Online casinos might be fun, but they can also become very addictive. You could be effortlessly spinning the reels of your favorite slot machine one moment and suddenly notice that your whole bankroll has depleted the next. How will you proceed? Are you going to start chasing after your losses or come to realize that you’ve overspent and call it quits?
You can easily get sucked in when winning, as well. The feeling of earning a profit through gambling is so stimulating that it’s hard to resist. In other words, win or lose, no one is safe from the pitfalls of online casinos.
To try and keep you protected, we are here to discuss how to play casino games responsibly. We have divided our tips into three categories — self-control, using responsible gaming tools, and seeking professional help.
Decide on Your Limits and Stick to Them
Every responsible player should set a bankroll limit. Let’s say that you’ve established a weekly budget of $100. If you lose it all by the fifth day, you should simply refrain from playing for the next two days, regardless of the temptation.
But how do you decide on the amount you’re allowed to lose? Firstly, never let your casino bankroll eat into your regular expenses. Make sure you’ve paid your bills and rent and that you have enough money for food and other essentials. The portion of the money you’re left with could become your gambling budget for a given period.
Next, you should split your bets equally so that the set bankroll lasts the entire period. Again, if your weekly budget is $100, you shouldn’t put $50 on your lucky number at a roulette table right away. The general rule is for your individual bets to be somewhere between 1% and 5% of your total bankroll for that day.
Responsible Gaming Tools: Time-Outs and Self-Exclusion
Due to regulations, casino sites are compelled to give their customers the choice not to use the platforms for a certain period.
Let’s take https://zulacasino.com/ as an example. On their Responsible Gaming page, you can read about how you can limit your account. You can ask for a time-out that can last anywhere from one hour to one week or sign up for a self-exclusion of at least one month.
Aside from time-outs and self-exclusion, Zula and similar online and sweepstakes casinos allow you to set limits on how much you can deposit or restrict the time you spend logged in on the platform. Of course, you can also choose to completely close your account at any time by reaching out to the casino’s customer support.
Ask for Professional Help
Sticking to your bankroll and using time-outs and self-exclusions are all good ways to practice responsible gambling. However, such actions are voluntary, and many players with compulsive gaming habits simply lack the willpower to perform them.
If things have gone out of control and you can’t seem to get a grip on your online casino spending, it’s best to ask for professional help.
The United States has a wide network of organizations that help problem gamblers. Some of the most reputable ones include:
- National Council on Problem Gambling
- International Center for Responsible Gaming
- Responsible Gambling Council
All of these offer around-the-clock support to players and their family members, featuring emergency hotlines, organizing online and in-person anonymous meetings, suggesting treatment facilities, and sharing knowledge and resources on the issues of gaming addiction.
Are You a Gaming Addict? Ask Yourself These Questions to Find Out
Having compulsive gaming habits is never as evident as it may seem. You can test yourself by taking this quick quiz:
- Does gambling bite into your work or school time?
- Are you gambling so you can pay off a debt or deal with financial problems?
- Does playing casino games affect your mood negatively?
- Are you avoiding spending time with your friends and family so you can play casino games?
- Did you ever borrow money from someone so you can gamble?
- Have you ever sold your personal property so you can have money for playing?
- Do you often lose track of how much time you spend playing casino games?
- Do you feel the strong urge to keep playing after you win or rush to mitigate your losses after you lose?
- Have people close to you made any remarks on your gaming habits?
If most of your answers are “yes,” you should definitely consider practicing some of the responsible gaming methods discussed in this article. Meanwhile, you can also potentially reach out to one of the organizations dealing with issues of compulsive gambling.