Safe Online Gaming
For a vast majority of casino fans, online gambling is a fun way to enjoy slots and games from the comfort of their own homes.
However, it is important to keep in mind that gambling can be addictive and potentially harmful. Here, in this article, we discuss ways you can play online safely, how to identify problem gaming, and how to get help if needed.
How to Play Safely
Playing online casino games can be great fun, but it is important to make sure that you are playing safely. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Set yourself a budget: Before you start playing, set a budget for yourself and stick to it. If your money runs out, stop playing and don't chase losses by continuing to bet more money.
- Play for fun: Remember that gambling is a form of entertainment, and should be enjoyed as such. Don't view it as a way to make money.
- Take regular breaks: It is important to take frequent breaks. Maybe stretch your legs and give your eyes a rest. This will give you an opportunity to think about whether it’s time to stop playing.
- Only play at reputable online casinos: Before you sign-up and play at any online casino, check that it has a good reputation (like the casinos we list here). Only play at reputable websites that are licensed and regulated.If your country or territory does not have Government regulation (like in the US), consider playing at a social casino like Vegas World instead
- Understand how casinos work: All casinos are designed to be make money for the owners. The games are designed so that over the long-term, players lose money. You might get lucky once in a while, but the casino is always the (financial) winner in the long-run. This is why, as a player it is important to only play for entertainment, and never to try and make money.
How to Identify Problem Gaming
Problem gambling can have a serious impact on your life, so it is important to be aware of the signs. Here are some things to look out for, to help identify whether you or someone you know could have a gambling problem:
- Spending more money than you intended: If you find yourself spending more than you planned to, it may be a sign that you have a gambling problem. If you are worried about your casino spend, take a look at this self assessment test to help asses whether you are a compulsive gambler
- Chasing losses: If you find yourself trying to win back lost money by continuing to bet, this can be a sign of problem gambling.
- Neglecting responsibilities: If gambling is interfering with personal life, or your work, it could be a sign of a problem.
- Lying about gambling: It is important to be honest with yourself and others. If you feel the need to lie to friends or family about your gambling, it may be a sign that you have a problem.
- Feeling irritable or anxious when you are not gambling: If you feel and tempered, or nervous when you're not gambling, this could be a sign of a problem.
Getting Help with Problem Gaming
It is important to get help, if you think you have a gambling problem. f you think you are becoming addicted, here are some options you could consider:
- Self-exclusion: All good online casinos offer a self-exclusion program. Using this feature, you can voluntarily exclude yourself from gambling for a set period of time. For extra protection, use one of the services designed for your country or territory. A good self-exclusion example, is Gamstop in the UK
- Support groups: Support groups can provide a sense of community and support for those struggling with problem gambling. One good example, is Gamblers Anonymous
- Counseling: Seeking professional counseling can help you identify and address the underlying issues that are contributing to your gambling problem.
- Helplines: Helplines such as the National Council on Problem Gambling can provide confidential support and advice.
Remember, problem gambling is a serious issue that can have a significant impact on your life. If you're struggling with problem gambling, it is very important to seek help.
All forms of gambling, whether online or in person, can be addictive and potentially harmful. By playing safely and being aware of the signs of problem gambling, you can reduce the risk of developing a gambling problem.
If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, seek help from a reputable resource. Remember, there is help available and you don't have to face the problem alone.
1 National Council on Problem Gambling. (2021). Home. https://www.ncpgambling.org/
2 Mayo Clinic. (2021). Compulsive gambling. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/compulsive-gambling/symptoms-causes/syc-20355178
3 Gamblers Anonymous. (2021). Welcome to Gamblers Anonymous. https://www.gamblersanonymous.org/
4 Responsible Gambling Council. (2021). Online Gambling. https://www.responsiblegambling.org/online-gambling/
5 National Institute on Mental Health. (2021). Gambling Disorder. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/gambling-disorder/index.shtml
GamCare (UK) - www.gamcare.org.uk
GambleAware (UK) - www.begambleaware.org
National Council on Problem Gambling:(USA) - www.ncpgambling.org
Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling: (USA) - www.gamblinghelp.org