The ability to take responsibility for your own actions is a necessary and widely celebrated trait that all adults should master. The ability to be responsible is crucial throughout many areas of life, particularly financial and personal aspects, but some find it more difficult than others to remain accountable. This is a particularly worrisome area when it comes to gambling, particularly now that online casinos and bingo sites are available 24/7. So how can you ensure you stay responsible?
If you are under the age of eighteen you are not deemed a responsible adult and therefore by law you are not allowed to register with or participate in any form of gambling. This applies to both land based casinos and online platforms such as slot games and bingo halls, and is sustained via age registration checks at registration. If you are the parent of a minor, it is important to be aware of what your child is doing on the Internet, as although they may not intentionally seek to sign up to a gambling site there is always a risk. If someone under the age of eighteen is caught gambling online, the site involved can report the minor to the police. To prevent this, parents are encouraged to set up parental controls on a minor’s laptop, mobile device and/or tablet. They can also apply parental filters on their home Internet that will prohibit devices from accessing sites for over eighteens. Lastly, never leave your laptop unlocked and unattended.
As a consenting adult you can legally participate in any online gambling activities you wish to, but this doesn’t mean you’re free to be irresponsible. Although many players tend to play for free or fun, there are some who find it difficult to stay within the reasonable boundaries of wagering what they can afford which is why sites have created deposit limits and loss limits. Deposit limits allow players to cap how much money they can deposit into their accounts on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis. You simply set yourself a limit for a period of time and then there’s no way you can be tempted to spend more afterwards, it’s that simple. Meanwhile, loss limits allow you to cap how much you can lose in a set amount of time. This is particularly helpful when someone receives a large win as, if they’ve set a loss limit, they won’t be able to lose it all in one sitting. These limits can usually be applied to particular types of games as well, so it’s not as though players are completely frozen out of the site once they meet them.
There is an option to completely freeze your account however, which is known as self-exclusion. If you ever feel you need to take a break from gambling or are concerned about your habits then you can choose to self-exclude from your sites of choice for a set period of time, usually a minimum of six months. You can choose to exclude yourself from only certain games as well though, so you can always take a break from slots if that’s your problem area and continue playing bingo.
This may seem like the most obvious option, but as we said at the beginning: being responsible is a trait all adults should master, but not all of them have. Gambling responsibly means that you should always consider why it is that you’re playing and play in moderation. Ensure you’re not spending more than you can afford to lose and that you are enjoying playing. If gambling ever causes any sorts of problems in your life then chances are you’re gambling irresponsibly.
Help & Support
Of course, there is always help and support out there for anyone who is struggling to control their gambling habits.
The most famous support agency is probably Gamblers Anonymous, an organisation that helps men and women around the world. Visit www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk to discover where your local group is.
GamCare are also available to offer advice, information and free counseling to those in need, just call 0808 8020 133 or visit their website www.gamcare.org.uk to get in touch.
Lastly, Gamble Aware provides information and advice on responsible gambling, whether it be online, betting shops, bingo or casinos. More information can be found at www.begambleaware.org