All You Need to Know About Responsible Gambling in 2021

The rise of online gambling has also brought to the fore the topic of its overuse. While gambling is designed as a social activity meant to be played moderately for pure fun and entertainment, it can lead people towards harmful addiction if played excessively.

To prevent people from falling into gambling problems, several health-oriented institutions and leading casinos aim to create awareness about what is known as responsible gambling.

In this blog, we shall discuss the concept of responsible gambling, how one can get rid of problem gambling habits, and tools available to help you gamble responsibly.

Responsible Gambling: The What & Why

While most of what responsible gambling is can be inferred from the term itself, it is our responsibility to explain what gambling responsibly entails. There is no one definition for responsible gambling and different entities explain it differently, but the core ethos remains the same.

The term refers to gambling in a manner that does not impact your health or cause any damage to your overall wellbeing, be it social or financial. It refers to treating gambling as a mere fun or social activity and not as a source of income. 

Playing in a pre-planned manner within limits is one of the cornerstones of responsible gambling. You might think that this is a preachy concept, but we suggest reading on to understand why gambling responsibly can positively impact you and society at large.

Benefits of Gambling Responsibly

Here are the five major benefits of responsible gambling:

1. Financial Stability

The core concept of responsible gambling is setting a budget; you should determine how much money you can allocate for gambling based on your personal finances. The rule of thumb while doing so is to consider your entire gambling budget as 100% risk money, meaning that you may lose it all.

If you plan your gambling budget with this assumption, you will always be financially stable and tension-free. Your everyday life will not be impacted even if you do lose everything while gambling as you would already have considered this sum as risk money while budgeting.

2. Prevents Addiction

Responsible gambling advocates playing for a limited time within a budget, and this prevents you from developing a gambling addiction. Apart from setting a money limit for your gambling sessions, you can also set a time limit to further control your activities and ensure that you never cross the line.

3. Play the Game for a Longer Period

Treating gambling as a leisure activity rather than a habit is the right approach to gambling, and responsible gambling advocates just that.

Truth be told, when you develop an unhealthy habit such as over-gambling, you might play a lot of it in a short span of time – possibly running out of funds or feeling burnt out and quitting altogether in the process.

On the other hand, when you gamble responsibly, you pursue gambling as a fun activity and play in moderation. Not only does this prevent the development of an addiction, it also keeps your interest in gambling alive and helps you gamble for short durations over a long period of time.

4. Maintain Focus On Work

People who wish to play responsibly develop a mental (or even physical) schedule to chart when they are going to gamble and for how long.

Such scheduling has a positive psychological effect as the brain gets wired to promote the urge to gamble only during the pre-decided time as per the schedule. 

Thus, you do not waste time thinking about whether to have that ‘short‘ gambling session during work hours or not, allowing you to focus entirely on your tasks during work hours.

5. Good Physical and Mental Health

Discipline is key to maintaining good health, no matter your age. When you choose to gamble responsibly, you know your limits and most importantly, know that this activity is just for fun and not your source of income. The outcome of such gambling sessions does not bother you much and thus, has no adverse effect on your health.

If you are new to gambling and reading this blog, we strongly encourage you to pursue responsible gambling from day one.

However, there are many people who are already into gambling, or know people who are, and feel that there is some behaviour change in them. We have listed down some major identifiers that can help you spot gambling problems and discussed how one can seek help to overcome those problems.

How to Spot Gambling Problems

Below are some common symptoms of having a gambling problem to keep in mind while assessing gambling behaviour. Most importantly, remember that having gambling problems is not always a serious issue and even if you think it has become a severe issue, it is totally reversible.

1. Spending More Time Than Usual

One of the simplest signs to spot gambling addiction is to notice the time the person spends gambling. Suppose you usually spend half an hour on the activity, but of late, you have been spending close to 2 hours; this is a tell-tale sign that you are drifting towards addiction.

2. Constantly Thinking About Gambling

Are you always thinking about when you will gamble next?

