By definition, responsible gambling refers to a standard that every legal gaming and gambling business should adhere to, be it in an online or offline environment. There are multiple aspects to that standard, which includes maintenance of fair play and providing a safe online/offline environment to play in, but they are not the only standards of responsible gambling, as there are various other facets to it which entails both the players and the casinos. It is expected that a casino will employ certain measures to protect their vulnerable players so that they don’t end up losing a lot more than they can afford to. There are personal responsibilities that the players must also not forget in order to protect their own financial and mental state from the adverse effects of gambling. Delving deeper into the topic further reveals what steps both casinos and their customers can take to maintain the standards of responsible gambling.
Fun is More Important than Anything Else While Playing Online
Casino games are an enjoyable way to pass the time and to have a go at winning big for a majority of the players. It is not supposed to be anything more serious than that under ideal conditions, but there are always a few customers in every casino who need assistance, guidance and special attention to keep themselves from getting out of control and overspending. Nonetheless, it should be understood that practices related to responsible gambling apply to regular players as well, even when they do not have any prior history of gambling addictions or are not currently considered to be at risk of becoming addicted to casino games.
The idea is that, on each and every one of our online casino establishments, fun should take priority, and we put in the efforts necessary to not only promote and advertise casino sites that conform to the same ideals, but we also provide the necessary guidance and assistance to vulnerable players who find it particularly difficult to get a hold over their gambling habits. The more you learn to recognize warning signs of a developing or already developed gambling addiction and realize those signs as such, the better your chances are of keeping your online betting and gambling habits from getting out of control.
How Should the Online Canadian Casinos Promote Responsible Gambling Practices?
Our recommended list of online casino websites that are licensed in Canada will all provide multiple self-limiting features to all their players, so that they can remain aware of and stay in control of, their gambling habits. Some of these features are as follows:
The Ability to Set Up Alerts and Time-Outs
Aside from money, there is one other important commodity that people often lose track of while gambling online and that is time. Responsible online casinos provide their customers with features that let them set reminders and time-outs by themselves, so that the players remain aware of how much time they are spending during each session at an online casino. Some online casinos may even choose to prompt players on their own, if they sense that a certain player is spending way too much time on the website.
The Option to Set Up Deposit Limits
Just like time, it is easy to lose track of one’s spending as well, therefore, our Canadian online casinos offer players the option to set limits on how much they can deposit into their casino account per month/week/day. One can of course, get rid of such limits on their deposits if they want to, or increase/decrease the amount according to their own free will.
History Tracking Features
Elaborate tracking of one’s personal gambling history is provided by casinos that practice responsible gambling codes, because when a player is able to track and recognize a pattern in their gambling activities such as deposits, playing history and withdrawals over a period of time, it is easier for him/her to detect if there is indeed a problem that needs to be sorted out.
Taking Breaks and Self-Exclusion from Online Gambling
Although it should be a common practice for online players to take a break every once in a while, the online casino can facilitate such breaks by giving them an option to set up a break period by themselves. Depending on the casino, such breaks can last anywhere between just a day to six weeks or more.
Self-exclusion, on the other hand, is a much more extreme version of taking a break, and it can last for anything between six months to a period as long as five whole years.
While playing at the slots, regular customers often set the betting amounts and applicable limits on auto-play to save time and repetitive actions. However, casinos with responsible gambling measures will give you the option to pause/stop the auto-play whenever you wish, so that anything you win isn’t all gambled away again.
Do You Know If You Have a Gambling Addiction?
Not everyone who has a gambling problem is aware of it and some may sincerely believe that he/she isn’t addicted at all, such is the nature of addiction itself. Therefore, players need to be aware of the following signs which are clear indications of the fact that one’s gambling habits have gone past the boundaries of fun, and entered the realm of obsession:
- The player has started to neglect work, duties and social activities in favor of gambling
- Frequent mood swings, excess irritability and symptoms of frustration and restlessness are seen when not gambling
- The previous bets feel too low in value now and only the prospect of higher bets and higher wins excite the player
- The player may lie about winning to others, even after losing in reality
- Gambling is being used by the player to hide/escape from the problems in the player’s real life
- Repeatedly trying to win back lost money
- Failing to control/limit/stop the amount of time and/or money spent on gambling online or offline
- Addicted players will often feel the need to hide their gambling habits from their friends and family
- Borrowing money to gamble and being unable to pay it back
- Players with gambling problems are often in continuous and mounting debt
- Selling of possessions to gamble or pay back gambling debts
- Tendency to steal, cheat, lie or be involved in any other form of dishonest behavior to gamble or pay back gambling debts
- Breaking important commitments to make time and find money for gambling
What If You Do Have a Gambling Addiction?
If one is able to associate himself/herself with any one or multiple of the signs mentioned above, there is definitely a gambling problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent further damage to one’s finances, relationships and mental health. However, you are not the first person in the world with a gambling problem and you won’t be the last, so take comfort in that and be honest with yourself first. The very first step to getting control over your addiction is to realize and accept that you do have a gambling problem. Once the realization sinks in, it alone could often be enough to make you stop, or at least get things under control. Just in case you are past the point of self-control, it is time to seek guidance, help and direct support from people close to you and professionals.
Staying in Control When You are Not in Control
As discussed earlier, sometimes, self-realization isn’t enough to stop an advanced gambling problem and, in such cases, the following practical steps will be of immense use:
- Utilize the controls given to the players by the online casinos to limit your deposits and time spent on casino games
- Set clear targets based on how much you can shave off your casino expenditures every week
- Reward yourself for meeting savings targets every month
- Keep a diary on how many days you have managed to go without gambling
- Give temporary control of your money to someone you trust and who is good with managing finances
- Take a break, self-exclude or completely stop from all forms of gambling and betting, be it online or offline
- As an ultimate and final measure, you can use GamBlock to block all gambling sites from every one of your devices
It is also advised that you seek out online forums that are dedicated to helping players with gambling problems come out of their obsession. Professional therapy can also be quite useful in controlling gambling urges and the best part is that since it is not a chemical dependence, but a purely psychological one, even the most severe of gambling problems can be addressed quite successfully with proper therapy and a bit of willpower.