However much fun playing games in online casinos is, it also must be said, that there is a risk of becoming addicted to them, especially to the slots. Most people play slots and other online games for entertainment, some though might enjoy the buzz of easy money, whilst others play to relieve stress, boredom or problems.
The colourful world filled with rich animations, vibrant sounds and endless tempting offers and bonuses is very attractive. There’s a kick of adrenaline that comes from raising the risk and challenge, competition or proving ourselves capable of making huge amount of money through online games.
Gambling starts to be considered problematic, when the player is:
all of these are signs of gambling addiction, otherwise knows as impulsive gambling.
Some recommendations to take into consideration before starting to play online for money are for example to never play when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, when depressed or stressed out; to remember, that gambling is a game of chance therefore not a way to make money and pay back debts; to never chase one’s losses. Once the gambling problem arises though, there are various sources to look for help.
Usually the countries’ governments introduce measures to protect their online players. The Responsible Gambling Council has created standards for its accreditation programme, the goal of which is to endorse the gaming companies in their responsible gaming. The internet gambling sites offer responsible gaming programmes to protect their players. Those might include setting a daily, weekly or monthly spend limit, which can not be removed by neither the player, nor the company itself; the player can request for their account to be temporarily suspended and it won’t be possible to reopen it until the agreed in advance time period ends; the online gaming companies are even be able to, if needed, block a player’s account.
The most important and difficult thing is to realise one needs help with gambling addiction. A good way to find out if your gambling pattern is a problem, is to take a Gambling Addiction Test, which can be easily found on internet. As with all addictions, it takes huge courage and strength to recognise the issue for what it is, acknowledge it and work on it.
There are ways for the players to deal with the addiction on their own, such as strengthening their support network; avoiding places or websites that are tempting; finding new hobbies to vent and relieve frustrated feelings in a constructive manner; seeking professional help for underlying anxieties and mood disorders. There are also local gambling addiction organisations, gambling hotlines and associations such as Gamblers Anonymous.
Contrary to what many might believe, it is not in casino sites’ best interest to create addictions and therefore clients with gambling problems; rather they look for long term customers with healthy playing habits, who turn out to be more loyal and therefore profitable clients in long run.
Already during the account opening process, the companies carry out thorough age and identity verification procedures. The objectives of these are, amongst others, to prevent that minors are involved in gambling; ensure that there are no multiple accounts open by the same person, which is usually done for bonus abuse purposes; to double check for possible players with fraud history, which might be symptomatic of gambling addiction; or even offensive behaviours towards the customer support members or other players.
Online casinos might run real-time monitoring of their players’ behaviours; they would be able to efficiently analyse their players’ patterns, like for example the betting and wagering history or using numerous credit cards or bank accounts. A trustworthy gaming site will be accredited by an independent gambling regulatory body and will be actively engaged in preventing and fighting gambling addiction. The specialised stuff members will proactively look for players with possibly problematic behaviours and offer support through previously mentioned means, like setting up betting limits or session times.