Every gambler who spends a lot of time at the gaming table or places sports bets regularly is concerned with avoiding the negative consequences of these hobbies. This primarily refers to those who find it difficult to control themselves during the game. Serious bookmakers and gambling operators are making every effort to guarantee their customers a safe pastime and to help them avoid gambling addiction. Therefore, they all adhere to the Responsible gaming policy. A bookmaker that follows the principles of the responsible game not only controls gambling addiction but also makes sure that people under the age of 18 are not allowed to gamble. Even more, these providers participate actively in programs, struggling with consequences of gambling addictions.
To find out whether a particular gaming operator follows the principles of the Responsible gaming, you should visit the particular website: every serious bookmaker provides such information at a priority place of its website.
Responsible gaming: what exactly does this phrase mean?
In the global gaming industry, customer service in accordance with this policy aims to prevent the transformation of an interesting and exciting hobby into a serious problem.
The practice, developed by the World Lottery Association with the participation of other major organizations, aims to identify and prevent gambling problems. In particular, to conduct an explanatory work by informing potential players and bettors about the possible risks of an excessive engagement with the game and a constant monitoring of the gaming process carefully examining every issue in this direction. To deal with the problem, you need to know the extent of its prevalence. So, some bookmakers carry out sociological researches with purpose to find out whether users understand the risk of developing gambling addiction.
Operators from different countries regularly organize seminars related with the issue of the Responsible gaming. The aspects of safe and responsible gaming are being discussed there naming the best international standards and practices related to this matter.
Why do operators adhere to the principles of Responsible gaming?
Compliance with the principles of Responsible gaming
is not only the bookmakers’ desire, it is established
statutory. It is also a matter of one's impeccable reputation and good name.
It may seem strange to many that a gaming operator is struggling with what brings him income and profit. In fact, the gambling business is interested in having satisfied and healthy players. Addicted people have problems not only in the gaming process but also in their families and at work. Over time, these users’ standard of life of goes down. This means that the bookmaker will most likely lose such a client.
Responsible gaming principles have been developed with the participation of research institutions, consulting agencies and associations. Each respectable bookmaker adheres to the following principles of responsible game management:
• Effective precautions;
• Business ethics.
The main goal of such operators is to create a gaming environment that is protected from fraudulent activities and deserves the complete trust of customers. To this end, special departments are created in each bookmaker's office that monitor the gambling process and check the fairness of gambling products. Regular online monitoring is also part of their responsibilities. Often, independent agencies are also involved in this process. Responsible bookmakers are not just complying with regulatory standards and laws, their activities are under constant regulatory control by the authorities. So, players will not have to worry about the security of their personal data and the safety of their accounts.
The compliance with the fundamental principles of this concept concerns not only the online operators but also the software vendors that develop platforms for online gaming.
What do responsible gaming operators offer to players?
According to numerous international studies, including European, the degree of gambling addiction among the population at the moment is between 0.5% and 2% (data provided by a British university).
Understanding the prevalence of the problem helps you find the most effective tools for a responsible game.
Using such protective tools will help the player learn how to manage the gambling process and control his time and the money he spends. Each gambling operator offers its own rules. Let us take a closer look at the most effective tools.
You should not spend more money than you are willing to deposit. In this case, the bookmaker will come to the rescue giving players the right to independently plan their own budget. We advise you to choose companies that have this option: “Deposit limit
” (daily, weekly or monthly). It will allow you to limit the amount of money that you can deposit into your account before the game. The player has the right to decrease the limit on deposits any time and the change will be applied immediately. But to increase or cancel your limits, you should contact the bookmaker. For example: you should send an email from your registered email address confirming your date of birth and address and replying to your secret question. You can also contact via live chat - almost all bookmakers provide this opportunity.
Casino loss limits
By setting a “loss limit”
in the casino, the player will not lose more than he is prepared to and it could be selected for a period of time, for example: 24 hours, 7 days or 1 month.
