Responsible gambling is something that everyone should employ when participating in their favourite games or betting activities. This is easier for some people than others, and it is possible for some gamblers to spiral out of control. In this instance, it is ideal to enact some strategies and techniques that will assist you in reducing and/or controlling your gambling habits. There are various ways to do this, and you can make use of multiple techniques or just one that suits you and your gambling.
And that’s what we’re here to inform you of – the various techniques and routes to controlling your gambling activity. If you believe you have a gambling problem or that gambling is causing harm to you or those around you then you should contact gambling advice and exlcusion services such as BeGambleAware, GamCare and GamStop. You can also contact your GP who can put you in touch with local services provided by the NHS.
Utilise Websites Rather Than Apps
In this day and age, it is all too easy to find an online sportsbook, casino, poker room or whatever that is also accessible through a mobile device. In many instances, there is also a downloadable app that caters to Android and iOS devices. Upon downloading this and installing it, you can access all of the platform’s gambling opportunities with a single tap of the home screen icon. These apps have also helped to significantly fuel the growth of the mobile gambling industry. Through them, players can access betting options very swiftly and easily.
If you instead choose to only gamble via a desktop computer or a web browser on your mobile device, it takes longer to access such. We’re not talking hours on end here, of course. But it takes more than one tap on your screen to load the website up and then login and then potentially deposit and then find the games or markets you want to bet on. This won’t necessarily work in all instances, because some people aren’t that bothered by having to take a longer route to get to the games they want to play. However, it can work in reducing the amount of time you spend on the site, and for some people, it can halt them from loading the gambling platform up altogether.
Mobile gamers are, of course, more likely to be at risk of downloading and installing an app (although some are also provided for desktop computers, too). If you consider yourself more of a mobile gambler, take into consideration the alternative of visiting the website via your device’s web browser.
Don’t Leave Money in a Betting Account
It is fairly common for gamblers to deposit money into an online sportsbook or casino account, for example. The player will then use some of the money to enjoy a few gambling games or sports bets, before logging out and leaving some of the funds in the account. Yet this can prove to be quite the temptation for returning to betting on a more frequent basis. Someone who knows that they have left £50 in their casino account is more likely to think that returning to just use that money and see if they win is no problem. On the other hand, if you withdrew that money, would you really be as tempted to return as much?
By taking that money out of the gambling account, you’re removing the temptation to continue betting when you possibly shouldn’t be. Instead, you’ll have it in a bank account to use for something that can be considered as a necessity in your everyday life. Gambling should be something that you do for fun and entertainment, rather than something that you should see as a necessary part of your life.
It is also sound advice in general because betting companies are not financial institutions, which means your money is not necessarily protected in the event they go bust.
Set Deposit Limits or Stake Limits
One way to control your gambling habits is to utilise functions on many platforms that allow you to set limits on the amounts that you either deposit or bet. Often times now when you sign up to an online gambling site, you will be asked if you want to set such limitations. Therefore, if you know that you have £50 to spare on gambling every two weeks or every month for example, you would set this limitation up on your account and then you wouldn’t be able to deposit anything extra until the next two weeks or month.
In the same vein, if you set yourself stake limitations, you are less likely to be tempted to go above and beyond your means. Let’s say that you don’t want to go beyond £5 in stakes at any time. You would simply set this stake limitation and whatever you play or bet on, you won’t be able to make a wager that goes beyond that amount. These functions are very handy when it comes to online gambling, because if limitations are in place, you cannot go beyond them. As it happens, the changes to the Gambling Act 2005 that are due to be introduced may also apply official limitations to bets and/or deposits. This is by no means a bad thing though, because it helps to enforce a responsible gambling technique for bettors.
Don’t Bet on Something Just Because of a Promotion
Online gambling sites frequently provide promotions on various things, as a way of drawing people in to their platforms. If you have never wagered on something before though, there is no reason for you to start doing so just because there is a special offer on it. Let’s say that you always bet on the Premier League football matches. You’ve never deviated from this. One day, the sportsbook offers a promotion on the NFL if you place a wager of a certain amount on specific games. There is absolutely no reason for you to go ahead with that just to receive the promotion involved. The chances are if you did, you would lose anyway due to lack of betting experience in this area.
The likelihood is that a promotion would come around for the Premier League or for football betting in general at some point anyway. And even in these circumstances, there is nothing in place that suggests you have to claim such a reward. Promotions can enhance your payouts at times, but they should only be accepted if you are confident in being able to meet their terms and conditions and that they aren’t forcing you to deposit or wager more than you usually would.
Cross product promotions can be particularly dangerous. If, for example, you only usually bet on sports betting companies will send you offers to entice you over to the casino, slots and other sections. These should be avoided as it is very easy to lose lots of money very quickly when gaming if you don’t know what you are doing and if you haven’t set your own limits. Likewise traditional casino players should avoid being enticed into sports betting by promotions, to get value out of betting you need to do research and understand how the odds offered to you relate to the real probabilities.
Close the Accounts That You No Longer Use
An average bettor in the United Kingdom possesses three online accounts, according to the Gambling Commission. Some younger gamblers hold even more than this. However, it is common for people to open accounts, deposit and play a bit and then leave without closing the account down, even if they never intend to deposit there ever again. This can be a bit of a fatal route to take, though. As long as those accounts remain open, there is nothing to stop you from one day returning to them and making another deposit at them.
