Responsible Gambling - Stay in control

Compulsive gambling is the uncontrollable need to keep gambling, despite the negative impact it can have on ones’ life and those around them. Using various types of documents and analysis, we shall provide recommendations and directions on how to stay in control and who to contact when matters go beyond ones’ control. Our experts cannot offer professional counselling. However, they have investigated the situation and have compiled a guide regarding how to recognize and manage gambling activities.

The importance of maintaining control over the gambling sessions

Through this page, we want to offer information that can help the UK players manage their gambling activities, feelings and how to cope with the issues associated with it. But, before we present what are the Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to engaging in a session, one must be aware of the importance of staying in control and fully understand its meaning. First and foremost, it must be noted that people can gamble for a wide range of reasons, but this is not the problem. Playing moderately does not influence one's life. Still, when it has reached a point where it can be seen as an addiction, it can be harmful not only to that specific individual's life but also to the ones that are surrounding him. Understanding the role of gambling in ones’ lifestyle is an important step that can prevent compulsive gambling.

Be Aware: A player does not need to gamble frequently to be considered as an addiction.

These being said, a person must ask himself specific sets of questions and be honest with himself when giving them an answer. To guide punters through a safe path regarding their playing pattern, we’ve compiled a list with several questions which can point out at what stage one can be.
  1. Do betting more considerable sums offer the same feeling as betting smaller amounts?
  2. Is borrowing money from family or friends or selling possessions necessary to gamble?
  3. While engaging in a session have feelings such as anxiety, guilt, stress or health problems occurred?
  4. Where there cases when the family or friends complained about the gambling pattern due to financial problems or neglecting them?
  5. Where there situations when lying was essential in other to engage in a gambling session?

Recommendation: If by any chance, all the answers to the questions mentioned above made one think that he has a gambling addiction problem, he must not hesitate to ask for guidance. Our purpose is to help all UK players prevent and help them overcome this addiction. Hence, we provide advice regarding who to contact when gambling is no longer seen as a form of entertainment. Look below for further details about the companies who can give additional counselling.

Do’s

In the event that, the above query has been answered with positiveness, it means that the session is under control. However, to ensure that it shall remain at such stage, we have put together a list of tips that can help an individual keep it in check and have a safer session.

Tips:

  • Gambling must be always viewed as a form of entertainment and not as a source of income.
  • Always set a limit on either time or/and on the amount before starting a session.
  • Know when to stop.
  • Hasty decisions can be stopped by also limiting the withdrawal limits per day.
  • Hang out more with friends and family that are not related in any way with this type of activity.

Don’ts

If, after going through all the questions, one has concluded that he has a problem when it comes to its gaming session, we put at their disposal specific guidance. We shall provide all the necessary support to help individuals understand their gambling behaviour and the effects it can have on their lifestyle if a change is not made. Below, we have compiled a list with certain aspects that UK players must pay attention to.

Be aware:

  • Never initiate a game while being under the influence of alcohol or other substances.
  • Decision-making should not be done while being emotionally upset.
  • Don't lose track of what it's essential.
  • By no means suppress emotions regarding compulsive gambling - talk to someone about it.
  • Under no circumstances lie to yourself by telling that you don’t have a problem- accepting is the first step.

Stay in control: Tools & features explained

Set deposit limits

Managing your finances prior to starting a gaming session can prevent compulsive gambling. Each online casino provides this feature for all punters when they open an account. These deposit limits can be set on a day, week or month. Once these limits have been reached, the platform will send a notification to the player with a choice: either continue betting with new limits or stop the session. Knowing how much one spends can help acknowledge the fact that there might be a problem, especially in instances when the set budget is exceeded. In addition to this, it might be challenging to detect such an addiction if it’s not pointed out. For this reason, all online casinos are obliged by the UKGC to offer such a feature to guarantee that all individuals will have all the necessary options for a responsible and safe session.

Time outs

As the name implies, this is a feature which will allow members to step out from engaging in gameplay for a specific period of time. This can be proved to be very useful for individuals that want to continue to gamble and are aware of their gaming behaviour and want to manage it by keeping it under control. All online iGaming operators must provide this feature in the bellow periods:
  • 24 hours;
  • One week;
  • One month;
  • Any amount of time considered necessary by the user. However, it must not be longer than six weeks.

Self-exclusion

This facility allows UK casino members to stop initiating a session for at least six months. Once one selects this feature, the online gaming operator must do everything in its power to support the user's decision and prevent them from accessing other casinos which operate under the same company. Once the self-exclusion has been selected, the gaming site must return any real money funds that are available in the account and remove the name and any other data that is used for marketing purposes. Even though all online casinos offer such a feature, UK players are not aware of it. Based on a survey made in 2019 by the Gambling Commission, only 5% of casino members have ever excluded, which is a meagre percentage when considering the fact that 47% of adults who have participated in the survey said that they had experienced in at least one form of such an activity. In addition to this, 42% of members have mentioned that they were aware of such a feature but have not made use of it. Even though they have not selected this feature, the number shows a 12% increase compared to the survey done in 2015 by the same organization, where only 35% had any knowledge regarding it. Unfortunately, as it can be seen in the below graphic, there are still users who remain oblivious of such a feature. This is where we intervene and shed light on self-exclusion. As we have stated, our mission as a company is to guide the player through a better and safe gambling session. To have such gameplay, one must be aware of the features that can help him control his gaming pattern and also to recognize the sign of gambling addiction.

