Most people gamble responsibly. They only spend what they can afford, they don’t chase their losses, and they stop while they are ahead, or at least they know that is what they should do. Unfortunately a small minority of people get into trouble with their gambling. They hit a problem and they find themselves unable to do anything about it.
Problem gambling affects only around 0.6% of gamblers. That is not a large proportion, but for those that do have a problem it can be a severe one. They are likely to spend much more than they can afford, and spend far too much time gambling than is reasonable thus they neglect or abandon other parts of their life often including their family.
It is not in the interests of online casino operators, or even land casino operators and bookmakers, to condone problem gambling. Gambling has gained a much better reputation than it used to have some decades ago. Almost all licensed gambling businesses subscribe to the ethics of responsible gambling, and these include helping that small minority of gamblers that develop a gambling problem.
So what should you do if you are not a responsible gambler? Like all addictions, it is very difficult to cope without some help and support from outside. There might be a number of issues to deal with, for as well as your compulsion to gamble you might also be in serious debt. Fortunately there are organizations which can help, for instance the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) can help you with your debt problems and GamCare will help you deal with your gambling problem.
Here are a few simple rules to follow to ensure you don’t get in trouble by gambling:
Know the rules of whichever online casino you intend to play at. This can be done by reading the online rules or watching video tutorials, and free demo games are often available so you can double-check your understanding of the rules before you play.
Work out an amount you won’t mind losing and then stick to it. Make sure the money you budget is money you definitely don’t need for anything else. This will help you avoid the temptation to deposit more money to try and win your budgeted money back. Working out how much you can afford to lose that week/month and then spreading it over the amount of times you’ll want to gamble is a great way to keep it real and fun.
Set your deposit limit with the casino at whatever your budgeted amount is. Self-imposed limits stop you depositing any more money in any 24 hour period, and by then any naughty impulses should have gone away.
Don’t play for too long as you’ll either be tempted to chase losses or give back some of your winnings. Either way you’ll regret it. Stopping at the time you told yourself you would is another sure fire way of making sure gambling at an online casino remains fun.
Self-exclusion is a safety net; just in case you realize you might be getting addicted or gambling is eating into your savings, or time that you should be spending doing more important things. Contact the online casino and inflict a six month ban on yourself. But, if you follow the first four steps, then this is very unlikely you’ll need to.