Since the repeal of the federal ban on sports betting, there has been a huge push across the country to create new sportsbooks and other betting games. This has resulted in not just making gaming more accessible to many but creating a potential problem with gambling or gaming addiction.
A gambling addiction can cause financial devastation as about 1% of gamblers in the US already know. Even moderate addictions can cause you or those you love to suffer interference in their daily responsibilities and overall quality of life with severe consequences.
What Does Responsible Gaming Mean?
Responsible gaming means essentially being able to game with sportsbooks or online casinos without allowing it to cost you too much money or time. This action reduces the overall chance that you will damage your livelihood or otherwise lose far more money than you initially planned.
Responsible gaming also means realizing a single truth that many gamblers try to deny as long as they can, and that truth is that the games are designed to have players lose most of the time. While you will certainly win at some points, the games are designed to always give the house the edge, so gaming responsibly definitely means players should expect to lose.
Why Is It Important To Game Responsibly?
Learning to game responsibly can help you enjoy all types of gambling activities without falling into the trap of over-gaming or even gambling addiction. This means that you will be able to enjoy moderate amounts of gambling and how that feels without putting your finances or social circles at risk for loss. Gambling addiction can lead to devastating consequences, including:
- Losing money earmarked for other living expenses like bills or rent
- Spending significant amounts of time away from friends and family, often missing important gatherings or events
- Taking on debt to fund gambling
Tips For Responsible Gaming
In general, the work of responsible gaming lies both with the gamer as well as gambling outlets. While the gaming institutions should have some built-in mechanisms for helping players self-regulate their use, players must also take initiative and put some best practices into place so that they have a chance to protect themselves as well. Below are some great examples of how the average player can enjoy responsible gaming.
One of the most significant steps you can take to protect yourself against gambling addiction is to set a strict budget for your gaming and gambling activities. This will take some time to get used to in the beginning, but you will have to learn how much you are personally able to lose without hurting yourself.
Once you know the amount of money that you can afford to lose on gaming, you can set your play habits around that. Some players will give themselves daily or weekly “allowances” to gamble, while other players may simply allow a certain amount per month, and when that amount is lost, they simply don’t gamble until the next month. Also, the best sportsbooks and casino apps will often have self-impost deposit caps that the player can activate to help their game responsibly.
Setting Time Limits
Another great way that you can help yourself from over gambling is to set a time limit for gaming. This can be challenging to enact on an individual level, but many gaming apps, websites, and physical gambling locations have methods for setting time limits. While this may not keep you from staring at your phone all day, it can be a step in the right direction.
Avoid Loss Chasing
This is a common trait of players who gamble, whether it’s betting on sportsbooks or casino gambling, loss chasing can cause a player to spiral into losses. Loss chasing is where a player continues to bet money to make up for their current aggregated losses, based on the flawed assumption that “they can’t lose all the time” or that “things are about to change.” This thinking is sometimes where budgetary constraints are all that prevent someone from losing everything.
Enjoy All Wins
The big wins are so rare that they are nearly mythical, so enjoy the small wins when you get them. The fun of your gaming should be in the excitement of the gaming itself, not in the potential winnings that are often elusive. The fun of gambling with your favorite app or site should be its own reward, with wins simply adding to the fun.
Use Built-In App Functions
Many apps and gaming sites will provide built-in methods for helping players control the amount of time or money they spend on a particular app. Use these functions to limit your time, set spending caps, and help yourself game responsibly so that you can continue gaming.
Gaming Outlets Can Help Prioritize Gaming Responsibly
Gambling institutions will often have limits imposed on their operations either by themselves or by regulators. For example, most brick-and-mortar gaming locations will not take wagers from an individual who is obviously intoxicated, since they may not be able to impose self-control. They may also allow players to impose their own personal time limits on their gaming.
Other ways gaming providers can help encourage responsible gaming is by adhering to laws that mandate minimum ages for gambling or betting games. Most gaming providers are also limited in the ways in which they can advertise, since they cannot advertise to players who are not of legal age.
Resources For Responsible Gaming Information & Support
There are several reputable responsible gaming resources available that players can leverage. These can become vital support channels in cases where the individual has developed a gambling addiction. If you or someone you care about develops a gambling addiction, getting help immediately is crucial to stopping the compounding damage of theis activity. Excellent resources for responsible gaming include:
- National Council On Problem Gaming
- Gamblers Anonymous
- International Center For Responsible Gaming
- National Foundation For Credit Counseling
Everyone is different, and even with responsible gaming measures in place, bad habits and addiction can still take hold. This makes it everyone’s job to make sure there are ample ways to practice responsible gaming and access resources if your efforts should fail.
Enjoy Gaming Responsibly
Gaming can be incredibly fun and exhilarating, but it can also create a temptation that can lead some into financial trouble. Knowing the basics of responsible gaming is important because when the temptation to place one more bet or withdraw just a few more dollars from your ATM hits you, it can be a highly dangerous situation. Responsible gaming can help you keep your head above water and ensure that you can always game again.