Gambling can quickly go from fun to addictive, with serious consequences if you’re not careful. Any addiction takes away your mental and physical abilities and affects your personal and professional life. About 10 million people in the United States have a gambling problem, and according to the National Center for Responsible Gaming, problem gambling is even more prevalent among young adults.
As more and more places legalize online casinos and sports betting, it’s important to know how to gamble responsibly. Many casinos offer tools to help their customers gamble responsibly. Responsible Gambling (RG) involves the use of tools and programs that provide a safe and secure gambling environment with preventative measures to minimize gambling-related harm or gambling addiction. With these tools, players can setting limits, taking breaks and not using gambling as a source of income.
This article will discuss some responsible gambling tools offered by online casinos.
Set monetary and time limits
One of the main ways responsible gambling (RG) tools help prevent gambling addiction is by setting betting and time limits. Players can set these limits voluntarily, or the casino has built-in software that analyzes usage and determines the limit. Currently, the following limit settings are available:
- Loss Limit: The maximum amount of money a player can lose in a single session.
- Betting limit: the maximum amount a player can bet on one or more games.
- Deposit limit: the maximum amount a player can deposit into their account while playing.
- Game Limit: The maximum amount of money or time a player can play with at one time.
According to a study conducted by the International Gaming Research Unit in 2007, 70% of gamers believed that the voluntary spending limit would be useful in RG tools.
Forced breaks during gameplay
RG tools can also enforce pauses during play. This will limit the time a person spends in an online casino. However, there are some shortcomings in this strategy. For example, the ideal moment to introduce breaks during the game has not been determined.
Additionally, stopping players between games can increase their desire to return to the game. Thus, it is best to set these limits before a player starts a game so that they are aware of the time restrictions.
Responsible Gaming (RG) tools are not limited to online casinos alone. It also includes policies and programs to help virtual and on-premises users avoid gaming-related harm. One such policy is staff training. Casinos should train their staff to recognize and respond to signs of gambling addiction, such as feeling depressed, anxious, needing to gamble with increasing amounts, trying to control gambling but failing, etc.
Staff should be extremely careful and use calm and effective strategies when dealing with such people. Additionally, techniques may change based on age, gender, and other player demographics.
Online casinos also promote responsible gambling by displaying dynamic messages between parties. These messages can be important alerts, limit reminders or responsible gaming promotional messages.
Dynamic messaging and forced pauses during play can impact short-term behavior change, which is helpful in reminding players of excessive compulsive behavior. The frequency, tone and animation of the message play a major role in its effectiveness.
Self-excursion programs are designed to help players adhere to responsible gambling and prevent them from adopting psychological problems related to gambling addiction. These programs exclude players from the online casino or on-site site by limiting their time and their bets.
Many online casinos have self-excursion programs, where at-risk players can contact their support team and ask not to play again. The casino will stop accepting your bets and block your email and phone number, so no promotional content will be sent to you.
Many online casinos have built-in behavior tracking programs that can identify problematic and addictive behaviors and stop and limit player usage. Instead of blocking players from the site, casinos take preventative and counseling measures to help addicted players on their journey. They do this by offering support groups, counseling sessions and sending tips and tricks on responsible gambling.
People are more willing to open up when talking to people with similar backgrounds and experiences. Thus, support groups like Gamblers Anonymous, Willing Ways, etc., are ideal for self-excursion and prevention.
Best Tools for Responsible Gambling
Playtech is an online casino that regulates responsible gambling by implementing the following parameters:
- Age and Identity Verification
- Self-excursion programs
- Time and money limits
- Reality checks in the form of message alerts and forced pauses during gameplay
Bet Blocker is a responsible gambling tool that blocks casino websites. It has two features; self-excursion, where players can exclude themselves from online gambling by blocking multiple websites for a specified time; and parental controls, where parents can block casino websites. Once the settings are made, there is no going back.
Sports Shield wants to create a safe and fun gaming environment by introducing safe gaming and protective measures. For example, the website first identifies red flags in customers at sign-up, then real-time monitoring to identify addictive behaviors, and introduces backstops and limits.
Generally, players have a positive attitude towards responsible gambling tools, which negates the notion that players will abandon a site if such limits are in place. Remember that these tools have been instituted for the welfare and well-being of the player.