At The Slot Buzz we are committed advocates of Responsible Gambling.
Online Gambling is a leisure pursuit to be enjoyed. The thrill of a winning bet can be exciting and financially rewarding, but it should not be forgotten that gambling can also be highly addictive.
The gambling industry is regulated by the UK Gambling Commission who issue licenses to online casino operators like the ones listed on our UK slot site page. Under the terms of these licenses gambling businesses are required to promote responsible gambling and to offer their products in a socially responsible way.
This page aims to provide slots and casino players with the information they need to understand how to manage gambling as a leisure activity and what someone should do if they feel that they are spending too much.
Tools To Help You To Manage Your Gambling
The UK Gambling Commission sets out to empower customers with the knowledge and tools they need to manage their own gambling.
Online gambling websites must provide tools to empower their customers to manage how much time and money they spend gambling. If you cannot find these tools, or don’t know how to use them, then you should contact the customer services team where you play to find out more.
This facility allows you to block yourself from a website for a specific amount of time. Online gambling sites must offer time outs as follows:
- 24 hours
- One week
- One month
- Any period that a customer might reasonably request up to a total of six weeks
You should be able to set limits on your spend by deposits, wagering and losses in your online gambling accounts. Losses are defined as your wagers minus your wins.
Usually you will be able to set your limits by day, week or month. Should you reach your limits during this time you will not be able to deposit or bet again until the new period starts.
As a tool to manage your gambling, setting spend limits requires strong will power if you wish to take a break completely from gambling because you can always be tempted to play at another site.
If you decide that you want to stop yourself from gambling for longer than the Time Outs and Spend Limits allow, then you can choose to Self-Exclude.
The minimum period for self-exclusion is six months, and during that time you will not be able to log on to the site from which you excluded yourself. The gambling operator must remove you from any marketing communications and return any money in your account to you.
Additionally, the operator is required to take ‘reasonable steps’ to ensure that you do not bet with them by registering an account under a different identity. This is one of the reasons that ID checks are carried out by online gambling sites when you sign up.
Self-exclusion can be from six months up to five years, or permanent.
Other Ways To Keep Track of Your Gambling
Your Gambling History
Checking your gambling history is a great way to maintain awareness of the time and money you spend on gambling sites. Log onto your account and view your playing history by transaction, and even download the information to a spreadsheet. This is a great tool to help you to gamble responsibly
Budgeting and Keeping a Diary
A great way to monitor your spend and the time you spend online is to keep a budget sheet and a diary. Your budget sheet can be used to set how much you wish to spend each month and to calculate how much you spent in the previous month. A diary is another useful way of keeping track of how much time you have spent online and planning for the weeks ahead.
Using eWallets and Cash Vouchers
When you deposit directly from your bank account or credit card into your gambling account it is easy to lose track of how much you are spending. Transactions can get lost amid all the other things you spend your money on daily.
Some gamblers like to set up an eWallet account exclusively for gambling. The most common are Paypal, Neteller and Skrill. You can transfer your weekly or monthly budget into your eWallet account and then monitor your deposits from there. If you withdraw your winnings directly into this account as well it is a great way to see overall whether you are up or down for the month.
An alternative method to manage your money is using a cash voucher system like Paysafecard. You can load your card with funds using cash and only spend what you can afford.
You can choose to filter or block gambling sites from your computer or handheld device by using one of the internet filter services that are available.
Gamblock – This software download will block gambling sites on your desktop, tablet or mobile. A warning will be flashed up before the browser window shuts down.
Bet Filter – This is another software install that will block gambling sites on your computer.
Content Watch – Allows the user or administrator to filter unwanted content or websites from users.
Protecting Children From Gambling
It is a criminal offence for anyone under the age of 18 to gamble, or for an operator to take a bet from anyone under the age of 18. The following softwares can help parents to control which sites their children are using, including gambling sites.
CYBERsitter – Parental control install software that allows parents to block access to unsuitable and inappropriate content.
Netnanny – Handy software tool that allows you to block access to any site or groups of sites, including gambling-related ones, that you wish.
Gambling Addictions and Treatment
Here we outline how to identify a gambling problem, what steps you can take to manage your gambling spend, and what to do if you feel you need to seek help with a gambling addiction.
Self-Assessment – Do You Have a Gambling Problem?
