Pathological gambling addiction is a big problem for modern gamblers. Online casinos have become accessible, so there is a chance for every user to become a gambling addict: many players find it difficult to control themselves and their desires.
Therefore, providers (gambling developers) have teamed up with national governments and other organizations to come up with rules for responsible gaming. It gives players every opportunity to control their hobby. The responsible gaming initiative includes various restrictions, blockages, etc.
On this page you will find information on how to play responsibly. These may come in handy if you find yourself becoming addicted to gambling. These methods are broken down into categories:
- Responsible play from an online casino. Each virtual club has its own tools for control.
- Responsible play from countries. Some countries have created common databases to help block players from accessing licensed online casinos.
- Software to block access to any casino sites. Applications and other programs to globally restrict all gambling over the Internet.
- Other methods of responsible play. These are the principles that obligate casinos to operate fairly, protect players and will not break laws.
- Our own approach to playing responsibly. Our website has developed its own code of responsible gaming. It directly influences the reviews and ratings of the establishments.
Remember that these methods do not solve the problem on 100%. For addiction treatment you can get acquainted with ways to fight game addiction in a special article.
How are the principles of responsible casino gaming used?
All licensed online casinos are required to comply with the laws. Therefore, they give their players ways to control their game. These tools come in handy if you realize that you are experiencing gambling problems.
More often than not, each online casino has its own methods. That is, they only work in certain virtual clubs. This makes them ineffective. Players can block their account at one casino, but continue to play at another.
At the same time, there are some rules and tools of responsible gaming that are used in several projects at once. Such casinos are included in groups: if you can block your profile at once in all establishments.
Methods of responsible play, available to players
- Account replenishment limits.
- Limits on money lost.
- Wagering limits.
- Game time limits.
- Betting limits.
- Analysis of game statistics.
- Promotional mailings.
- Profile block.
- Casino brand groups.
Such a tool is suitable for those who want to stop playing at all for a while. Most virtual clubs have this option. After self-locking, you will not be able to connect to a certain casino site.
For how long can I block my account?
- 12 hours.
- 1 day.
- Seven days.
- 1 month.
- Six months.
Want to lock your account for a while? Go to the "Responsible Play" page on the online casino website. There you need to find the self-lock function, specify the duration and activate it. On the sites of the best casinos this principle is strictly observed: even after contacting support, you will not be able to play until the end of the set period.
Also, an honest casino will stop sending you advertisements and news while your account is blocked. Such mailings should stop, as they encourage players to bet again.
It should be noted that big clubs, which collect casinos, sports betting, etc., allow you to block individual sections. That is, you can block yourself slots and slot machines, but continue to bet on sports.
The game can be resumed after self-locking only after a certain break (it is called "cooling down period"). During this period, the player must decide whether to play further or not. Online casinos that allow you to start playing immediately after the activation of self-locking, violates its very principle. Such clubs can be called dishonest and unsafe. It is not worth playing in them.
Account replenishment limits
You can set a limit on the amount you can deposit on your account. This will help you better control your game and bets. For example, during a day or week you can make deposits only for 1000 rubles.
For how long can the limits be turned on? Depends on the online casino. Most often it is 1 day, 7 days or 1 month. Also may vary the way the timing. In some casinos the limit is valid from midnight to midnight (1 calendar day), and in another - 24 hours from any time.
Activation of the deposit limit is instantaneous. And to cancel it, you need to wait from 1 to 7 days. It depends on how this procedure works in each particular club. Keep in mind that in a good casino, cancelling or increasing the deposit limit should not be turned on instantly.
Limiting the amount of money you lose is another way to play responsibly. You can set a limit on the amount of money lost within a certain period of time. In this case, the limit will also apply to already made deposits from the moment it is turned on.
The validity periods are also similar to the deposit limit: 1 day, 1 week or 1 month.
The methods of calculating losses may vary. Bonuses are usually ignored, and the net loss limit is taken as a basis: that is, the difference between losses and winnings is counted. This way you can't bet after losing a certain amount.
This limit affects the amount of money you bet without taking into account losses or winnings. That is, if you set a limit of 1000 rubles, you can bet only on this amount. For example, 100 bets by 1 ruble. Or one for 1000 rubles.
The duration of this restriction is also a day, a week or a month.
Limiting the duration of the game session
This limit allows you to determine the time you spend in slots or other gambling games. While the limit is in effect, you will be able to enter your profile, withdraw money, etc., but you will not be able to bet or run games.
