The role of responsible gambling features at online casinos
At Casino Alpha, we only recommend casinos with strict responsible gaming policies to protect the safety and security of UK players. Responsible gambling features are important as they prevent gaming abuse issues that can lead to problem gambling. We will unpack what those features are and the reasons behind them, and hopefully help players discover and stop potential gambling addiction.
Table of Contents
- What is responsible gambling?
- Responsible gambling features
- KYC verification
- Deposit limits
- Time out periods (setting time limits)
- Voluntary self-exclusion
- Self-assessment tests
- Resources for problem gambling
- Best online casinos for responsible gambling
What is responsible gambling?
Responsible gambling is a measure that ensures safe and sensible gaming for players. It is important because, while the vast majority of people gamble for entertainment, there’s a small number of players who may struggle with problem gambling (or gambling addiction) which can lead to financial losses and emotional distress.
Online casinos and auditors, like Gamstop, Gamblock and Gamecare, have features in place to avoid problem gambling or to prevent minors from accessing gambling sites. However, they’re also several tips that may help you to game safely before it becomes a serious issue. These include:
- Setting a budget before you game (and sticking to it)
- Limiting the amount of time you spend gambling
- Taking regular breaks between games
- Never bet more than you can afford to lose
- Avoiding chasing your losses
- Never gambling under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Monitoring your behaviour for signs of problem gambling
- Seeking help if you have issues with gambling
Responsible gambling features
To ensure the safety of its players, online casinos usually use several tools and features as part of their responsible gambling policy to avoid cases of gambling addiction. These range from stringent KYC verification processes and deposit limits to time outs, self-exclusion, self-assessment tests and helpful resources should you recognise issues with gambling.
Most online casinos enforce a strict KYC process. This involves submitting documents to verify your identity and age. You’ll also be asked to provide proof of payment methods that match your identity. Some casinos will require this before you can withdraw your winnings, while some may ask for it before you’re allowed to start gaming for real money.
Not only does this help to prevent cases of fraud (unauthorised individuals seeking to withdraw your funds), but it prevents cases of underage gambling. To game at online casinos, you are typically required to be over the age of 18 in the UK. This is important as younger people may be more prone to influence, reckless spending and the dangers of problem gambling.
Many online casinos have strict deposit limits. This is the maximum amount you’re allowed to send to the casino in a given transaction but could also be capped per day, week, month or by the amount (over a specified period). Most online casinos offer deposit options that range between £10 and all the way up to £10,000, or even unlimited.
Deposit limits ensure that you don’t spend more than is reasonable per transaction. While it may be tempting to make larger deposits, it’s best to set a budget when gambling so you don’t spend more than you can afford. This reduces the risk of financial burden, limits gameplay and the possibility of problem gambling.
Time out periods (setting time limits)
Often referred to as ‘reality checks’, most casinos offer the option of time limits or time out periods. This could apply to a specific gaming session (e.g. time spent playing a game of poker before you should fold) or to the entire duration of time you spend gambling online. ‘Reality checks’ set up alerts that allow you to decide if you want to continue playing but can actively log you out based on the severity of your request
If you feel like you’re spending too much time gambling online, setting time limits will allow you to reduce extended session durations. Perhaps you want to spend only one hour per day gambling, but it can be tempting to want to keep going. Setting a time limit will prompt (or force) you to stop playing to prevent gambling from taking up too much of your time and resulting in potential losses.
Players have the option to voluntarily self-exclude from an online casino for a specified amount of time. This means that your account will be temporarily locked, and you will not be able to access the casino site. If you’ve been suspected of malicious activity or abuse (including extreme problem gambling), you may be blocked permanently.
Even if you recognise the signs of problem gambling, it may still be tempting to log in and game (even for fun). Temporary or permanent self-exclusion restricts you in such a way that it’s impossible to access the online casino and get involved in any activities that could cause or aggravate gambling addiction.
Many online casinos offer self-assessment tests for problem gambling. Common questions include:
- Is your job/work affected by gambling?
- Have you loaned money to pay for gambling?
- Do you use gambling as a means of income?
- Do you gamble for longer than you’d like?
- Have you gambled until you’ve run out of money?
If you answer “yes” to a certain number of questions, you may have a problem. A self-assessment test is designed to help you determine whether or not you have an issue with problem gambling or even gambling addiction. If this is the case, it’s important to enlist the features above, seek help or stop gaming altogether.
Resources for problem gambling
As part of a quality, responsible gambling policy, online casinos usually provide useful resources to assist you. Auditors, like Gamstop and GameCare, offer free, confidential counselling for people affected by gambling problems and advice for families of problem gamblers. Aside from that, UK legislations impose strict laws by which casinos must abide by.
Moreover, specialized sites include Gamblers Anonymous and BeGambleAware.
If your gaming is becoming a problem, you may need external help to address your issue (or that of a loved one). Don’t forget that gambling can be a real addiction and, like any other, may require helpful advice and therapy to overcome it. While there is a lot of shame attached to this, dedicated organisations are trained to deal with it in an effective and empathetic manner.
Best online casinos for responsible gambling
At Casino Alpha, we’re committed to responsible gambling. You can find three online casinos below that take a strong stance against abuse issues and problem gambling.
Betfred Casino protects players with various tools and resources to help manage their betting activities. These include setting deposit limits, session time reminders and time-outs. They also provide comprehensive self-assessment tests and the ability to exclude yourself from participating in any form of online gambling.
Founded back in 1998, 888 Casino is a trusted online casino. It features strict deposit limits, maximum betting limits, cooling-off periods and self-exclusion options. It boasts a variety of gaming alerts, such as time reminders and spending trackers. They also provide players with access to responsible gambling resources, such as GamCare and BeGambleAware.
Along with the tools mentioned above, Casumo Casino prides itself on its high-quality customer support. Players can find understanding staff members via 24/7 channels who are trained in the risks associated with problem gambling. They can advise players and point them to various useful resources to seek help for problem gambling.