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How to Gamble Responsibly

responsible gambling

Gambling should be Fun

In this guide, you’ll learn how to gamble responsibly, signs to look out for if you suspect you have a problem, and where you can go to get help.

Gambling should be fun, but sometimes it can get out of control and in the worse instances can become a serious problem.

If you’re gambling in the UK you’ll certainly be aware of the press coverage and promotion surrounding Responsible Gambling.

But what does Responsible Gambling actually mean?

To gamble responsibly means you are gambling in a controlled manner, with money that you can afford to lose, and you’re able to stop at any time.

I like to think there are 3 elements to Responsible Gambling.

  1. Self-education on how to gamble responsibly – the things that you should do to help you gamble safely.
  2. The responsibilities of the casinos and other institutions you gamble with.
  3. Help and Support if you have or think you have a problem with gambling.

Self Education

As an Individual, you have to take responsibility for your own actions, so if you’re thinking about gambling you should take the following advice.

Only gamble with money that you can afford to lose

  • You should treat Gambling as entertainment that you are paying for.
  • Don’t expect to win money or prizes from gambling. In the long term, you’ll become disappointed when you don’t.
  • Be prepared to lose more often than you win.

Set a Budget to Gamble with

  • Set a budget and stick to it. It could be a daily, weekly, or monthly budget. Once you’ve lost that money stop.
  • If you’re going somewhere specific to gamble try taking a cash budget rather than your debit or credit cards.
  • This will help you to gamble with your Budget and take away the temptation to withdraw just a little bit more when you’ve lost.

When your Budget is gone, Stop

  • Don’t chase your losses. If you’ve lost your budget, don’t try to recoup it by gambling more.

Take a Break

  • Take regular breaks when you’re gambling.
  • Stand up, move around, go, and do something else.

Drink and Drugs Don’t mix with Gambling

  • Don’t gamble when you’re under the influence of drink or drugs. These can both affect your decision making.

Set Deposit Limits

  • If you’re gambling online set a deposit limit.
  • You can specify deposit amounts and the frequency you can make them.

Set Time Limits

  • When gambling online use the time limit facilities to help you manage the length of time you gamble for.

Don’t gamble when you’re depressed or upset

  • Decision-making can be affected when your unhappy, stressed, or depressed. Avoid gambling when you’re feeling like this.
  • Only gamble when you’re happy.

Gambling Industry Responsibilities

The UK Gambling Commission has published Social Responsibility Guidelines that operators need to follow as part of their license terms.

They are too detailed to cover here, but overall their aim is:

  • Crime should be kept out of gambling.
  • Gambling should be conducted in a fair and open way.
  • Children and other vulnerable persons should be protected from harm or exploitation from gambling.

There’s also a bunch of other standards.

Operators must comply with the UK Advertising Codes issued by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Things to look out for that indicate you may have a problem

  • If you’re spending more money and time than you can afford.
  • You’re finding it difficult to stop or manage your gambling.
  • You’re having arguments about money and gambling.
  • You’ve lost interest in doing your favourite things, or going out or spending time with family and friends.
  • You’re always thinking about the next time you’re going to gamble.
  • You’re starting to lie about gambling.
  • You’ve been chasing your losses or gambling to win to get out of financial trouble.
  • Gambling until all of your money is gone.
  • Borrowing money, selling possessions, or not paying bills in order to pay for gambling.
  • Needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or for a longer time to get the same feeling of excitement or buzz.
  • Neglecting work, school, family, personal needs, or household responsibilities because of gambling.
  • Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed, or irritable.

If you think you have a problem then there are a number of organisations that you can contact in confidence for a chat and help.

National Gambling Helpline Freephone 0808 8020 133

The BeGambleAware website provides lots of information on responsible gambling and how to access resources to help if you have a problems.