How to Responsibly Play Online Casino Games

Val Gillette by Val Gillette Reading time: 14min

Imagine responsible gambling policies didn't exist? If that was the case, gambling would create far too many victims in the industry. The concept behind responsible gambling combines all the requirements and standards to which players must comply to ensure protection from all the potential negative consequences of online gambling, especially addiction. Multiple institutions exist in the online space and are solely responsible to ensure online casino games remain a healthy and fun activity for everyone involved. With that in mind, let's take an in-depth look at what responsible gaming is, where you can get help when gambling becomes problematic, international organisations that regulate the market, how you can gamble responsibly in 2024 and more.

What is Responsible Gaming?

The responsible gambling policy consists of a set of strict measures that aim to protect the well-being and health of players and their finances. This ensures that gambling doesn't become a harmful or compulsive behaviour. These strict measures are particularly important since the inception of online betting as the internet provides the perfect environment to attract the most vulnerable into a seemingly endless spiral that is a challenge to escape. With online gaming, players can easily lose track of time and pile up financial debt as online casinos make it effortless to install their software on your computer or your handheld device.

Thankfully, there are loads of solutions online that will effectively combat this scourge. For instance, with responsible gambling policies, you have the freedom and flexibility to set your own spending limits on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You'll also find valuable tools to help manage your time and money while raising awareness about the importance of recognizing and managing problematic gambling. There's also several structures in place that provide helpful information to avoid problem gambling as well as useful tools to help you play responsibly. Now that you have a better understanding of what responsible gambling is, let's take a look at where you can get help for problematic gambling as a Canadian player.

Where Can I Get Help for Problematic Gambling?

To successfully assist gambling enthusiasts to bet responsibly, there are multiple organisations that have emerged across the globe. These independent establishments largely require gaming sites to adhere to certain principles that aim to protect players against addition. For those who already have a gambling addiction, these independent organisations are the perfect destinations for tips and advice as well as follow-up in certain cases. Below, you'll find some helpful resources across the internet, depending on where you are situated.

Betting Support Resources for Canadian Players

Online gambling in Canada has always been somewhat of a grey area as players can choose to play at offshore gambling sites or provincial-run online casinos that are regulated by the government. Nevertheless, players in the Great White North can face the same temptations and additions regardless of where they decide to play online. Fortunately, the following institutions can help to fight the problem:

  1. Aidejeu: This organisation in Canada is dedicated to promoting responsible gambling and offers loads of resources for players who are in danger of developing a gambling addiction, including their loved ones. When you visit the website, you will find helpful tips to better control your gaming sessions along with valuable information about the different types of gambling. The service known as TeleCounseling is extremely useful as well as the multiple toll-free numbers and links for emergencies.
  2. Responsible Gaming: For more than 3 decades, this international institution has worked incredibly hard to implement protective measures for players in Canada. The organisation also offers assistance and approvals for online operators. Spearheaded by the Responsible Gambling Council (CJR), the organisation strives to ensure that all players experience a safe and secure environment while gambling online. When you visit the website, you'll find that young adults can obtain enriched resources to promote good habits.
  3. Canada Safety Council: The website is filled with an extensive list of emergency numbers that you can contact when you or a loved one is having problems with gambling addiction. This obviously depends on the province of origin. Players will also find a helpful list identifying problematic behaviours in you or those who are close to you. The institution works closely with the government, online gaming establishments and players to help curb the problem.

International Organizations Regulating the Market

Apart from the organisations we provided above for specific countries, there are also world-renowned institutions that fight against the abuses of online gambling on a global scale. Some of these institutions even play the regulator role in the gaming sector. This means that their stamp of approval will indicate whether online casinos respect the rules of good practices and fairness.

  • BeGambleAware :

    Most online casinos and Canadian sports betting sites bear this responsible gaming organisation logo. Regulated by the Charities Commission for Wales and England, BeGambleAware assists players to solve their addiction problem. The institution offers useful information to help make educated decisions about betting habits. You are more than welcome to contact the agents of the organisation 24 hours a day and 7 days a week via telephone or you can visit the website for more information.