However, only some online casinos have this option. But it is a good tool to limit your time in gambling.
Limitation on the size of bets
Do you want to play, but want more control over your game? Then you can put a limit on the size of your bets. It's very simple: with it you won't be able to bet more than a certain amount.
However, it should be noted that in online casinos, slots and, for example, video poker can be considered different games. Therefore, it is worth adjusting the size of bets in each of the sections and types of games for this purpose.
Some players have a tendency to raise their bets after a few losses (so they hope to win back all the money they lost at once). If you're worried that you have the same habit, a betting limit will help you overcome it.
Analysis of game statistics
Connect notifications with game statistics. This method gives you an insight into how your sessions are going.
The content of such notices may vary from institution to institution. But they always do:
- Game start time.
- The amounts of winnings and losses since the beginning of the game.
Very often such notifications may contain "Continue playing", "Quit" buttons or history view buttons. However, such notifications are unlikely to help cope with gaming addiction. They only hint at the possibility of stopping. If you already have a gambling addiction, these messages will only cause a desire to get even.
Not to send promotional mailings
Such a tool does not affect the availability of games directly. But in many casinos with responsible gaming there is an option to unsubscribe from newsletters, promotional calls and messenger messages.
You can do this in your profile. Usually you can choose what to turn off (sms, email, calls). However, more often than not, players disable all of them at once.
Such a restriction is useful when dealing with an addiction. It allows you to remove any incentive to play. The fact is that addicted players even ordinary freespins or no deposit bonuses are dangerous: they win to the game.
A good way to stop gambling is to permanently block your profile. However, not all online casinos allow you to do so. Most often, the account can be unblocked after some time with the help of support service.
The method of temporary self-blocking works more effectively. It will be easier for you to decide to do this and you will get time to think about the problem.
Casino brand groups and responsible gaming
Previously, we have only talked about individual casinos. But it happens that the brands of virtual clubs are combined into groups. And in them there are common rules of responsible gaming. If you set limits on your account in one of them, the limits may apply in all at once. However, it depends on each specific group of online casinos.
It happens that a player blocks his account in one club, but for some reason he can play in other brands of the group. And only when trying to withdraw his winnings he finds out that his account is blocked and the winnings are cancelled.
There are a few simple rules:
- Casinos often operate in large groups.
- Restrictions and limits in one online casino can apply to all clubs in the group.
- Often players do not have the opportunity to get information about the composition of the group.
Before choosing an online casino or setting restrictions, try to study as much information as possible about the virtual club and its partners.
Principles of responsible gaming at the country and licensing authority level
Countries that allow gambling often incorporate responsible gaming principles into their laws. Most often, national lists of people who are prohibited from playing in any online and offline casinos are created. At the same time, the rules may differ from region to region.
Also licensing authorities (in Sweden, UK, Malta, etc.) have also implemented their regulations. In some countries this process is still underway. As a result, all casinos that are licensed by a certain organisation have to comply with the general principles of responsible gaming.
What systems have already been established in different countries?
- Gamstop (self-locking in the UK).
- Spelpaus (self-locking in Sweden)
- Malta's self-blocking program.
This is the national system in the UK. It enables players to block themselves at clubs that are licensed by the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission). The number of online casinos connected to this system is growing. And it is a must for all gambling clubs with a UK license.
However, only UK players can use Gamstop. They need to provide their name, postcode, date of birth and email to register for the program. After that, they can lock their account for 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. They will also receive promotional emails from the online casino (unless they turn it off before then).
Sweden has become one of the new countries for online casinos. After the relaxation of laws in the country, a national Spelpaus program was created. It works similarly to the English Gamstop, but offers improved protection.
Self-blocking through Spelaus will shut down your access not only to online but also to public offline casinos. And during the blocking period, you won't receive any promotional mailings. This is a great example, as there will be less temptation to start playing again.
Users from Sweden can enable self-locking for 1, 3 or 6 months. There is also an option to lock until notified.
H3: Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) self-blocking programme
MGA can be called one of the main licensing organizations for online casinos in the world. So far, the general self-locking program works only for regular casinos in Malta. However, in the future it is planned to introduce it in the likeness of Gamstop.
Important distinction: the Maltese program will allow players from all over the world to participate. This is a great idea, but it is difficult to execute. Because hundreds of online casinos will need to be connected to the program.
Programs and applications for global blocking of online casinos
There is special software that helps block intrusive ads and entire websites. The same principle is followed by software to restrict access to online casinos.
