Responsible Gambling: Setting Limits and Staying in Control

Responsible gambling involves using gambling for enjoyment and recreation purposes. It becomes an issue when individuals rely on it as a primary source of income or bet more money than they can afford to lose. Engaging in responsible gambling ensures that the activity remains enjoyable and does not result in negative consequences.

Why is Responsible Gambling Important?

Gambling is a form of entertainment that can bring you fun, excitement, and satisfaction. However, it can also have some negative consequences if you don’t gamble responsibly. Responsible gambling is the practice of gambling in a way that minimises the harm and maximises the benefits of gambling. It means:

  • Gambling for fun, not for money or to escape from problems.

  • Gambling only with money that you can afford to lose, not with money that you need for other purposes.

  • Gambling only when you are in a good mood, not when you are angry, depressed, or stressed.

  • Gambling only for a limited amount of time, not for longer than you planned or until you lose all your money.

  • Gambling only within your limits, not beyond your skills or financial capacity.

  • Gambling only with a clear mind, not under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

  • Gambling only with a realistic expectation, not with a false hope or illusion.

By following these principles, you can enjoy gambling as a fun and rewarding hobby without risking your money, your health, or your life. That’s why we at BettingGuide encourage and support responsible gambling and promote healthy habits among our readers and customers.

Responsible gambling can help you:

  • Avoid losing more money than you can afford.

  • Avoid getting into debt or financial trouble because of gambling.

  • Avoid developing a gambling addiction or problem.

  • Avoid harming your physical and mental health because of gambling.

  • Avoid damaging your relationships and reputation because of gambling.

  • Avoid legal and social issues because of gambling.

Responsible gambling is not only good for you but also for the society and the industry. It can help:

  • Promote a positive and ethical image of gambling.

  • Protect the rights and interests of gamblers and operators.

  • Support the development and regulation of the gambling sector.

  • Contribute to the social and economic welfare of the community.

As you can see, responsible gambling is important for many reasons. It can make gambling more enjoyable, safer, and fairer for everyone involved. We want you to have fun and win big, but also to stay in control and gamble responsibly.

How To Set Betting Limits and Stay in Control

One of the most important aspects of responsible gambling is setting betting limits and sticking to them. Betting limits are the amount of money that you are willing to risk and lose on gambling. They can be daily, weekly, monthly, or per session. Setting betting limits can help you:

  • Manage your gambling budget and avoid overspending.

  • Keep track of your gambling behaviour and results.

  • Prevent gambling from affecting your other financial obligations and goals.

  • Reduce the stress and anxiety caused by gambling losses.

  • Enhance the enjoyment and satisfaction of gambling wins.

To set betting limits and stay in control, you can follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Assess your financial situation and goals.

    Before you start gambling, take a look at your income, expenses, savings, debts, and other financial commitments. How much money do you have left after paying for your essential needs and wants? How much money do you want to save or invest for your future? How much money are you comfortable losing without affecting your lifestyle or well-being?

  • Step 2: Decide on your betting limit and write it down.

    Based on your financial situation and goals, decide how much money you can afford to lose on gambling. This is your betting limit. It should be a realistic and reasonable amount that you can easily spare. Write it down on a piece of paper, a notebook, or a digital device. This will help you remember and stick to it.

  • Step 3: Divide your betting limit into smaller units.

    To make your betting limit more manageable and flexible, divide it into smaller units that suit your gambling preferences and habits. For example, if your monthly betting limit is $100, you can divide it into $25 per week. Assuming an average month has around 30 days, this works out to approximately $3.33 per day. If you plan to have, say, three betting sessions per day, you could allocate about $1.11 per session. This approach helps you control your spending and pace yourself effectively.

  • Step 4: Monitor your gambling activity and results.

    To keep track of your gambling activity and results, record every bet that you make and every win or loss that you have. You can use a spreadsheet, an app, or a diary to do this. This will help you see how much money you are spending and winning or losing on gambling. It will also help you identify any patterns or trends that may affect your gambling behaviour.

  • Step 5: Review your betting limit and adjust it if needed.

    To ensure that your betting limit is still suitable and effective for you, review it regularly and adjust it if needed. You can do this at the end of each week, month, or session. Compare your gambling activity and results with your betting limit and see if they match. If they don’t, you may need to lower or raise your betting limit accordingly.

What are the Common Responsible Gaming Tools?

Responsible gaming tools are especially important for online casinos, where players can access a variety of games anytime and anywhere, without the supervision of staff or peers.

One of the most reputable and trusted online gambling regulators in the world is the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The MGA is responsible for licensing and overseeing hundreds of online casinos that operate in various markets and jurisdictions. 

The MGA ensures that its licensees comply with high standards of fairness, security, and social responsibility. As part of its commitment to promoting responsible gaming, the MGA requires its licensees to offer a range of responsible gaming tools to their players.

These tools are also available if you are located in Ontario, but they differ slightly as the operators are regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (ACGO).

Some of the most common responsible gaming tools that you can find at MGA-licensed casinos are:

  • Deposit limit: This tool allows you to set a maximum amount of money that you can deposit into your casino account within a certain period of time (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly). This helps you to manage your gambling budget and avoid spending more than you can afford.

  • Loss limit: This tool allows you to set a maximum amount of money that you can lose from your casino account within a certain period of time (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly). This helps you to limit your losses and protect your winnings.

  • Wager limit: This tool allows you to set a maximum amount of money that you can wager on casino games within a certain period of time (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly). This helps you to control your gambling intensity and frequency.