  • Gamblers Anonymous :

    Established in 1957, Gamblers Anonymous is an international institution for players with gambling problems. Addicted gamblers meet regularly to discuss their experiences and to help each other to solve their problems created by excessive gambling. If you have a problem with compulsive gambling and wish to stop, you can get in touch with the association to solve your problems. Founded by Jim Willis, Gamblers Anonymous provides loads of solutions to prevent and fight gambling addictions.

  • GamCare :

    Established in 1997 by Paul Bellringer, GamCare is an independent UK charity organisation that strives to raise awareness and help those that have been affected by problem gambling in Great Britain. Apart from assisting players with fighting gambling addiction, it also ensures that operators comply with responsible gaming policies and standards. If you or someone you love is suffering from problem gambling, you can get in touch with the association by dialling 0808 8020 133 or you can send a WhatsApp message to 020 3031 8881. You can even get in touch with support on live chat via Facebook Messenger. For more details, make sure to visit the website.

  • Gam Anon :

    If you are concerned about how gambling is affecting your life or someone you love, or you or someone close to you is struggling financially because of your gambling habits, Gam-Anon is here to help. This is an institution that specialises in issues surrounding gambling addiction and provides helpful techniques to save players from this problem. The website provides a contact form where you can get in touch with a representative or you can reach them directly via email at [email protected] or via telephone. All the details are available on their website.

All these resources are incredibly useful as they assist players in fighting gambling addictions. It's easy to say that you must learn to play responsibly so that it doesn't turn into an addiction. However, excessive gambling is an extremely difficult pathology to cure, especially when it's been going on for years. It's for this very reason why we encourage all our readers to browse through our guide before playing online. Below, we included some helpful ways you can gamble responsibly in 2024.

How to Gamble Responsibly

Responsible gambling means that you have a healthy gaming practice that doesn't harm your life or your finances. The great news is that most online casinos we recommend to our readers come equipped with built-in tools, allowing you to set various limits for yourself. Apart from the built-in tools, we also included additional tips and strategies to help you gamble responsibly online.

  1. Gambling should be a source of entertainment, not a source of income: While some can make a career out of gambling, most players will fail to live off the income generated by gambling. There are only a handful of professional players, so you should never consider gambling as a way to get rich. It should solely be a fun and entertaining activity.
  2. Never bet beyond your means: Before you place a bet, make sure to determine how much money you can afford to lose. You should never bet with money that are meant for rent, food, bills or other necessities.
  3. Don't chase losses: Striving to recoup of your losses can cause you to act irrationally and you are bound to lose even more while doing so. Know when to quit. You can always come back in better shape on another day.
  4. Take regular breaks: If you lose several rounds while playing blackjack, roulette or poker, it's time to walk away. This will give you time to evaluate what went wrong and how you can change your playstyle before you return with a clear mind. You can easily lose perspective if you continuously play, so taking breaks are crucial.
  5. Don't gamble while intoxicated: Alcohol and gambling will never go hand-in-hand as it negatively impacts your judgement and can impair your ability to make reasonable decisions. It's vital that you only play while sober!
  6. Avoid gambling when you are upset, angry or depressed: When you are depressed, angry or upset, you will never be focused enough to make clear decisions. Avoid playing on emotion and never force things.
  7. Bet knowingly: Before placing a bet on a sporting event, you should know how the sport is played, the two teams playing against each other, weather conditions, injuries and where the event is taking place to make an informed decision. The same goes for casino games. Whether you are playing slots or table games, you need to understand everything about the game before placing any bets.
  8. Don't let it interfere with your daily responsibilities: You should never skip a day of work to gamble. Gambling shouldn't interfere with your relationships or family time either. When you do decide to play, you should put your responsibilities aside to provide all your concentration to what you are doing.
  9. Gambling shouldn't be your only hobby or interest: Rather than just gambling, you can balance it with other activities and hobbies, such as going out, trying new restaurants, learning a new sport, etc.
  10. Keep track of your money and time: While gambling, you should have betting trackers or notepads handy to track your time and the amount of money you spend on a game. This will help you to play moderately and avoid bad betting habits.
  11. Never borrow money to gamble: Some players make the mistake of borrowing money from friends or family members to gamble while promising to pay them back with interest. However, this will only work if you win and the chances of that happening is not always guaranteed. Therefore, we recommend that you never borrow money even if you get into serious debt. Gambling will only make it worse.
  12. Ask for help if you believe you have a gambling problem: Apart from talking to friends or family members, there are loads of phenomenal resources that you can use to solve a gambling problem. Always remember that asking for help is completely normal and the most important thing is to get out of a bad situation. Make sure to visit the organisations in this guide for additional information.

