Gambling is fun, it is supposed to be and in the UK over 73% of adults would seem to agree with this as they gamble at least once a year. With the rise of the internet and easily accessible bingo and casino websites, online gambling has seen a huge increase in players who like to play regularly, taking advantage of various registration and deposit bonuses. For the vast majority this is all about having some harmless fun, the odd flutter, playing with friends or just whiling away some time, playing responsibly with no negative effects. However, as with any ‘vice’, gambling can be addictive and this can have serious consequences, where having some harmless fun can quickly escalate to having a terrible impact on someone’s life and those involved with them and can include serious financial, health and social issues.
It is always important to be aware of the risks involved with gambling and there are measures players can take in order to avoid falling into gambling addiction. The following guide, by no means a complete solution, will help you stay safe online.
Responsible gambling tips to keep in mind
Try and enjoy yourself
It is important to recognise what gambling is about, it is supposed to be a fun leisure activity, the idea being that it is not the outcome that matters but the playing of the game, sure if you win that is a bonus but it is not the sole reason to be playing, it may be cliché but it is the taking part that counts not the end result.
Gambling is a risk
Although when you place a bet you hope to win the vast majority of us do not, that is the point of gambling, nothing is guaranteed and the odds are always going to be in the house’s favour, so they can make their money and offer their services. Most of us, of course, understand and realise this and as long as you keep this in mind and remember the odds are stacked against you then it will help keep the risks in perspective.
Set a realistic budget
Set yourself a budget and stick to it, always be prepared to lose this money as well. Called a ‘loss limit’ this is the amount of money you can afford to lose and once it has gone do not start placing on more bets in the hope to recover it, this can lead to things spiralling out of control and debt issues. Players should look at gambling as any other form of entertainment, if a night out will cost you £50 would you spend more money to recover this? The same with gambling, play with a realistic budget and once it is gone, it is gone, do not place on more.
Accept you may lose
Do not pin all your hopes on a gambling outcome, gambling is a risk, that is the idea behind it, nothing is guaranteed and yes you may win sometimes but the vast majority of players will lose, otherwise it is not a gamble. When playing it is best to bear this in mind, do not get hooked onto that next big win, accept you may lose and if you are winning know when to quit as ultimately the odds will always play out in the house’s favour.
Know when to stop playing
Reinforcing the ‘loss limit’ and budget control tip is knowing when it is time to stop playing, this can be when you have played through your budget or won a few times, it is always best to quit whilst ahead. If at any point you feel the game is taking over then it is always best to walk away, if it stops being fun or you have other things that need doing or even have other arrangements made, do not let the gambling dictate things for you. Knowing when to stop is crucial and any negative feelings that may occur can be a sign that things are not as they should be and you should stop playing.
Have other hobbies
It is important not to let gambling take over you life, having other interests or hobbies plays an important role providing a balance and time away from playing. Gambling is meant to be fun and played in a controlled, balanced manner it can be an exciting past time but should not be the ONLY source of fun you have, having a range of hobbies can be both beneficial for both body and mind.
Know the gambling laws
Playing online opens up a world of possibilities with hundreds of casinos to choose from, unfortunately not all of them reputable and many even illegal. Be aware of the gambling laws that apply your country and stick to them, only play sites that adhere to these and be wary of any sites that do not ‘feel’ right, gut instinct can be a powerful guide.
Play reputable site
Being so open and with the large sums of money involved, online gambling can attract unsavoury characters and dodgy websites. Only play those which are recognised by your country regulators, in the UK this is the Great Britain Gambling Commission but there are many others throughout the world, sticking with these sites will mean that you are protected from fraud, withholding of money or credit card skimming. There are many household recognisable brands to choose from and these will be safer to play than a site you have never heard of.
Live chat is an integral part of online gambling, it can be both entertaining and fun, but like other chat rooms you cannot guarantee who you are talking to is who they say they are. Never, ever give out personal information whilst chatting online, by all means join in the fun but personal details should not be divulged.
Help is available
At UK Bingo Promotions as much as we love nothing more than enjoying our favourite past time and as useful as these tips may be, we are only too aware of the negative impact that gambling can have on individuals and the people around them. If you do suspect or know of anyone who may be affected by a gambling issue there are a number of organisations that can be contacted for help, listed below.