Gambling is an entertaining pastime for many Americans, but abusing this privilege provokes dire consequences. These consequences result in a gambling disorder, which can affect anyone. So, we’re here to assist you in learning about responsible gambling and where to find support if needed.
What is Responsible Gaming in the United States?
Responsible gambling is a social effort of the gambling industry to promote knowledge of gambling addiction and other harms associated with gambling. Responsible gambling can also be said to include efforts made to maintain the fairness and integrity of the gambling industry.
While responsible gambling has no specific laws related to it, each US state has specific guidelines regarding it. These guidelines must be followed by all Internet and land-based casinos to receive a license that will allow them to offer gambling products.
For this purpose, many responsible gambling organizations in the US offer support and training to operators so their players can gamble responsibly. The most recognized organization in this field is the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Casinos cooperating with these responsible gambling organizations have shown their support for transparency. With the support of these responsible gambling organizations, bettors in those casinos gain access to numerous tools that’ll help them gamble responsibly.
How to Gamble Safely
Apart from the tools a casino provides for safe gambling, players can also help themselves by taking a few steps.
- Never gamble with money that you can’t bear to lose in a game.
- Remember that every casino game has a house edge, so you’re more likely to lose in a game than win.
- Stop a gambling session if you’ve started to feel strong emotions, especially if the emotions are frustration or anger.
- Respect the loss limits you’ve given yourself.
What Are the Signs of a Gambling Addiction?
Most gamblers can’t tell when they’re falling into the crippling behavioral problem called gambling addiction. That’s because not all gambling addicts are terrible players who lose every time at the table. So, we’ve compiled a list of the most evident signs telling you if you’re a gambling addict.
- Gambling is a much better option for you than spending time with your friends or family members.
- Gambling is a nice escape from the stress and burdensome issues of your personal or professional life.
- You’re prepared to borrow money from people to cover up your losses from gambling and to fund future bets.
- Getting frustrated or angry when someone asks you to stop gambling.
- You don’t come clean when asked about the time or the money that you spent on betting.
- Depression, hopelessness, and suicide are your most prevalent thoughts due to the shame of gambling.
- When you lose, you are prepared to gamble more to make up the losses.
- The need to gamble is so strong that you can sell anything, including your home and personal possessions, to satisfy it.
- If your personal belongings can’t fuel your gambling needs, you’re prepared to steal to make up for it.
How Can I Stop Gambling?
Gambling addictions are related to your behavior to begin with, so changing your behavior will help you break their hold. To this effect, we’ve put together some tips that can help you stop gambling.
- Limit your access to your land-based or online casino. For land-based casinos, you can decide not to go near them. For online gambling, however, you can use apps like Gamban, which block all gambling-related websites.
- Spend the time that you would have spent gambling on another activity. This could be household chores, a hobby, Gamblers Anonymous meetings, etc.
- Hand over your funds or access to your account to trusted friends or relatives. This way, you won’t be able to gamble since there’ll be no money for it.
Online Gambling Platforms and Their Various Tools for Safe Gaming
There are many tools that legal casinos offer to their players to help them gamble safely, and the most common ones include:
This is a feature that allows players to take some time off from gambling as a whole. It’s useful after a terrible losing streak, as it gives players a period to clear their heads instead of coming back impulsively. Hence, a short break can last up to 24 hours.
This is a more extreme form of a short break, and it’s for those who have really bad gambling issues. Addicted gamblers who are ruining their lives usually settle for self exclusion.
This period can take a few months or some years, during which the bettor would be unable to access their account. If things are really bad, then the bettor may decide to close that account.
All online casinos always encourage their players to set limits on their accounts, which can allow them to control their gambling habits. These limits can be daily, weekly, or monthly limits, and they can be spending or loss limits. They work to prevent a player from spending beyond a specific amount of money during that period.
Sometimes, these limits can also work to prevent players from spending an unhealthy amount of time in one session. Gambling limits are not fixed, as the player can change them whenever they wish.
