Responsible Gambling Guide for Online Casino Players
Online gambling is fun and offers players a way to pass the time. For many online casino players, playing blackjack, roulette, or slots is just a hobby, and this is the best way to look at casino games. The chances are that playing online casino games will not make you rich because the odds are always in favour of the house. However, that does not mean to say that spending money playing casino games is a bad thing. Everyone spends money on their favourite hobby.
Even though we all have hobbies that we spend money on, unfortunately, casino games come with a heightened risk of addiction. We can be addicted to playing football or ice hockey but being addicted to sports or other hobbies does not come with the same potential life destroying risks as being addicted to gambling.
In this guide, we will walk you through some of the basic concepts that will help you become or remain a responsible gambler.
- Know the Difference Between an Addiction to Gambling and Leisurely Play
The ultimate goal of this guide is to make sure you do not overstep that fine line between playing real money casino games for fun and showing the signs of becoming a gambling addict. It is important to understand that there is a thin line between addiction and responsible gambling.
However, there are easy ways to check whether you are in danger of overstepping that line. By keeping all these points in check, you will be making absolutely sure that you never overstep that fine line.
8 Common Signs of Developing a Gambling Problem:
- Being short of rent money, repayments, and other bills
- Chasing your losses by spending more than your set budget
- Trying to gamble as a means to make money
- Not being able to stop gambling after a set amount of time
- Losing all your winnings by raising the stakes too high
- Gambling in secret (although some people prefer privacy)
- Being late for work or family events due to gambling
- Regularly cancelling social activities in favour of gambling
Anyone of these issues above is a sign that you or someone close to you could have a gambling problem. Even if you score just one out of the eight points above, then you should do everything you can to fix that issue as soon as possible in order to remain as a responsible gambler.
- Use the Responsible Gambling Tools Provided by Online Casinos
One way to keep yourself in check financially as a responsible gambler is by taking advantage of responsible gambling tools provided by online casinos. All of the below options cannot be changed for at least 24 hours after they have been set. Plus, it takes another 24 hours for the casino to process any request, change, or reversal to any of these settings.
- Set Deposit Limits
Only you know the amount you can afford to wager. By setting a daily, weekly or monthly deposit limit you are telling the casino not to allow you to deposit any more than this amount in the set time period. As a result, you will not be able to gamble more than you can afford even if you do feel like chasing your losses.
- Set Betting Limits
Gambling at high stakes can become an addictive thrill. Likewise, chasing your losses while on a losing streak can become a thrill. However, if you set betting limits on your casino account, you will not be able to raise your stakes above a certain amount.
- Self Exclusion
You can use this tool to ban yourself from the casino for a set period. There are tons of options such as 12 or 24-hour cooldown periods. 2 days, 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 12-month options.
One of the important points to note here is that once you have self-excluded yourself, the casino’s support team will NEVER be able to reverse this. If you self-exclude yourself for 1 month, that means you will not be able to play any real money games at the casino for 30 days.
- Game Restrictions
You also have the ability to restrict yourself from playing certain games. If you tend to get carried away with slots, then ban yourself from them for a while. You can lift the restriction later on down the line when you feel you are able to responsibly play slot games once again.
- Setting a Timer on Your Sessions
Timers do not ban you from playing a game, but they remind you how long you have been playing for. Each casino will offer its own version of this particular responsible gambling tool; while some casinos do not offer the timer. Some will allow you to set a session time to play slots. It will then remind you in set intervals, such as at every 15-minute time window, how long you have been playing for so you can keep track of time.
- How Can You Spot a Gambling Addict?
We understand that many people reading these types of guides are not gambles and are in fact loved ones trying to figure out if someone close to them has a gambling addiction. The one big issue with trying to spot someone with a gambling problem is that it cannot be identified in the same way as a drug or alcohol addiction can be spotted. Gambling addiction generally has no physical signs.
The only telling signs could be any of the following:
- Mood swings after being on their mobile or computer
- Symptoms of depression
- Regularly broke for no apparent reason
- Often borrows money promising to pay it back
- Mounting debts among friends & family
- Rarely pays back debts owed
- Changes in personality or social life
- Group of friends changes to obvious gamblers
It really is so hard to prove someone has a gambling addiction problem with no physical proof. The only way to find out is first to ask someone if they have been gambling; although, most gambling addicts will deny the fact that they even gamble at all. In this case, all you can do is support them and always let them know you are there to help.
On a final note, if you think that someone is addicted to gambling the worst thing you can do is pay off their debts or keep lending them money. You can be there for them emotionally, but not financially – at least until such a time the person has realized their addiction and made an effort to fix the issue.
- Common Myths About Gambling Addicts
There are some common myths that need to be dispelled when it comes to understanding gambling addicts and who is susceptible to developing a gambling problem.
- (FALSE) They are weak-minded: Many lawyers, judges, financial brokers, police, and managers from all walks of life can become addicted to gambling.
- (FALSE) They gamble all day: Some addicts gamble one or two large bets at once looking for a big win, then lose it all in a short space of time.
- (FALSE) Use crime to support their addiction: Although some addicts turn to crime, most gambling addicts are not criminals and use their own money to support their addiction.
- (FALSE) Financial issues are the only signs of gambling addiction: Often gambling addicts show many other symptoms such as depression, mood swings, and lying.
- (FALSE) All gambling addicts are men: Women are equally as susceptible to lures of developing an addiction to gambling as men
- (FALSE) Gambling addicts are bad gamblers: Some gambling addicts actually play the games they love very well. The problem is that many of them just set their stakes to high and run into financial problems because they cannot afford the downsizings gambling can throw at you
Where Can Canadian Players Get Help with Gambling Addiction?
Most online casinos in Canada offer guides to help with gambling addiction. There will be a link to a website that specializes in helping people that have a gambling problem. You can also check out websites such as this one: problemgambling.ca.
Below we have also listed out some telephone numbers where you can get help if you think you have developed a gambling addiction. All these services offer free and private help. You do not have to provide your name or any personal details if you do not feel comfortable doing so. The services offered are provided in privacy.
Helplines for those that want to speak with experts on gambling addiction:
Gambling Addiction Helpline Saskatchewan
Alberta All Addictions Commission Helpline
New Brunswick Problem Gamblers Hotline
Gambling Addiction Helpline British Columbia
Gambling Addiction Helpline Manitoba
Gambling Addiction Helpline Newfoundland and Labrador
Gambling Addiction Helpline Nova Scotia (Toll-Free)
Gambling Addiction Helpline Nunavut Kamatsiaqtut
Gambling Addiction Helpline Ontario
Gambling Addiction Helpline & Treatment Programs Prince Edward Island
Other Gambling Addiction Helplines & Referral Services
- Montreal: (514) 527-0140
- Provincial: 1-800-461-0140