT phone boxes are free, however some other public phone operators may charge you to call.
You can also chat to others in our forum (please note: this will be with forum members that may be able to offer support as they are in the same position as yourself or have been, not professionals)