Land-Based Casinos and Their Responsible Gambling Policies
Although land-based casinos are not able to curtail a customer’s gambling behavior like online casinos, they do have their tricks. Some of the responsible gambling policies that these casinos practice include:
- Training the casino staff to be able to spot signs of bad gambling behavior so they can speak to that player.
- Casinos cannot create advertisements that induce members of the public to gamble or promise them wins.
- Land-based casinos display visible signage that alerts all players to the dangers of gambling and also provides usable solutions.
- The casinos allow players to set betting, credit, and deposit limits for their sessions at the casino.
- The casino staff is trained to prevent players from placing any huge bets when they’re under the influence of alcohol.
- Some casinos fund treatment centers for gambling addicts and other individuals with gambling problems.
Other Topics to Consider
Social media has slowly become a free advertising platform for gambling. That’s because there are many gambling experts and social media personalities who go online to glorify gambling.
These individuals also offer free betting advice that promises to net bettors huge amounts of money. However, we need to understand that some of these messages are traps to get more people into betting.
Some sites have also taken to glorifying their big winners on social media, enticing more people to visit them. This sets unrealistic expectations in the hearts of players that would make them spend huge amounts of money. It would also make players expect to make that amount of money when they visited that casino.
National Responsible Gambling Resources
There are many national organizations and platforms that advocate for protecting the interests of gamblers, and they include:
- National Council on Problem Gambling. Their helplines include 1-800-522-4700 (calls and texts) or ncpgambling.org/chat (email).
- Gamblers Anonymous
- International Center for Responsible Gambling
- 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
State-Specific Responsible Gambling Resources
Apart from the national resources for safe gambling, there are numerous state-specific options that you can rely on. Depending on your state, some resources you can depend on are shown below.
|State||Gambling Help Website||Hotline|
|District of Columbia||www.ncpgambling.org||800-522-4700|
Your Kids and Gambling – How to Protect Them
Child gambling is becoming an increasingly worrisome problem in the US, with kids being more prone to it than drinking or smoking. To mitigate this, you’ll find some tips below that can help you protect your kids and advise them against gambling.
- Learn all you can about online casinos and online gambling so that you can tell when your kids are engaging in online betting.
- Don’t gamble or try to gamble responsibly so your children learn from you.
- Teach your children the difference between casino games, where the house has an advantage and skill-based games, where players have the advantage.
- Ensure that there are strong parental control settings on your children’s phones and the shows they watch on television. This will reduce the chances of them being exposed to gambling-related information.
- Take note of the interests of your kids, especially if it’s betting technology or lottery tickets.
Signs of Problem Gambling in Children
Under the right circumstances and with the right influences, any child can fall into gambling. Below are some signs that can clue you in if your child is developing a gambling problem.
- Most of your child’s friends gamble regularly.
- Your kid is obsessed with random sporting events and their statistics.
- Your kid has a keen interest in dice, the lottery, and scratch cards.
- You notice that your money or personal belongings go missing regularly.
- The child avoids talking about their gambling activities or lies about it.
- The child talks regularly about your past gambling habits.
Where to Seek Help
Children can also seek help to resolve a gambling problem, just like adults do. The organizations that can help with these are the responsible gambling organizations mentioned earlier on.
This includes the likes of Gamblers Anonymous, Gam-Anon, and the National Council on Problem Gambling. However, the kid’s parents will need to be present during the first meeting.
Interesting Statistics About Problem Gambling
The National Council on Problem Gambling estimates that between 6 and 9 million persons in the United States suffer from compulsive gambling. Two to three percent of the United States’ adult population.
In addition, studies reveal that males are more likely to develop a gambling problem than females. Problem gamblers are more likely to fall into certain socioeconomic categories, such as those with lower salaries or less education. Slot machine players and online gamblers are disproportionately likely to also have problem gambling.
The National Council on Problem Gambling has recently published research estimating that problem gambling damages the United States economy $7 billion per year.