There was a time when land-based casinos used to push the narrative that online casinos were unsafe. Nowadays, one might say that online casinos have surpassed the safety of land-based casinos.
Not only are they more convenient and more accessible, they are able to do a much better job with helping players game responsibly.
If this might seem surprising to you, just think of it this way: when you play online, the casino has so many more data points that they can track to make sure that you’re playing within your limits.
At a regular casino, you can come in and play with cash, and nobody will have a problem with anything you’re doing. However, with online casinos, they can see when you’ve gone overboard and either reach out and try to assist you, or offer a number of other strategies to help you cool down.
With that in mind, we’re taking a closer look at five ways that online casinos help problem gamblers. Let’s see the different strategies that are employed to make sure you game responsibly.
Limiting Bet Amounts
Online casinos have a whole host of mechanisms in place, which allow you to control different aspects of your experience. This is great because you can set boundaries before getting started, so that when you hit those limits later on, you’re not going to let emotions take over and keep playing.
One of the first things you can do is limit your bet amounts. This means that you won’t get too out of control chasing losses. Let’s say you set it at $5 per bet, that means if you go on a bad run, it’ll keep you from spiraling out of control by going to bigger tables or bigger slots and trying to win things back. This is a great way to keep things in check.
Limiting Deposit Amounts
The next limit that you’ll want to set for yourself is the deposit amount. You’re able to customize this in a couple of ways (depending on the site) as often times you can set the amount and you can set the times as well. In other words, you can set a $500 limit per deposit but you can also set a limit so that you can only deposit once per day/week/month.
These limits are crucial as the biggest sore spot for gamblers is when their account hits zero. At that point, they’re stinging from the losses and will often re-deposit right away to keep playing.
However, it’s at that point that you really want to set the limits, so that you don’t go overboard. Online casinos allow this; with land-based casinos, they have a hard time tracking how much you’ve played in what period of time as they don’t see the data.
Setting Limits For Time On Site
One of the great options available to keep yourself within limits is the limit for time on site. There’s nothing wrong with having some fun for an hour or two at an online casino but if you’re starting to devote more time to the casino than you are your family, job or life, then it might be getting out of hand.
Setting time limits can ensure that you’re having a little bit of fun here and there but it’s not dominating your life. Set these numbers ahead of time as it will help you get in the habit of enjoying an hour or two of gaming, and then it won’t impact anything else you’ve got going on.
Cool-off periods are very important for responsible gaming as it essentially shuts you out of the site. Sometimes gamblers lose control and that’s when they really start to make some poor, possibly life-changing decisions.
To prevent that, online casinos offer cool down periods where you won’t be able to log into the site or make a deposit for a period of time.
You can choose what triggers the cool down period and how long it lasts. For example, you can say that if you lose 50% of your money or if you’ve gambled for too long or if you’ve made a certain number of deposits in one period of time, then you want that cool down period triggered.
Then you can also choose how long to be locked out for as it might be as little as 24 hours or as long as you need to get your head straight.
It might be a difficult pill to swallow to be locked out of the site for a period of time but that’s often better than gambling when you’ve already hit a certain limit.
Most online casinos rely on customer service to keep an eye on players. As you can see, the site itself will allow you to set all sorts of boundaries and many will kick in automatically. However, sometimes you need an extra layer of protection and that’s where the staff comes in.
The support team can keep an eye on players who are frequently depositing and losing, or others who may seem out of control. In those situations, they can reach out to the player via phone or e-mail and check in with them. If things are really off the rails, they can also guide them to different groups to get help or hand them off to operators who focus specifically on responsible gaming.
Overall, this second-layer is just one of the many reasons why online casinos can do a lot more with responsible gaming than regular land-based shops.
How To Recognize You Have A Gambling
If you think that someone you know is dealing with a gambling problem, there are some simple signs you can look out for. Here are five that might tip you off:
1. Overly Preoccupied With Gambling
If they’re constantly talking about gambling – even in settings that it doesn’t make sense – then that might be a tell. For example, if you’re at the dinner table and the topic comes up quite regularly from one person, they might need help.
2. Moods Being Impacted
Of course, everyone gets a little high from a win and low from a loss, but if you see your friend’s mood is quite correlated to their gaming results, they might need help. It’s important to have a little fun and walk away – either way. If it’s impacting your mood too much, it’s time to step away.
2. Can’t Control It
If someone has outright told you that they’ve stopped and either come back and tell you that they can’t quit, or they’re lying to you about quitting (and still playing), then they need help. One of the biggest signs of addiction is having a lack of control.
3. Betting More And More
There’s a real thrill that comes from betting in the casino. If that thrill is wearing off and a player needs to bet more and more to still get that same feeling, that’s a big concern. At some point, they are going to get burned betting greater and greater amounts, so it’s best to get help before that.
4. Feeling Restless When Not Gaming
If you or someone you know is feeling uncomfortable after they’ve had to cut back, that’s a sign of addiction. For example, if you’ve played a lot over a given weekend and then either decided or were forced to cut back, and then you start to feel restless because you’re not playing, that’s ideal.
That feeling to play in the casinos should be fun and lighthearted; it shouldn’t be an itch that needs to be scratched – especially if you’re trying to cut down.