  • Max bet limit: This tool allows you to set a maximum amount of money that you can bet on a single game or round. This helps you to avoid placing risky bets that can result in huge losses.

  • Time-out: This tool allows you to take a short break from gambling by temporarily blocking your access to your casino account for a certain period of time (e.g., 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days). This helps you to cool off and reflect on your gambling behaviour.

  • Reality check: This tool allows you to receive periodic reminders of how long you have been playing, how much you have wagered, and how much you have won or lost. This helps you to keep track of your gambling activity and make informed decisions.

  • Self-exclusion / self-lock: This tool allows you to exclude yourself from gambling by permanently or indefinitely blocking your access to your casino account. This is a drastic measure that should be used when you feel that you have a serious gambling problem and need professional help.

You can usually find these responsible gaming tools in your player account settings or by contacting the customer support of your casino. You should use these tools according to your personal needs and preferences, and review them regularly to make sure they are effective. You should also withdraw your winnings frequently to avoid leaving them in your casino account and being tempted to gamble them away.

What Are the Responsible Gambling Tools in Ontario?

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has set standards for responsible gambling that all registered operators must meet. These standards cover areas such as:

  • Player education and awareness
  • Prevention of underage gambling
  • Detection and prevention of problem gambling
  • Support for players and their families

The AGCO also conducts regular audits of operators to ensure that they are meeting responsible gambling standards.

Responsible gambling tools in Ontario include:

  • My PlaySmart Tools: My PlaySmart Tools is a suite of tools from OLG that can help players gamble responsibly. 
  • My PlayBreak: My PlayBreak is a voluntary self-exclusion program from OLG that allows players to temporarily stop gambling at OLG casinos, charitable gaming centres, and OLG.ca. Players can choose to be excluded for 3 or 6 months, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 years.
  • Connex Ontario: Connex Ontario offers free and confidential support and referral services for people who are struggling with gambling problems and their loved ones. Connex Ontario can be reached by phone (1-866-531-2600) or online chat.
  • Responsible Gambling Council (RGC): The RGC is a national organization that works to promote responsible gambling and prevent problem gambling. The RGC offers a variety of resources for players, including self-assessment tools, tips for gambling responsibly, and information about how to get help if you have a gambling problem.

If you are concerned about your gambling or the gambling of someone you know, please reach out to one of the resources listed above for support.

Online Self-Assessment Checks: Types and Tips

Do you love gambling? Do you enjoy the thrill of winning and the excitement of playing? Do you know when to stop and when to seek help? If you are not sure about your answers, then you might want to try a self-assessment check.

A self-assessment check is a tool that helps you to explore your gambling habits and patterns. It helps you to discover if you have a gambling problem or if you are at risk of developing one. It also helps you to learn about the signs and consequences of gambling addiction, as well as the steps and resources that you can use to overcome it.

You can find many different types of self-assessment checks online, depending on your needs and preferences. Some of the most popular and reliable ones are the gambling self-assessment tool from GamCare, the National Gambling Support Network across Great Britain, and the gambling self-assessment quiz from the Responsible Gambling Council.

Taking a self-assessment check online can be a helpful and convenient way to understand your gambling behaviour and seek help if needed. However, you should also remember that a self-assessment check is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment. You should always consult with a qualified mental health provider or a gambling counsellor if you have any concerns or questions about your gambling problem or recovery.

How To Recognize Signs of Problem Gambling and Seek Help if Needed

Problem gambling is when gambling becomes a compulsive behaviour that interferes with your personal, social, or professional life. It can have serious consequences for your physical, mental, emotional, and financial health. Problem gambling can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, background, or income level. To recognize signs of problem gambling and seek help if needed, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you spend more money or time on gambling than you can afford?

  • Do you lie or hide your gambling from others?

  • Do you borrow money or sell assets to gamble?

  • Do you neglect your responsibilities or relationships because of gambling?

  • Do you feel guilty, ashamed, or depressed because of gambling?

  • Do you have trouble sleeping, eating, or concentrating because of gambling?

  • Do you have suicidal thoughts or attempts because of gambling?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have a problem with gambling. Don’t worry: problem gambling is not a sign of weakness or a moral failure. It is a treatable condition that can be overcome with the right help and support.

There are many resources and organisations that can help you overcome your gambling addiction and regain control of your life. Some of them are:

Gamblers Anonymous Toronto: A fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other to solve their common problem of compulsive gambling. Most states in Canada have their own GA sites and contact information.

GamTalk: GamTalk is a Canadian online forum for people who are struggling with gambling problems. GamTalk provides a safe and supportive space for people to share their experiences, get advice, and offer support to others.

Gambling Therapy: A global online service that offers practical advice, emotional support, and self-help tools for problem gamblers and their loved ones.

Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CCSA): The CCSA is a national charity that works to promote mental health and reduce the harm caused by substance use and gambling. The CCSA offers a variety of resources for people who are struggling with problem gambling, including information, support groups, and treatment options.

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH): The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is Canada's largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world's leading research centres in its field. Located in Toronto, Ontario, CAMH is a public hospital that provides a wide range of clinical care services for patients with mental health and addiction issues.

24-Hour Problem Gambling Helpline: A 24-Hour Problem Gambling Helpline that offers 24/7, free and confidential support over phone. tel:(800) 463-1554

Responsible gambling is not only good for your wallet, but also for your health, happiness, and well-being. By following these tips and habits, you can enjoy gambling as a fun and rewarding hobby without risking your money or your life. Remember: gamble responsibly and stay in control.

If you are concerned about your gambling or the gambling of someone you know, please reach out to one of the resources listed above for support. You are not alone.