Responsible Gambling Help & Advice for UK Players 2020

stop iconGambling has long been a popular pastime in the UK, with many enjoying the thrill of dicing with danger in the hope of earning rewards. However, the ease of online gambling today means that there are a host of potential pitfalls too. Here at Allvideoslots, we are committed to ensuring that players understand that enjoyment should be at the forefront when gambling, while also promoting control at all times. This page will outline exactly what responsible gambling means, along with potential dangers and measures that can be taken by players to keep a lid on things. We will get underway by answering the question – what is responsible gambling?

What is responsible gaming?

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Responsible gambling is a series of social responsibility policies that are found within the gambling industry, established by leading authorities, control boards, casinos and other vendors. Such policies aim to ensure for the integrity and fairness of all gambling activity, as well as promoting the potential negatives that come with gambling, including addiction. Ultimately, gambling should be undertaken for fun, not as a method of paying your bills. However, some are at risk of going away from this ideology, which is why a host of responsible gambling areas are now associated with the industry, including:

  • The protection of vulnerable players.
  • The prevention of underage gambling.
  • Measures against criminal activity.
  • Information protection.
  • Payment protection.
  • Secure environments.
  • Ethical and responsible marketing.

What is bad about gambling?

While there are plenty of benefits when it comes to gambling, there are also some potentially harmful points. The following are the main factors that are considered bad about gambling, with many organisations working hard to support players here too:

Addictive – Gambling undoubtedly has the potential to become addictive. Addiction involves continuous gambling, despite potential negative consequences. Many will try and play down or lie about their gambling addiction, however many define it as the brains reward system being distorted. When gambling is not available, addicts can become depressed or irrational.

Mental & Physical Health – Gambling can also potentially negatively impact a players mental and physical health. Anxiety and depression are often experienced by those addicted to gambling, which in turn can lead to alcohol problems or other health issues.

Relationships – Those who are so immersed with gambling can often place less importance on personal relationships, whether it be friends, family or significant others.

Financial Worries – Of course, one of the biggest dangers with gambling surrounds money. It is easy to wager beyond your means and go over your budget, with games having been designed to keep players hooked in.

Is gambling addiction a mental health issue?

Research suggests that those with gambling related issues are more likely to suffer from mental health problems, such as stress, low self-esteem and anxiety. Telling signs of this can include extreme mood swings, feeling down, having suicidal thoughts or only getting enjoyment from gambling. Some may gamble in an attempt to overcome problems, however this pastime can actually make things worse. Those who have experienced significant losses through gambling may also be more susceptible to chasing losses, which could lead to heightened feelings of disappointment. Studies into this subject show that the brain’s rewards system can be effected by continued gambling, leading to other aspects of life being insignificant. However, it has been proven that reward systems can be rebalanced, with help being on hand to all players, something which we will discuss further down this page.

Keeping things under control. How to play safely?

In order to give yourself the best possible chance of consistently gambling safely, there are a few things in which players must keep in mind, as well as some measures that can be taken when operating online:

  1. Remember that gambling should first and foremost be viewed as a form of entertainment and enjoyment. Those who view it as a means of making money and paying the bills are at risk.
  2. No matter what type of gambling it is that you enjoy, never chase your losses. Instead, take some time to recuperate and return when you are comfortable in doing so. Due to the nature of the beast, chasing losses can often lead to even greater losses.
  3. Be sure to set yourself a budget, which should be a small proportion of your disposable income. Those who gamble more than they can afford to lose can get themselves into financial difficulty.
  4. Keep track of your spending, which will make sticking to a budget a lot easier. Online banking and casino records make it simple to look back on money spent, so there really is no excuse.
  5. Respected gambling sites today make it possible for players to set themselves deposit limits, which is another easy method of keeping spending to a minimum. Deposit limits can be set on a daily, weekly or monthly basis in most cases.
  6. Never gamble when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Doing so increases the likelihood of spending beyond your means or making decisions in which you would not normally make.
  7. Players in the UK must be aged 18 of over in order to legally gamble. Any site that accepts players below this age are not trustworthy and are operated against the laws set.
  8. If you believe that you may have an issue with gambling, try and be honest with those around you. Friends and family will be happy to lend a helping hand, however they can only do so if they are familiar with the situation.

How do I limit my play?

As we mentioned earlier, there are ways in which players can limit their gambling activity. Below are the simplest and most effective methods of doing so:

Deposit limit – When signing up at an online casino, be sure to set yourself a deposit limit, based on your overall budget. While this can be edited, it makes overspending much more difficult.

Loss Limit – Similarly, players can also set the maximum amount in which they can lose in a specific period of time. As soon as this figure is met, gamblers will be unable to carry on playing. This feature is available at most gambling sites available to players in the UK.

Stake Limit – Online casino games will often come with a maximum stake. As a result, players can target games that suit their budget and objectives. According to reports, the UK is considering slashing this amount to £2.

Product Block – Products can be downloaded that will block specific platforms, including gambling apps, from your devices. Product Block allows you, in some online casinos, to block out certain games that might be triggering your addictions. For example: you can decide to avoid playing Poker, so Product Block would ensure that you no longer have access to that games.

