Problem gambling and gambling addiction have seen an increase nationwide as casinos, online sports betting, and fantasy sports become legal in more states. Now that more regulatory measures are in effect, bettors can find help through state-specific gambling addiction resources and treatment programs. Regulators have also integrated extensive responsible gambling measures into state guidelines, promoting safer play for bettors, athletes, and the entire industry.
Gambling is great fun in moderation, but addiction can be a more slippery slope than you think. It’s important to know how to gamble responsibly now in order to protect yourself from potential dangers down the road. It’s also wise to understand how to address any potential issues if they show up in loved ones. These responsible gambling safeguards aren’t a failsafe for preventing gambling addiction. However, integrating these RG practices into your gambling routine will go a long way in protecting yourself against harm or addiction.
Here are five top responsible gambling habits to help you avoid problems.
5 Tips For Mastering Responsible Gambling
Not only can gambling addiction have a devastating effect on a gambler, but it can cause serious negative issues for family and loved ones as well. By learning how to gamble responsibly, you can help protect your friends and family and prolong the longevity of your gambling entertainment.
1) Set Your Budget
Before setting off on your gambling journey, one of the most important things to do is to set a budget for yourself. How much money are you realistically comfortable with losing? Set a budget for yourself and stick to it, regardless of how much you’ve won or lost. And by all means — never use gambling as a way to generate income.
If you can’t afford to lose the money, don’t wager the money.
2) Know the Odds
At the end of the day, gambling companies are in the business of making money.
It's crucial to understand the odds before placing a bet. The odds determine the probability of a particular outcome happening. Knowing the odds can help you make informed decisions about which bets to place.
3) Bet on What You Know
When you’ve got hard earned money on the line, stick to betting on what you know. Otherwise, the risk of losing your money rises exponentially. Whether you’re playing casino games, betting on sports, or playing daily fantasy, betting on what you have knowledge about can mean the difference between another lost wager and a major win. Do your research beforehand to ensure you’re making informed decisions on all your bets.
4) Don’t Chase Losses
Losing multiple wagers can naturally lead you to want to recoup your losses. Unfortunately, chasing losses can be one of the quickest avenues to gambling addiction. Chasing losses limits your ability to make informed betting decisions, ultimately leading you further and further into the negative.
5) Take Breaks & Regroup
When you’re in the thrill of a moment, it’s easy to get caught up in the action and wager more than you originally intended. That’s why setting limits to begin with can be so important. Even before you’ve hit your limit, taking breathers during the game can help you maintain focus and not wager above your means. Regular breaks can give you time to reflect on your wagers while you sit back and enjoy the game.
Seek Help if Needed
Gambling isn’t an activity that’s meant to be harmful to players. The moment it becomes more than a hobby is when a looming issue could be at hand. If gambling is becoming an issue for yourself or a loved one, it’s important to seek help sooner rather than later. The earlier a gambling problem is addressed, the better the potential for achieving recovery. A gambling problem that isn’t acknowledged and dealt with can often evolve into an addiction.
Fortunately, gambling resources and treatments facilities are more accessible than ever. States that offer legal gambling options also offer a variety of resources for addiction prevention and treatment. For state-specific assistance, call the National Council on Problem Gambling hotline. A trained specialist will then be able to address your specific needs and route you to resources available in your state.
Responsible Gambling Safeguards
Gambling is more popular now than ever. In order to protect players from harm and prolong the longevity of the industry, state regulators now require legal operators to abide by strict responsible gambling standards. Operators have also begun integrating their own responsible gambling safeguards for player protection. In contrast to an unregulated market, players have access to in-app features that allow them to set safeguards and pop-ups that encourage them to be mindful of their playing habits.
Some of the most effective responsible gambling tools include:
Limits the amount of money a bettor can deposit into his or her sportsbook account on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Set restrictions on the maximum amount you can wager on a single bet. Similarly, it’s wise to set daily and weekly wagering limits.
Problem gambling doesn’t always show up as excessive lost funds. Sometimes, compulsive tendencies can appear in the amount of time spent on gambling. Limit your time spent logged into your account by setting daily time limits on your activity.
Much like setting a betting limit, setting a loss limit encourages you to call it quits once you’ve lost a certain amount within a set period of time.
Account Cool Off
Sometimes setting limits isn’t enough. In some instances, initiating a cool off period may be more beneficial. Account cool offs allow you to lock yourself out of your account for a specific period of time, giving you some much needed space to take a breather and assess your gambling habits.
For those looking for a more permanent solution, problem gamblers have the option of voluntary self-exclusion. This is a “program” that allows players to prohibit themselves from participating in gambling activities at sportsbooks and casinos. The exclusion applies to both in-person and online locations and can be implemented for anywhere from one to five years.
Exclusion is difficult to reverse once it’s in effect. Because of this, it ranks among the top ways to curb gambling addiction.
This decision shouldn’t be made lightly; self-exclusion is designed to be a permanent process.