Humans have since time immemorial loved to gamble as a pastime, and this has taken different forms over the long years.
There is no denying that gambling is fun and can be an exciting diversion. However, there is always the risk of addiction which has made many lose their livelihood, to say the least.
Responsible gaming is a term most gamblers will come across in today’s contemporary world and is particularly championed by leading bookmakers like bookmaker.xyz.
This article will help you understand what responsible gaming is, responsible gaming tools, and how you can apply them to yourself as a gambler.
What Is Responsible Gaming And Why The Need For It?
Responsible gaming is a broad concept that targets both players and gambling operators. The end goal is to ensure gambling customers are not getting addicted.
For players, responsible gambling means you are in control of how much you play without letting it affect your personal life, finances, work, and relationship with others.
Gambling addiction is a real problem in today’s society. Statistics from different countries show a growing percentage of people who have gaming problems.
These individuals have incurred debt due to gaming, committed crimes, and fallen into substance misuse disorders. Most of them have also suffered familiar relationship degeneration due to their problem.
The problem is further compounded by the increasing amount of online casinos and bet stores, all looking to make a fortune out of bettors without caring much about the bettor’s mental health.
Organizations like responsiblegaming.org have brought up the concept of responsible gaming and several tools to help reduce compulsive gambling.
What Causes Compulsive Gambling?
Compulsive gambling is also known as gambling addiction or disorder. People who compulsively gamble have an uncontrollable urge to keep on gambling even when it is negatively affecting them.
There is a compulsion that allows addicted individuals to risk valuable things such as their work, finances, and relationships for the thrill of a win.
The causes of compulsive gambling vary, and it has been attributed to quite a number of things, including:
- Personality: some personality characteristics, such as being a workaholic and being highly competitive can predispose individuals to compulsive gambling.
- Mental Health: mental health issues can be a risk factor for compulsive gambling. People with depression, anxiety, and substance misuse disorders can find themselves getting addicted to gambling.
Most often, compulsive gambling can be associated with one or more disorders.
- Age: age has also been attributed to being one of the causes of compulsive gambling. According to statistics, younger and middle-aged people are more likely to be involved in gambling than older people.
- Influence and Peer Pressure: some people become gambling addicts due to the pressure from friends. They want to appear trendy and, as such, take large and unnecessary risks to show they are capable of doing so.
- Large Losses: some people start gambling compulsively when they encounter a series of losses. They often do not want to risk losing their money and will keep on playing to get the money back.
In most cases, they are often irrational, and because of that, they lose more times than they win. In the meantime, the damage has been done, and they stay hooked on the games.
5 Signs Of Gambling Addiction
People who have a gambling addiction tend to have the continuous urge to gamble despite knowing its detrimental effect on them and their loved ones.
Here are some signs of a gambling addiction you can look out for either in yourself or a loved one:
1. Obsession with Gambling
A major sign of gambling addiction is an obsession with gambling. People with an addiction always want to spend their time gambling. If you are a gambling addict, you compulsively think about gambling every time, even when you are not able to play.
You might find yourself thinking about won or lost bets, how you feel you can play better, and even how to get more money to gamble.
There is an increased loss of impulse control as gambling slowly and quickly takes over. Addicted individuals might get into other types of gambling to overcome their thoughts and get a thrill.
It is always a problem to manage those urges. In some situations, they’ll go ahead to place a bet even when it is obvious they will lose.
2. Loss of Control
A person with a gambling addiction exhibits a loss of control which affects different areas of their life, from their work and social life to their finances.
Because of their obsession with gambling, they spend a lot of time doing just that. If you find yourself losing concentration at work because you are thinking about your next bet, then it is a problem.
You might notice an addict neglecting their bills because they want to use the money to gamble. They always believe they will make their next bet. Unfortunately, they are mostly wrong, and even when they do win, they immediately spend the money again on gambling.
It also affects interpersonal relationships as they might cancel social engagements to be at a betting event.
3. Being Secretive About Gambling
People who have experienced a gambling addiction in their loved ones usually report secretiveness when asked about their gambling activities. If you are in this situation, you’ll find yourself lying to loved ones about the amount of time and money spent gambling.
It is common to find such people hiding betting receipts and other evidence that might incriminate them. They’ll also frequently lie about where they have been during the time they were gambling. They also tend to get really defensive when close friends or family members show concern about their gambling.