There is also a possibility of setting a maximum for the session - each bookmaker has its own conditions.
By setting a loss limit of, let’s say, 100 units per week in the casino, you would only lose the declared amount. At the same time, you will be able to continue betting on other products of the same gaming operator.
To activate this option you should contact the bookmaker - via e-mail or live chat. Until the player receives an email from the gaming operator confirming that the loss limit has been activated, he will remain the only one responsible for exceeding the loss limit. Note: loss limits apply only to casino games.
Responsible bookmakers provide you the opportunity to check how long you have played. You will be offered to set up a reality check (options - 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes and 60 minutes)
before the start of the game.
And when the selected time period passes a reminder will appear on the screen. This will give you the opportunity, at your discretion, to continue the game or exit. If a player decides to continue his activity, he notifies the bookmaker, for example by selecting the appropriate icon.
Another tool of a bookmaker that has adopted a responsible gaming policy is the “time-out”
. Blocking your account for a period of 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month or any other period of time, allows you to take a short break from gambling. You will not be able to log into your account until the requested period of time passes. After this time-out, your account will be automatically opened.All bookmakers that offer this feature have a standard time-out activation process:
• log in to your account;
• select “time-out” clicking the "Responsible game" link;
• confirm your time-out.
The opportunity of “self-exclusion”
If you feel the need to take a break from gambling, every serious bookmaker offers the opportunity of a “self-exclusion“
– you will not be able to access your account for at least 6 months.Self-exclusion
means that the account of the bettor/ player will be blocked for at least 6 months with the possibility to extend the period with one or more additional periods of at least 6 months. Although the minimum self-exclusion period is set to 6 months, there is no maximum time limit and self-exclusion may be permanent. To activate the self-exclusion you should log into your account on the bookmaker’s website, select the option “self-exclusion” which is usually located in the “Responsible Gaming” section and confirm the procedure. It is possible to activate self-exclusion only in the casino section. At the same time, the user will be able to bet on sports. During the exclusion period, the gambling operator undertakes all reasonable measures to make sure you cannot use its services. Note: when requesting self-exclusion, the player agrees to refrain from any attempts to circumvent the procedure of protecting players.
Minors and gambling
Responsible bookmakers prohibit users under the age of 18 to open accounts and place bets. So, the age of all players that have opened new accounts is being checked. This aspect is one of the most important in the Responsible Gaming policy. At the same time, parents are advised to monitor their children’s actions and take all necessary measures to block unauthorized access by installing applications or parental control programs on their devices.
A clients can access his account’s report on the page of his chosen gambling provider. When logging in to his account, he can see the date and time of the last login. This will allow the client to determine if someone else, unauthorized to use his username and password, has accessed his account.
Players are strongly advised to always keep their password confidential and reminded that the bookmaker does not bear responsibility related to any kind of unauthorized use of clients’ betting account – be it fraudulent or hacker attack. So, the player should regularly monitor the activity of his account to ensure that there is no unauthorized use of it.
A gambling operator that complies with the rules of the Responsible game is obliged to protect its resource from outside criminal activity. Like any other websites related to electronic commerce or financial transactions, gambling websites can be attacked by online criminals. In order to achieve their goals and collect personal data and financial benefits, Internet criminals install malicious software that makes websites vulnerable. To cease this growing trend, operators are encouraged to install programs and platforms that detect and block actions aiming to launder money or hack devices (for example: guessing the password of an account with numerous combinations or bulk DDoS attacks). Good results are obtained from regular security monitoring conducted by third party companies.
And finally, the online operator is obliged to protect the personal data of its customers from any unauthorized access. This is associated with the need to protect the personal data of players from illegal online criminal attacks. In order to maintain confidentiality of information and comply with the requirements of most of the regulators, online operators adhere to the latest protocols for controlling access to important personal data, starting with players’ names, addresses and phone numbers.
How can players help themselves?
