Gambling has never been so accessible. Casino gaming, sports betting and bingo have all left the controlled environment of the high street and are now available online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Although gambling can be a fun experience with the chance to win some money, it can also be highly addictive and can soon get out of control, even if players don’t feel that way.
Before the regulation of gambling and the era of corporate responsibility within the industry, players who were addicted to gambling were key customers. After all, gambling providers knew that they would be back for more, even if they lost heavily. The picture today is much different however, with not only casino providers and third parties intervening to protect vulnerable players but governments also deciding which measures need to be taken to ensure customers with gambling addiction are not taken advantage of. Online gambling providers have come under scrutiny recently, with the questions raised around the function of the site’s self-banning systems and whether they were still offering services to gamblers who have self-imposed limitations. The industry watchdog is busy investigating the alleged breaches. One market leading online casino have made their policy crystal clear, their full rules and guidelines can be found on their site, stating their stance on self-exclusion and assisting people who have a gambling problem, there are a wide range of helpful features and advice such as self-set limits, self-exclusion, protecting minors, auto-play limits as well as preventing compulsive gambling, you can read all about it at 888casino Responsible Gaming.
Ultimately, it falls down to the casino operator to practice responsible gambling. In a physical casino, croupiers, front of house staff or even management must be vigilant of people they believe have a gambling addiction, offering support or even refusing to allow players to gamble. This is not just because the law on gambling in the UK dictates that they have to, but because casinos have realised that their image is extremely important to prospective customer. If the gaming environment is safe with a lower chance of addicts being taken advantage of, then the whole experience becomes a lot more enjoyable and customers will trust and return to the casino.
This responsibility becomes infinitely more difficult in the world of online gambling however. Doing anything online offers a certain level of anonymity and providers often have little to no foresight when it comes to recognising customers with a problem. What online providers can do however, is offer a selection of tools that help compulsive gamblers to limit or even stop their behaviour. Self-banning orders aren’t new in the casino world, but user accounts can be denied access if the player tries to deposit funds or log on to their preferred gambling website. If players feel that self-exclusion would be too big a step or would just result in them gambling elsewhere, then time controls and monetary limits are also options. This means that gamblers can get their fix, but the website will automatically cut them off if they either spend too long playing or end up spending a set amount of money in a single session.
There is plenty of help available to those that feel as though they have a gambling problem or would like to know more about compulsive gambling and addiction, there are many independent advice services that offer free help and advice to anyone who feels they need support. Organisations such as GamCare and Gamblers Anonymous offer hotline and web services with no commitment to meet anyone or sign up.