If you have been playing at online casinos recently, then you will know that if there is one thing that casinos are keen to push on customers, is the importance of responsible gambling.
Top establishments like BetRivers Casino or Chumba Casino will ensure that they not only actively promote responsible gambling to their customers on site, but they will also offer help and support for those gamblers who may well feel that they are not gambling responsibly.
However, prevention is always a better option than a cure, so with that in mind, are there any warning signs that may well indicate that someone may not be gambling responsibly, or that they are on the slippery slope towards developing a problem with their gambling?
In this article, we are going to give you some pointers to behaviors and actions that could well lead to someone becoming a problem gambler, unless they act swiftly.
Early Warning Signs That You Are Not Gambling Responsibly
When listening to a problem gambler explaining how they developed issues with their gambling, they will often say that they didn’t realise that gambling was becoming an issue for them until it was too late.
Sadly, this is the case for many people who did not recognise the key symptoms and behaviors that, had they done so, could have perhaps prevented them developing a fully-fledged gambling problem.
With that in mind, what are the first signs that gambling at online casinos, or indeed any form of online gambling, is starting to become a problem issue for you?
Outlined below are some key indicators that should you recognise yourself engaging in, you should probably call a timeout and re-evaluate how you are gambling, how much you are wagering and why you are gambling in the first place.
Increasing The Size And/Or Frequency Of Your Bets
One of the tell-tale signs that gambling could be becoming an issue is a punter who perhaps only wagers once per week, but then, perhaps after enjoying some success, or perhaps having a losing run, starts to bet more frequently, and/or increases the amount that they are spending per bet.
Now, there can be very good reasons why a punter may bet more cash per bet, or bet more often. They may find themselves in a much better position financially and so have more money to play with each month, or they may have a particular tournament taking place which they are especially interested in betting on, such as the NBA Playoffs that are happening at the present moment.
However, if you are noting your spending on betting is creeping up every week and you are pushing the limit of what you can comfortably afford to lose, then this is a very good indicator that you need to ask yourself whether you are gambling responsibly.
Chasing Your Losses
How do you react when you lose a bet? Do you shrug your shoulders and hope that next time you bet, things will be more in your favor? Or do you immediately ante-up once again, doubling your bet in the hope of recouping the losses you have incurred?
If you are in this second category, then you are showing another warning sign about not gaming responsibly. Chasing your losses at a casino rarely, if ever, ends well for punters as the games are always in the casinos favor.
So recognise your behavior and attitude to losing. If you can’t shrug your shoulders and accept the loss and come back next time hoping to land a win then, then you are showing that gambling could become an issue for you.
Spending More Than You Can Comfortably Afford To Lose
We are now at the stage where for responsible gambling, the red warning lights should be flashing in your mind. If you are spending more than you can comfortably afford to lose on your gambling, then you are already in irresponsible gambling territory.
You should always, ALWAYS gamble only with disposable income. Cash you can afford to lose. You should never gamble with cash that you cannot afford to lose and the more you spend that takes you closer to that threshold, then the more likely gambling will be a problem for you at some point in the future.
In extreme cases, gamblers have taken out loans or credit cards and gambled the entire balance away, they have spent money earmarked for bills and rent on gambling. So don’t think this is just a one off, if you do it even once, you need to re-evaluate your relationship with gambling.
Lying Or Embellishing The Truth To Others About Your Gambling
Another red flashing warning light about your gambling becoming an issues, is if you start lying to people about how much time you are gambling, or how much you are spending when gambling. You may also embellish the truth about how much you have won and lost to make it appear you are more successful than you actually are.
The moment you catch yourself about to tell a lie, however small, about your gambling, then you are already not gambling responsibly and should seek some kind of help to resolve the situation before you lose more money and hurt those you love and respect the most.
Not Knowing When To Stop Playing
Do you feel as if you are just a couple of spins away from that ‘big win’? Will the next hand be the one that lands you that jackpot prize you feel the game owes you? Are you sure that if you stop playing now, someone else will play and land the big win that should rightfully be yours?
As crazy as these ideas sound, many problem gamblers actually believe this. They talk about games being ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ or about how a game may ‘owe’ them a big win. This is of course illogical as these games are entirely random.
Especially problematic is when a gambler doesn’t know when to quit. This is not just in terms of them trying to chase losses, but on occasions when you land a win, but then play for longer and just end up gambling your win away and handing it back to the casino.
Whether you use a spend limit, or a time limit, ensuring you adhere to how long or how much you spend in a session is a great way to avoid this very common issue many problem gamblers face.
Why Would Casinos Discourage Irresponsible Gamblers?
One of the most common misconceptions people hold regarding problem gambling is that casinos
are not one bit bothered about the issue and actually benefit from problem gamblers, as they spend more money at the casino.
That is far from the case. Casinos have recognised that problem gambling is not only an issue that they need to address, but it is one that can be to the detriment of the industry as a whole.
Therefore, rather like companies that produce beer for example, they want their customers to enjoy their games and services in a responsible and enjoyable manner.
As such, the increasing support that is available for casino customers to seek help for problem gambling, or to stop the behaviors that can lead them to self-destructive betting, is a very important and positive step within the industry.
Given the strict licensing criteria that casinos must operate under in key jurisdictions, it is also part of the casinos remit to ensure that customers use their products legally and as responsibly as possible. If a casino doesn’t follow these guidelines and rules, then they risk losing their license.
Ultimately though, responsible gambling is down to the individual player and hopefully, this article has given you some pointers of the things to look out for to stop you treading down that slippery slope.