At The Casino Heat we are committed to promoting Responsible Gambling.
Online gambling can be a fun hobby or leisure pursuit for many people. The excitement of hitting a big win is always a thrill and can be very lucrative. However, it’s also important to remember that all forms of gambling are potentially very addictive.
In the UK, under the 2005 and 2014 Gambling Acts, the UK Gambling Commission is tasked with regulating the industry, ensuring that children and vulnerable people are protected, and that gambling operators online always promote their products fairly and responsibly.
The information on this page provides a guide on how players can gamble responsibly and within their means, and how to be aware of the signs that they, or someone they know, may have a gambling problem.
How To Gamble Responsibly – Controlling Your Spend
One of the objectives of the UK Gambling Commission is to put control into the hands of the customers by ensuring that operators provide them with the tools they need to limit their own spending. These tools can be used to set limits on how much money a player spends, and how much time a player spends online. Every casino site licensed by the UK Gambling Commission will provide these tools in their player account pages. If you cannot find them then you should contact the customer support team to find out where they are.
These are important tools that allow a customer to block access to their own account for a specified amount of time. All casinos will allow access to do this through account pages, with limits set at:
- 24 hours
- One week
- One month
- A period of time up to six weeks set by the customer themselves
Setting a budget by limiting your spend through your account is a great way to control your gambling. Under UK Gambling Commission regulations, all operators must provide players with the facility to limit spend based on deposits, wagering and losses (wagers minus wins).
It should be possible to control spending by time periods of days, weeks or months. If you choose to place this restriction on your account you will only be able to spend your specified amount within the time period chosen. Once you have reached this limit you will not be able to start spending again until the next period starts.
Remember – if you choose to use any of the spend limit tools you may be tempted to simply play at another site, so you must exercise strong will power if you want to stop gambling completely with this tool.
Of all the tools available to impose restrictions on your own time and money spent on gambling, then self-exclusion can be the most effective. Once again, this option is available to all players through their accounts. Self-exclusion blocks access to a gambling account for a minimum of six months. Your gambling operator MUST remove you from all marketing communications during this time as well. They will also be required to take reasonable steps to ensure that you do not simply sign up to their website again under a different ID.
It is possible to exclude yourself permanently from a site.
Further Options For Controlling Your Gambling Online
Outside of the tools put in place to control your spending through your account, there are other steps that can be taken to keep an eye on your own behaviour.
One way is to check the transaction history in your account on a regular basis. At least once a week is a good idea. This will tell you how much you have wagered, and importantly, how much you have deposited, since you last checked. It is very easy to lose track of how much you are spending if you are gambling online every day. Setting aside an hour once a week to check back is a good way to be aware of what you are doing.
Another way to be on top of your spend is to keep a diary and a weekly or monthly budget. Simply writing down how much time you spent online, how much you deposited and when, will keep you aware of any changes in your gambling patterns, and your financial situation.
It is also possible to budget more sensibly by using eWallets like Paypal. eWallets are not only a safe, secure and easy way to deposit and withdraw to your gambling account, they also allow you to keep your gambling spend separate from any financial responsibilities throughout the month. Just transfer your gambling budget to your eWallet at the start of the month and stick to it.
Finally, it is possible to use internet filters as a method to block access to gambling sites on the internet. Desktop systems like Gamblock and BetFilter are a good option. Alternatives include CYBERsitter which allows parents to control what their children can access online.
Identifying a Gambling Problem
The first step in dealing with any addiction is identifying the problem. From this point you can decide if you need to seek help. A number of charities online have published the following self-assessment questions for potential problem gamblers to assess their own behaviour. If you believe that you may have a gambling addiction ask yourself if any of the following signs are true for your situation:
- Do you spend more than you can afford to on gambling?
- Do you find it hard to stop gambling online?
- Do you find yourself pre-occupied with gambling? Do you think about it a lot?
- Do you lie to hide your gambling behaviour?
- Do you argue with your friends and family because of gambling?
- Have you lost interest in other activities?
- Do you keep spending your money until it is all gone?
- Have you ever borrowed, stolen or sold your things to fund your gambling?
- Have you neglected other responsibilities in favour of gambling online?
- Do you ever chase your losses when you gamble?
- Have you increased what you spend on each bet to increase the kick you get out of gambling?
- Do you have negative thoughts, anxiety or depression on a regular basis?
Charities and Support for Gambling Addicts
If you have gone through this list of questions and now feel that you have a gambling problem then there are many charities in the UK that can provide support. Here is a list of the most prominent: