Responsible Gaming

Written by: Jeremy Olson , Online Casino and Games Expert

Responsible gambling is crucial, whether playing online or in a brick-and-mortar casino. Recognizing the signs of problem gambling early is essential for all players.

For our team at OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com, your safety is our top priority. We want you to enjoy your favorite online casino games without causing any negative impacts on you or your life. This is why we put together this useful guide on safe and enjoyable gambling practices.

In this guide, you can learn about responsible gambling tips, identifying gambling addiction signs, and accessing addiction support services. This resource is especially valuable if you have concerns about a loved one’s gambling habits or even your own.

How to Gamble Responsibly

Learning how to gamble responsibly is important for your mental health as well as relationships. Online casinos take proactive measures to ensure that any compulsive gambling habits are detected and deterred. Wagering activity is monitored with limitations placed on deposits and wagers if necessary, to ensure responsible gaming.

For the gambler, there are steps that can be taken to ensure responsible gameplay.

  • Setting Budget Limits: Setting a budget and sticking to it can cut back on losses and prevent addictive behavior.
  • Be Realistic: Don’t gamble money you can’t afford to lose and don’t chase losses. Stick to your budget limits.
  • Setting Time Limits: Playing for a certain time frame will ensure that you stay on track. Keep track of your gameplay time and stick to your limits.
  • Keep It Fun: Online gaming and betting are supposed to be fun, enjoy it as such. Unless you are a pro, gambling should not be your main source of making a living.
  • Keep A Clear Head: Do not gamble while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other substances that may impair your judgment. Do not use gambling as a way to evade reality or problems.

Self Exclusion

Reputable online betting operators will provide their users with an option to be self-excluded from gameplay. If you feel you need to take a break from gambling for a while or for good, contact your online casino and ask them to disable your account. You may have your online casino account disabled temporarily or permanently.

Problem Gambling – Are You At Risk?

What has been identified as a modern-day illness is actually a condition that has existed for as long as its cause has been practiced among the human race. Nevertheless, gambling addiction was recently officially identified as a disorder reflecting the unhealthy workings of the patient’s thought process.

Since then, medical practitioners, therapists, and addicts themselves have been constantly working to inform as many as possible on the causes, effects, and proper preventive measures to ultimately reduce its expansion.

If you are questioning whether or not you are a compulsive gambler, it is important to ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Have you lost time from work or school due to gambling?
  2. Has your home life become unhappy due to your gambling habits?
  3. Has gambling affected your reputation?
  4. Have you felt remorse for any gambling activity?
  5. Have you gambled to earn money to pay off debts or solve any financial woes?
  6. Has gambling caused you to lose ambition or efficiency?
  7. After losing during a gambling session, have you felt a strong urge to return to the game to try and win back your losses?
  8. After winning, did you feel compelled to return and try to win more?
  9. Have you gambled until all your money is gone?
  10. Have you borrowed money to finance your gambling habit?
  11. Have you ever sold your possession to pay for your gambling habit?
  12. Have you been reluctant to spend gambling money on normal spending needs?
  13. Has gambling made you careless when it comes to your own welfare or that of your family?
  14. Have you gambled longer during sessions than you originally planned to?
  15. Have you chosen to gamble to escape boredom? Trouble at home? grief? Loneliness?
  16. Have you committed or thought about committing a crime to be able to finance your gambling habit?
  17. Has losing at gambling caused you to have trouble sleeping?
  18. When you argue with someone, become frustrated or are disappointed, do you feel an urge to gamble?
  19. Have you ever felt an urge to gamble to celebrate good fortune?
  20. Have you considered suicide or self-destructive behavior due to your gambling habits

Consider your answers to these questions. Answering yes to at least a few of them might mean professional assistance is needed. If you find that you answered yes more than no, it is time to seek help. Gambling addiction specialists can assist in ensuring you learn how to deal with your gambling habit and act responsibly.

Gaming Disorder as a Mental Illness

After careful and in-depth analysis, the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially made gaming disorder an illness under its standards. This has been decided at the 72nd World Health Assembly on Saturday, May 25, 2019.

Different Types of Gambling Addiction

Considering that you understand the concept of the condition that is problem gambling, i.e. gambling addiction, it is easy to note its constituent aspects – cause, signs, and effects, differing across the illness’ variants.

Game-Specific Addiction

One way of differing between gambling addictions is to focus on the specific game they target – slots, poker, blackjack, or even lottery and bingo. While the lottery and bingo are still considered simple entertainment rather than gambling, they can be just as destructive when out of control.

Financial Impact

Another type of gambling addiction is related to the addict’s financial demise. The appeal of fast and easy cash often appears to be the optimal solution to such issues, and despite most games’ payout potential, the risk and inconsistency factors ultimately get the better of the players.

The Gameplay High

Gambling addiction is also present in its purest form, as a source of a high, an adrenaline rush, or a feeling of empowerment. Research has shown that there are great similarities between the effects of drugs and those of gambling on the brain. Both provoke activity in most overlapping areas. Thus, many consider the state of gambling as true satisfaction rather than the process of winning or losing, which has resulted in yet a third form of addiction – a natural high.

Gambling Addiction in USA

Most Common Causes of Problem Gambling

There is no saying what the exact cause of gambling addiction is, much like any other addictive condition people tend to develop. Still, some instigators seem to prompt a kind of an existing urge to gamble, also known as risk factors.

Compulsive Gambling Risk Factors

  • Age

    While someone’s age may not be directly related to their developing a gambling addiction, it is definitely true that younger and middle-aged people are far more susceptible to its influence.