How to Identify Bad Gambling Habits

It's easier than you think for a casino player to slip into a gambling addiction without them even realising it. This is because the symptoms involved are not easily identifiable. In most cases, a player will only realise a problem when it's serious. Some players with an addiction might even hide their symptoms from those they love, but there are several signs that cannot be concealed. With our experience in this area, we provided a list of signs that will indicate whether a person has a gambling problem.

  • Plays longer than expected
  • Tried in vain to stop
  • Often thinks and talks about playing
  • Feels irritated or restless when trying to quit
  • Plays to escape loneliness, boredom, problems or worries
  • Their reputation has been affected by gambling
  • Reluctant to use money for normal expenses
  • Lies to conceal the extent of gambling habits
  • Borrowed money to avoid gambling debt
  • Gambled to earn money to pay bills
  • Broke the law or is considering it to finance gambling activities
  • Gambled with savings or income that were supposed to be used for other purposes
  • Jeopardised or lost an important career opportunity or relationship due to gambling

How to Know When You Are Developing a Gambling Addiction

As previously mentioned, most players with a gambling addiction tend to hide symptoms to avoid treatment. If you believe someone close to you has a gambling problem, we urge you to seek help immediately. The signs we included below may indicate whether someone close to you is suffering from a gambling addiction.

  • Play more than expected
  • Tends to hide game money, betting slips or other evidence of gambling
  • Feels guilty for playing
  • Tried unsuccessfully to stop playing
  • Unexplained cash advances or loans
  • Unusual increase in credit card activity
  • Cash, jewellery and/or valuable are missing
  • Assets and savings suddenly decrease
  • Letters or calls from debt collectors
  • Asks family and friends for money
  • Invoices are unpaid or late
  • New desire to control household finances
  • Finances and money spending are kept a secret

How to Effectively Deal with a Gambling Addiction

Once you've realised that you have a problem with gambling, you've taken the first step towards stopping. You obviously need tremendous courage and strength to admit it, especially if you strained or broken relationships and lost a lot of money along the way. It's also crucial that you don't try to solve the problem on your own. There are loads of people who have found themselves in your situation and have successfully kicked the habit to rebuild their lives. So there is no reason why you can't do this for yourself.

You need to learn how to relieve unpleasant feelings in healthier ways. If you used to gamble when you were lonely or bored, it might be a great idea to think of other activities and hobbies to fill the time. You might gamble to soothe your negative emotions after a heated argument with your partner. You need to understand that there are more effective and healthier ways to manage your emotions. For instance, you can do physical exercises, spend more time with friends and family, go for walks, learn a new sport or educate yourself with interesting documentaries. There are loads of ways to stop gambling and improve your way of life.

  1. Create a support network: It's extremely difficult to fight an addiction without support. Therefore, it's important to reach out to family and friends. If you have a limited support network, we suggest making new friends without visiting a land-based or online casino. For instance, your co-workers can be an asset. You can also join a book club or gym to change your mindset. You can also enrol in courses to acquire new skills or volunteer to help the needy.
  2. Join a support group: Inspired by Alcoholics Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous has a 12-step recovery program to help you fight addiction. A key part of the program is to find a sponsor. This is usually a former gambler who has loads of experience to stay free from addiction and who can offer you with invaluable support and advice.
  3. Seek help for mood disorders: Anxiety, stress or depression can all trigger gambling problems and can even worsen the situation with excessive gambling. Even if gambling is no longer part of your daily life, it's important to deal with your emotions to avoid falling into the same bad habits.

How to Stop Gambling for Good

With easy access to the internet, an addicted gambler has a very complicated recovery process in 2024. Sports betting sites and online casinos are open around the clock and can be accessed on desktop computers and mobile devices. Therefore, if you developed a gambling addiction and managed to find a way out, relapse is always around the corner. Lots of people wonder if there's a permanent cure for their addictions in the world we live in today. The short answer is yes. However, you will need to surround yourself with people, avoid temptations and stay away from gambling websites. One of the best ways to quit gambling for good is to remove all elements of gambling in your life and replace them with healthier alternatives. Below are four elements of gambling that you'll need to use for other purposes.

  1. Decision: To gamble, you must decide to play. If you feel the urge to gamble, stop what you are doing and call someone immediately. Force yourself to stop thinking about gambling, think about the consequences of your actions and find something else to do.
  2. Money: You cannot gamble without money. Ask your bank to make automatic payments, let someone else manage your money, get rid of your debit/credit cards, close your online betting accounts and only keep a limited amount of money on you.
  3. Time: You cannot gamble without time. Instead of making time to gamble, rather use your precious time for other recreational activities that have nothing to do with gambling. You could read a book, play a new sport, meet friends and family in undiscovered locations or use your time to learn a new hobby.
  4. Game: This concerns players who play games in physical establishments. Without visiting a land-based venue, you won't have the opportunity to play a game. Don't place yourself in tempting situations and inform operators of these establishments that you have a gambling addiction. You can also request that you shouldn't be allowed on the premises. If you gamble online, you can easily remove apps and ask online operators to block your accounts.

Gambling Alternatives

While it's difficult to completely stop gambling, it's even more problematic to maintain it. If you don't fill the void with healthier alternatives, you are bound to end up in the same situation. Therefore, we provided a list of examples in the table below that you can incorporate to keep your mind away from gambling altogether.

Reason You Play Example of Alternatives Get a shot of adrenaline to be excited Exciting hobby or sport, such as go-karting, rock climbing or mountain biking. Isoltation and Shyness Making new friends, volunteering, connecting with family, joining a social group, enrolling in a public speaking class or counselling. Unpleasant feelings or problems Give therapy a try or use a free emotional intelligence toolkit. Boredom and loneliness Discover something you are passionate about, such as books, sports, music, art or travelling. Find other like minded people with the same interests. Stressful day To relieve stress, all you need is 15 minutes of daily exercise. You can also try messages, yoga, meditation or deep breathing. Money problems Seek the assistance of a debt counsellor to settle your debts. Gambling should never be the way to solve your money problems.

In Summary

Responsible gambling is a policy that has been implemented to assist gamblers in avoiding falling victim to addiction. This is a disease that's very difficult to cure. To gamble responsibly, it's important to understand that gambling is not a source of income but purely a form of entertainment. It doesn't matter what technique you use or the game you play, the house will always have the edge in the long run. Before you start playing, always set yourself limits, respect them and know when to stop.

If all else fails and you do have an addiction, you can still recover if you manage to adopt healthy behaviours. This will include finding healthier alternatives to gambling, seeking help and removing all elements that lead to gambling. You will find assistance from organisations in the industry that are scattered across the globe. If you have a passion for gambling and don't want to become a victim of addiction, we recommend that you only play on our recommended sites as all of them comply with the responsible gambling policy.