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For most people, gambling online is what it should be – a fun way to spend their leisure time. However, for a small minority, gambling online can be a problem.
The vast majority of our online customers will never experience a problem. However, playing responsibly is not confined to those who either have a gambling problem or are the most at risk of developing one. It is the best approach for everyone.
The UK licensed websites that we recommend help by providing the functionality to:
- Set reality checks – providing prompts and time-outs to help you manage the amount of time you play online.
- Set deposit limits – You can set limits that can be set for periods of time ranging from daily to monthly, and can be decreased, increased and removed entirely.
- View the history of gambling activity – To enable you to keep track of your activity, you will be able to access the history of your transactions, deposits, and withdrawals.
- Take A Break – You can set a break period anything from 24 hours to 6 weeks
- Self-Exclude – You have the ability to self-exclude and stop gambling altogether. Self-exclusion can be applied for anything from six months to five years
- Autoplay controls – Autoplay is no longer available at licensed UK casinos. This helps you to stay in control of your budget.
How will I know if I have a problem?
A good way to gauge whether your gambling is no longer fun, and may be getting out of control, is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you gamble alone on your computer for long periods, perhaps staying away from work or other activities to do so?
- Have you needed to increase your gambling stake more and more to get the excitement you are looking for?
- Do you suffer mood swings, irritability and agitation when you are not gambling?
- Do you think that you gamble to escape other issues or problems in your life?
- Have you ever claimed to be winning from gambling when, in fact, you are losing?
- Have you tried, in the past, to reduce either the time or money that you spend gambling and been unsuccessful?
- Have you ever been tempted to commit an act of dishonesty to finance your gambling?
- Have you ever gone back online to gamble, on another day, to win back your losses?
- Have you ever hidden your gambling from people who are important to you in your life?
- Have you borrowed money, from any source, that you have been unable to pay back because of your gambling or are you otherwise in debt as a result of gambling?
- Have you ever sold any possessions to obtain money to gamble or pay gambling debts?
- Do you find yourself breaking promises, to family and friends, so that you can gamble instead?
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, then you may need to take control of your gambling, using the information below.
You can also take the confidential ‘Worried about your gambling’ quiz on the BeGambleaware website and try out their Gambling Calculator to give you an indication whether your gambling is becoming a problem.
What should I do if I think I have a problem?
The first step in taking back control is to be completely honest with yourself and accept that there is a problem, but that you have the will to confront it. Having done so, you have taken the biggest step to address the issue.
It may be that simply standing back and realising that you have been displaying some of the above behaviours is enough to make you adjust your approach and allow you to resume control. Alternatively, you may feel you need help, advice and support.
Never be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help
Practical steps to help you stay in control:
- Ask someone you trust to handle your money for an agreed amount of time (for example, three months) or otherwise seek their assistance in setting a budget plan.
- Limit the level of your deposits or expenditure or the time you spend online. Our recommended gaming web sites provide tools to allow you to impose your own limits on expenditure.
- Reward yourself for “gambling free” periods by spending the money you saved on something for yourself or your family.
- If all else fails – stop gambling. Self-exclude yourself from all the websites on which you normally bet or play. If you believe exclusion is the best option for you, it is advisable to take an appropriate break from ALL forms of gambling.
- If you want to prevent access to other gaming, wagering or gambling facilities on the internet, visit gamblock.com, which will help you do so.
- Use a calendar to mark each day that you don’t gamble, so that you can see the progress you are making.
Independent help services
If you need further detailed advice, or more specific help and counselling, please contact one of the following independent help services.
GamCare is the leading provider of free information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling in the UK. Their services are confidential and non-judgemental.
You can call them free on 0808-8020 133 every day from 8 am to midnight. They offer live chat where you can chat with an adviser for confidential advice, information and emotional support. There is also a group chat where you can speak to other people in a similar situation and talk about your experiences and find support.
The GamCare Forum is an online message board and it’s available 24/7. It provides everyone with a safe and secure place to explore their situation.
You can take a quick and easy self-assessment test to find out, how safe your gambling is. You can find local treatment and learn about self-exclusion and the ways to manage your money.
Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem & help others to do the same.
Their site offers various help including a Forum, Chat Room, Literature and a meeting finder.
Meetings are the core of Gamblers Anonymous and there are meetings every day throughout the UK.
On BeGambleAware you’ll find advice and get access to free and confidential help both online and by phoning the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133.
They offer tips on how to stay in control and you can learn about how gambling works and check if you or someone close to you may have a gambling problem.
You can get help with budgeting and spending control through a money-management app, Squirrel, learn about self-exclusion and about the different apps that can help you with the self-exclusion. BeGambleAware also provides you with information about gambling blocking software, such as Gamban.
National Problem Gambling Clinic
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust is a large and diverse organisation, providing health care services for people with a wide range of physical and mental health needs. They are a leading provider of addiction treatment and recovery services based in London
You can find help for gambling addiction in their National Problem Gambling Clinic. The clinic provides treatment for problem gamblers living in England and Wales aged 16 and over. The clinic assesses and treats the needs of problem gamblers as well as their family members or carers.
Their service is led by a consultant psychiatrist and staffed by psychologists, family therapists and debt advisors. Most people who complete treatment overcome or significantly reduce their gambling problem.