Casino Rider is an advocate for responsible gaming. When played responsibly and just for fun, playing casino is a legitimate activity that offers fun much the same way as other popular leisure activities do.
However, we are aware that gambling stops being a hobby for some people and becomes something more dangerous instead.
We encourage you to read this page for information on responsible gaming, how to spot signs of problem gambling, and where to seek support.
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Only gamble if:
- You are of legal age to gamble in your jurisdiction
- You are playing with money you can afford to lose
- You understand that casino games have an in-built house advantage that means you are more likely to lose than win
- You set yourself limits - time limits, loss limits, deposits limits etc
- You recognise signs of problem gambling
- You are gambling for entertainment purposes
- You have chosen to play and are not under pressure to play from someone else
Never gamble if:
- You are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- You are chasing previous losses or trying to recover a debt
- You are trying to win money to pay for something like rent or loan payments
- You view gambling as a profit-making opportunity
- You feel gambling is interfering with your day-to-day responsibilities
- Gambling is putting pressure on your personal or work relationships
- You feel depressed, angry or frustrated
- You are under the legal age for gambling in your jurisdiction
How to spot signs of problem gambling
Problem gambling can manifest in many ways. Below are some of the more common signs. If any of these feel familiar to you or someone you know, we encourage stopping gambling and seeking help from organisations listed further below on this page.
Thinking about gambling often
There is no problem with thinking about enjoying a few spins or a few hands now and again. But if you are thinking about gambling all the time, this could be a problem. Are you arranging your life around gambling? Constantly looking forward to the next time you are free to gamble? Prioritising gambling over other types of leisure activities?
Upping the stakes to get the same thrill
The urge to bet more often, place larger wagers and more risky bets to enjoy the same thrill as when you first started playing is a huge red flag. It's a sure sign you are developing an addiction and is the same issue people with alcohol, and substance abuse suffer from.
Struggling to stop gambling
It might be that you recognise you are playing too much, or friends and family have commented on your play, but you cannot stop yourself from playing. You cannot go on the internet or your device without just having a few spins or a few rounds. Even if you are only betting small amounts you can afford to lose, you probably still need help to control your urges.
Negative feelings when you don't play
Do you feel angry, frustrated, stressed, sad, anxious, or nervous if you haven't played for a while? These are warning signs that you are suffering withdrawal. Physical symptoms like fever, shaking, and panic attacks can occur in extreme cases if addicts can't gamble.
Gambling as a reward
If you are gambling to treat yourself, this could be an issue. Particularly if the reasons you are rewarding yourself are trivial. For example, you are rewarding yourself for finishing a day at work, helping with the chores at home, or celebrating your favourite football team winning. Don't start associating gambling with a reward in your mind.
One of the quickest ways to descend into gambling addiction is to play games to chase losses. Nearly every casino player will lose money in the long-term because of the casino's house edge. Trying to recoup losses by playing longer than usual or wagering more is very dangerous.
Masking the extent of your gambling
If you are a responsible player in control of your gambling, you should not be afraid to talk about it. If you are hiding the extent of your gambling, how much time you are playing, or how much you are losing from people you know, ask yourself, why? If secretly you are concerned or embarrassed about your gambling, it's time to stop playing.
Cutting back on other things to pay for gambling
Do you find yourself saving money you would normally spend on something else, so you have money to gamble with? Are you cutting back on household spending, other leisure activities, or are you preoccupied with your gambling bankroll?
Thinking about or committing a crime
In the worst cases, people turn to crime to try and get money to continue gambling or get themselves out of a financial problem caused by gambling. Have you ever thought about committing a crime in this way? Or have you ever committed a crime - no matter how small - because you saw it as a solution to a gambling-related issue.
Not all gamblers will experience problem gambling in the same way. Even if you consider yourself a responsible player, it may be worth doing this excellent self-assessment questionnaire from GamCare.
Where to get help
It's rare to find an online casino without responsible gaming tools. If you do, you should probably avoid playing there.
Casinos offer a range of tools to help you limit your gambling to a responsible level. Even if you are a responsible player, consider activating limits. Common tools are:
- Loss limits - determines the amount of money you can lose in a specific period
- Time limits - limit how long your playing session is
- Deposit limits - limit how much you can deposit
- Wager limits - limit how much you can wager
- Time alerts - get notified when you have been playing for a set period
- Player history - a comprehensive breakdown of your wins and losses
- Self-exclusion period - block yourself from playing for a set period
- Gambling block - permanently stop yourself from playing at a site
Organisations that help with problem gambling
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Gambling Help for Canadians
- Gambling Addiction – Canada Safety Council
- ProblemGambling Canada
- Cyber Patrol / NetNanny - blocks content unsuitable for children, including gambling sites.
- Gamban - blocks all gambling-related websites on your devices.
- Betfilter - blocks gambling sites and gambling ads on your devices.
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