It's important that when you gamble, you keep yourself clued up too. That's why we're – following the UKGC campaign – promoting 9 ways to keep yourself safe when gambling.
1. Talk to someone when you feel it's getting too much
If you feel like your gambling is becoming out of control or too much, it's good to know that there are number of gambling support groups available. The signs of problem gambling can be found on Gambleaware and Gamcare websites. Not only that, but they also offer gnereal information on gambling, including how to gamble safely and where to get help if you're concerned about someone else's gambling.
2. Ask yourself why you're gambling
Your motivations to gamble should thought about carefully. For instance, are you gambling to tackle debt or as a means to make quick money? Gambling shouldn't be seen as the answer to bettering your personal finances. For concerns about money, you should speak to a financial advisor or – if you're at college or university, over the age of 18 – student support services.
3. Keep a log of how often you're gambling online
Casino sites must show you historic account activity. So you should be able to see when, how much and what you've been gamvling on over time. As a result, you can make better-informed choices about what to do next.
4. Note how much time you've spent gambling too
Reality checks like this can help you better manage your time. You can set alerts to pop up on the screen, whether that's online or on a gaming machine in a betting shop, appearing after a set period of time.
5. Limit how much you can actually spend
If you're concerned with the amount of money you're gambling, you can set a limit on how much you can spend online. You can also set a limit on the amount you spend on gaming machines in a betting shop.
6. Remember you can give yourself a time-out
During a time-out, you can block yourslef from gambling online for a specific period of time, of up to 6 weeks.
7. Need a longer break? Self-exclude from gambling firms for 6 months as a minimum
If you think you're spending too much time or money gambling online or at premises, you can ask to be self-excluded. This is when you ask the company to stop you from gambling with them for a period of time. Exclusions last for a minimum of six months.
Self-exclusion can be used as a method if you think you have a problem with gambling and want to stop. An online multi-operator self-exclusion scheme, known as GAMSTOP, has been available since April 2018. A large number of gambling websites (though not all) are participating. To read more abnout GAMSTOP and to register, you can visit their website.
8. Read the terms and conditions
Almost 80% of gamblers haven't read the terms and conditions on the slots sites they're gambling on. Taking the time to read the T&Cs will ensure you fully understand what you're gambling on, as well as the restrictions attached to promotions and casino bonus offers (such as a minimum spend level before a bonus can be paid). This helps you to make a more informed decision.
9. Be sure that the site you're gambling with is licensed
Making sure you're gambling with a UK Gambling Commission licensed business is paramount. It means that you'll be protected by gambling and consumer protection rules in the UK. Licensed gambling businesses must show that they are licensed and provide a link to the licence register. This register will tell you the types of activities the gambling site is allowed to offer as well as if they've had any regulatory action posited against them.
You can reach the Gambling Helpline for free on 0808 8020 133.