First of all, filling out the registration form, potential customers of the bookmaker must provide correct information about themselves. This applies especially to minors who deliberately increase their age. If a minor provides false information about himself, he would firstly be deprived from his winnings, and secondly, he may also be prosecuted.
To protect players from problems that may arise due to excessive passion for the game, experts recommend playing just for fun and entertainment and while you still enjoy passing your time gambling. Sports betting should not be taken as the main source of income. In case you lose a lot, force yourself to stop and not bet again and again trying to win. Nor should you bet in a state of depression. A bad mood is not your best friend when gambling. The game should not take up too much space in the bettor’s life, so, it should be alternated with other hobbies and activities. Fortunately, there is plenty to choose from. Fortunately, there are plenty to choose from.
And a few more recommendations from specialists:
• Play only with money that you can afford to lose. Never borrow money for gambling.
• Do not keep spending money on gambling in the hope of returning the money that you have already lost. Never chase losses.
• Do not play to escape problems or stress.
• Play only when you are relaxed and concentrated.
• Take frequent breaks.
• Never play under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
• Always keep track on time and amount of money you spend.
• Make sure you understand your odds of winning and losing, as well as the rules of the game you play.
How to understand if there is a predisposition to gambling addiction?
Since 1980, pathological gambling has been included in the list of individual psychiatric disorders by the international classification systems: DSM and ICD
. The gambling disorder is defined as: constantly repeated and each time more and more intensive interest in gambling despite negative personal and social consequences such as getting into debt, family breakdown and neglecting professional progress. Diagnoses related to clinical diseases can only be given by experienced professionals.
But each bettor can independently see for himself whether gambling causes him problems. Moreover, this should be considered as early as possible in order to take preventive measures and get additional help if necessary. If you have the slightest suspicion that you might have gambling problems, ask yourself the following questions or use one of the self-assessment tools developed by the organizations that help gambling addicts. Such tests are posted on the websites of all responsible and law-abiding gaming operators.
Here are the questions:
• Does gambling have a negative effect on your work or studies?
• Do you gamble to run away from something or just to spend time?
• Have you ever played alone and for a long time?
• Have you ever played to make money and pay off debts?
• After losing, do you feel the need to play more and more to reimburse your losses?
• After winning, do you feel the need to try and win more?
• How often do you play until you lose all of your money?
• Have you ever lied, stolen or borrowed money to make your gambling easier?
• Have you ever sold anything to finance your game?
• Would you like to use the money you gained from gambling for regular expenses?
• Have you ever been depressed or had suicidal thoughts while gambling?
• Have you experienced anxiety or irritation trying to stop or limit your gambling?
• Over the past year, have you tried to hide from your family or friends the actual time you spend gambling?
• Do you think of gambling?
• Have you been at risk of losing an important job, education or relationship due to gambling?
• The more positive answers you have, the higher the likelihood that gambling negatively affects your life.
What should a player do he is addicted to gambling?
If the game has taken a primary position in someone’s life, having pushed into the background all other aspects of life, there is a reason for concern. Even more, over time an addicted player could become dangerous to others due to aggressive behavior. It is impossible to come out of such condition without external help.
A gambling operator for whom "responsible game" is not an empty phrase, is obliged to warn players who have answered most of the questions positively that they should stop using his services and contact someone who can give them professional advice and support. Here are some organizations of this type:
• Gamblers Anonymous,
• Gambling Therapy.
GamCare is a leading agency providing advice and practical assistance in resolving the social consequences of gambling in the UK. The phone number to contact GamCare is: 0845 6000 133. Players from outside the UK can also contact GamCare and get a detailed information regarding international supporting organizations.
Gamblers Anonymous is a community of men and women who have got together to oppose the risks that come from gambling. They are ready to help disordered players do the same and oppose their addiction. There are several scholarships all around the world given for this purpose.
Gambling Therapy provides support and advice to anyone affected by gambling. Team members work both in the UK and other countries.
In these organizations, players with problems receive psychological and psychotherapeutic help, as well as, if necessary, a medical treatment after which they return to normal life.