A Guide to Responsible Gambling
Gambling can be great fun, but it needs to be managed responsibly. The key to any vice is moderation. Lots of people like to drink alcohol, but there must be limits and responsible actions involved to safely enjoy a pint or two. Gambling is exactly the same. Millions of people gamble responsibly in the UK every year, and, for them, it’s a perfectly healthy hobby. For others who cross the line into addiction, gambling can be a huge social and economic burden on their lives. This guide will tell you how to gamble responsibly, how to identify problem gambling, and what to do if addiction becomes a reality.
How to Gamble Responsibly: Our Tips
Starting to think about your own gambling habits is the first step to avoiding the downfalls. The following responsible gambling tips are the next stage of the process.
Gambling Is Not a Career
Only Risk What You Can Afford to Lose
Never Try to Recoup Losses with Bigger Bets
Set a Money Limit
Set a Time Limit
Don’t Gamble When You Are Upset…Or Drunk
How to Spot If I or Someone I Know Has A Gambling Problem
Identifying a gambling problem, or accepting that you have one, is half of the battle. Signs on a gambling problem can be difficult to detect in other people, but we’d advise players to look at themselves honestly. Are you lying about your gambling? Have you borrowed money to gamble? Are you constantly thinking about your next bet? Are your bet sizes getting bigger and bigger? Do you often contemplate ‘just one more bet’? If you or someone you know would answer yes to any of these questions, seek professional help immediately.
What to Do If You or Someone You Know Has a Gambling Problem
Fortunately, in the UK there are several avenues open to people suffering from gambling addiction. Here’s a roundup of the best resources.
BeGambleAware is one of the biggest help centres in the UK for gambling addiction. Its website features a live chat feature for those who find communication through digital messaging more comfortable. There’s also a freephone line open from 8am until midnight seven days a week.
There’s also lots of information on its website about identifying gambling problems, and who it affects. The staff on hand are experienced in dealing with common gambling addiction issues and can put you in touch with the right treatment providers across the country.
National Problem Gambling Clinic
The National Problem Gambling Clinic (NPGC) is focused on advancing existing models of treatment for gambling addiction. The clinic works closely with other UK systems such as GamCare and The Gordon Moody Association to care for individuals who are having difficulty controlling their gambling habits.
The website has an online form which you can fill in to apply get help locally in your area. There’s also an emergency service which is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday in Camden, London. The office is run by Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust.
You may have already heard of Alcoholics Anonymous, or AA meetings as they are regularly referred to, but a similar service is also available to gambling addicts. The support groups take place all over the UK and provide a safe and judgement-free environment where suffers can go and share their experiences. The idea is that by communicating with fellow gambling addicts, it is possible to overcome problems together. The support network has been very successful and continues to grow in popularity. It’s also a common support network for gambling addicts who have already completed more intensive treatments and therapies, as regular Gambler’s Anonymous meetings helps them to maintain their progress.
GamCare is one of the leading national providers of information and advice to those suffering from gambling related problems. It offers free counselling and treatment to gambling addicts as well as a chatroom service which acts like a kind of online Gambler’s Anonymous meeting.
It also specialises in advice on debt control, one of the most common problems gambling addicts end of facing. The program helps recovering gambling addicts to better manage their finances and take back control of their financial independence. Face-to-face counselling is available throughout the UK.
The Gordon Moody Association is a specialist in treatments for gambling addiction. Treatment involves an intensive residential programme much like rehab, and is effective for gamblers most severely affected by addiction and all the side effects of longer peroids of excessive gambling.
Its therapeutic treatments are considered innovative in this field, and Gordon Moody is one of the most unique services out there tackling this problem in the UK. You can apply for treatment online. GMA also provides free treatment for those unable to pay for rehab via charity donations.
Responsible Operators: Common Practices
The best online casinos take responsible gaming very seriously. In fact, if you cannot find any information about how to gamble responsibly on an operator’s website, it’s a big warning sign that you might be dealing with a dodgy casino. Support and help directly from the online casinos themselves comes in various forms. Informational guides are common, as are links to support networks and treatment services. Built-in game time clocks and deposit limiters also help players to stay safe. 888casino also offers a feature allowing players to limit its autoplay feature to avoid slots games from running for long periods unattended. Another top online casino, 32Red, offers online secure age verification to prevent venerable youngsters from getting involved in online gambling. As the issue of problem gambling continues to gain more exposure in the UK, we expect more and more operators to become directly involved in the treatment services and prevention schemes we are starting to see around the country today.
Treatment for Gambling Addiction
Treatments for gambling addiction wary widely depending on the severity of the problem, and the subsequent side-effects of a person’s past gambling habits. Many sufferers opt to go through some form of counselling and/or psychotherapy to determine what it is that actually makes them unable to control their gambling in the first place. There are also rehab centres for more severe cases where patients can undergo a period of forced abstaining from gambling altogether. Anti-depressants and other medications are also often prescribed to people suffering from gambling addiction. Self-help groups and relapse prevention meetings are common in a process that can take years to manage successfully.
Have Fun, But Gamble Responsibly
We hope that the information in this guide has been useful. Following these responsible gambling tips will help keep you on the straight and narrow with your gambling. Remember, it’s important to have fun, but always be responsible. If you feel like you have even the slightest problem with your online casino gambling, seek help sooner rather than later.