How do I take a break?

Taking a break or a cooling off period from gambling is advised, regardless of whether you feel you have a problem or not. While this would appear to be a relatively simple action, there are some steps that can be taken to ensure that you do actually take the time required. Let’s take a look at how players can best take a break from gambling:

Time Out – Those registered with a gambling operator will be able to take a time out, with accounts automatically becoming active again at the end of the selected period. This can be anywhere up to six weeks.

Self-Exclusion – Those requiring an extended cooling off period can self exclude at their chosen gambling site. Available between 6 months to 5 years in most cases, players must contact customer support teams to reactivate their account. Having made the decision to self-exclude, it cannot be reversed.

Self-Exclusion with GAMSTOP – Those using this scheme will be prevented from using any gambling websites or apps licensed in the UK, for a period of your choosing. Meanwhile, software from Betfilter and Gamban can also be used to self-exclude from gambling sites.

Can I get help & support?

The good news is that help is on hand via a host of means when it comes to gambling. A number of organisations work tirelessly to promote responsible gambling, as well as providing support to those who have issues in this area. The following are among the best known and efficient platforms to look into:

GamCare: https://www.gamcare.org.uk/ – GamCare is a registered charity which delivers continuous support and counselling to players. Contact can be made over the phone, via email and at local treatment centres, while online forums provide a community for those with problems or concerns to discuss matters. All details are confidential.

BeGambleAware: https://www.begambleaware.org/ – BeGambleAware offers information in order to help individuals make more informed decisions about gambling. Funded by the National Gambling Treatment Service, BeGambleAware offers a 24/7 hotline.

Gambling Therapy: https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/en – Gambling Therapy offers live support and advice to people in the UK, with the organisation being part of the Gordon Moody Association.

Gamblers Anonymous: https://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/ – Gamblers Anonymous delivers face to face counselling and other methods of support to individuals. Dating back to 1957, the organisation has a fantastic reputation for helping gambling addicts.

Net Nanny: https://www.netnanny.com/ – NetNanny is a content control software suit that helps parents monitor the content viewed by children online. It is also used in order to help prevent underage gambling.

Social Responsibility of the Online Casino

Social responsibility, also sometimes known as safer gambling, concerns protecting individuals from gambling related harm. The three main objectives concern keeping crime out of gambling, ensuring that gambling is carried out fairly and openly and that children and vulnerable people are protected. In order to try and meet such objectives, online casinos must follow a number of rules, which surround:

  • Transparency with players
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Appropriate licensed environments
  • Cashless payments
  • Contribution to research, education and treatment
  • Interacting with customers
  • Fair and transparent terms and practices
  • Information for players
  • Local area risk assessments
  • Preventing underage gambling
  • Self-exclusion
  • Destinations of regulatory settlements to be applied for socially responsible purposes

License conditions and codes of practice (LCCP)

The License Conditions and Codes of practice are set by the Gambling Commission and are the requirements that must be met in order to hold an operating license. Conditions are regularly edited, based on what is taking place in the gambling industry and new trends. In total, there are four licensing conditions that must be met, coming in the form of the following:

  • General licence conditions can be applied by the Gambling Commission to an individual operating licence or a class of operating licence (for example, all betting operating licences).
  • Individual licence conditions can be applied by the Gambling Commission to an individual operating licence. They are likely to address matters concerning an individual operator and their activities.
  • Conditions imposed by the Secretary of State may be applied to a class of operating licence using statutory instruments (amendments to the law).
  • Statutory conditions imposed by the Gambling Act 2005 may be applied to a class of operating licence

Meanwhile, codes of practice concern either:

  • Social responsibility code provisions – which must be adhered to by all licence holders
  • Ordinary code provisions – these do not have the status of licence conditions but failure to take account of them can be used as evidence in criminal or civil proceedings.

Responsible Gaming FAQs

How do I gamble responsibly?

The first thing to do is to consider gambling as a way to stay entertained, rather than as a source of income. Meanwhile, be sure to never gamble with more than you can afford to lose and do not gamble when upset or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Players can also take breaks where necessary and never chase their losses.

How can I tell if I or someone else has a gambling problem?

While everyone is different, there are some signs to look out for. Those with an issue will sometimes become more secretive or display signs of anger or anxiety. Meanwhile, financial issues are also well worth considering. If you or someone else is borrowing money, unable to pay bills or are taking time off work, the problem could be gambling related.

Can I gain support surrounding gambling issues?

Yes. There are a number of resources available to gamblers in the UK today. The likes of GamStop, BeGambleAware and Gamblers Anonymous all deliver around the clock and confidential support. Be sure to get in touch if you have concerns about yourself or someone else.

Is it possible to track my spending when gambling?

Yes. When gambling online, a record of all deposits and wagers is kept, making tracking your spending simple. Players can also keep their own records, including any winnings or losses made. This is a good way of ensuring that you are sticking to your budget.

Can I take a break from gambling?

Yes. Taking a break is important for any type of gambler. Doing so is important for clearing your head and helps to ensure that players don’t chase their losses. In order to ensure for a break when operating online, customers can contact their operator in order to self-exclude or time out.

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