In the long run, this could lead to the disintegration of relationships with loved ones as they cannot take addicts at their word anymore.
4. Exhibiting Withdrawal Symptoms
Just like with any other addiction, gambling addicts show a number of physical and emotional symptoms when they are unable to play.
There are several things you can look out for in a loved one, such as:
- Stomach problems.
- Suicidal thoughts.
In most cases, the emotions felt by the gambler are negative. They are dysfunctional and unregulated and can only be normalized by playing.
Asides from the addict, this can also be exhausting for people living or relating closely with them. They sometimes have to bear the brunt of their dysfunctional behavior while being helpless and unable to do anything about it.
5. Taking Bigger Risks While Gambling
As a person becomes addicted to gambling, they start placing higher bets than they often do. Some people do this to recoup losses they have made in previous bets.
Most casinos, betting shops and other forms of gambling are designed for people to lose, however an addict always believes they will win.
When you notice yourself gambling more money than you can afford to lose, then you already have a gambling addiction. Some addicts also increase their bets to get the psychological thrill that comes from taking heavy risks.
These are five major signs you can use in determining whether you or someone you love has a gambling addiction. Once you notice these in yourself, it’s time for you to self-evaluate and try to put a stop to your gambling.
Best 5 Responsible Gaming Tools
As we have mentioned in this article, responsible gaming is important for both the players and the operators. Responsible gaming tools are checks you can put in place to limit the amount of money and time you spend on gambling.
These tools can be found at both physical and online gambling stores. They include:
1. Deposit Limits
Deposit limits are caps placed on the amount of money you can play with during a specific period of time. It is a good way to budget the amount of time you spend on gambling. The limits can be placed daily, weekly, or monthly.
Once you have exhausted the amount of money set by either yourself or the casino, you will be unable to play until the time period has elapsed.
You can also instruct your online bookmaker to set a maximum amount you can deposit for a time period.
This is a great way to ensure gamblers who want to recoup losses do not overstretch themselves while trying to do so.
2. Time Outs
A time-out is another popular responsible gaming tool. It is often a ‘cool off’ approach in which the player takes time away from gambling to clear their head and control their gambling activities.
This is often found in online gambling sites. You are allowed to suspend your account from a day to a month.
This is especially useful when you have just experienced a huge win or loss. By taking time away from playing, you do not make rash or irrational decisions.
During the time-out period, you will be unable to place new bets or wagers, however you can withdraw your existing wins.
Self-exclusion is often seen as a more drastic time-out measure, but it is also quite important. Just like in a time-out, self-exclusion involves taking a break away from gambling, albeit for a longer period of time.
The time frame can be as long as six months or a year or even a permanent ban from gambling.
During that period, you’ll be unable to place bets not just at your regular casino or bet store but also at other operators in your surrounding vicinity.
Note that once you close down your account for self-exclusion purposes, you won’t be able to reopen it.
This is a great responsible gaming tool for people with gambling problems. It helps manage gambling activities to an extent. Bookmakers and casinos are obligated by law to provide self-exclusion options to their clients.
4. Session Limits
Session or time limit is another responsible gaming tool that can help gamblers stay ahead of addiction. It is a variation on the deposit limits tool.
In this case, by setting a limit on the amount of time you can play, you can control the time you spend playing.
Very popular in online gambling, session limits help you set the number of hours you can play on the site. You can make it a daily or weekly limit. Once you are close to reaching your limit, you’ll get a warning message. Once your limit time is up, you will be unable to sign in to the site. However, once the timeframe has passed, you can go back to playing again.
5. Loss Limits
In the case of a loss limit, they help you set a cap on the amount of money you can lose daily, weekly, or monthly. Gambling can be a fun and exciting adventure and brings the thrills that come with winning.
However, people do not always win and some gamblers can be sore losers, chasing their losses till it gets really bad.
By setting a loss limit, you specify the amount of money you are willing to lose. Once your limit is reached within the given timeframe, you will be unable to play. This helps you put a budget for your gambling.
As a gambler, you are obligated to yourself and your loved ones to stay ahead of yourself. Yes, you must manage your gambling problems. You can do this by understanding responsible gaming and leveraging some of the tools.
Things like time-outs and deposit limits can go a long way in helping you fight the temptation to keep on gambling.
Discover what works best for you and put it to good use.
Have you enjoyed our responsible gaming guide? I hope this will help you.