With the growing popularity of online gambling, players have to be aware of the signs of a gambling problem. Online casinos differ from land casinos in that they offer easier ways to add funds to an account.
In some cases, players may not realize how much they are pending when they choose to gamble online. By not having a strict budget in place and adhering to it, one may find they are overspending and are losing more than they can afford when they engage in real money play at online sites.
Gambling addictions can cause many problems and it is important to address these as soon as possible. It is very easy to get carried away when playing online. Since cash is not physically being exchanged, players often make multiple deposits without realizing how much they have spent on a gambling session. If this becomes a routine, players may have developed a gambling problem that needs to be addressed.
Responsible Gaming Policies
Since the online casino industry is well aware of the high-risk of gambling problems, they offer Responsible Gaming policies on their pages to help players maintain control and set limits to stay within a budget. The most trusted casino sites will want to make sure that all real money members are safe and engaging in responsible gaming at all times.
Sites will offer useful tools that can help a player manage their account to help prevent gambling addictions. Each site will have different ways to do this and they can include:
- Self-exclusion – This is an option where players can stop playing for a set amount of time. Most casinos will allow a self-exclusion option to be sed and when this is done, your account will be suspended for the time period selected. This prevents players from being able to access any real money games. During a self-exclusion period, some casinos will refrain from sending any marketing materials or special promotions.
- Deposit limits – Instead of suspending the account, another option is to set a deposit limit on the account. This will restrict how much can be deposited during a period of time. Most casinos allow you to set limits for 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month. Deposit limits will be applied immediately.
- Loss limits – This is a limit that can be set to monitor the amount that has been lost and when a certain amount has been reached, real money play will no longer be available.
- Wagering limits – Wagering limits will restrict how much can be wagered when playing any game. Since many players try to chase losses by placing larger bets, a wagering limit will prevent that, which will also prevent additional losses and overspending.
Country Specific Self-Exclusion Options
Aside from finding limits that can be set at an individual casino, most sites will also include links to organizations in a country that can help limit how much players are gambling. These can be quite useful for problem gamblers who need a break from playing so they can regain control. Some of the more popular organizations include Gamstop, Spelpaus, and The Malta Gaming Authority self-exclusion scheme.
Apps and Tools for Problem Gambling
Aside from taking advantage of the tools provided for responsible gaming at a casino site or by using country-specific options, there are other tools that can be useful. You can find some great apps and programs that are designed to help players stop gambling or learn how to control their spending at online casinos.
One of the popular apps being used is BetBlocker, which is a domain blocker that will restrict you from accessing certain sites. NetNanny is also a great option for setting parental controls to prevent minors from accessing real money gambling sites.
BetBlocker is the best option since this is a free service that can be used on a PC or a mobile device. It offers two modes. There is a gambling self-exclusion option as well as parental control. While BetBlocker will block access to certain domains, it does not block any gambling related marketing information.
GamBlock is another trusted resource and this will apply to gambling sites around the world instead of in a single country. With this, the software will search for data on a site that you request to visit. If the site has any gambling content or betting options, your browser will be shut down and you will receive a warning message. This is one of the best ways to prevent problem gambling since it applies to all online sites and will restrict any access.
Staying Safe and in Control
With online casinos being so popular, players all over the world are playing and spending money. The risk of developing a gambling problem when playing online is higher than at land casinos, which is why the best sites will offer assistance when needed. You will find some great tools, apps, and organizations that can assist any player that has a gambling addiction or is showing signs of problem gambling.
You will also find links on casino sites that can direct you to independent organizations like Gamblers Anonymous, where you can get free counseling and support on how to manage your gambling problems.