Making use of responsible gambling tools is one of the best ways to ensure that you stay safe when gambling online. No, I’m not advocating that you sign up for GamStop, and there are very good reasons why that’s a bad idea. I’m not asking you to only wager 1p per spin, either. However, I would always suggest you pay attention to the responsible gambling tools available at your casino and make use of them.
For the most part, casino players have a good handle on how much they spend and how long they wager. However, even experienced veterans and pros like me can sometimes find ourselves overplaying or wagering more than we really should. For this reason, it is imperative to make use of responsible gambling tools.
What Are Responsible Gambling Tools?
You don’t have to be playing at high-stakes casino sites to make use of responsible gambling tools. These are security options which have been put in place to steer you away from the perils of problem gambling. By actively using responsible gambling tools, you can ensure that you don’t wander into dangerous territory, leaving you free to enjoy every moment of betting online without concern.
Types of Responsible Gambling Tools Commonly Available
The exact number of responsible gambling tools made available at online casinos and their purpose will vary from site to site. Some offer considerably more than others. Allow me to walk you through the most common options below. They include:
Deposit Caps and Wager/Loss Limits
As their name suggests, these tools allow you to put limits on how much you deposit and wager. You can also use them to set a cap on how much you accept in losses. Once these caps have been reached, you will be unable to deposit and bet any further until a predetermined period (dictated by you) has expired.
Reality Checks and Time-Outs
Another way to protect yourself is to make use of reality checks and time-outs. Reality checks involve having access to a clock, which will periodically pop up to remind you to take a break. Time-outs do something more – they cut off your gameplay after so long and don’t let you play until another time period has elapsed. The time periods involved with reality checks and time-outs are down to you.
It also helps to keep tabs on how much you’ve wagered, lost and won of late. Doing so can help you budget better when gambling. Almost all trusted online casinos feature betting histories, which you can visit under your account options. Sometimes, you may find that you’ve bet a lot more than you thought.
Cool-down periods are also advantageous, and most online casinos support them. A decent cool-down period will allow you to take a breather from betting at the site. I’m only talking about a few hours, days, up to a month – nothing major. However, if you don’t like what you see in your betting histories or want to take time away for any other reason, a cool-down period is ideal. Moreover, unlike stricter tools, the casino will welcome you back with open arms if you use cool-down periods.
Self-exclusion tools are the last line of defense when gambling online and shouldn’t be used lightly. The worst of these (because it is the most effective) is GamStop. This service, once triggered, will lock you out of every online casino on its platform, and there’s no way back until at least six months (often a year or so) have passed. There are options to make use of self-exclusion tools and ways to get around GamStop, though.
Most online casinos which aren’t on GamStop support their own self-exclusion tools. These can be triggered in the same way. However, you do have the option of rejoining the casino earlier than with GamStop, because you can choose to be locked out for a shorter time span. Moreover, when in-house self-exclusion tools are active, they only lock you out of that casino, not any sites run by other operators and sometimes not even the sister sites of the casino you’re signed up to.
Tips to Practicing Responsible Gambling Online
You can generally stay safe when gambling online by following some rather simple rules. I know you’ve probably heard them all before, but even so, it’s good to revisit them occasionally to ensure that they have sunk in. My top five tips for practicing responsible gambling online include:
- Never overspend. Only bet what you can afford. If you run out of disposable funds, leave gambling alone until your bank balance has been replenished. Don’t bet with money destined for other things.
- Avoid playing pay-to-win games, such as slots with buy-a-bonus features and stay away from high-roller options. These will take a chunk out of your balance early.
- Make use of fair promos and bonuses, but ones which don’t have a wealth of wagering requirements attached to them.
- Always use deposit, wager, and loss caps where they are provided. You won’t regret this.
- Lastly, don’t be shy. It is perfectly possible to contact customer support and ask them to help you set up some kind of protection when playing. They won’t shut you out or blacklist you as a problem gambler if you’re merely asking them for advice in setting caps.
Join Trusted, Fair and Safe Online Casino Sites Today
Now that you know how to stay safe when gambling, you should be ready to sign up for our trusted and recommended online casinos. Be sure to choose one of the sites that aren’t on GamStop so you don’t accidentally blackball yourself from the casino world. Choose trusted sites with in-house self-exclusion options and proper responsible gambling tools. Do that, and I can all but guarantee that your online casino gambling experience will be a safe, fun, and trouble-free one.