  • Gender

    As mentioned earlier, for the US, it is a general tendency for men to develop gambling addictions much more often than women. However, this was largely the effect of previous social norms and habits that restricted this activity to the male sex and is most likely to balance out soon enough.

  • Existing Mental Disorders

    People who are already suffering and being treated for a different mental disorder, such as ADHD or OCD, are more easily caused to develop addictive gambling habits than others.

  • Existing Addictions

    Those addicted to alcohol or substances –or even video games– additionally have greater chances of developing a gambling addiction. Such addicts have already felt the ‘satisfaction’ of indulging in the object of their addiction and seek other ways to relive that experience.

  • Strong Surrounding Influences

    A surrounding dominated by vices and addicts is a rather likely cause for developing the same habits in the remaining inhabitants. Up to 15% in children and 50% in spouses of gambling addicts in the US are estimated to have experienced some kind of abusive behavior and trauma. This alone is enough cause for them to seek refuge in something familiar, in this case, gambling.

  • Specific Personality Traits

    It has been shown that people with certain personality features are more inclined to gamble and similar risky situations that depend on chance alone. These include individuals who are prone to impulsive, competitive, and workaholic behaviors, among others.

Four Signs of a Gambling Problem

Most times, addicts know that what they’re doing is wrong and will develop different strategies to hide their disease. There are numerous signs and symptoms that indicate a gambling problem. Here are some of the main ones:

  • 1. Being Secretive
    • Gambling addicts try to hide their disease by being overly secretive about where they’re going or what they’re doing online. A clear sign is how restless they get when asked about it
  • 2. Loss of Control
    • The urge to gamble will make gamblers feel dominated by it. This is especially noticeable when they can’t hide it, afford it or stop it.
  • 3. Everyday Life Problems
    • All addictions bring about other problems. For gamblers, these issues include financial problems, work-related issues and relationship breakdowns.
  • 4. Emotional Distress of Friends and Family
    • Problem gamblers will inevitably cause concerns among their closest friends and family members. The greater it gets, the deeper the gambling problem it indicates.

Misconceptions About Problem Gambling

Gambling Addiction Myths
Gambling can have a variety of destructive results on people’s overall lifestyles, depending on their daily habits and surroundings, as well as their social, financial, and marital status.

Nevertheless, among the most common effects, gamblers are bound to experience financial and relationship troubles – bankruptcy or divorce. Along the same lines, loss of work and social efficiency resulting in unemployment and isolation is another common effect, as well as poor physical and mental health.

Despite such signs and effects, there are still multiple myths and misconceptions connected to problem gambling. These often prevent the healing process and can actually make the situation worse.

Gambling Addiction Myths

  • They are gambling addicts, so they must be lazy and unintelligent.

    Gambling has been a common vice throughout its existence and can influence the lives of people of all backgrounds, statuses, and IQs.

  • Real addicts are only those who gamble every day.

    Gambling addicts don’t need to gamble daily to be diagnosed with the condition. Most of them actually tend to wait for the opportune time and circumstances.

  • We should help gamblers clear their gambling debts.

    Recognizing that they have debts is a step towards healing, but gamblers shouldn’t get instant help to clear them. This would encourage them to continue with the same pattern, ultimately only making matters worse.

Gambling Addiction Recovery

Addiction Help Resources

In the United States, Gamblers Anonymous and the National Council on Problem Gambling are the main resources when it comes to assistance with a gambling addiction. The NCPG has a helpline that can be called at any time for assistance. Calling 1-800-522-4700 will provide an individual with local resources for gambling addiction. The network of the group has 28 call centers, each of which provides resources and referrals for all 50 states in the US as well as in Canada and the US Virgin Islands.

Help is offered 24/7 and is 100% confidential. Text and chat services are also on offer with players having the ability to reach out in several formats. If you or someone you love is having a problem with gambling behavior, contact one of these groups today to learn more about local assistance.

Underage Gambling

Top online casino sites will focus a major effort on providing underage gambling protections. Individuals under the age of 18 are not permitted to take part in online casino gaming. Top online casinos like BetOnline and Bovada have parental controls in place that help to prevent minors from accessing wagering systems.

Players will have to meet requirements in order to prove their age for gameplay, including providing photo identification as well as have their address verified. Underage players are also not targeted via marketing and advertising, so the younger crowd is not enticed to take part in online casino gaming.

Gambling Should Be Fun

Online gambling should be fun and never a burden or overwhelming situation. By creating a gambling budget and setting a time limit for yourself, you can easily enjoy online slot games, table games or other offerings without losing sight of the fun factor.

When gambling becomes a problem, and you begin to lose large sums of money and avoid spending time with family and friends to play, the situation becomes less fun and more of a problem. Learning how to gamble responsibly will help you to have fun at all times and enjoy the experience without any negative repercussions.

Play Responsibly

We recommend playing at online casinos with a proven track record. Make sure you always do your own research before engaging in any online gambling. This is also part of being responsible with your gaming.

We hope you enjoy the content on OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com and encourage you to play responsibly by following the recommendations listed here. If you have any questions or comments about Responsible Gaming, please contact us.

Jeremy Olson

Jeremy Olson Online Casino and Games Expert

Jeremy Olson is a research writer in the gambling industry who has covered poker, casino games, and sports betting since 2004. He converted bad beats in blackjack and poker into a passion to learn and now specializes in several areas of the online casino market.

Learn More About Jeremy