Source

Recommendation: All online casino provide this feature into the Responsible Gambling or Safer Gambling page. However, we also recommend making use of the free service GAMSTOP. This service will allow players to exclude from licensed gaming operators for a period of 6 months, one year or five years.

Gambling blocking software

Specific software can be downloaded into one's device, be it a computer, tablet or smartphone. It shall provide additional assistance when it comes to the limitation of specific gaming sites. Such applications can be divided into two main groups:
  • Gambling-specific applications which are specially designed to block only gambling sites. For instance: Gamban, Gamblock, Betfilter,
  • General blocking software. These have been developed to limit access to certain websites that can also include iGaming platforms. An example of such a site is Netnanny.
All the software mentioned above can also be used to prevent underage gambling. For additional information about how it can be installed or how it works, we advise all readers to check out our compiled page of Underage Gambling.

Symptoms & signs for losing control

One may think that there are particular symptoms or signs that can help identify such a problem. However, there is no obvious signs which can distinguish a compulsive pattern from a regular one. A player can have a gambling addiction without losing control entirely. In addition to this, it might differ from one person to another. Now, one may wonder how it can be identified to take the necessary measure. As we have stated above, compulsive gambling is an impulse-control disorder that can affect an individuals’ life and the people that surrounds him. The only way to become aware of it is to pay attention if the lifestyle is disrupted in one way or another. Despite this, it must also be taken into consideration the fact that certain persons will lie to themselves, deny that there might be a problem or even try to minimize it. Taking into account the analysis that our experts have made regarding this matter, we have managed to gather certain aspects that may help determine if one has lost control or not.
  • Arguments with family and friends based on money and how are they spend on gambling activities.
  • Carelessness or ignorance for matters concerning work, family, friends, personal needs, or other responsibilities and usual activities.
  • Hiding from the people around when engaging in a gambling session.
  • The increase of anxious, guilty, depressed or irritable feeling.
Such situations or feelings can be understandable. Still, suppose these are related to gaming activities. In that case, it might mean that one has lost control of their previously responsible pattern.

Be aware: A person does not need to be weak-willed or irresponsible to lose control. Gambling addiction can affect anyone, no matter their level of intelligence or background.

Guide on what to do in case one losses control

As we have mentioned in the previous sections, loss of control can affect anyone and not only that specific person, but also the loved ones that are surrounding him. Suppose the gambling has become a vital part of a person life. In such cases, the most significant step to overcome it is to realize that the matter is beyond his control. Hence, he must never hesitate to ask for advice. For such instances, we have pointed out a few guidelines that can be of assistance:
  1. Be aware of the matter
As we have continuously mentioned, punters who play compulsively shall deny the fact they have a problem and will always lie to themselves. As it is known, one cannot fix something that he isn't aware of or understand entirely. Here, the people that surround such an individual must offer emotional support and help them recognize the issues and guide them through a better path. Nevertheless, the person in question must also reach out to family, friends, work colleagues or even to a support group if he becomes aware of the situation.
  1. Request assistance from professionals
Seeking professional help when the issues become severe could make a difference in one's life. The need for professional guidance is necessary because even though one may think that he has overcome the need for playing, the problem may remain. For this reason, the methods used by professional counsellors or therapists could change the situation.

Note: We, as a company, cannot offer professional guidance for players who have lost control of their gambling activities. Nevertheless, we come into their help with additional information on who to contact or how to contact organizations that can help. Please check the below section for supporting details about such associations.

  1. Do not succumb to the temptation
To avoid gambling, we recommend postponing any gambling activities. For instance, an individual who has a drinking problem and wants to recover will try to stay as far away from bars and alcohol. The same situation applies to those who have a gambling issue. Thinking about the consequences can trigger strong emotions which can motivate a person to stay in control. Thus, even though it might be inconvenient to avoid online casinos, be them online or land-based, avoiding such triggers can prove to be beneficial. Furthermore, thanks to the tools and features that we have explained above, it might be easier to avoid such circumstances.

Who to contact: Services which can offer advice and counselling

As we have indicated above, we have created a list of organizations that punters can get in touch with for further counselling. These are:
  • Be Gamble Aware: Free of charge associations which can be contacted via phone or live chat immediately. An adviser shall be at any ones disposal 24/7.
  • Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust: The foundation can be contacted at 020 7534 6699 / 6687 and shall assess the needs of anyone who are over 16 years old.
  • Gam-Anon: This organization offers support to the family, relatives, friends or other persons who have been affected by a persons' gambling addiction.
  • Gamblers Anonymous: The business offers guidance through support groups.
  • Gordon Moody Association: This company will offer intensive residential therapeutic support. To contact them, customers can either call them on 01384 241292 or talk to them via text.
  • Samaritans: A good Samaritan shall be available for emotional support 24/7. The UK helpline number is 116 123.

Our aim

The most crucial step to staying in control is to be aware of the fact that anyone can, at some point, gamble compulsively. That person does not need to have a low level of intelligence or specific background. Besides this, nowadays, there are various tools which can be used to prevent gambling addiction. Still, one must have knowledge of them and use them when it’s necessary. Our primary purpose through this page was to open a person's eyes that there are features which can help them stay in control and that they need to seek professional help when the control has been lost.
References:

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