Responsible Gambling

Problem gambling

Problem gambling, also called gambling addiction or gambling disorder, is when gambling disrupts your life. It’s not just about financial problems, although those can be a big consequence.

Here are some signs of problem gambling:

  • Thinking about gambling all the time
  • Needing to bet more and more money to feel excited
  • Trying to win back losses by gambling more (chasing losses)
  • Feeling restless or irritable when you can’t gamble
  • Gambling to escape problems or relieve emotional distress
  • Lying to family or friends about how much you gamble
  • Jeopardizing relationships, work, or school opportunities because of gambling
  • Stealing or borrowing money to gamble

If you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, there are resources available to help. Here are a couple in the US:

  • National Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-800-522-4700
  • National Council on Problem Gambling: National Council on Problem Gambling:

You can also find resources for your area by searching online for “problem gambling help near me”.

What is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible gambling, also known as safer gambling, is a joint effort to make sure gambling stays entertainment, not a path to problems. It involves several parties:

  • The Gambler: This means gambling for fun, with set limits you can afford to lose.
  • The Gambling Industry: This includes casinos, websites, and other gambling establishments. They have a responsibility to provide information about risks and tools to help you gamble safely, like setting deposit or time limits.
  • Regulatory Bodies: These are government entities that set rules for the industry to ensure fair play and prevent problem gambling.

Here are some key aspects of responsible gambling:

  • Awareness: Educating people about the risks of gambling addiction and how to gamble safely.
  • Prevention: Encouraging responsible gambling practices and providing tools for self-exclusion if needed.
  • Minimizing Harm: Offering support for those struggling with problem gambling and their loved ones.

There are organizations like the Responsible Gambling Council that work to promote responsible gambling practices across the board.

Remember, gambling should be fun, not a burden. If you feel you might be at risk, there are resources available to help.

How to Gamble Responsibly

Gambling can be a fun leisure activity, but it’s important to gamble responsibly to avoid losing control. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:

Set Limits and Stick to Them:

  • Money Limits: Before you start, decide how much you can comfortably afford to lose. Only gamble with that amount, and never chase losses by betting more to win back what you’ve lost.
  • Time Limits: Gambling can warp your perception of time. Set a time limit for your gambling session and stick to it. Use a timer or an alarm if needed.

Mindset and Approach:

  • Think of it as Entertainment: View gambling as a fun activity, like going to a movie. Don’t expect to win money, and be prepared to lose what you budgeted.
  • Don’t Gamble Under the Influence: Alcohol and drugs can cloud your judgment and lead to risky bets.
  • Gamble for Fun, Not to Escape Problems: If you’re using gambling to cope with stress, anxiety, or boredom, there are healthier ways to manage those emotions.

Be Informed and Play Smart:

  • Learn the Odds: Every game has odds stacked in favor of the house. Understand the game you’re playing and the house edge before you start.
  • Avoid Borrowing or Using Credit: Only gamble with money you have available and can afford to lose. Don’t go into debt to fund your gambling.
  • Take Breaks: Step away from the game periodically. Get some fresh air, grab a drink, and give yourself time to cool down.

Additional Resources:

Many online gambling platforms and casinos offer tools to help you gamble responsibly. These might include setting deposit limits, time limits, or even self-exclusion options.

For additional help and information on responsible gambling, you can check out resources from organizations like:

  • National Council on Problem Gambling: [National Council on Problem Gambling problem gambling help ON]
  • GamCare: GamCare: (focuses on UK)
  • Responsible Gambling Council: [Responsible Gambling Council responsiblegambling org]

Remember, gambling responsibly is all about staying in control and keeping it fun. If you feel you might be at risk of developing a gambling problem, seek help from the resources mentioned above.

Do You Have a Gambling Problem? A Guide to Self-Assessment

Gambling can be a fun social activity, but it can also become a serious problem. Here’s a guide to help you assess your gambling habits and determine if you might need help.

Be honest with yourself as you answer these questions:

Impact on Daily Life:

  • Does gambling interfere with your work, studies, or relationships?
  • Have you lied to family or friends about how much you gamble?
  • Do you feel isolated or withdrawn due to gambling?
  • Have you neglected responsibilities (chores, bills) because of gambling?

Financial Impact:

  • Do you spend more money than you can afford to gamble?
  • Have you borrowed money to gamble, or used money meant for something else (bills, rent)?
  • Have you chased losses by gambling more to win back what you’ve lost?
  • Do you feel stressed or anxious about money due to gambling?

Emotional Impact:

  • Do you constantly think about gambling, even when you’re not doing it?
  • Do you feel a strong urge to gamble when stressed, bored, or anxious?
  • Do you get restless or irritable when you try to cut back on gambling?
  • Do you gamble to escape from problems or negative emotions?

Severity of the Problem:

  • Have you ever considered or attempted illegal activity to fund your gambling?
  • Has gambling caused significant problems in your life (financial, legal, personal)?
  • Have you ever tried to stop or cut back on gambling but failed?

If you answered yes to several of these questions, particularly the ones that show a negative impact on your life, you might be struggling with problem gambling.

Here are some resources that can help:

  • National Problem Gambling Helpline: 1-800-522-4700 (US)
  • National Council on Problem Gambling: [National Council on Problem Gambling problem gambling help ON]
  • GamCare: (focuses on UK)
  • Responsible Gambling Council: [Responsible Gambling Council responsiblegambling org]

Remember, you are not alone. Help is available, and there is no shame in reaching out.

Additional Tips:

  • Talking to a trusted friend, family member, or therapist can also be helpful.
  • Consider self-exclusion programs offered by gambling establishments or online platforms.
  • There are support groups available for people with gambling problems.

