Responsible gambling is a set of rules whose purpose is to prevent problem gambling and protect players from gambling harm. The term is applicable both to gambling operators and other relevant stakeholders, as well as to individual players: both player and casinos should abide by the principles of responsible gambling.
Gambling operators and other stakeholders in the industry are expected to comply with the responsible gambling code of conduct. In this way, they guarantee safe gambling to players and protect them from gambling harm. Their operation is monitored by gambling commissions in all countries where it is legal to gamble.
Players should be aware that gambling can be harmful. The most obvious harm comes from developing an addiction that can lead to serious health issues, emotional and financial consequences. Moreover, persons with a gambling problem can cause harm to their loved ones as well. That is why it is crucial to spread information about gambling-related risks, which should be the responsibility of gambling providers, but also of government and communities.
Responsible gambling aims to discourage problem gambling, restrict underage gambling, protect customer privacy, prevent criminal activity, ensure secure payments and fair game.
One of the most effective ways to encourage responsible gambling is to ensure that gambling takes place in a safe environment. Measures include but are not limited to setting up self-exclusion programmes, allowing players to set time and spending limits, enforcing age restrictions through the registration process, and tracking unusual transactions. When it comes to fairness, random number generators ensure that the game is not rigged.
In addition, operators should market their service in an ethical way, by displaying correct information and customers should be allowed a platform to state their opinion.
If you are a player, there are certain things you can do to protect yourself from the adverse consequences of gambling.
Be aware of the risks: gambling can be fun but it can also get addictive. Things can easily get out of hand and that is why it is very important to enjoy gambling responsibly.
Set limits in advance and stick to them. Don’t chase your losses, because it is a proven fact that this usually leads to even more losses. If you find it difficult to walk away, some casinos actually let you set time and spending limits and won’t let you keep playing when the limit is reached.
Never rely on gambling to get you out of a difficult financial situation. Gambling should be a means of entertainment, not a source of income. Yes, there are professional gamblers, but they don’t gamble with their own money and especially not if they need it to pay their mortgage.
Know when to stop. Again, you need to plan this in advance. You should stop while you are still winning. Winning streaks don’t last forever and they can quickly turn into a losing streak.
Don’t spend more than a few hours a day gambling. If you notice you are spending too much time gambling, it’s a sign that you should stop. Another warning sign is using gambling to deal with stress. If you have problems quitting, consider a self-exclusion programme.
If you think that you have a gambling problem, there are many support groups you can contact. GambleAware is a UK organisation dedicated to responsible gambling. For more information, you can visit their website. There, you will also find a list of support groups, such as Gambler’s Anonymous, National Gambling Helpline, GamCare and BigDeal. Don’t hesitate to call them.
Finally, remember the golden rule of responsible gambling: never risk more than you can afford to lose.