A Guide to Responsible Gambling: How to Gamble Responsibly 101

Gamble Responsibly

The UK Gambling Commission reports that 44% of British adults had gambled at least once in the previous 12 months. But gambling in all of its forms has a sinister side.

Approximately 1,400 people—a 33% increase from the previous year—were referred to NHS England in 2022 for assistance with gambling addiction. A person may be exhibiting symptoms of gambling addiction when their gaming turns into more than just a hobby and starts to cause issues in their lives. 

This guide to responsible gambling explains how to gamble sensibly, how to remain safe, how to spot a gambling problem, and offers gambling services if you think your betting habits have been, or are becoming, problematic.


How to Gamble Responsibly

1. View gambling as a kind of amusement rather than as a means of making money

It is important to remember that gambling should be a kind of amusement, not a steady source of money. Since only a small percentage of professional gamblers are successful, leisure gamblers shouldn’t expect long-term success either. As a result, it’s critical to approach gambling with enjoyment in mind as opposed to profit.

2. You should never invest in online gambling more than what you can afford to lose

It’s important to stay within your means, using just money set aside for entertainment and avoiding money intended for rent, bills, or other essentials. 

3. Put 1% of your whole money down at once

Putting aside a certain amount of money for sports betting for a while and modifying your bets in response to wins or losses is known as betting just 1% of your total betting budget at a time. This helps to prevent gambling from becoming a problem and helps you practice responsible gambling.

4. Decide on a budget beforehand

It’s important to set a spending limit before doing things like playing online casinos or even placing racing bets, just to be sure that you don’t develop a problem gambling. Regardless of how the day turns out, the objective is to feel the excitement of possible gains without going over your allocated spending limit.

5. Refrain from pursuing your losses

One typical mistake made by gamblers is to chase losses, online or in person. It frequently results in hasty behaviour, and more and more hours spent gambling, which leads to even more losses. It’s critical to take a step back following a setback, reflect, and then come back with a clear mind. 

6. Aim to take regular pauses from gambling

If you lose, take a step back, evaluate what went wrong, gather yourself, and only come back when you’re calm. Breaks are crucial since prolonged forms of gambling can distort your perception and develop a serious problem with gambling. Once you’ve learned to keep track of your time gambling, return with a clear mind.

7. Avoid gambling when intoxicated, but always on a clear head – take a cooling-off period

Making bad decisions and exhibiting risky behaviour can be caused by impaired judgment, which frequently results from gambling when being under the influence of alcohol or when feeling intense emotions like sadness, anxiety, or rage. It’s best to avoid gambling until you’re calm and composed or take a time-out. Severe gambling problems can develop quickly, so it’s important to deal with them.

8. Avoid letting gaming get in the way of your everyday obligations

Never skip work to gamble and avoid letting it interfere with your relationships and your family life. It’s important to get help right away and take immediate action if you or a loved one starts acting in this way—this is a blatant sign of a gambling addiction.

There are a ton of options available for professional help, from helplines to self-exclusion and setting deposit limits, and a variety of services that deal exclusively with people suffering from gambling addictions, so you have loads to choose from. Emotional support from the people closest to you is important when it comes to responsible gambling. 

9. Ensure that gambling is not your primary pastime or interest

Maintaining a well-rounded lifestyle and preventing gambling from taking over one’s life can be achieved by expanding one’s interests and pastimes outside gaming. Struggling with gambling starts when a person invests a lot of time and money spent gambling and makes it their number one priority. Stay in control and if possible, away from people with a gambling problem. Responsible gamblers know that compulsive gambling is hard to break once it’s installed into their minds. 


How to Prevent a Gambling Problem and Enjoy Responsible Gambling

Set a Money Limit When You Start Gambling

To prevent going above your means when gambling, set a firm budget and stick to it. Most gambling operators have a legal obligation to promote safer gambling to their customers and have an option for customers to self-exclude, set a limit for spending beyond their control and bet trackers to keep track of their spendings.

Consider Your Reasons for Gaming and Gambling

Consider your reasons for gambling to make sure you’re not using it as a coping method for personal problems or as a source of enjoyment.

Track How Frequently You Gamble

To keep on top and recognise any problems that may arise when you participate in sports wagering, to track your betting activities and stay in control of the habit, keep track of how frequently you gamble. If you’re going over your set limit for responsible gambling, seek help immediately before it becomes a serious problem and not just a form of entertainment. 

