How to Gamble Responsibly at Online Casinos

Most online casino players gamble recreationally and never experience the adverse effects associated with excessive gambling. But some cannot keep their wagering in check and ultimately end up harming themselves, their relatives, and their communities. The good news is online casino operators have already recognized the importance of responsible gambling (RG) and invest a good deal of effort into reducing gambling-related harm.

Online players are now facing a wide range of tools that can help them maintain a healthy relationship with gambling. All regulated casinos offer them, although the exact responsible gaming policies often vary based on jurisdiction. There are several purposes to these tools: to prevent problem gambling, promote greater self-control, and raise self-awareness among players.

Whether you seek to exercise more control when betting online or are simply interested in learning about this topic, the following article contains everything you need to know about gambling responsibly. Ready? Then let’s dive right into the subject.

RG Tools at Regulated Casinos

RG tools are broadly available and easily accessible at all strictly regulated online casinos. Some help players control the time they spend on a gambling site, others enable them to keep their expenses in check. A third group allows them to temporarily or permanently step away from the betting action. While the available options are jurisdiction-specific, the following tools are typically offered by most well-regulated casinos.

Cool-off Periods
Time Limits
Deposit Limits
Restrictions on Games
Game History
Self-assessment Questionnaires
Resources for Support
Advice on Responsible Gambling

RG Features Built into Online Casino Games

1On-screen Clocks

Built into the gaming interface, on-screen clocks are visible at all times, making it easier for gamblers to maintain an adequate perception of time. The tool essentially prevents players from losing track of how much time they have spent gambling, a major issue with some people.

2Game Speeds

Game speeds are adjustable at some platforms, allowing operators that use the software to configure the minimum time that must elapse between gaming rounds or reel spins. Customers can thus play at a more relaxed pace, which reduces the hourly number of rounds and the overall amounts wagered. Regulators in jurisdictions like the UK require at least 2.5 seconds to pass between any two slot spins.

3Deactivation of Certain In-game Features

Deactivation of certain in-game features is required in some jurisdictions. Functionalities like auto-play and quick spin are automatically disabled when players load the games from specific countries. Some regulatory bodies consider these features harmful because their use can potentially lead to reckless gambling and massive losses.

4Reality Checks

Reality checks act as regular reminders to gamblers, periodically showing them how long they have been playing. The amounts won or lost during the session are also displayed in many cases. Another thing to keep in mind is that these regular in-game notifications only show up to real-money players. They are rarely incorporated into the free demo versions of the games. Play can continue only after the gambler has acknowledged the notification.

5Manual Flushing

Manual flushing is a practice at some online casinos that protects players against reversing their withdrawals. Less disciplined gamblers often succumb to the temptation of canceling their payout requests before the casino approves them so that they can continue playing.

With manual flushing, the withdrawal amount remains locked into your account until the operator processes the request and releases the funds to your desired payment method. The practice eliminates the risks of squandering your winnings due to a lack of discipline.

Are RG Tools Effective?

“In gambling, the many must lose in order that the few may win.”
-George Bernard Shaw

Some industry experts caution that excessively pressurizing players into using responsible gambling tools can have an adverse effect on recreational gamblers. The main argument behind this hypothesis is that said tools could disturb the gaming experience of casual players and channel them to less protective online casinos.

However, there is no concrete or empirical evidence to back these concerns, not to mention such claims can impede the further development of responsible gaming tools. Another thing to bear in mind is that people often tend to misinterpret the very purpose of RG programs. Many believe these tools are intended solely for problem gamblers.

In reality, prevention is the main purpose of these policies. The tools aim to foster a healthy relationship with gambling among people who casually engage in wagering activities and prevent them from developing gambling-related problems. If a person has already started to approach gambling in an unhealthy manner, the tools could help them fend off serious gambling disorders from the onset.

A healthy relationship with gambling means taking breaks, not treating betting as a source of income, not using it as a means of coping with personal problems, and above all, imposing restrictions on oneself. RG tools are very effective at promoting discipline among players, an essential quality in all aspects of life, even more so when it comes to gambling.

How to Recognize Problem Gambling

“The first step in solving a problem is to recognize it does exist.”
-Hilary Hinton Ziglar

Some people gradually develop a problematic relationship with gambling, which prevents them from taking adequate measures in time. Acknowledging one has a problem is the first step toward recovery. No one can help problem gamblers if they themselves are reluctant to seek help. It is important to understand that problem gambling can affect people from all walks of life, regardless of their social status, occupation, and income.

Common Risk Factors
Psychological Signs of Gambling Addiction
Physical Signs of Problem Gambling
Differences between Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling

How to Maintain a Healthy Relationship with Gambling

To begin with, you should start by taking advantage of the responsible gambling tools your chosen online casino offers. Remember that prevention is better than cure and you should take the necessary precautions to safeguard yourself from developing an unhealthy relationship with gambling. We offer you a few brief guidelines you can follow to maintain better control over your online gambling experience.

  • Play moderately and for entertainment only – gambling is not an activity that can quickly make you rich.
  • Remember casino games are always tilted in favor of the house. No strategy can ensure long-term success when you play games of chance like roulette, baccarat, craps, keno, or slots.
  • Set spending and session duration limits you feel comfortable with and adhere to them. If discipline is not your forte, you can make things easier by taking advantage of the Deposit/Session Limit feature available at most online casinos.
  • Never attempt to recoup your losses. Accept the loss and come back another day. Chasing one’s losses is a vicious cycle that could only lead to greater financial trouble.
  • Never borrow money to gamble with. Stick to your predetermined bankroll for the day, week, or month.
  • Do not use gambling as a way to cope with personal troubles. Play only for fun and in moderation.
  • Learn the rules of the casino games you are interested in so that you can play optimally and reduce your long-term losses as much as possible.