Ways to Keep Gambling Responsibly

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BetMGM Jun 19, 2024, 5:18 PM

Gambling, at its core, is entertainment. The thrill of risking your hard-earned cash, the fun of the game, the anticipation of winning, and finally, the euphoria of triumph are the key iƒngredients that keep people returning to casino table games or staying stuck to their screens to try their luck at online slots.

Yet, as with any entertaining pastime, there comes a point when the constant pursuit of the rush goes from being harmless fun to becoming a debilitating and often devastating problem. “Gambling Disorder,’” as it’s called, is real and can have catastrophic effects on your psychological, social, and financial well-being. 

If you find that you need to risk big amounts of money to sustain the thrill, that gambling constantly occupies your thoughts, or you often lie to cover up how much time you spend gambling, you may be developing Gambling Disorder. This requires intervention, and you should seek assistance to ensure you return to responsible online gambling practices.

However, if you haven’t reached that point but fear you may get there, here are 10 tips to keep you gambling responsibly.

What Is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible gambling is the practice of ensuring that gambling is used solely for entertainment purposes. It also involves preventing those who should not be gambling, such as minors and other prohibited players, from participating. Responsible gambling is essential for online gaming, as it can be a bit harder to know who’s on the other side of the screen. The practice aims to minimize the potential negative effects that gambling can have on individuals and society. 

Take a look at the fundamental principles of knowing how to gamble responsibly. 

1. It’s Entertainment, Not a Job

This may seem like common sense, but how often do people forget reality in pursuit of fantasy? The simple truth is that, on average, you’ll lose more than you win if you play with the sole intention of trying to outsmart the casino. Playing slots online or live dealer casino games should be purely for entertainment. Remembering that gambling must be viewed as a leisure activity, not a means of generating income, is an essential mental wellness tip. It’ll help you prioritize fun over winning when playing online casino games.

2. Set a Budget

Continuing with the entertainment theme, you wouldn’t spend your rent money on movie tickets and rollercoasters, would you? The same applies to gambling. Think of it in the same way you would consider spending money on a concert ticket or a visit to a resort. Set a spending limit, enjoy the fun, and remind yourself that it was a good romp for the night. And if you win, it’s a bonus.

3. Set a Time Limit

How often have you sat down at the slots or a blackjack table and only realized you’ve been at it for hours when your belly reminds you that you’ve missed a meal or two? Be mindful of time when you play casino games so that you don’t lose track and end up overspending or jeopardizing other responsibilities. Use alarms and timers on your phone to remind you when you’ve reached your time limit.

4. Don’t Chase Losses

Walking away from a night of gambling can be difficult when you’re on a losing streak. Some people try to convince themselves that they can recover their losses if they persevere. This is not true. If you’re a regular gambler, try to remember that there’ll be other opportunities to win — it needn’t be right now. Cut your losses once you’ve reached your budget and come back when you’re refreshed and can afford to gamble again.

5. Don’t Gamble When Upset

This one is similar to the old adage, “Don’t shop on an empty stomach.” People are most vulnerable when they’re depressed or sad — which is also when they’re less likely to adhere to the budgets and time limits as they try to distract themselves from difficult emotions. Gambling, unlike other pastimes such as running or binge-watching series, can make things much worse financially, so it’s best to avoid it when you’re feeling down.

6. Beware the Gambler’s Fallacy

Here’s one of the most common pitfalls for any gambler. Gambler’s fallacy simply refers to the fallacious idea that there’s a pattern to the outcome in games of chance like roulette. In reality, every spin is independent of all other spins, and there’s no mathematical or statistical pattern that you can rely on to predict a win. After all, there’s a very good reason it’s called a game of chance and not a game of probability. 

7. Avoid Going Full Tilt

Going full tilt is primarily associated with poker and refers to players who abandon logic and strategy in favor of a purely emotional response. This is usually triggered by a losing streak or a wily opponent who tactfully needles you into a tilt. Emotional players of any game are operating sub-optimally and are easier to beat, both by opponents and the house. Keep those emotions in check to avoid making bad decisions.

8. Don’t Drink or Use Drugs Before Gambling

Alcohol and drugs are active disinhibitors and lead to impaired judgment in any situation. It is far more dangerous when handling large sums of money that are earmarked for basic expenses and necessities. People are far more likely to override limits and venture into irresponsible territory under the influence of recreational substances.

9. Find Additional Pastimes

If you find that gambling occupies a hundred percent of your leisure time, then you might be developing an unhealthy dependence on it. Balance your leisure time with other healthy pursuits to avoid falling into addiction. Do something that can match the rush you get from sitting at the tables or tapping away at the slots — preferably something physical that will also get the circulation going, or possibly more mindful pursuits like meditation or yoga to help manage difficult feelings.

10. Leave Your Bank Cards Out of Reach

This one is a no-brainer. If you find it difficult to resist the temptation of chasing losses or caving into cognitive biases like the gambler’s fallacy, then it’s best to regulate your expenditures by limiting access to your bank accounts. This includes leaving your cards out of reach and limiting access to your banking apps and other banking interfaces.

How Can Online Casinos Promote Responsible Gaming?

It’s a fact that online gambling operators have an important part to play in promoting responsible gaming. Preventing problem gambling and providing tools to help players who have gambling addictions should be a core focus. 

Player Protection

There should be a number of processes that protect players at all times. As mentioned above, this could include time limits, deposit limits, self-exclusion programs, and exclusion programs. It is not only good corporate social responsibility but also good business. 

Education

Online gambling operators should provide clear information and educational resources on responsible gaming and tips for mental health. These platforms should make it easy to self-exclude and use other responsible gambling resources. A reputable online casino will list problem gambling helplines and the websites of organizations like Gamblers Anonymous. 

Responsible Advertising

Advertising should not be misleading or directed at minors. Online gambling operators should do more than satisfy regulators and consider the reputational risk that would result from excessive promotion and attempts to attract minors.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.