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Callum Turner

Online gambling is a great form of entertainment. It allows you to place bets on your favorite sports teams and casino games and occasionally win cash back. Practicing responsible gambling enables you to experience online gambling without any adverse effects on your day-to-day life.

However, should your online gambling habits begin to encroach on your daily life, impact your finances, or interfere with relationships or your mental health, giving online gambling a break and seeking help is your best option. Problem gambling can quickly arise, and it is best to tackle it swiftly.

What is Gambling Addiction or Problem Gambling?

Gambling addiction, also referred to as problem gambling, outlines a continuing behavioral pattern of gambling that is detrimental to a person’s well-being and has severe consequences in all areas of your life.

Excessive gambling crops up for a number of reasons. While you typically start out enjoying online gambling as a means of entertainment, it may become a way of coping with stress or other difficulties. For example, the increase in serotonin online gambling produces may be something you turn to when feeling depressed, or you may turn to online gambling when you’re experiencing financial difficulties. When gambling becomes a financial or emotional crutch, and you begin playing for any reason other than to have fun, you are experiencing problem gambling.

Problem gambling, like any addiction, develops over time. However, when you realize you have a problem, you may find that it is unmanageable and you need help. A leading preventative measure against developing a gambling habit is knowing and understanding the red flags of problem gambling. Having this insight allows you to place limits and seek help before your online gambling becomes a problem and negatively impacts your life.

Recognising Problem Gambling

Each individual’s experience of gambling addiction is different. However, several key aspects and behaviors may indicate someone is struggling with gambling addiction.

Over-Extending on Your Budget

A common sign of gambling addiction is betting more than you can afford. When you gamble beyond what your budget allows, you’ll find yourself borrowing funds from alternative sources to continue gambling. You may use money from your monthly food budget, from a savings account, your pension, business credit card, or you may ask for a loan from friends, family, or the bank.

If you have noticed that you’re doing this, it is imperative that you seek help immediately. Taking out loans to pay for your online betting, which you cannot pay back, can land you in even more financial difficulty. However, there are resources, like the National Council for Problem Gambling, that will assist you in managing your gambling.

Handy Hint:

Establish a monthly betting budget and stick to it. This way, you can gamble responsibly and affordably without cutting into other financial resources.

Attempting to Win Back Losses

A critical sign of gambling addiction is chasing losses. This term refers to a situation where a gambler has made a loss and then attempts to win back these lost funds by placing increasingly higher and riskier bets.

While implementing betting strategies is one thing, if you begin placing riskier bets of increasing value solely to recoup your losses, you are no longer gambling for entertainment purposes. As such, you have moved into the problem gambling category.

When you spend more than you have to play with and lose, chances are you’ll do whatever you can to make the money back so as not to land in financial hot water, and this is when chasing losses typically comes into play. However, since gambling is not based solely on skill, you may lose these risky bets and end up losing more in the long run as you place wagers of increasing value to try and regain your losses.

Handy Hint:

Each time you win a bet, request a payout of your original bet and use your profits to place further bets. That way, you’re never out of pocket. However, when gambling with your profits, once these are depleted, stop playing.

Creating Poor Gambling Practices

Problem gambling is not only limited to financial difficulties. There are multiple areas of your life that problem gambling can have an adverse effect on.

In other words, you may not experience problem gambling due to finances. Keeping to a budget may be simple for you, but perhaps you struggle to limit the amount of time you spend gambling or forego social occasions to stay home and bet online instead. This, in turn, may have a negative effect on your mental health, self-care, work and home responsibilities, or relationships.

In many instances, these issues arise because you are using online gambling as a way of avoiding stress, emotions, daily challenges, or mental health issues like depression.

When you realize online gambling is no longer purely a source of entertainment for you but rather an emotional crutch, we recommend finding help from your doctor, a healthcare professional in the mental health field, or a gambling addiction resource.

Handy Hint:

Many reputable casinos and sportsbooks offer resources like timers, which you can set to limit the amount of time you spend on a sports betting or casino website. By implementing these limits, you manage your time more carefully, and you become aware of how much time you actually spend gambling.

Our Approach to Gambling and Possible Addiction

At Bestanonymouscasinos.com, we prioritize responsible gambling. While we focus on online gambling and promote sites that provide this form of entertainment, we also highlight the need to gamble responsibly in our guides, reviews, and articles and share several responsible gambling resources.

Creating a Consciousness About the Drawbacks of Gambling

A significant way in which we draw attention to the drawbacks of problem gambling is by raising awareness of the potential harms it can bring, how to identify problem gambling and the resources at hand should you need help. You can access this information in our reviews, where we outline the measures our recommended online sportsbooks and casinos provide to assist in responsible gambling and walk you through making the most of these options.

We also value player safety. As such, we provide clear, unbiased, and honest reviews on the sites we recommend and only highlight those gambling platforms that are safe and secure to use.

Informative Statistics

Bringing an awareness to industry statistics is another way we highlight responsible gambling. In our online sports betting and casino guides, we take careful measures to provide you with accurate statistics on the probability of winning, house edge, and whether the betting limits and odds are worthwhile.

In addition to highlighting probability, we also look at the RTP on casino games, which indicates how much you can expect to win back, as well as whether these sites use RNG technology to ensure fair play.

