For the overwhelming majority of players, online gambling is a pleasurable hobby. The occasional negative press coverage can make it easy to forget that for most gamers, playing online is a fun, enjoyable experience.
Having a flutter online once in a while could take the form of lottery games or anything else, with perhaps the thrill of some winnings and the chance to make a little extra cash along the way.
But, crucially, you do have to know your limits as, indeed, the vast majority of gamblers do – and when it's time to stop playing and give the gambling sites a rest for a while. Remember, you win some and you lose some.
For a minority of players, they may have to understand that they could have a gambling problem, or in the very few worst cases, a gambling addiction. This happens when gaming activity becomes compulsive rather than exiting.
These days, the whole industry is far more aware of and sensitive to the issues involved. There are many self-restrictive measures in place, such as setting limits on how much time you spend on a particular website or a maximum wager. Equally, there are more sources of help available, for example from a registered charity such as the National Problem Gambling Helpline or GambleAware, as we discuss here.
We take social responsibility very seriously, and strongly support industry-wide efforts to tackle problem gambling, including initiatives such as When the fun stops and Take Time To Think, and we're committed to playing responsibly.
Take Time To Think is the national campaign encouraging the use of gambling tools as part of a safe, responsible gambling experience. It's aimed at everyone, whether you use online casinos or enjoy a flutter with lottery tickets. It's managed by the Betting and Gaming Council, the standards body for UK betting and gaming industry. And it has the support of operators across the industry.
It encourages playing responsibly, including via the following methods:
- Setting a deposit limit
- Setting a time limit on how long you play for
- Taking a break where you need to, and having ‘cool off' periods from gambling
- Entering a self exclusion period if necessary – most online operators now offer these
- If you need more help, and gaming has started to negatively affect you, seek more in-depth, one-to-one support via the National Gambling Helpline freephone number for confidential telephone support. or GamCare which offers a live chat service
We’re also pleased the industry in the UK is so tightly regulated. And, while we’re unable to provide support with problem gambling ourselves, we can certainly point anyone who may be concerned in the right direction, and signpost the available help.
We’d encourage anyone who thinks their gambling may be problematic to take action sooner rather than later, as soon as online gambling stops becoming a form of entertainment, and before you start to develop significant gambling problems. Consider account closure, for example, and seek practical advice or further information about treatment services.
Finally, while it may sound obvious, remember to play responsibly at all times, and never borrow money or better more money than you can afford to lose.
As mentioned, if you think you may be experiencing problem gambling, get in touch and we'll do our very best to point you in the right direction.
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