By being honest with yourself and seeking help if needed, you can take control of your gambling and prevent it from causing further harm.

Gambling Agencies by State

Responsible gambling initiatives in each state are managed by different agencies. However, for the most part, the gaming commission or its analog in each state has a hand in the state’s responsible gambling. If you need to find out your options, contact one of the agencies below.

StateAgencyPhone Number
AlabamaAlabama Tribal Gaming Commission(251) 368-1811
AlaskaAlaska Charitable Gaming Association(907) 561-4711
ArizonaArizona Department of Gaming(602) 771-4263
ArkansasArkansas Racing Commission(501) 682-1467
CaliforniaCalifornia Gambling Control Commission(916) 263-0700
ColoradoColorado Division of Gaming(303) 205-1300
ConnecticutConnecticut Gaming Division(860) 713-6100
DelawareDelaware Gaming Enforcement(302) 526-5850
FloridaFlorida Gaming Control Commission(850) 880-3433
GeorgiaCommercial Gambling Unit(404) 270-8491
HawaiiHawaiian Homes Commission(808) 620-9500
IdahoIdaho Lottery(208) 334-2600
IllinoisIllinois Gaming Board(217) 524-0226
IndianaIndiana Gaming Commission(317) 233-0046
IowaIowa Racing and Gaming Commission(515) 281-7352
KansasKansas Racing and Gaming Commission(785) 296-5800
Kansas (Tribal)Kansas State Gaming Agency(785) 368-6202
KentuckyKentucky Horse Racing Commission(859) 246-2040
LouisianaLouisiana Gaming Control Board(225) 925-1846
MaineMaine Gambling Control Unit(207) 626-3900
MarylandMaryland State Lottery & Gaming Control Agency(410) 260-6400
MassachusettsMassachusetts Gaming Commission(617) 979-8400
MichiganMichigan Gaming Control Board(313) 456-4100
MinnesotaMinnesota Gambling Control Board(651) 539-1900
MississippiMississippi Gaming Commission(601) 576-3800
MissouriMissouri Gaming Commission(573) 526-4080
MontanaMontana DOJ – Gambling Control Division(406) 444-1971
NebraskaNebraska Gaming Commission(402) 471-5729
NevadaNevada Gaming Control Board(702) 486-2000
New HampshireNew Hampshire Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority(603) 271-3391
New JerseyNew Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE)(609) 984-0909
New MexicoNew Mexico Gaming Control Board(505) 841-9700
New YorkNYS Gaming Commission(518) 388-3300
North CarolinaNC Education Lottery(877) 962-7529
North DakotaNorth Dakota Gaming Division(701) 328-2210
OhioOhio Casino Control Commission(614) 387-5858
OklahomaOSF Gaming Compliance Unit[email protected]
Oklahoma (Tribe)Choctaw Nation Gaming Commission(580) 924-8112
OregonOregon State Police(503) 378-6999
PennsylvaniaPennsylvania Gaming Control Board(717) 346-8300
Rhode IslandRhode Island Lottery(401) 463-6500
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Education Lottery(803) 737-2002
South DakotaSouth Dakota Commission on Gaming(605) 773-3311
TennesseeDepartment of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services(800) 889-9789 
TexasTexas Lottery Commission(512) 344-5000
VermontVermont Office of the Attorney General(802) 828-3171
VirginiaVirginia Lottery(804) 692-7000
WashingtonWashington State Gambling Commission(360) 486-3440
West VirginiaWest Virginia Lottery(304) 558-0500
WisconsinWisconsin Division of Gaming(608) 270-2555
WyomingWyoming Gaming Commission(307) 265-4015

Can You Stop Playing When You Want?

This is a crucial question to ask yourself about your gambling habits. Responsible gambling means being in control and stopping whenever you choose. If you find it difficult to walk away when you’re losing, or even when you’re winning, it’s a sign you might need to re-evaluate your approach.

Whom Do I Contact If I’m Worried About My Gambling?

There are many resources available to help if you’re concerned about your gambling habits. Here are a few key contacts:

  • National Problem Gambling Helpline: This helpline offers free and confidential support 24/7. Call 1-800-522-4700 (US) to speak with a trained counsellor.
  • National Council on Problem Gambling: This website ([National Council on Problem Gambling problem gambling help ON]) provides information and resources for individuals and families struggling with gambling addiction.
  • GamCare: For those located in the UK, GamCare ([]) offers information, support, and treatment services for problem gamblers.

What Is Self-Exclusion?

Self-exclusion is a program offered by many casinos and online gambling platforms that allows you to restrict yourself from gambling for a set period. This can be a helpful tool for those struggling to control their gambling urges.

What Role Do Casinos Play in Responsible Gambling?

Casinos have a responsibility to promote responsible gambling practices. This includes:

  • Providing information about the risks of gambling addiction.
  • Offering tools for self-exclusion.
  • Training staff to identify and assist patrons who might be struggling.
  • Advertising responsibly and not targeting vulnerable populations.

Resources for Problem Gambling Statistics

If you’re looking for data on problem gambling, here are a couple of reputable sources:

  • National Council on Problem Gambling: Their website often includes statistics and research findings on problem gambling prevalence and trends.
  • Responsible Gambling Council: The Responsible Gambling Council website ([Responsible Gambling Council responsiblegambling org]) might offer data and resources on responsible gambling practices.

No Time to Waste to Get Help

Remember, gambling addiction is a treatable condition. If you’re worried about your gambling habits, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The sooner you seek support, the easier it will be to regain control.