Responsible Gambling - Preventing Problem Gambling

Gambling should be a fun way to spend time, and we all hope to come out on top. But it's no secret that some folks get in over their heads. 

People become problem gamblers a number of different ways. For example, it could follow a big win or a string of losses. Some problem gamblers are very obvious, whereas some hide their problems even from those closes to them.

Below you'll find information about identifying problem gambling traits and also resources for helping problem gamblers.

What is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible gambling is an effort of casinos, game providers, and legal authorities to ensure personal safety and well being of all who choose to gamble.

Responsible gambling is ultimately the responsibility of the adult gambler. However, casinos are also responsible for not allowing anyone who has self-excluded to gamble with them.

In order to judge whether you might have a gambling addiction, answer these questions:

  • Do you spend more money gambling than you budgeted?
  • Does your gambling cause hardship (financial, emotional, or otherwise) for you or your household?
  • Do you lie about the amount of time or money you spend gambling?
  • Does your gambling harm your ability to function at work or school?
  • Do you have a hard time quitting losing (i.e., do you "chase losses")?
  • Do you need to make larger and larger bets to feel satisfied when gambling?
  • Do you play longer than you intend?
  • Have you unsuccessfully tried to quit gambling?
  • Are you concerned that you might have a gambling problem?

Take the Gambler's Anonymous questionnaire here

Helping someone with a Gambling Addiction

If the questions above made you think of a friend, then he or she may have a gambling addiction. You might ask them the same questions to help them identify their problem. 

Gambling addiction is a complex issue that professionals have been trained to help with. If you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, contact one of the programs below. 

Signs of Problem Gamblers

These are some warning signs you'll see in problem gamblers:

  • Borrowing money
  • Chasing losses
  • Increasing bets for a thrill
  • Obsession with gambling
  • Poor performance at work or school due to gambling
  • Lying about gambling
  • Selling belongings to fund gambling

Legal age for gambling and Protecting Minors

The legal age for gambling in New Jersey is 21. This is the same in all states where online gambling is legal.

Online casinos require the last 4 digits of your social security number to confirm your identity. This is in part to make sure that the person is of legal age to 

As studies have shown that problem gambling is especially a problem for underage players, parents are advised to monitor the websites and apps their children can use. Popular programs are Net Nanny, CyberSitter, and CyberPatrol.

Responsible Gambling Tools

Legal online casinos do a great job of giving you many ways to control your gambling. These include:

  • Deposit Limit
  • Loss Limit Limit
  • Session Limit
  • Time Out
  • Wagering Limit
  • Transaction History
  • Self Exclusion

Let's look at these individually. 

Deposit Limit

You can control the amount you're allowed to deposit. Exact limits depend on the casino, but you may control a daily, weekly, or monthly amount. 

Loss Limit

Once you lose a certain amount, you can have a casino cut you off. This is a great way keep yourself from chasing losses, which is a primary characteristic of problem gambling. 

Session Limit

Time can slip away from you. That's why setting up a time limit to your sessions is a good idea. It's also a way to make sure you're playing your best game and not making dumb (and expensive) mistakes.

If you're recognizing you need a break from gambling, you can also take a self-imposed time out. You can keep your account and the funds you have in it, but just give yourself a little pause.

Taking a time out is a great idea from time to time. Even the pros do it to let them rethink their approach to the game. 

Wagering Limit

Set a limit on the amount you're allowed to bet. This is especially good to go against seeking thrills by bigger and bigger bets. 

Transaction History

Feel like you're up all the time? The numbers may show differently. Be sure to check your transaction history to see how much you're putting in versus what you're taking out. A dose of reality can help you identify bad tendencies before they become harmful habits.   

Self Exclusion

Self-exclusion is a good option for problem gamblers who want some outside help. When you register to self-exclude, you are added to a list of people that casinos are not allowed to allow in. 

In New Jersey, you can sign up for self-exclusion here: https://www.nj.gov/oag/ge/selfexclusion.html.

Self-Assessment

Some online casinos also offer self-assessment questions. Examples include:

Have you gambled with money you couldn’t afford to lose?

Do you often chase your losses?

Do you feel more stressed or anxious as a result of gambling?

Do you feel guilty during or after gambling?

You will get your results instantly and can take the next step using the resources listed below.

Time Alert

You can set a timer to alert you when you've been playing for some length of time. For example, you can receive a notification after you've been playing for 20 minutes. Then you'll see a notification on your screen.

Time alerts do not pause your playing. They just let you know that the amount of time you've specified has been reached.

Example: Virgin Online Casino's Advice for Gambling

  • Always establish limits for depositing, wagering, and losses before you start playing.
  • Decide beforehand on a time limit for your playing session and stick to it. Within that period ensure that you take regular breaks from playing.
  • Never gamble if it interferes with your daily responsibilities.
  • Never gamble if you are in recovery for any dependency or are under the influence of alcohol or any other substance.
  • Never gamble if your primary aim is to recover losses, and remember, bet with your head not over it.

 

Organizations

There are a number of great organizations to help you identify problem gambling in yourself or others. They also have professional counselors and information about support groups. 

Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey

This is a great resource for questions you might have about problem gambling. They have great resources and videos. 

  • https://800gambler.org/
  • phone: 1-800-GAMBLER (426-2537)

National Council on Problem Gambling

This is a reliable organization for problem gambling across the U.S. It's a good resource if you want to help someone living in another state. 

  • https://www.ncpgambling.org/
  • phone: 1-800-522-4700

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous meetings are found around the country. The site has good resources and also hosts a Gamblers Anonymous group.

  • New Jersey Hotline Number: 855-2CALLGA (855-222-5542)
  • Southern New Jersey Hotline Number: 855-2 CALL-GA (855-222-5542)
  • http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga/

       


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All players must be 21 years or older to gamble online. Gambling is supposed to be fun, not dangerous. If you feel that yourself or someone around you has a gambling problem, seek help and guidance immediately. Call 1-800-GAMBLER for immediate help or visit www.ncpgambling.org.