”Responsible gambling refers to behaviour that allows you to control your gambling, rather that being controlled by it”.
Provided you’re at the legal age, live in a jurisdiction which allows it, and have the spare cash to make a deposit, then in most cases you’re going to find that it’s very easy to gamble online.
But as we’ve seen, gambling means you can lose as well as win money. Maybe even lose lots of it.
Always remember that you’re risking your own cash. Playing with real money to win real money can be great fun, provided you stay in control. This ability to stay in control is known as responsible gambling. It’s a term which is widely used and should be seen on every respectable website that offers the chance to win money by using your own cash.
Please read this responsible gambling page of Gamblersfever carefully – ideally before you make any attempt to deposit money and risk losing it in any of the real money casinos listed.
It’ll spell out the risks you face with gambling, what to watch out for, and where to get help if any problems catch you unawares.
GamblersFever.net presents links to other websites which provide the chance to win money. The hard facts are almost all of them require you to risk your own cash in return for the chance to win.
It’s not all bad. Some games give the chance to play for long periods with only minor losses, provided you follow the correct game strategies. But still, over a period of time you will most likely lose.
Casino gaming should be approached as a form of entertainment for which you’re paying. Just as with any other form of entertainment, you wouldn’t pay over the odds, would you?
And for many of us, that wouldn’t be the case.
But for some – and that might be you – it’s hard to know when to stop.
When to walk away and cut your losses.
And what normally prevents you from stopping – even though you might know it’s a problem – are two key aspects of problem gambling.
The chasing of losses is one, and addiction to the thrill of the chase (and the elation of a win) is another.
Chasing Losses – and Over Optimism In Gambling
Optimism is a trait you’ll find in every gambler. Without some level of optimism you just wouldn’t do it. In most cases it’s a strength, and will serve you well.
However, there is always a time to give in. The danger of over-optimism is that you’ll go on thinking you’re invincible, that the next spin or turn of the dice will be the one that turns it all around.
You know what?
But the odds are it won’t, and continually playing and thinking a win is around the corner is what’s known as chasing losses.
In casino gaming, each time you play you have as much chance of winning or losing as the last time. There are no real laws of averages. Sure, the casino may have an RTP percentage of 95%. But that doesn’t mean it’s you that’ll get the benefit.
Continually losing is no fun, and the overriding advice we can give is to treat your gambling as fun.
What’s the point if you don’t enjoy it?
And believe me, losing a lot of money is not fun (unless you already have so much of it that it makes no difference), and not what we want anyone using GamblersFever to experience.
With any form of gambling – and not necessarily casino related – there is a risk of becoming addicted, and that can have many negative consequences.
To avoid that risk, the best advice is not to gamble at all. Don’t even go there. If you know yourself, you’ll be able to tell if you could potentially become addicted.
But if you’re not sure whether addiction could be a problem, or believe it would never happen to you, but at the same time you’re determined to gamble to win money, there are a number of personality traits which will give you a clue as to whether you’re in danger.
Equally there are ways to limit the extent of any potential addiction, and get help in cases of problems.
The Types Of Addiction
We all know the common perception of addiction – the drug taker, the alcoholic. It’s defined as ‘ the fact or condition of being addicted to a particular substance or activity.’
In our case activity being the key word. But it’s not just the action of gambling itself, it’s the feelings you get from it.
So we can become addicted to the pursuit of wins, addicted to the rush of winning, or a whole list of other human emotions which gambling can invoke.
What You Can Do – Protection From The Harms Of Compulsive Online Gambling
There’s little doubt that at some point in your life you’ll have got involved with an activity which is bad for you, but very hard to stop.
It feels like you’re almost forced to continue, right? It’s compulsive.
Compulsive gambling sits firmly in this category, and 99% of the time benefits no one. In order to help you keep control, remember the following:
Gamble cautiously, and only with what you can safely afford – and remember that what you can afford will vary from time to time and from person to person.
The key is not to gamble in such a way as to lose excessive amounts of money or let losing affect you psychologically or physically. In fact, any way that has a negative impact on those around you (family, friends, work colleagues).
If you can achieve that – and stay personally calm, disciplined, and focused – there should be no reason why you can’t spend money that you can afford to lose on betting entertainment.
Keep The Focus On Entertainment
Enjoy your gambling. See it as a form of entertainment that costs money. This is not easy to do, but force yourself to keep this mindset.
Avoid Chasing Losses
Do not chase losses. Risking more and more money to win back what you’ve lost rarely results in success over the long term.
Keep records of what you’re spending. Seeing amounts written down in cold black and white will help you realise what cash is disappearing.
It’s very easy to lose track, just as we lose track of what we’re spending in every day life.
And that means time too. Time is valuable to everyone.
Only Play When Mentally Sound
We all know how drugs, alcohol, or even some forms of medication can adversely affect how we think, react, and deal with situations. Don’t gamble while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Be Careful With Where You Gamble
Check with any casino that you intend to gamble with to ensure that they follow all legislation, and have processes in place to protect or assist anyone who may be having gambling difficulties.
