Here at Online Casino HQ, we spend a lot of time interacting with readers about all forms of online gambling. For most people, gambling is form of entertainment. However, it can also become a destructive hobby when it gets out for control. If you feel as though your gambling is starting to become problematic – or if you’re looking for advice on how to help a friend or family member struggling with gambling addiction – this page will provide some useful starting points.
5 Signs Your Gambling Could be Out of Control
#1: You Hide Your Gambling
If you find yourself regularly gambling in secret, or lying about your gambling activity (including the time spent, the amount spent, or the size of your bets), there’s a chance your gambling may be becoming a problem. This is one of the most common traits in problem gamblers, and is an important one to watch out for.
#2: You Struggle to Walk Away
No ones likes to lose while gambling, but being able to walk away from a game is important if you want to be able to enjoy your gambling in a safe manner. If you find yourself getting frustrated or angry when you lose, hastily re-depositing in order to chase your losses, then there’s a chance your gambling may be becoming a problem.
#3: Borrowing Money to Gamble
If you find yourself borrowing money from friends or family, or taking out loans or credit cards to continue gambling, then there’s a chance you’re gambling more than you can afford. It can be tempting to take a small loan out, with the hopes of clawing back a small loss, but this is a downward spiral, and gambling debts can accumulate fast, so always avoid gambling on credit.
#4: Friends and Family Mention How Much you Gamble
This is fairly self-explanatory, but if you find yourself receiving comments from friends and family members about the amount you gamble, there’s a likelihood that you’re gambling more than you should be. Don’t be afraid to talk to your loved ones if you feel you’re gambling too much.
#5: Increasing Bet Sizes
Say for example you’re betting $1 on a slot. If you lose, and end up increasing your bet sizes to try and claw your losses back, then it’s a sign your gambling could be out of control. Always try to think long-term when you’re gambling, and realize that a small loss in the short-term, is rarely a big issue. When it does become an issue is when you keep trying to hit bigger wins, which is directly correlated to bet-sizing.
If you find yourself resonating with one or more of the above, then take a step back and have a think about whether gambling is affecting your life. There is always help and support available, and problem gambling CAN be overcome, but you must be honest with yourself.
OK, so now let’s take a look at some of the ways you can control your gambling using casino’s built-in responsible gambling functions.
Limit How Much You Gamble
Online casinos all offer a variety of responsible gambling tools to help you control your gambling, and below, we look at some of the main tools available to you.
Deposit Limits: Deposit limits are fairly self-explanatory, and are offered at ALL licensed online casinos. A deposit limit physically stops you from depositing more than a certain amount of money per day, week, or month, and once you’ve used up your limit, you’ll have to wait for the cycle to end before it resets. If you wish to increase your limit, it takes 24 hours to 7 days.
Loss Limits: A loss limit prevents you from losing a certain amount of money – ideal for when you’ve had a big win and want to ‘protect’ the win.
Wager Limit: A wager limit is a limit on the amount of money you can bet on a single spin/hand. Say your wager limit was set to £5, you wouldn’t be able to stake more than £5 per spin (if you were playing slots), or per game if you’re playing a table game.
Time-Out: If you feel like gambling is taking up a bit too much of your time – but you don’t feel as though you have a severe gambling problem, and just want a break, you can opt to take a time-out. This allows you to shut your casino account for between one day and 6 weeks, and during that time you will not be able to log into your account under any circumstances.
Self-Exclusion: Self-exclusion is meant for problem gamblers who feel that gambling is beginning to take over their life, and it should only be used when you really do feel as though you have a problem. Self-exclusion is like a time-out, but it’s for a much longer period of time – between 6 months, and 5 years. Read Our Full Guide To Self Excluding At Online Casinos
Blocking Software: Blocking software has become a popular choice for problem gamblers over the past few years. It allows you to completely block access to gambling sites from your computer, laptop and/or mobile devices. Find out more about different blocking software options here.
Getting Professional Help
It can be tough to admit you have a gambling problem, but it’s important to remember that no matter what your situation, there’s always help available, whether that be from friends and family, or trained gambling therapists and councillors.
If you feel you have a gambling problem, check out the links below for information on where to get help: