For most people, gambling is a harmless pastime and a source of entertainment. However, if approached irresponsibly, gambling can turn into a compulsive behaviour with dire consequences. Therefore, you must always play responsibly.

This article looks at what measures you can take to ensure that you are playing responsibly at online casinos. We discuss the various Responsible Gambling tools available, how to detect a potential gambling problem and provide contact information to reputable help organisations in different countries.

What Is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible Gambling is a set of social initiatives set by the gambling industry and implemented by governments and regulatory bodies worldwide. These initiatives were created to ensure fairness and create social awareness of the possible harms of gambling.

These social initiatives are implemented through codes of practice, which may vary slightly depending on country and jurisdiction. They are also implemented differently in land-based and online casinos.

Here are some examples of how Responsible Gambling protocols are implemented in different parts of the world:

Responsible Gambling at Online Casinos

Online casinos cannot monitor players and detect behaviours that may indicate a gambling problem. Therefore, they are required to use responsible gambling tools instead.

These tools may be differently enforced depending on which jurisdiction the casino is licensed in, but they generally comprise self-exclusion, self-assessments and various gambling limits.

By setting a gambling limit, a player can effectively monitor and control his/her gambling habits.

These are the most common responsible gambling tools offered by online casinos:

All gambling limits are time-based and can be set daily, weekly or monthly. When a period is over, the limit is reset. You can lower a limit at any time. However, when you increase a limit, the change is not implemented until the current period is over.

How to set a gambling limit

  1. You set a weekly deposit limit of $50 on Monday, at 14:00.
  2. By Friday, you have deposited a total of $50.
  3. You cannot make any more deposits until the following Monday, 14:01.

How to Know If You Are Gambling Responsibly

In conjunction with their gambling limits, many casinos offer self-assessments that allow players to quickly gauge whether they are suffering from or potentially developing a gambling problem.

These assessments are typically a series of yes-or-no questions that give the player a final score. Based on the score, the casino can determine whether the players is at risk of developing a gambling problem.

Here are some common questions that can instantly indicate if there is a developing gambling problem:

Did you answer yes to any of the questions? If you did, we strongly suggest that you make use of your casino's gambling limits or reach out to any of the help organisations that we have listed below.

Self-exclusion

Players who feel that they have lost control over their gambling can request a self-exclusion at any time. They can do so by setting a self-exclusion in their account or reaching out to the casino's customer support. Self-exclusions are usually set on a weekly, monthly or permanent basis.

If a player requests a permanent self-exclusion, he/she will not be able to play with the casino ever again. In some heavily regulated countries, such as Sweden and the UK, the local governments have created a database that licensed casinos are legally obliged to connect to. Through this database, a player can self-exclude from all casinos licensed in the country in one single request.

When a player requests a permanent self-exclusion, it is customary for the casino to direct the player to an organisation that can offer her/him professional help.

Seeking Professional Help

When a player has lost control over your gambling, the most responsible thing to do is seek professional help. Here is a list of organisations in different parts of the world.

Oceania

Australia

There are numerous Australian organisations offering help to people affected by gambling harm. Read on to see which ones they are.

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

https://responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au

The Victorian Parliament created the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to address the gambling harm in Victoria. The foundation works with partners across Victoria to inform about the potential harms of gambling and offer support to people who need it through telephone, chat and face-to-face counselling.

Contact:Level 6, 14–20 Blackwood Street, North Melbourne, Victoria 305
Email:contact@responsiblegambling.vic.gov.au
Telephone:(03) 9452 2600
The office is open from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday.

Gambling Help Online

https://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au

Gambling Help Online is an around the clock online portal providing information and counselling to people who cannot attend face-to face-counselling. You can find information on responsible gambling practices on the site, along with helpful self-assessment tools and gambling calculators that can help you analyse your gambling habits. Lastly, Gambling Help Online offers online support through SMS, chat and email and counselling to those who need it.

The Australiasian Gaming Council

https://austgamingcouncil.org.au/responsible-gambling/awareness-programs-tools/awareness-programs-tools

The Australasian Gaming Council (AGC) was founded in 2000 as a member body of the gambling industries in Australasia. On the site, you can find gambling calculators, self-assessment tools and useful FAQs. You can also benefit from peer-to-peer support, chat support and face-to-face counselling options. Call for free on 1800 858 858 at any time to receive support that meets your needs and find services available in your area.

