Responsible Gaming

Online gambling and addiction

Gambling is a source of fun, and if done wisely, can even fetch you big sums of money. Every day, many new gamblers register themselves on thousands of online casinos in the hope of becoming rich overnight. While becoming wealthy is not a crime, players should remember that online gambling, if unchecked, can become an addiction. This can cause immense losses, both mental and monetary, to the gamblers and their families.

Meaning of Responsible Gambling

Many online casinos have instituted several measures pertaining to responsible gambling in order to make their sites safe and full of excitement. These measures comprise several rules, regulations, procedures and policies. Responsible Gambling measures are not just targeted toward the players; they concern the online casinos and their owners. Most of these measures are meant to deter gambling addiction. But how do players realize that they are getting addicted to gambling? You start borrowing heavy amounts of money from your friends for betting. As you keep losing your games, you keep asking them for even more money, and the cycle continues. Many gambling addicts even steal their family jewelry and sell it off to raise funds for betting. As your losses pile up, you become even more aggressive and spend many hours on your computer trying to notch up that elusive win.

- You avoid going to your office or attending to your business
- Gambling addiction can also lead to sleeplessness

Online casinos and gambling addiction

Apart from instituting policies, many online casinos stop themselves from appearing on the gambling addict's computer. This is how it works. On signing up, your online casino would ask you whether you would like to stop it from marketing itself while you are not playing. You can also shut out your casino after a few days, weeks or months if you think your addiction is getting out of hand. Responsible online casinos always honor their players' wishes and do not intrude into their timelines. In some countries, you can report those online casinos that violate your privacy to the authorities. Such gambling websites can lose their licenses. However, the starting point has to be the acceptance by the affected players that they are indeed addicted. Gambling addicts must also consult doctors to rid themselves of their problem.

Other ways of tackling gambling addiction

Many online casinos keep a strict watch on vulnerable players to stop gambling addiction. It has been seen that many low-earning or out of work people gamble away their savings. Casinos keep a lookout for these players and when they find out that these players are wagering too much money beyond their means, these casinos restrict these players' activity. By doing this, online casinos are actually fulfilling their social responsibility.

- Kenya is facing a major gambling problem.
- The ease of online gambling through smartphones is also adding to the problem of addiction. According to a survey, up to 54% of all Sub-Saharan youth have taken to sports gambling. This survey was conducted in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda.

How to change your gambling behavior?

There are other ways to control or change your gambling behavior. You can take time away from your gambling addiction by playing team sports such as basketball, football, volleyball, etc. If you are not a very sociable person, you can start going to the local gymnasium and sweat it out. This should distract you from compulsive gambling. Alternatively, you can pick up a hobby that satisfies your creative instincts. We aren't saying that online gambling is bad, but in the event that it does become addictive, there are ways to control your addiction. Spend time on other things like cleaning your house or going to the local market to buy some groceries for your family. You can go walking or running in the mornings to keep yourself fit. Join one or more social groups and make new friends. Try learning music to soothe your nerves.

Identify positive motivators

You can also identify some goals that can act as positive motivators. When you achieve those goals, you reward yourself in some way; the reward becomes your motivator. For example, you can promise to yourself that you would save X amount of money on gambling online. When you achieve your goal, you can buy a small present for yourself, or take your family out for dinner. There can be other positive motivators also.

Sticking to a bankroll

Another way to curb your online gambling addiction is to have a bankroll and stick to it. A bankroll is a budget. For example, you might have a budget of $40 for online gambling in a month. One way of looking at it is to set just 2% of this amount on betting per day. Once you hit the limit, you withdraw from your gambling and wait for the next day.

- Pull yourself back once you have hit a winning streak
- Remember, online gambling can never be a substitute for hard work

Other aspects of Responsible Gambling

Online casinos are all the time pushing the envelope for responsible gambling. For example, many European gambling sites keep a strict watch on money laundering and other illegal activities. People found to launder their ill-gotten money are reported to the police. Most of the casinos have a detailed list of what they do to your personal information and data security. No responsible casino sells off your information to marketers and other unauthorized people.

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