'Responsible Gaming' is often misunderstood in regards to online casinos. It is not a matter of simply relating it to gambling addiction. Online casinos need to consider the following issues as well, within the realm of their Responsible Gaming awareness campaigns:
- Underage gambling - Site operators are responsible in preventing underage customers and browsers from frequenting their sites and softwares. Rigorous age verification standards that confirm the identity of all gamblers are required.
- Fraud - Local and international policies require each online casino business implement anti-money laundering procedures.
- Secure Data and Information - Protecting the customers’ private data is paramount in the minds of operators. The portals use an intricate set of measures, including SSL security protocols to make sure all data is kept encrypted and away from thieving third parties.
- Fair Gaming - Operators are required to ensure that all online gaming products are tested for safety and complete fairness. Third party sources conduct external audits and investigate the use of RNG (random number generators) to guarantee that outcomes are completely fair.
Fortunately, not everyone becomes addicted to gambling. With the easy access to online casinos in today’s modern world, it is becoming a bigger problem. Many can maintain a healthy level of online gambling just by following some tips:
- Gambling is entertainment, not an income generator.
- Avoid trying to make up what you have just lost.
- Make sure that gambling is not the only active hobby you have.
- Use the built in casino features, such as budget limits, to prevent addiction.
- Keep your gaming sessions limited – a fixed time each day is the best option.
- Gambling is meant to be fun. When it stops being fun and becomes an escape, it's time to stop.
If you suspect you are sliding into addiction, but cannot quite fight the urge to game away a small fortune, you should reach out immediately to the support team at the casino. They are trained and equipped to help get you back from the edge, and/or to stop you from gambling altogether.
Identify the Issue
How do you know that you are at risk at getting addicted, though? There’s a fine line between escapism and outright addiction, and the boundaries are often merged to the point where we can’t tell the one from the other.
- Gambling is no longer fun, losses are a source of irritation.
- You are spending more on your gambling activities than you would on other activities.
- You seek to sell off property in order to keep going.
- Social activities are no longer as important as spending time at home gaming.
- You don’t quit when you are ahead.
- You immediately stake any winnings that you may have made.
- Your thoughts are dominated by gambling.
- Betting becomes routine and no matter how much you stake, you don’t feel excited about it.
- You start developing secretive behavior to keep friends and family at arm’s length.
If any one of the above instances are familiar to you, then it might be time to take a first step and get yourself help. This can be difficult, as only a small percentage of gamblers problems seek help due to embarrassment and stigma. There's nothing to be ashamed of! It can be easy to get carried away while gambling because it is fun. There are many ways to get help. Discreet measures can be pursued if don’t want your family or friends to be aware of the problem. Online casinos are always ready to help if you reach out to them, they take this matter very seriously.
How to Get Help
Here are some things you can do in the event you find yourself in a situation which is out of control:
- Spending Limits: Online casino support sre trained to help and advise you. You can request spending limits on your account. You can control your spending by simply requesting a limit of x dollars per day, week or month.
- Self-Exclusion: Give yourself a break! Have your account frozen. Self-exclusion usually has a minimum of 6 months and can be carried extended as per your needs after the period ends. The minimum 6 month period is enforced by all responsible casinos.
- Permanent self-exclusion: By admitting to a gambling addiction to casino support your account will be closed permanently. Online casino procedures are in place to help you in your quest to escape the addiction cycle, so work closely with them and they will help to get your life back in order.
- Change the company you keep on online social media. Unfollow any gaming related groups and seek support through friends and family, a counselor or a group.
Your online casino will provide information on local support groups and other online assistance – as well, they can be found on the internet. There are many ways to get the help you need, including anonymous groups and organizations such as gamblersanonymous.org, responsiblegambling.org, gamtalk.org or search for gambling help online or gamblers help hotlines in your local area.