In fact, most of these programs use one of two ways:
- Domain blocking. Such tools create their own databases, in which online casino sites and operators are continuously entered. At the same time, the players retain access to the sites to help cheating addicts and addicted players.
- Filters by queries and words. These programs block content with certain words (for example, "gambling", "betting", "casino", etc.). The databases of such programs do not need to be updated. However, they may block sites that help gamblers or other useful sites that have occasional references to gambling.
Which programs are worth using? There are several good applications.
- BetBlocker. The program blocks online casinos at the domain level and works for free on any devices under Windiws, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android. There is also a parental control feature.
- Gamban. Gamban is also blocked at the domain level. Application is paid: from 13.99 USD per year for 1 device for all major OS.
- Net Nanny. The application blocks sites by keywords. There is a function of parental control. It costs from 39.99 USD per year for one device to 89.99 USD for ten devices.
IMPORTANT: it is better to block access to online casinos on all available devices. Otherwise there will be a temptation to play, for example, not on a PC, but on a tablet.
The advantageous difference of the program is that it is free. The application allows you to block very many sites with gambling. There are two modes of operation:
- Self-blocking. This is how you block yourself access to online casino sites. Once installed and enabled, you will not be able to connect to any portals from the application's database. You can set the blocking for a while or permanently.
- Parental control. This mode is suitable for parents who want to limit their children's access to online casino sites. You simply create a password that can enable and disable the blocking.
BetBlocker cannot block online casino and gambling ads. You will also be able to connect to sites that are not in its database. Periodically you will see content on gambling, but will not be able to connect to virtual clubs.
This app was developed for UK players, but everyone can use it. It blocks access to online casino sites from the cloud database. But it is a program with paid access. The cost is low (13.99 USD per year for 1 device), but it can increase if you install it on multiple devices.
The Net Nanny app was not developed to work with online casino sites. But it can be used that way. The program allows parents to control the content their children watch on their tablets, PCs or smartphones. Screen time management, internet filters and parental controls are available for users.
To block yourself from accessing online casinos through internet filters, have someone install one on your devices. You can then block access to gambling portals and other unwanted content.
The app has disadvantages. It only works with its own browser - this is the main disadvantage. Also, the program is paid - up to 89.99 USD per year (if used for 10 devices).
Other principles of responsible play
Responsible gambling is the holistic approach of all parties to the conduct of gambling. This is why the term includes several concepts:
- Protecting players with problems. This is the implementation of all the principles and requirements we have outlined in this material. Clubs are also obliged to provide support to addicted players, who must play with the highest level of safety.
- Child protection. Gambling is entertainment for adults only. The best online casino sites always verify the identity of their players, including age.
- Maintaining player privacy. Virtual ones collect a lot of information about their players. Therefore, responsible gaming obliges them to ensure the highest level of security and privacy.
- Payment protection and speed. Money transactions should be fast and stable. In the best online casinos, all applications are processed quickly and without delays, and players do not face any problems while doing so.
- Honest operation of an online casino for all players. Gambling sites must adhere to the code of fair play. It is not only setting RTP of slots and machines, payout guarantees, but also many other things. Honest gambling we discussed in details in a separate article.
- Ethical advertising. Online casino operators are required to follow ethical marketing rules. For example, not to show ads to children or addicted players. At the same time, advertisements and messages should not make implausible promises of earnings, big winnings, and much more.
- Combating fraud and money laundering. Account verification is a mandatory process in licensed casinos. It is aimed at determining the player's identity. In this way the institution also fights against various fraudsters.
- Maintaining player comfort. Every player should be satisfied with their gaming experience. Therefore, the casino must comply with all the items on this list. Moreover, customer satisfaction is in the interest of the institution itself.
Our view of the responsible game
Our portal deals with reviews of the best casino sites. Therefore, we necessarily take into account the principles of responsible gaming. Our users can play only in reliable and high-quality institutions. That is why in each review it is considered separately.
- Gambling can and should be fair and safe. How, exactly?
- Online casinos should treat their players correctly. They should abide by the rules of fair play, consistently withdraw winnings, offer fair bonuses, etc.
- Gambling should be safe. Online casinos should not allow underage players or try to cash in on addicted players. Such standards need to be met by all gambling sites.
- The right image of gambling. Slots, machines, and other entertainment are not a way to make money. It is important that the advertisements talk about them in this way.
On our website, the rating of online casinos takes this approach into account. Therefore, we can recommend only reliable and honest clubs. In them you will get the most comfortable conditions for the game.