For most, gambling is a pleasant pastime, much like any hobby, pursued for entertainment purposes. Some like the competitive nature of games, whilst others like the element of sheer luck. A number of people, however, have a less healthy attitude towards gaming, which can in extreme cases turn to an addiction, ruining their own lives or the lives of those around them.
That’s why responsible gaming is so important.
Monitoring time & money spent
There are two important elements to keep in mind when determining if you’re gambling in a responsible manner. First is the amount of time you spend gambling, and second is the amount of money you’re gambling.
Questions to ask yourself when trying to determine the nature of your gaming include:
- Do I set myself a budget and stick to it?
- Have I caused myself financial harm gambling – using money I need for other things to fund my gaming?
- Do I set a limit on the amount of time I play, and stick to it?
- How often do I find myself gambling? Daily? Hourly? Whenever a sudden urge strikes?
- Can I stop playing, even when on a winning/losing streak?
Basically, you should not be spending more money than you can afford to lose on gambling. You should also be aware of your ability to start and stop. If this is not in your control, your gambling isn’t in control.
If you are having a problem controlling your gambling, or think you might be addicted, you need help. Gambleaware.co.uk is a good place to turn, if you need resources for responsible gambling.
You can also appeal directly to GamCare, an organisation that offers free advice, support and counselling (by phone or chat) to those with a problem gambling, in a non-judgemental environment.
Only adults, i.e. those over 18, are legally allowed to gamble. And as an adult, it is your responsibility to protect yourself, your interests, and your hard-earned money.
That being said, the Gambling Commission understands that there are matters beyond an individual’s control – including for some, compulsive gambling.
As such, the Gambling Commission has taken it upon itself to address gambling problems directly. The Commission also works to ensure licensed gambling organisations fully service their customers, by having them contribute towards research, education and the treatment of problem gambling. Following the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, this applies to offshore gambling operators as well. These types of precautions – which regulate that casinos operate in a responsible manner, in all aspects – are in part why you should always choose to play at a licensed online casino.