Whether you’re spinning the slots, watching the ball bounce on the roulette wheel or waiting to see what the cards have in store in baccarat, gambling is a hugely enjoyable pastime – as long as you stay safe and gambling responsibly. A huge part of preventing problem gambling is setting limits on the time and money you spend online gambling.
In this guide, we’ll cover safer gambling, list the tools available to help restrict your gambling activity and explain how they’re implemented, so you can stay in control when you play at an online casino.
According to GamCare, safer gambling means being able to gamble without putting yourself, or others, at risk of harm. GamCare put together the following pointers to help you stay safe when gambling online.
- Only spend what you can afford
- Set your limits for time and money
- Gambling is not the answer to any problem
- Gambling when angry or upset is not a good idea
- Gambling shouldn’t interfere with your personal relationships
Whilst many people do gamble safely, for some people gambling will cause harm, commonly involving financial difficulties, relationship problems and mental health impacts. While it is only one element of safer gambling, setting and sticking to limits have a huge impact on your ability to prevent unhealthy gambling habits from forming.
When it comes to budgeting, setting one is only half of the job done. Sticking to it is just as important, but can be difficult, especially for those who are considered problem gamblers.
The operators listed on TopRatedCasinos are all licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and are therefore obliged to pay attention to the welfare of their users. Every licensed casino gives you tools that help you set limits on the time and money you spend on gambling. Let us take you through the different kinds of limits and how they work.
Online casino sites make it incredibly easy to top up your gambling budget, with debit card transfers and e-wallet systems like Skrill and PayPal among the popular options on offer. However, when you’re in the thick of the gambling action, it can be all too tempting to keep on adding money to your pot, overshooting the amount you were originally prepared to spend. This is where setting deposit limits comes in handy.
By following the simple instructions on the casino site in question, you’ll be able to set the maximum amount you can deposit per day, per week or per month. Most online casinos will then make this happen with immediate effect.
On the flip side, most sites will apply a 24-hour processing period if you make a request to increase your maximum deposit limit. This is a good safety measure because it means you can’t get carried away in the heat of the moment and spontaneously splash out before you’ve had a chance to think it through.
Losses are inevitable in gambling. After all, it’s often the mystery of whether your bets will pay off that makes casino games so exciting. While you could get lucky and go on a winning streak, you could just as easily experience a losing streak. There’s no guarantee that any losing streak will come to an end, so chasing your losses can lead to huge losses. It’s often better to cut your losses and stop playing. Of course, this is easier said than done. However, setting loss limits take this decision out of your hands during gameplay.
As you might have guessed, setting a loss limit means putting a cap on how much you can lose within a certain timeframe. So, if your loss limit is £100 per week, you won’t be able to bet again during this particular period once you hit that £100 ceiling.
They say time flies when you’re having fun, and that can certainly be true when you’re enjoying a session with an online casino. This is why many sites let you set up a “reality check”. All you have to do is select how long you’d like the playing session to last, and you’ll get an alert when that period has elapsed. It means you can go ahead and immerse yourself in the slots and table games without having to keep one eye on the clock, safe in the knowledge you won’t lose track of time.
Taking a break from gambling is made easy by the “time out” option. To activate this, you simply access your account, follow the relevant links and select how long you’d like the time out to last. This can range from a single day to several weeks. During this period, you won’t be able to gamble at all, although it’s worth bearing in mind the time out is usually limited to that specific site, and not any sister casino brands owned by the same company. If you have accounts with multiple casinos, you’ll want to activate your time outs across those sites too.
Self-exclusion is recommended for players who feel they’re at risk of problem gambling. It works in a similar way to the time out function, but the time frame is much longer – ranging from a minimum period of 6 months, right up to 5 years. It’s important to note the restriction covers all the casinos run by the parent company of the particular site you make the request through, and the decision cannot be reversed under any circumstances.
Anyone considering self-exclusion may also want to register with GAMSTOP. By signing up to this service, you’ll be locked out from all casino sites licensed in Great Britain. It’s up to you whether you’d like this to last for 6 months, 1 year or 5 years, and once the period has elapsed your self-exclusion won’t automatically end. You’ll have to go back to GAMSTOP and make a formal request to unlock access to gambling sites.
When self-excluding, it’s highly recommended that you uninstall gambling apps from your mobile devices, unfollow casinos on social media sites, and unsubscribe from any casino marketing emails you may currently receive.