Being aware of a gambling problem is the first step towards dealing with it. It can be hard to acknowledge your own addiction. The following signs are typical indicators that you have a gambling issue:
- You are spending more money on gambling than you can afford
- You find it difficult to stop gambling, or manage the time you spend gambling
- You are pre-occupied with gambling – you think and talk about it a lot
- You lie about your gambling and try to hide it from others
- You argue with friends and family about money and gambling
- You lose interest in other hobbies and activities
- You gamble all your money until you have none left
- You sell your possessions, borrow or steal to gamble more
- You neglect other important aspects of your life like family, friends, work and household responsibilities
- When you lose you gamble more – ‘chase your losses’ – to resolve financial problems
- You increase your bets, gambling with more money to try to get the buzz back
- You regularly feel irritable, depressed, anxious and guilty
What To Do If You Think You Have a Gambling Problem
If you feel that you may be suffering from a gambling addiction and you wish to get help then the following professional organisations in the UK can provide support and advice.
Gamcare is a registered charity providing free counselling, advice and support to help those with gambling problems.
Freephone: 0808 8020 133
Live Chat: On Site (http://www.gamcare.org.uk/support-and-counselling/frontline-services/netline#.VBhpbfldXww)
Forum: On Site
A leading UK charity that promotes responsible gambling and educates the public on all issues around gambling-related harm. Helps people to understand and recognise problem gambling.
This organisation provide support and advice through meetings held across the country where problem gamblers can share their experiences and find support in groups.
The UK’s leading addiction treatment website. At Addiction Helper you will find advice on different treatment options for gambling addiction, including NHS and private health care options. An excellent resource with a Live Chat application to speak directly to a support agent.
UKAT – UK Addiction Treatment Centers
UKAT have nation-wide treatment centres to care for people with all kinds of addictions and from all walks of life. Treatment plans are built for long term recovery.
Gordon Moody Association
Provide innovative therapeutic support through a residential treatment program for those suffering from gambling addictions. Gordon Moody also provide outreach and online services.
A support group for those affected by someone else’s gambling problem. Confidential meetings are held where people can share their experiences.
The Samaritans are a support line for anyone who wants someone outside their normal social group to talk to.
The National Problem Gambling Clinic
This service provides treatment for problem gamblers in England and Wales. This includes 1 to 1 and group treatment, advice and support.
The Counselling Directory
A directory of counselling services in the UK. If you are or anyone you know has an issue around gambling, then you can find a counsellor who can help here.
Problems With Debt
Very often, gambling addictions can lead to issues with debt. If you have financial worries, these organisations can help.
Free, independent and confidential advice on how to deal with debt, including rent arrears, mortgage problems, and budgeting.
An independent charity that provides free advice for those in debt. Talk on the phone (0808 808 4000) or through webchat.
Debt Advice Foundation
Free and confidential support and advice to anyone with debt issues, including loans and credit card debt.
Debt Support Trust
A charity with trained advisors who can provide debt solutions for people with financial difficulties across the UK.
A UK charity that offers tailored advice and practical solutions for those who have debt issues. You can discuss your issues online or over the phone.
Responsible Gaming in the Media
Responsible Gambling Week
Responsible Gambling Week took place from the 12th to 18th October 2017. It was a national campaign aimed at uniting the entire gambling industry in the UK and promoting a discussion around Responsible Gambling.
The campaign was run by the Industry Group for Responsible Gaming (IGRG) and over 10,000 gambling venues and 121,000 employees took part. All sectors of the industry, in partnership with charities Gamcare and BeGambleAware took part.
This was the biggest ever cross-sector social responsibility campaign in the industry.
In gambling venues posters and leaflets promoted the event, and online popups and banners were used to highlight Responsible Gambling Week, with the aim of encouraging discussions about how to gamble responsibly.
Across the country information points disseminated information on how to gamble responsibly, what tools are available to help players manage their own gambling, and what help and support is available to those who need it.
A live Twitter Q and A also took place in which gamblers could ask experts in the industry any responsible gambling related questions.
In a statement, the IGRG said: “The aim of the week is to raise awareness amongst customers and the wider public about how to gamble responsibly, the tools that are available to keep gambling safe and fun, and where anyone can find help and support for those who need it.”
You can follow the IGRG on Twitter and Facebook.