Steps to Take to Gamble Safely and Responsibly
There are a number of steps online casino players can take to ensure they’re gambling responsibly. Casinos too are also getting better at providing on-site facilities that enable players to take better control of their gambling habits, particularly those at risk of developing an addiction. Below we’ve outlined these steps.
1. Only Deposit Cash You Can Afford to Lose
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently outlawed the use of credit cards at its licensed casinos, understanding that credit card deposits were a normalised payment method by which gamblers could spend money that wasn’t theirs. Before you begin a gambling session, have an idea in your mind about the amount of money you can afford to lose, and stick to it. There are certain payment methods now widely available at Canadian casino sites that support this approach. Prepaid cards, for example, aren’t tied to any bank account, so payments can only be made with funds already pre-loaded onto the card.
2. Keep Close Tabs on Your Spending
The speed at which online casinos run can be disarming. When wagers are placed at just the click of a button, it’s easy to see how spending can quickly get out of control. Make sure you’re always paying close attention to the size and frequency of your wagers, and that these are in keeping with the limits you’d set yourself at the beginning of the gambling session. Players can lose sight of this principle when they’ve had a particularly disappointing session – in these moments, it’s vital that you resist the urge to chase your losses, as this can cause spending to spiral out of control.
3. Set Self-Imposed Time Limits on Your Gambling
Just like it’s easy to lose track of time in a physical casino, time can also fly online. Set yourself a time limit before you start gambling, and stick to it. The casino itself will begin timing your session as soon as you log in, so keep referring to it throughout to make sure you’re sticking to your own parameters.
4. Use On-Site Limiting Tools
Casino sites now offer their customers two limiting tools. You can restrict the amount that can be deposited in a given timeframe. Alternatively, you can activate a self-exclusion tool that will lock you out of their account for long periods. These tools are designed to manage spending and to enable those in danger of developing an addiction to take breaks while they seek appropriate help.
5. Only Play Whilst Sober and Clear-Headed
All of the above steps are hard to adhere to when you’re thinking straight. Gambling whilst under the influence of alcohol or other substances makes it that much harder to manage spending, stick to self-imposed limits, and make well-informed betting decisions. Clear-headedness extends beyond being sober, and players should also avoid placing bets when overly stressed, anxious, frustrated, or tired – all of these emotions obscure clarity of thought.
6. Don’t Play Games or Bet on Markets You Don’t Fully Understand
Most online casinos provide free-to-play versions of their games alongside the real money equivalents. Before you start committing your own cash to your wagers, spend some time getting up to speed on the rules, gameplay, and mechanics of the games. This is particularly useful for table games, which can have so many complex rules.
If you’re more interested in sportsbook betting, always avoid markets you’re unfamiliar with. It’s wise to spend time getting to know sports inside and out before putting money on events. Even if you’re betting on a sport you know well, there’s no better preparation to gambling than conducting some personal research on the form of the team and players in question.
7. Impartial and Non-Judgemental Help is Always Available
The most important step of all: never suffer in silence. No matter how bad things are or feel, know that you are never alone, and that there are lots of organizations that can offer you friendly, professional, and appropriate advice.