If you close your unused accounts, then you aren’t likely to go back to the casino or sportsbook and make another deposit into it. This reduces the possibility of you gambling more than you should. It is not uncommon for people to experience more losses than they expected at one site and to then visit a different one to try their luck elsewhere. Yet you should always participate in gambling with the expectation of losing sometimes. Just because you change sites or return to an older, unused gambling account doesn’t mean that you will start winning.
If you know you are withdrawing money from an account and have no desire to use it again, close it down properly. This way, there will never be any chance of returning to it in the future.
Keep a Ledger of Your Wagers
It is all too easy to start gambling and then forget how many bets you have placed, what amount those bets were, how much you have lost and how much you have won. This is why it is ideal to keep a ledger of your gambling activity. This way, you will be able to see all of that information in one place. Every time you place a bet, mark it down. Every time you change your bet amount, mark it down. Every time you win, mark it down, and note how much you won. And so on.
This way, you can keep control of the amount that you are spending (and potentially losing) on online gambling sites. There is nothing worse than sitting down and enjoying a session of betting, only to find that you have spent double the amount that you originally wanted to – which is another reason to not deposit more than a specific limit. With a ledger, you are more likely to control your gambling activity and enjoy the session from start to finish.
Many gambling sites will allow you to see and download transaction history, which can help make keeping a leger easier. Some also provide you with profit and loss statements, showing you how much you are winning or losing over various time periods.
If you don’t want to keep a ledger consider using a dedicated account for gambling transactions at least, either a separate bank account or an eWallet like PayPal. Keeping gambling transactions away from your day to day banking can help you keep track of how much you are depositing and withdrawing and how often.
Set an Alarm
Many people start betting and then don’t realise how quickly the time has gone. This can lead to you spending hours upon hours spinning the reels of your favourite slot game or placing bets on multiple live sports events and so on. One way to control your gambling habits is to set an alarm that will go off after 30 minutes or an hour or however long you think is a decent time period for gambling purposes.
It is now the case that many gambling platforms will display a pop-up on your screen after a certain time period has passed by, which will remind you of how long you have been logged in and gambling. These are handy because they can be the information you need to see in order to stop yourself from continuing with your activity. There is nothing to stop you from setting your own alarm as well, though.
Opt-Out of Marketing
There is marketing in place for everything these days, especially in the online world. Whenever you visit a site and open an account with your details, the likelihood is that you will also be signed up to receive marketing emails or texts from the company in question. The same is true of online gambling platforms. Through this marketing, you will be frequently informed of the latest promotions, the latest game releases, and so on.
Opting out of these marketing messages will stop you from being sent them in the first place and then potentially being tempted to visit the sites and engage in depositing and gambling. It is usually quite simple to opt-out of such communication too, with some platforms even offering you the chance to do so when you make a registration. If not, then you should be able to visit your account and uncheck the box for receiving marketing emails and so on. Nobody should ever be forced to receive messages from a gambling site and removing yourself from the mailing list gives you more of a chance of being able to control your gambling habits.
Don’t Gamble When Drinking
A good way to reduce gambling harm is to make better decisions about when and where you gamble and how much you bet when you do. This is made a lot more difficult when people drink or use drugs as these generally lower people inhibitions making them more likely to gamble more, bet more or and make poorer decisions.
Naturally many people gamble during leisure time and this can commonly be at a time when we may also be drinking. It is better to place you bets or engage in a gaming session before you’ve had a drink rather than during or after to give yourself the best chance of making sensible decisions.
If you can separate gambling away from other vices that may impair you then it is possible to be more objective about your betting. Reflecting is an important part of preventing problems and this is most easily done with a clear mindset.
Don’t Gamble To Pass The Time
One of the most common reasons that comes up when people talk about why they have a gambling problem is betting through boredom. This is something that has been made immensely easier with the rise of online gambling, because betting services can be accessed from almost anywhere, any time.
You should only bet and gamble when you have clear intent, you should log into a site place you bets or have a gaming session and then leave. If you set specific times that you will do this it can help you avoid logging into sites for other reasons, such as when you are bored. As mentioned earlier, deleting apps and using websites can help with this as it requires more processes to place a bet, which is additional time that can help you reflect on what you are doing. Clicking an app icon is all too easy and it isn’t just gambling that this is good advice for, if you are addicted to social media, for example, then removing apps can help you cut down your usuage.
Think about the bets you are placing. If you suddenly find yourself on a site late at night and are looking at betting on something or playing a game you know nothing about then it is a sign that you probably shouldn’t be placing those bets. Think about what bets you want to place or games you want to play before visiting the site.
Use Self-Exclusion Services
If you do feel that you would like to leave gambling alone for a time period, you can make use of a self-exclusion scheme to block access to your accounts for a set timeframe. Sometimes, you may just want a break of one month or perhaps you’d like a six-month break. Whatever the case may be for you, there is a self-exclusion service in place to allow you to do this. Then, regardless of if you do try to login to your account at a sportsbook or casino, you won’t be allowed to do anything at the site in question. Only once the time period you have chosen is over will you be able to log back in and start gambling again.
Some people have used these services in order to exclude themselves from gambling altogether. It is possible to self-exclude from just a single gambling company or from multiple companies at once. All you need to do is visit a Responsible Gambling section of an online gambling site to proceed with this. To remove yourself from multiple gambling sites at once, you can utilise the service provided by GAMSTOP. Many people have used this to remove all possibility of them being able to access online gambling accounts already.
Whatever method(s) you use for reducing and controlling your gambling activity online, it is always vital to remember one thing – that gambling should be fun and done in a responsible manner. If it isn’t fun for you anymore, you should always take action to remove yourself from it.