Sports bettors will find detailed reviews of the inner workings of betting odds, what to look out for when selecting odds and bets, and the advantages of placing certain bets over others in various scenarios for more accurate wagering. We also provide tips and strategies to assist you in placing well-thought-out and carefully constructed bets.

Regular Attention to Responsible Gambling

Our articles, reviews, and guides highlight the importance of responsible gambling and the pitfalls of gambling addiction. They provide specific sections and paragraphs on the topic and mention the importance of using online gambling platforms that meet your budgetary requirements.

Offering Useful Resources

Besides keeping responsible gambling at the forefront of your mind, we also offer you countless resources that you can use if you are struggling with gambling addiction. These resources are relevant to the geolocation discussed in each article, so you can find help close to home.

Self Exclusion

If you have tried setting time or budget limits for yourself and these are not working, the next best step towards beating problem gambling is to submit yourself for self-exclusion.

Self Exclusion – How Does it Work and What is it?

Self-exclusion references a self-imposed measure provided by online gambling sites that you can request to participate in. When you apply for self-exclusion, you highlight yourself as a problem gambling risk and exclude yourself, preventing access to any online or retail gambling platforms for a set period.

Generally, you determine your self-exclusion period, and you may not participate in any form of gambling until this period is up. Once you are flagged as being under self-exclusion, casinos and sportsbooks may not accept your wagers. Most self-exclusion periods range from 24 hours to two years.

How Does a Person Apply for Self-Exclusion

All legitimate, licensed online sportsbooks and casinos feature responsible gambling pages. Visiting this page will connect you with all the responsible gambling measures the online gambling site has in place, including self-exclusion applications. If you opt to register for self-exclusion, you’ll need to fill out a document and select your self-exclusion period, after which you can submit it to the gambling site.

Self-Exclusion Regulations

Self-exclusion laws vary across the globe. However, most countries have some form of regulations in place regarding adherence to self-exclusion.

In the UK, laws passed in 2020 stipulate that all online gambling platforms operating out of the United Kingdom, overseen by the UK Gambling Commission, must follow the self-exclusion measures applied by Gamstop. Gamstop is a non-profit self-exclusion program.

According to the American Gaming Association, 34 states require sports betting or casino operators to offer and adhere to self-exclusion programs. However, since each state has its own exclusive set of gambling laws, this is not a requirement countrywide.

But you will find that most offshore online gambling sites with licenses from international gaming authorities all have their own individual self-exclusion programs that you can apply for.

Establishments Offering Gambling Addiction Resources

Although the guides and tips we provide can certainly help you with problem gambling, the best sources for proper help are agencies that deal specifically with addiction and problem gambling. These institutions have unique resources like mental health professionals and counselors with qualifications in attending to those experiencing addiction. They have the ability and know-how to get you back on track. Some of the top global problem gambling resources include:

NHS Problem Gambling Services (UK)

The NHS is the UK’s national health system. Like in the US, the region provides nationwide assistance for those with gambling addiction. Here, you have access to several resources for gambling addiction, including a questionnaire regarding your gambling habits to allow you to ascertain your gambling status to information on how to connect with resources for gambling addiction. Additionally, the website features external agencies like national help centers, charities, and establishments that help both those with problem gambling and their affected family members and friends.

GambleAware (UK)

The UK’s National Gambling Support Network is known as GambleAware. The organization offers an around-the-clock phone line (0808 8020 133) and online chat options run by GamCare. Gamble Aware also has in-person and web resources.

National Council on Problem Gambling (US)

The US offers a nationwide service that helps individuals tackle gambling addiction. The NCPG is a non-profit organization that provides helplines and offices in all US states. You can contact the NCPG on its helpline 1-800-GAMBLER or visit the website to get the details of the problem gambling resources in your state.

Gamblers Anonymous (US & UK)

Gamblers Anonymous is an organization for individuals battling addiction to gambling. Gamblers Anonymous has multiple ways for people to garner help. These include weekly in-person meetings, helplines, and online platforms with written information, forums, and a local meetings register to assist you in getting the help that works best for you.

GA is a global community that regularly features support meetings across the globe. It is here that you can meet others who understand your struggles and build a support system. Gamblers Anonymous has several workshops to allow you to work through gambling addiction, from 12-step programs to regular meetings and the assignment of personal sponsors to keep you on the right path.

ECOGRA

While the resources we have mentioned so far all work directly with those experiencing problem gambling, this organization differs slightly. ECOGRA focuses on the online gambling industry and online sports betting and casino platforms and their compliance with meeting the standards required to provide all users with safe and fair online gambling.

The e-Commerce Online Gambling Regulation & Assistance (eCOGRA) is responsible for regularly testing and auditing online gambling platforms. The organization offers this service to all gambling websites across the globe, like the ones we review and recommend. ECOGRA ensures that these platforms offer responsible gambling resources, fair gaming, and reputable payment options. The online gambling community regards those platforms in possession of ECOGRA certifications as some of the best. Notably, most recognized international eGaming bodies only license online gambling sites that have undergone ECOGRA audits.

Additional Resources

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Callum Turner
Callum Turner

Callum has a longstanding career as a writer, with over 25 years in the gambling sector. While he started out covering land-based sportsbooks and casinos, Callum has cultivated a vast knowledge of the inner workings of the online gambling industry. He shares his insights, understanding, and expertise in this field with you through his carefully researched and written reviews, guides, and articles.