Well, if it happens for a day or two, it is fine. But, if you think that the thought of gambling is following you everywhere; at home, in the office, social gatherings, and everywhere between, then you might need to course-correct.

3. Feeling Agitated When You Miss Gambling Sessions

Another way to spot gambling problems is to notice your behaviour when you miss a gambling session. If you feel irritated or angry, then there is most likely a problem that needs addressing.

You can gauge your behaviour by intentionally not gambling for some time.

4. Stealing and Misappropriating Money

Problem gambling can lead people to even steal money from their family and friends to fulfil their gambling escapades. Apart from theft, there can also be a pattern of misappropriating funds, where they borrow money for one purpose but use it for gambling.

This habit is not only harmful but also immoral and dangerous. You may end up severing ties with your family apart from ending up having financial troubles.

5. Strain in Family Relationships

This is an indirect indicator of whether you are gambling excessively. People with any addiction focus too much time on the activity, which sooner or later, hampers their family relationships.

Problem gamblers do not dedicate enough time to their families, argue with them over petty issues to vent their anger when they lose, and might even resort to assault.

What Is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling, often associated with gambling addiction, refers to a behaviour wherein you gamble in a manner that negatively affects your well-being, piles up your losses, and disrupts your personal and family life.

A problem gambler has no control over his gambling pattern and still chooses to gamble, no matter what the consequences. In simple words, problem gambling is the exact opposite of responsible gambling.

Causes of Problem Gambling

It is difficult to determine all the causes of problem gambling, as the root cause of developing such a habit varies from person to person. From emotional distress and loneliness to newfound financial freedom, there are various reasons one might fall prey to problem gambling.

Below, we have listed down the most common causes of problem gambling:

  1. Peer pressure: Pressure from friends may lead you to gamble more often than you like, and that habit may start having negative impacts on your life.
  2. Diversion from other problems: People often look for ways to divert their minds from other problems they are going through in their lives, such as a strained relationship or something professional.
    Gambling is an easy choice. The adrenaline pump that it offers gives you short-lived happiness, which may make you want to gamble more, often losing sight of your limits.
  3. Personality traits: Some people may be extremely restless and competitive, or constantly feel the need to be occupied due to their personality traits or some disorder. Many such people are instantly drawn to gambling because of its exciting and challenging nature.

What To Do if You Are Dealing With Problem Gambling

You should now have a fair idea about problem gambling and its tell-tale signs. The question that now arises is what to do if you detect problem gambling.

Well, first of all, congratulate yourself or any other person who has realised and acknowledged that they have a gambling problem. Accepting the problem is half the problem solved. That said, you need to take certain steps yourself and seek professional help to overcome it.

How To Get Help

Fortunately, the awareness about gambling-related problems has increased, and people no longer consider it a taboo to fall prey to it. Problem gambling behaviour is reversible if help is sought in time. 

Here are some ways you can seek help and correct problem gambling behaviour:

Approach Your Casino Providers

The first step is to contact all the casino providers with whom you are registered with and ask them to permanently close your account.

Most of the leading casinos are committed to responsible gambling and have a dedicated team to look after players who are suffering from problem gambling and want to close their accounts. The process is pretty simple and straightforward.

Seek Professional Help

It always helps to talk to people about your issues. You can find self-help groups where people who have the same problem talk about their experiences and what they are doing to overcome their gambling habits.

However, we recommend that you attend at least one professional counselling session to determine the extent of your problem gambling pattern. Talking to a counsellor will help you gauge the course of action best suited for you, such as whether the problem requires attending therapy for a while or if you need to enroll in a rehabilitation centre.

Here are some organisations in India that can help you get over your gambling problems:

  1. Hopecare India: This is a treatment centre based in New Delhi that treats a variety of gambling-related problems.
  2. Alpha Healing Center: It is a holistic rehabilitation and treatment facility located in Vadodara, Gujarat. The centre focuses on comprehensive treatment and has an in-patient facility to treat patients.
  3. Hopetrust India: Hopetrust is another one of the reputed therapy centres for treating gambling problems, and is located in Hyderabad, Telangana.