Always Be Sure to Read the Terms and Conditions

Know the terms and regulations of the platforms and games you’re using to prevent confusion and guarantee fair play.


When Responsible Gaming Becomes a Problem: Recognising If You Have a Problem Gambling

The following list contains seven warning indicators of compulsive gambling. Neglecting important financial obligations—particularly failing to pay household bills—is a major sign of problem gambling. Financial instability, rising debt, and missed bill payments are common outcomes of problem gamblers who prioritise their addiction to betting sites over other important financial responsibilities.

Increasing the gambling budget by setting aside money meant for more important things to gamble is a concerning indicator of problem gambling. It is quite concerning when money is taken out of savings accounts for gambling purposes as it puts future financial stability at risk and hurts keeping one’s financial situation in good standing.

Around 75% of people who deal with gambling believe that they cannot openly discuss their difficulties with friends or family, which makes many of them keep their problems hidden. Going to considerable measures to hide one’s gambling habits might be a sign that the individual is aware of the possible risks or unfavorable effects of their actions. If so, families must communicate openly to address these problems and assist the affected individuals in seeking support.

A concerning sign of the depth of the issue is the selling of personal items to finance gambling. Because of the lack of control displayed in this desperate conduct, assistance, and treatment for the underlying reasons are required for those struggling with a gambling problem.

To minimise the harm they cause to others and themselves, people with gambling addictions frequently lie about how much and how often they bet. Acknowledging and addressing either of these categories is essential to obtaining assistance and implementing adjustments.  It’s dangerous to turn to gambling as a way to forget about your troubles in life. This habit can fuel pre-existing problems and start a vicious cycle, so seeking expert help and improved coping mechanisms is crucial.

Stealing from friends or family to feed a gaming habit is a worrying indicator of serious gambling problems. This illustrates the need for immediate intervention and assistance since it not only shows the financial cost of gambling but also the harm it does to interpersonal relationships.


How Can You Help Yourself if You Think You Have a Problem with Online Gambling?

It’s critical to take a step back and evaluate yourself if you’re observing any behaviours or patterns that point to gambling addiction. The first step is to admit that there is a problem. 

Problematic gamblers can access a support system and services. Setting up ‘cooling-off’ periods on betting sites is important because it gives you the space you need to confront your gambling habits, but the best course of action to take right away is to completely give up gambling. Now is the right moment to be introspective and talk to trusted individuals about your worries. Never be afraid to ask for help and assistance; often, the weight may be lessened just by talking about it.

Most importantly, a lot of supportive services that are empathetic and private are accessible. You may voice your worries to them in a judgment-free environment and get help. Below are listed some gambling resources that help people suffering from gambling problems. 

GambleAware

A UK nonprofit called GambleAware works to lessen the negative effects of gambling. To people impacted by gambling addiction, they offer guidance, support, and information. The organisation works with many gambling websites to promote responsible gambling habits and has a strong emphasis on research to comprehend and lessen the effects of gaming. It conducts educational campaigns about the dangers of gambling and provides essential services and various resources like free therapy.

GamCare

One important source of assistance for those in Great Britain who are impacted by problem gambling is GamCare. Aside from live chat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and a round-the-clock hotline, they also provide private counseling and emotional support. They also keep up an online chat room and forum for exchanging stories and offering support to one another, thus they provide all-encompassing help to people with gambling problems. 


Blocking Your Access to Gambling 

Several banks, including HSBC, Barclays, Halifax, Monzo, Lloyds, Santander, Natwest, and more have included a “block” or “freeze” option on their platforms as a result of the UK’s Card Control program, which is in partnership with the UK Gambling Commission. Customers using this service can choose to accept and refuse all gambling-related transactions, including debit card transactions made to online bookmakers, gaming companies, and premium line operators.

Customers must make direct, online, or in-person contact with their bank to activate this service. Each bank or lender has different terms and restrictions for this service. Upon confirmation, the block can be activated indefinitely or for a predetermined minimum duration, usually accompanied by an irreversible 48-hour cooling-off period.

Any efforts to pay or deposit money to betting or gaming operators using credit or debit cards from the linked bank will be immediately barred while a block or freeze is in effect.

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