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AUTHOR: mihaela · Updated: 7th Sep 2021

Responsible Gambling

Gambling is an act of risk and reward: it’s a means by which people can create clear reward pathways in their brain, stimulating reward-motivated behaviour through the release of a hormone called dopamine. Since this transaction of risk and reward is so clearly defined in gambling, the act in itself can become incredibly addictive. As an affiliate to the industry, it’s imperative that we at GamblingDeals alert our users to the potential dangers and risks of gambling.

We firmly believe that while gambling is an essential cultural pastime, but this is only when it’s performed in a responsible way. That’s why we take our role in the industry very seriously, and seek to only promote gambling in a healthy fashion. With that in mind, below you’ll find some advice on how you can gamble responsibly. 

Tips for Managing Your Gambling Effectively

Beyond the platitudes of slogans such as ‘When the fun stops, stop’, there are several simple steps punters can take to better insulate themselves from the pernicious harms of gambling. Let’s take a look at some of these below. 

Make Use of On-Site Limiters

Betting sites themselves include tools to help their customers manage their gambling habits, including the use of on-site limiters. Punters can restrict the amount of funds they’re able to wager on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and will be locked out of placing any more bets if they exceed their own self-imposed limit. On-site limiters also extend to include time limits. 

Make Use of Self-Exclusion Tools

If a person’s gambling habits are starting to become a serious issue, on-site limiters might not be sufficient to curb the problem. To go one step further, betting sites also include the option of self-exclusion tools – a means in which customers can lock themselves out of their own gambling accounts for weeks, months, or even years at a time. Both on-site limiters and self-exclusion tools are now a requirement of gambling sites under the regulations set out by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and other regulatory bodies. Additionally, GAMSTOP is a centralised service you can use to block yourself from all licensed online casinos and sportsbooks.

Only Bet What You Can Afford to Lose

On-site limiters won’t be very effective if the person in question has set their limits too high. Before you begin any gambling session, conceive in your mind how much you can afford to lose, and what you would consider a successful return. Then, stick to these limits by making use of on-site limiters in the event of a loss, and know when it’s the right time to walk away from a good run. 

Never Chase Your Losses

The brain’s promise that a dopamine release is just around the corner of a successful wager often makes it tempting to chase losses, but this is precisely how gambling sessions can spiral out of control. Chasing losses is often tied to the faulty logic that your luck is about to turn; before applying this fallacy, it’s important to remember that gambling is an exercise not predicated on luck, but on probability. 

Every casino or bookmaker in the world is a business seeking to make money – as such, these businesses have developed an inherent advantage in the way they manage their games and sportsbooks. Known as the house edge, this advantage means that the phrase “the house always wins” is not just a cliché, but a statement of fact. That’s why chasing losses is never a good idea, particularly if you feel you’re deserving of a change of fortune. Ultimately, the odds are always against you.

Never Gamble Without Sound Judgement

Punters must be mindful of how marrying drinking and gambling – both of which rely heavily on dopamine releases – as it can be a dangerous mix. You should never place a bet without sound judgement. Following the advice laid out above, particularly the urge to chase losses, becomes considerably more difficult if a person is tired, angry, upset, or inebriated.

Don’t Bet on Markets, Sports, or Games You’re Unfamiliar With

There’s no need to overcomplicate gambling by betting on markets, sports, or games that you’re not used to. If you’d like to branch out into other areas of gambling, make sure you first spend some time researching the area you’re interested in.

If you’d like to place a bet on a new sport, then read up on the rules and take a detailed look at the recent form of the teams and players in question. There are thousands of advisory sites offering their own takes on betting markets, but it’s always valuable conducting your own research first. 

And if you’d like to wager on a casino game you’ve not tried before, then you’ll need to know about how the game functions, its numerous variants, and how players can maximise their chances of winning. Most online casinos run parallel free-to-play versions of their games alongside the real thing – it’s important to make use of these before committing any money to your bets.  

Always Seek Help When Needed

Most importantly of all, never suffer in silence. A gambling addiction is a serious health condition, and one that requires professional care to treat. Please know that if you, or someone you know, are suffering from problem gambling, you’re not alone and there are lots of charities and organisations offering friendly support, advice and treatment.

Warning Signs of Problem Gambling and Addiction

Problem gambling and signs of addiction can manifest in various ways. Here are some behavioural traits to look out for in someone else, and things to identify in your own actions: 

  • An increased preoccupation with gambling – spending more time than usual talking about gambling, thinking about gambling, placing bets, and on devices used to gamble
  • Increased introversion – becoming less talkative and less willing to socialise 
  • Erratic behaviour – as a result of gambling-related stress, becoming more aggressive and volatile in everyday behaviour 
  • Asking to borrow money – and in more severe instances, stealing money to help fund betting accounts 
  • Neglecting other areas of your life – increased dysfunctionality on a social, familial, professional, and personal level, and an inability to perform basic daily tasks without issue
  • Treating gambling as a source of income – as soon as gambling ceases to be a hobby, problems arise. A change in discourse around the subject of gambling can sometimes be a sign of this
  • Lying about gambling activities – keeping gambling habits a secret and lying about its impact can be a sign of embarrassment and shame

Impartial Advice and Support is Always Available

Below is a list of organisations that specialise in treating gambling addictions. No matter how bad things are, there’s always a way out and support is always available. 

GamCare – founded in 1997, GamCare is a leading provider of information and support related to problem gambling. It operates the National Gambling Helpline, offers dedicated treatment, and seeks to create awareness about responsible gambling – both in individuals and within the industry as a whole. GamCare also runs communication channels in the form of live chat, group chat, and open forums. 

GAMSTOP – GAMSTOP is a centralised self-exclusion tool that locks gamblers out of any betting accounts with UKGC-licensed operators. This service is entirely free and prevents any further activity taking place in the user’s gambling accounts.

BeGambleAware – gamblers might notice the BeGambleAware logo appearing on betting sites, but this is not an endorsement of any one site. Instead, it’s a means in which the organisation can stay front of mind to anyone who might need help and support. Included in its services are a 24-7 helpline and a live chat feature. 

UKGC – the UKGC is the body charged with regulating the UK’s gambling industry. As well as offering lots of useful information for those looking for gambling-related support, it’s a great place to learn about the workings of the gambling industry and how it’s regulated.

NHS – as a recognised medical condition, diagnosed sufferers of gambling addictions can be treated on the NHS. For more information, visit the NHS website and make an appointment with your GP if you feel it’s necessary.

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