All gambling should be safe. Playing responsibly is of the utmost importance. It is a way for players to stay in control and can help users who feel themselves going down a slippery slope.
At Gamblermaster we aim to provide players with safe, sound, advice on where to play responsibly, whilst having fun. We limit all our casinos to UK licenced sites, and this means we focus all of our advice on casinos that are required to help and protects problem gamblers and other vulnerable adults.
Below you can find advise on how to gambler responsibly, along with sites and tools that you can use to support you in your play.
Some methods for gambling responsibly
All gamblers are emphatically advised to gamble responsibly, it is incredibly sad when things get out of hand. So, if you want to be responsible whilst maintaining the enjoyment of your gaming, then here are some tips on precisely that:
- Never think of, or rely upon, gambling as a source of income.
- Before you start playing, decide on a time limit – also use the reality checks if you’re playing online.
- In addition, also decide on a sum of money you’re willing to play with before you start.
- In no circumstance should you gamble money that you cannot afford to lose.
- You should set deposit limits. This prevents you from depositing more money than you originally committed to.
- If you lose, do not try to recoup your losses. This is called ‘chasing’ your losses, and it should be avoided.
- Regularly stop gambling to take breaks.
- You shouldn’t play whilst intoxicated.
- If you are in any way in a distressed mood (anxious, depressed, sad), then you should not gamble.
- In no instance should you gamble at casinos that are not licenced by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. We strongly recommend you avoid all non-UKGC licenced sites.
Keeping an eye on the signs of problematic gambling
Spotting whether or not you, or someone close to you, has a gambling problem is not an easy or simple task.
Like many addictions, the symptoms are often not noticed until they cause some significant harm. And we often tell ourselves that we’re not problematic, citing evidence that proves otherwise, but which we know (or do not know) fails to actually support that conclusion. Everyone is familiar with the claim ‘I can stop at any time’ followed by a total absence of stopping.
If you want to keep an eye on your behaviour, and the behaviour of those close to you, then here are some tell-tale signs to keep in mind:
- Increasing amounts of time spent gambling.
- Increasing amounts of money spent gambling.
- Gambling more money than your limit.
- No longer gambling for fun.
- Chasing your losses. In particular, borrowing money to gamble with.
- Gambling getting you into debt.
- If you lie about the extent of your gambling and your gambling habits.
- Failing to keep commitments because of gambling.
- Gambling causing problems with family or friends.
Take a test
To get a better picture of where you currently stand, and to see the extent to which you may have a potential gambling problem, you can take certified tests online. These are free, anonymous, and take no less than 5 minutes. Importantly they’re both products of the UK gambling regulations bodies. You can find one test at BeGambleAware, and another at GamCare.
Sites and tools to help responsible gambling
If you think that you have a gambling problem, or you are unsure but want to take some precautions, then there are several things you can do.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has made it a necessary requirement that all gambling operators have a ‘time out’ feature built into their sites. This feature aims to stop you from playing in an irresponsible and risky way. It does this by limit your play at the site for a pre-set block of time, anywhere between 24 hours and 6 weeks.
If you feel that you may be playing too much and need a time out, then take a time out. Stop, take a break. If you feel you have a gambling problem, then stop and immediately seek help. Self-exclusion, our next tool, may be more appropriate.
Self-exclusion is one means by which you can stop yourself gambling for predetermined amounts of time. In the UK there are three bodies responsible for this. They are Gamstop, MOSES, and SENSE.
Gamstop is there for online self-exclusion. Players can use this organisation to exclude themselves from all UK licenced casino sites.
SENSE is there for land-based casino self-exclusion. Once you’ve signed up, land-based casinos should no longer allow you entry and you won’t be able to gamble.
MOSES is for betting shop self-exclusion. After you’ve registered, betting shops will not allow you to play there.
Problem gambling support
In addition to self-exclusion, there are many avenues, tools, websites or programs through which you can get support.
If you’re in the UK and need some help, then you can find it at some of the following:
- BeGambleAware – get free, anonymous support via phone or live chat 24/7.
- GameCare – speak anonymously via phone or chat, 24/7, or take part in group chats for support.
- NHS National Problem Gambling Clinic – for people living in England and Wales, the clinic offers support for individuals or their family members.
- Gamblers Anonymous – for all regions other than Scotland, players can find regular support meetings for in-person help and community.
The Gambling Commission also have more information on support and help.
Block gambling websites
One thing you can do is block gambling websites. You can use a number of online apps to do this, including the mainstream ones like ColdTurkey or BlockSite. However, these aren’t specialised, so will stop blocking after pre-set periods. To make a near-permanent block, try using sites like Gamban or GamBlock. These work across multiple devices and block thousands of sites.
Underage gambling is illegal
It is against the law to gamble under the age of 18 in most casinos and online in the UK. If a player cannot show they’re over the age of 18, and an online casino cannot properly verify this information, then a player will not be allowed to play. This is a UK wide requirement, so all UKGC licenced casinos will enforce this rule.