Recognise Your Problem
One of the key ways of protecting yourself from harm of any type is to recognise the danger, and once you’re in danger you didn’t see coming then to know that you’re in it.
The following list of questions are ones you can ask yourself at any point to check that you have your gambling under control. It’s not hard to recognise the ‘wrong’ answers, those that mean you’re in trouble.
Most problem gamblers be able to truthfully answer yes to at least seven of these questions.
Has gambling ever made affected your home life, making you or your family members unhappy in any way?
Has gambling had any impact on your reputation at home or work?
Have you ever felt remorse after gambling?
Have you ever gambled to win money with which to pay debts or solve other financial problems?
Has gambling been the cause of any decrease in your ambition or efficiency?
After losing, have you ever felt the need to win back your losses as soon as possible?
Have you lost time from work or education due to gambling?
After winning have you ever had the urge to try and win more?
Have you ever gambled until the last of your money was gone?
Have you ever borrowed money to allow you to gamble more?
Have you ever sold anything to finance your gambling?
Have you ever reserved money for gambling which was intended for other expenditures?
Has gambling ever made you careless of the welfare of yourself or your family?
If you set a time or limit for your gambling, have you ever gambled longer or with more money than you had planned?
Have you ever gambled to escape worries or other problems in your life?
Have you ever committed, or thought of committing, an illegal act to finance gambling?
Has gambling caused you to have sleeping difficulties?
Have you ever missed an important event through gambling?
Have you ever considered any form of self-harm or suicide as a result of your gambling?
If you hit a point where you believe you’re no longer in control of your gambling (and ideally before you hit that point) then get help.
There are plenty of gambling help websites, often run by legislative bodies. Many are listed further below. There will be one offering support for players in the region where you live.
How The Operators Offer Protection
The casinos themselves also have a part to play in protecting their Customers (ie you). Most take the responsibility very seriously, not least because they face the prospect of heavy fines or even getting closed down if they don’t.
That’s one of the benefits of a regulated gambling environment.
Age – Limiting Access by Minors
Most respectable operators will set rules that protect minors from underage gambling, and steadfastly enforce any age restrictions in place.
These vary from country to country, and are in place for a good reason which we fully support. If you are under the legal age for the country you reside in then do not play, and avoid making any attempt to play.
If you’re an adult with younger family members living with you, there are some steps you can also take to protect them:
1. Use effective child protection software to block access to gaming sites
2. Never leave a computer unattended if you are logged into gaming software
3. Do not share your credit card or bank account details with minors
4. Do not leave the “Save Password” option enabled on PC login screens
5. Make sure you create separate access profiles for your children on computers to prevent access to your personal information.
Self-Limiting & Exclusion
Some casinos offer the ability for you to choose a limit on how much you can lose or even deposit, or even allow total exclusion. These options are normally found somewhere in the account details section.
It’s not a bad idea to seek out casinos that offer these and only use them. That way you’ll know that if you need them they’re there.
Self exclusion tools can take a variety of forms, including:
Configurable deposit limits – set how much you can deposit over a choice of time-frames.
Activity alerts – Set how much time you can play for before getting alerted by a pop-up message.
Time-Out – Request a period of time where you won’t be able to login to your account.
Self-Assessment Questionnaires – Designed to highlight answers that show you may have a problem.
Complete Self-Exclusion – For use if you want to prevent yourself from gambling for a longer period of time, or permanently.
Restricted Internet Access – You can configure your PC/laptop/mobile device with software such as GamBlock or Betfilter which will restrict your access to all gambling sites.
Who To Contact
There are different bodies in different regions of the world. In theory they’ll all be offering similar levels of support, and most will approach the giving of that support in similar ways.
Many run hotlines where you can talk to someone immediately.
United Kingdom Responsible Gambling Support Organisations
Gamblers Anonymous http://www.gamblersanonymous.org
National Council on Problem Gambling http://www.ncpgambling.org/
Helping Hand/IGC http://www.igcouncil.org
US Responsible Gaming Support Organisations
Australia Responsible Gambling support
GamblingHelp Online http://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au
Gamblers Anonymous Australia http://gaaustralia.org.au/
If you’re outside of any of these regions, please contact us here at GamblersFever. You’ll find how to get us on the contact page, and we’ll help you find who to contact in your local region.
Plus if you want to understand more about the potential links between gambling and illness, this is a good article which examines the theory in depth.
Finally this video explores the psychology of gambling, and may give some insights into how it could affect you.
There’s a big difference between whether you can afford to gamble and lose money with no harmful effects, and gambling money that you can’t afford to lose.
Which one is it for you?
And can you recognise when you get to the point where it does matter, or is becoming harmful?
Understanding the different elements of responsible gambling will help you to be able to answer these questions.
Go back to the start. Read it all again. This really is critical stuff.