Gambling, like anything, can be addictive and cause problems if abused. When you play games of chance, there's always a possibility of losing cash and it's very important that we know when to say enough is enough and only bet what we can afford to lose. To prevent yourself from developing an unhealthy relationship with gambling and potentially betting beyond your means, you should follow the principles of Responsible Gambling that we've featured below.
What is Responsible Gambling?
The online betting industry is a big universe filled with bookmakers and betting sites. While some treat players irresponsibly and couldn't care less about their gambling habits, we're happy to say that most licensed bookmakers do try to help their players gamble responsibly.
To help players keep their gambling experiences fun and avoid any negative ‘side effects’ the concept of ‘Responsible Gaming’ was created to act as a code for betting operators to follow.
As mentioned above, most online bookmakers honour the principles of responsible gaming as it’s in their interest to have healthy, and therefore returning players.
From the players' perspective, Responsible Gaming provides a ‘code of conduct’ for them to follow, which we've summarised below.
Responsible Gaming Tips
Keep your gaming experiences fun and problem-free by following the guidelines below:
- Set limits for the time and the money you can spend gambling and stick to them.
- Don't take losses personally and don't chase them to equalise your bankroll - or you may just lose more.
- Never borrow money for gambling.
- Only play with money you can afford to lose;
- Never let gaming interfere with commitments or relationships;
- Don’t gamble while inebriated or when emotionally unstable.
Signs and Symptoms of Problem Gambling
Gambling addiction is known officially as a compulsive disorder (compulsive gambling) but shares similarities with other physical forms of addiction such as substance abuse. At its worst, it can lead to serious financial, social and personal issues that severely damage your quality of life. Catching problem gambling early and taking action, on the other hand, can prevent any serious problems from developing.
The signs of problematic gaming can be:
- You are consistently preoccupied with gambling and are always thinking about your next opportunity to gamble;
- You are losing more and more cash to betting but aren't slowing your gambling down;
- You are neglecting your work, family and friends in order to gamble;
- You have borrowed or stolen cash to gamble
- Your habits and commitments have changed and your relationships are deteriorating
- Your mood is changing and you're finding yourself becoming moody, depressed, erratic and angry,
Suffering from gambling addiction is nothing to be ashamed of and is very common.
bookmakers and gambling games are designed to be exciting and to hook players in, so it's up to you to put yourself first and choose when to say "enough is enough".
Luckily for us Canadians, there are lots of resources and help at hand for those who develop gambling problems as you can see by checking out our list of helpline below:
More Tips to Help You Stay in Control
Accepting you have a problem is always the hard, but essential, first step on the road to self-improvement and self-control.
After you've accepted you have a gambling problem it'll take some time away from the gambling sector to heal and to allow this issue to fade.
In the meantime, here are some practical tips to help you stay in control:
- Ask a trusted loved one to handle your money for an agreed amount of time or seek help in creating a budget plan.
- Limit the amount of time you spend online. Find a new hobby that you will enjoy to keep you busy and distracted.
- Reward yourself for “gambling free” periods by spending the money you saved on something for you or your family and friends.
- If limiting your gambling isn't working, stop. Go cold turkey and seek help from friends, family and gambling addiction support services to keep you away from ALL forms of gambling.
- To cut off access to gaming, wagering or gambling facilities on the internet, visit gamblock.com, which will help you do so.
Self-Help and Gambling Quizzes
One of the best ways to work out if your relationship with gambling is healthy and issue-free or otherwise is to take the online quiz offered by the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) located in Toronto.
By anonymously answering the quiz's 9 simple questions, you can get a good idea if you should seek support or gambling addiction or not.
Here's a sneak preview of what these questions are, just so there are no surprises:
- Have you bet more than you could really afford to lose?
- Have you needed to gamble with larger amounts of money to get the same feeling of excitement?
- Have you gone back another day to try to win back the money you lost?
- Have you borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble?
- Have you felt that you might have a problem with gambling?
- Have you felt people criticized your betting or told you that you had a gambling problem, regardless of whether or not you thought it was true?
- Have you felt guilty about the way you gamble, or what happens when you gamble?
- Has your gambling caused you any health problems, including a feeling of stress or anxiety?
- Has your gambling caused any financial problems for you or your household?
To answer the questions, you pick your response from pre-written answers on a slider under the questions. These answers are (from the left): Never, Sometimes, Most of the time, Almost Always and Don't Know.
After you complete the quiz you'll receive a ranking that shows whether you're likely to have an issue with gambling.
To take the CAMH gambling quiz click this link.
Problem Gambling Helplines in Canada
Here at bettingpro we're proud of our Canadian roots, and nothing makes us prouder than seeing how much help and support is out there for our fellow Canadians who are struggling with problem gambling.
All the phone lines below are confidential and available 24/7. You can also click on the links below to find even more helpful information.
Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission Helpline
Manitoba Gambling Helpline
New Brunswick Problem Gamblers Hotline
Newfoundland and Labrador Helpline
Nova Scotia Toll-Free Gambling Helpline
Ontario Problem Gambling Helpline
Québec – Gambling Help and Referral
(514) 527-0140 Montreal and surrounding areas
1-800-461-0140 and 1-866-767-5389 throughout the province
Saskatchewan Problem Gambling Helpline