Responsible Gambling

I enjoy betting online and find it a great form of entertainment. I keep my stakes small and always keep an eye on my betting profit and loss. We all have days where we lose, and when I do I try to draw a line under that day and move on.

I’m usually quite selective and only back a selection I’ve researched and/or appear to be value based on the information I have to hand. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never had a bet to try and recoup a loss, but thankfully that’s quite rare. Don’t chase losses is possibly the biggest piece of advice I would give to any fellow gambler.

The bookmakers I reference on this blog are all fully regulated and licenced by the UK Gambling Commission. There’s a lot of regulation in the UK and this makes it arguably the safest juristiction to bet. Never use an unlicensed bookmaker and always look for the UKGC logo in the footer of any betting site you’re looking to register with. Clicking through this logo will give you the current status of their licence as well as details of any penalties they have been given.

When betting online I strongly recommend you use the responsible gambling tools offered. All betting sites I list will have at least deposit limits, a temporary betting exclusion facility or, if it becomes too much, a longer self exclusion option. I’ll go into those tools a little more:

Deposit Limits

Possibly the easiest to understand and a responsible gaming feature that everyone should use. Set a limit you’re comfortable with losing and the bookmaker will prevent you from depositing any more than what you set. Whether it’s a daily limit, weekly or monthly limit (or a combination) – apply a limit and frequency that suits you.

Loss Limits

Not to be confused with a deposit limit. A loss limit, which can also be set on a daily, weekly or monthly limit at most online betting site, is a limit on how much you can lose – not how much you can deposit. I guess it doesn’t make too much difference if you don’t withdraw, but I strongly advise you withdraw any big wins and set a deposit limit to avoid the temptation of continuing to bet.

Take a Break

All regulated UK bookmakers must offer a facility for you to take a short break from gambling. If you feel this will help you, you can choose from a Take a Break period of between 24hrs and 6 months. Once set, this cannot be cancelled. After the set duration ends, there’s a 24hr cooling off period before you can bet again. It’s a robust way of ensuring your temporary break is enforced.

Self Exclusion

If you need a longer break, or indeed to cease gambling altogether, Self Exclusion is for you. Set a period of between 6 months and 5 years (some online betting sites also have a permanent option) and as with Take a Break you will be prevented from betting. You can self-exclude either direct with all bookmakers I list (the ban will be across all sites using the same licence) but my strong recommendation if you think you have a problem is to use Gamstop. Gamstop is a central exclusion system for UK licenced bookmakers which will globally block your access. If you have a gambling problem, use Gamstop.

Other Resources

This is by no means an exhaustive list and I strongly advise you to check the responsible gaming pages of the betting sites you use. I’ve also listed some resources which may be helpful.

BeGambleAware.Org – A free site offering advice and support for gamblers who need it. 24/7 telephone line or live chat support.

Gamcare – A fantastic resource for anyone who wants to overcome problem gambling. A great option here is the group chat function where you can share your concerns with people who have been there.

BetBlocker – This free tool will block you from accessing online gaming sites from your PC or mobile device.