Problem gambling and responsible gambling

All forms of gambling come with a risk. When gambling with real money online, there is a chance that the money bet will be lost. To avoid entering a pattern of chasing losses or gambling irresponsibly, it is important to know what gambling entails and how to keep it as a fun and safe form of entertainment only.

Here we will explain problem gambling and responsible gambling and look at some tools and resources available. By knowing the difference between the two ways of gambling and being aware of the help that is available, you can act responsibly and play as safely as possible.

What is problem gambling?

Problem gambling is a real form of addiction – gambling addiction. Like many other addictions, problem gambling is often frowned upon and misunderstood. This can result in addicts not seeking proper help and therefore digging themselves deeper down the rabbit hole instead of finding their way out. By knowing more about the addiction, it can be easier to detect it in yourself or others and start the process of recovery.

With problem gambling, players become addicted to gambling. Normally, this results in a destructive pattern of an increased amount of time and money spent on gambling. This is done regardless (and normally despite) of negative consequences such as loss of money.

There are many signs and symptoms to look out for. The main point is that gambling takes over a person’s life and becomes an addiction that needs to be fed – a rush that needs to be experienced over and over again. This can result in prioritizing gambling over work, family, friends, and more. In addition, many problem gamblers keep chasing wins despite losses and play for a lot more money than they can afford.

Problem gambling is a large topic with many different causes, types, stages, and symptoms. In short, it is a serious matter that can have catastrophic consequences for the addict and their relations. That is why it is so important to practice responsible gambling.

6 tips on how to gamble responsibly

In simple terms, responsible gambling can be seen as the opposite of problem gambling. By acting responsibly, gambling can be an enjoyable and safe way of entertainment. In its essence, responsible gambling is all about setting boundaries and knowing when to take a break.

Here are some of our best tips on how to gamble responsibly.

1. Don’t play for more than you can afford

When playing for real money, it is important to be realistic about the possibility that you will lose the money. You should therefore only play for money that you can afford to lose.

2. Set a budget – and stick to it

Following on the point above, we believe it is a good idea to set an exact budget on how much money you can play with. Set aside an amount every week or month. If you lose the full amount, you have to wait until your next period. Never dip into the next batch – accept and stick to your budget.

3. Set aside time for gambling

Just like you set a budget for your money, you should set a limit for how much time you can "afford" to spend on gambling. When having fun, time flies by. The same can happen if you are trying to win back lost bets. It is important to not get too caught up in the gambling world and let other responsibilities come on the sideline. Gamble for a maximum of a few hours here and there, but don’t let it take over your time and life.

4. Take frequent breaks

While you are having some gambling sessions, it is also very important to take frequent breaks. Get up from your seat and clear your head frequently. This is also to ensure that you don’t get stuck in the games and lose track of time and money.

5. Know what you are doing

Before playing a game or placing a bet, you should make sure you understand what you are doing, how much money you are playing with, how likely it is that you win, and so on. While all the information might not be available, you can for example often check the return to player rate of slot games. You can also try some casino games for free to get used to the gameplay before betting your own money.

6. Stay healthy

Remember to take care of yourself so as to not get into a destructive and negative pattern. Keep hydrated, take breaks and move around, don’t forget to eat, etc. And most importantly, don’t gamble while under the influence of alcohol or drugs as this can cloud your judgment.

Tools and resources for further information and help

When gambling, it is important to remember that you are not on your own and that help is never far away.

The best online casinos will have many tools in place for players to ensure responsible gambling. This can include the possibility to specify limits in your account. Normally, you can set limits on how much money you can deposit, play for, or lose, or how much time you can spend playing, within a set time period. You can also get help from the casino to limit or self-exclude your account for a while if you need a break.

The customer support team at online casinos should have knowledge about problem gambling and therefore have the tools needed to help you. There are also many organizations and resources related to gambling where you can learn more and get professional help should you need it. Many resources also offer self-assessment tests that you can use to check your gambling habits.

Here are some recommended, international resources to check out: