Most online casinos prefer to skip this uneasy issue, and either have no Responsible gambling protocols at all, or offer a short list of relevant organizations for people with gambling addiction. However, there are quite a few nuances about Responsible gambling that every gambler has to keep in mind, when choosing a high quality online casino, because it is the casino that has to ensure safe gambling on their platform.
What is Responsible Gambling and Gambling Addiction?
Gambling is believed to be fun, but the reality is that gambling entertainment can become addictive to many people, regardless of the type of game, and whether the activity takes part online or offline. Gambling causes a specific effect on the human brain, exciting it with the idea of easy profit and the idea of luck, and people get addicted to that excitement, developing uncontrolled and compulsive behaviors when it comes to their gambling hobbies.
Gambling addiction is often seen as a personal weakness, but it has nothing to do with will power or strength of character; as any other addiction, the inclination to gambling addiction roots in the way the human brain reacts to this or that trigger. Some people get hooked on alcohol, others on TV series, others still get hooked on betting. The mechanism is similar, the triggers may differ.
Responsible Gambling is a set of recommendations and practices used to prevent and control gambling addiction. Responsible Gambling has two sides – from the player’s side, the player should follow common sense recommendations to avoid addiction; from the casinos’ side, the corresponding tools should be provided to customers to control their playing patterns.
One of the dangers of online gambling – compared to gambling at land based casinos – is that the addiction and compulsive behavior are easier to conceal. When the person visits offline betting houses often and spends lots of time there, it is easy to notice. Some land based casinos even ban compulsive gamblers from visiting, and inform the family.
The situation is different with online casinos that can be accessed from mobile devices anytime, anywhere, and do not demand much time or effort to enter for gambling. This is why online casinos must ensure the corresponding tools on their websites.
How Online Casinos Must Ensure Responsible Gambling
Most casino sites prefer to give a short warning that gambling can be addictive, and link to a couple of organizations dealing with such addictions. Some more decent websites offer a list of recommendations for their customers, a list of organizations to contact if needed, and a reality check test for the player to double-check whether their gambling habits are not harmful.
However, the best casino sites must offer the following tools, to prevent uncontrolled gambling behavior:
- deposit limit – only a certain sum may be deposited to the casino per day or per week, preventing the player from depositing over and over again
- bet/wager limit – maximum bet limit ensures the deposited money are used to make small bets for fun, rather than trying to make bank
- loss limit – this is an interesting limit that allows the player to play as long as the player wins. When a certain limited amount is lost, the player cannot make bets on this day or week. This limit prevents the player from “chasing losses” on unlucky days
- session limit – regardless of whether the customer loses or wins, the time of playing is limited and as soon as the limit per session is met, the customer is logged out automatically upon completing the last bet
It is recommended that these limits were available freely to the customers in their accounts, and could be managed without the need to contact the Customer Support every time.
Two other necessary tools are cooling-off period and self-exclusion measure. Cooling-off period may last from a week to several months, because different casinos offer different options. This measure is taken by the player when they feel their gambling becomes too compulsive, and they should make a break.
Self-exclusion measures are taken when the player feels it is better to stop gambling altogether, and wants their account to be blocked forever, without the ability to register a new account at the same casino.
These two measures are taken with the help of the Customer Support. Of course, the player can then go and register with a different casino site, but this is outside his previous casino responsibility.