Regulation & What It means
Now that the UK Gambling Commission have introduced a regulatory framework for remote gambling (online gambling) it measns that, if you are playing at a licenced operator (the vast majority of online casinos I have reviewed are UK licenced), then you have a built-in level of protection already. This involves being able to set deposit limits and use self-exclusion options which they are all obligated to provide.
However, I know from experience that this isn’t usually enough, not least because there are so many online casinos around now that it’s all to easy to just sign up at another. If you find yourself doing that, then you might well be on your way to developing a gambling problem that is likely to adversely affect you. Although, being blunt about it, gambling will adversely affect you anyway at some stage!
As someone who has an addictive personality and has to excercise self control, here’s my take on tackling addiction:
The first step in tackling a gambling problem is recognising the fact that you have a problem. Something that only you can do and it takes a lot of soul searching – and probably some serious analysis of your bank statements! But once you have decided you do need to do something, there are some decisions to be made. I’m not going to start suggesting you cut up your cards and restrict your bank accounts because this won’t work for most people. Setting limits is also only really a temporary measure and unless you go through every single betting site doing this, which is mostly impractical, if you do have an addictive personality you will still find a way.
Some people are controlled and measures like these will help but if they don’t, then there is only one answer: like it or not, stopping gambling is the only way out. But there are a couple of good organisations that can provide help and assistance, either remotely or in a face to face scenario if you can swallow your pride and admit it will improve your life and possibly that of those around you.
The obvious choice is Gamblers Anonymous who provide assistance in several countries, the UK and USA included. They encourage gamblers to share stories and empathise with fellow players and also provide the opportunity to meet up and discuss addiction and how to prevent it. It’s rarely easy, but for those that are over the first hurdle, it has a very good reputation for providing valuable help.
The second option is aimed more at those who perhaps don’t feel they are quite ready for Gamblers Anonymous. Gamble Aware focuses on recognising and tackling the problem from the comfort of home, although it does also provide mechanisms to seek help in a more open setting.
Both these sites are inextricably linked in their goal and are recognised ports of call by the Gambling Commission, a Government entity set up to protect online gamblers in a growing industry. The UK government also run the “UK Whitelist” which is a set of rules and regulations designed for online gambling operators to comply with in order to be licenced within the UK market.
My own advice to players who think they are the type that could encounter a problem, aside from the obvious and possibly futile “give up” call, is 3-fold. Ask a casino to set a deposit limit as soon as you sign up! All of the online casinos I have listed here at onlinecasinouk.com will do that for you if you ask. If you find you simply go to another casino, consider installing some software called GamBlock which will prevent you accessing all gambling-related sites (permanently!). If those don’t work, talk to a partner about it – it’s a fantastic first step to admitting a problem and you might be surprised at what it can do for you (and your relationship). If you can’t do that, visit one of the self-help websites I talk about above.