How To Maintain a Healthy Gambling Experience

Below we've listed some ways you can gamble responsibly to prevent and minimise the chances of developing the habit of problem gambling:

Self-Control

Self-control is the most effective way to have a healthy gambling experience. It is basically being the master of your own mind and not letting the urge to gamble more get to you.

Once you develop the resolve to gamble within your pre-decided limits, come what may, you will not have to worry about falling into gambling problems.

Tools and Tips

While self-control is the best way to have a healthy gambling experience, as humans, we might let our guard down in the excitement of the game at times. To avoid such slippages, you can use responsible gambling tools offered by most of the leading casinos nowadays to ensure that you gamble within comfortable limits.

Tools & Tips for Gambling Responsibly

In this section, we take a look at some tools and tips that can help you develop a habit of responsible gambling which in turn, can help you play longer without impacting your well-being.

Tools

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Image: bet365

1. Setting limits in your casino account

Online casinos provide the option of setting limits for the maximum amount of money with which you can gamble in a session or day. You can also choose to set time duration limits.

2. Self-exclusion

Self-exclusion is a facility with which you can request the casino operator to close your account. Upon doing so, you will not be allowed to use any of the casino’s services for a certain period of time. This tool can be used if you think that gambling is affecting your concentration or other aspects of your daily life.

3. Behaviour tracking tools

There are also several free tools that can help you monitor in advance whether your gambling behaviour is adversely affecting your normal life, so you can take the appropriate preventive measures.

i. MYGU (Mobile Monitor Your Gambling & Urges)

MYGU is an app developed by the Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario which promotes self-awareness of gambling behaviours. The app collects data on several metrics, such as the date and time when the gambler experienced an urge to gamble, their wins and losses, among several other metrics, and reports back to the gambler with inputs about their behaviour. It also provides free counselling sessions.

ii. Gamban

This app is designed to block your access to nearly all gambling sites and works well if you are looking for a complete detox from gambling. You can use this for short periods to check how you behave when you do not have access to gambling sites.

iii. Cost2Play

Available on both iOS and Android devices, Cost2Play is basically a calculator that helps you keep track of your gambling expenses, and gives an indication of how much your gambling choices cost in the long term. 

iv. Sobertool

This app is developed by a Harvard-educated counsellor and is focused on helping you in the journey to recovery. It is designed in a manner that helps you beat the urge to gamble, and also provides inputs that encourage you to stay away from your gambling habit.

Tips

In addition to tools, we have also listed down some tips that might help you have a worry-free gambling experience:

  1. Remember that gambling is a game of fun; the outcome should not matter.
  2. Gambling should not be treated as a source of income.
  3. Use tools to set limits.
  4. Remember the ‘100% risk money’ rule while deciding your gambling budget (mentioned above in the section on responsible gambling.
  5. Do not gamble to recover losses.
  6. Never borrow money to gamble.
  7. Take long, random breaks from gambling every now and then to avoid developing a strong habit.

Responsible Gambling FAQs

Where can I learn more about responsible gambling?

There are plenty of open-source websites that can provide you valuable information about responsible gambling, one of them is the Responsible Gambling Council site.

Is problem gambling prevalent among people of all age groups?

Yes, people of every age group who gamble can develop problem gambling behaviour or addiction.

Is there any prison time for problem gambling?

Problem gambling is not a crime and therefore, there is no prison time for it – unless you gamble in a country where gambling is prohibited.

How can I remove my account from the self-exclusion list?

You cannot remove your account from the self-exclusion list before a certain fixed time period, which is usually six months. After completing that time period, if you want to reactivate your account, you have to contact the online casino.

Is gambling good for me?

Gambling should be considered as a purely fun activity meant for leisure and entertainment. If you gamble responsibly, this will not have a negative impact on your everyday life.

CricketBettingAdvice Final Say

Responsible gambling ensures you have fun while gambling and do not fall prey to the ills of the activity. We therefore urge you to adopt this approach to keep gambling a pleasurable activity rather than using it a source of income!

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