Gambler's Help

https://gamblershelp.com.au

Gambler's Help services are provided by multiple community organisations across Victoria. The organisation also offers services tailored for Aboriginal communities and in-language support for culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Gambler's Help's services include around the clock chat support, telephone consultations and face-to-face counselling.

Gambler's Helpline:1800 858 858
Gambler's Help Youthline:1800 262 376

Gambling Help W.A

https://www.centrecare.com.au/metro-services/gambling-help-metropolitan-and-rural/gambling-help-wa

Gambling Help W.A is a cost-free service run by non-profit Catholic community service, Centrecare. The organisation offers support to people residing in Western Australia through regular counselling sessions.

New Zealand

Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF) Services

https://www.pgf.nz

PGF Services is part of the Problem Gambling Foundation of NZ. The organisation has duty counsellors available through phone, email and live chat between 8:30 to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday. PGF Services also provides education and training on identifying and screening for gambling harm and performs advocacy work to achieve policies to minimise gambling harm in New Zealand. You can reach PGF Services on freephone: 0800 664 262.

The Ministry of Health

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/mental-health-and-addiction/addiction/gambling/problem-gambling-services

The New Zealand Ministry of Health contracts a range of problem gambling intervention services and associated health services. The Ministry's intervention system is based on a multi-modal approach and comprises a combination of services, such as:

For more information, you can contact the Health Ministry at:

Email:info@health.govt.nz
Phone:0800 855 066

North America

The US

National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG)

https://www.ncpgambling.org

The NCPG was established in 1972 and works ”to lead state and national stakeholders in the development of comprehensive policy and programs for all those affected by problem gambling”.

The organisation to increase awareness on gambling harm through campaigns, training and distribution of educational material. The organisation runs several treatment facilities and offers screening test and an extensive counsellor directory on its website. Furthermore, the site has a helpful tool allowing you to find contact information to help organisations in your state quickly.

For more information, contact NCPG on:

Phone:1-800-522-4700
Chat:ncpgambling.org/chat
Text:1-800-522-4700

Canada

Responsible Gambling Council (RGC)

https://www.responsiblegambling.org

The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organisation that has been a leader in preventing problem gambling in Canada for more than 35 years. The organisation seeks to prevent gambling harm by helping players make informed choices, building awareness on the risks associated with gambling and putting people affected by gambling problems and their loved ones in contact with community supports. The RGC runs several programs, and on the website, you can find contact details to helplines and counsellors in your region.

Europe

The UK

BeGambleAware

https://www.begambleaware.org

GambleAware is an independent charity commissioning prevention and treatment services working across England, Scotland and Wales. The organisation has partnerships several with expert organisations and agencies, including the NHS. On the BeGambleAware website, you can find information and advice on various aspects of responsible gambling. You can also contact the organisation via live chat or on freephone any hour of the day.

Freephone:0808 8020 133

GamCare

https://www.gamcare.org.uk

GamCare is a leading provider of information, advice and support for people affected by gambling harms. The organisation operates the National Gambling Helpline and offers treatment for anyone who is harmed by gambling. GamCare also works to create awareness about safe gambling practices and treatment and to encourage safer gambling practices within the gambling industry. The organisation's website offers several self-help tools, along with helpful information about safe gambling and contact details to professional counsellors.

Freephone:0808 8020 133

Germany

Fachverband Glücksspielsucht

https://www.gluecksspielsucht.de

The Fachverband Glücksspielsucht eV is an independent, nationwide organisation comprising scientists, doctors, lawyers, psychotherapists and addiction therapists. The organisation is a member of the German Central Office for Addiction Issues and prevents gambling harm through self-help groups, advice centres and rehabilitation facilities. You can find much information on responsible gambling on the website and seek online help through live chat. You can also call on freephone: 0800-0776611.

France

Autorité Nationale Des Jeux (ANJ),The National Gambling Authority

https://anj.fr

ANJ is an independent authority that reports directly to the French Parliament. The ANJ regulates and oversees the responsible gambling policies of both land-based casinos and online gambling sites. On the ANJ website, you can find information on responsible gambling and request and self-exclude from all gambling sites that are licensed in France.

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