Sitting down to play our favourite online slot and bingo games can be fun and a great way to unwind, however, there are times when responsible gambling takes a back seat and it becomes all about winning. It is really important that if you start to notice potentially unhealthy patterns of behaviour that you get help to ensure that you do not start developing an addiction.
There are a number of ways that online gaming companies can help you if you think things are getting out of control as well as some effective actions you can take yourself.
Set the Limits
When you sign up for an account you can specify the limit to which you will play up to and after that, the casino or bingo site will no longer process payments. There is also usually a three card maximum rule that won’t allow you to add more cards to the account, nor can you register anyone else’s.
It is vital to keep track of your finances to ensure that you are staying within your budget and to stop you from over-spending.
It can be so easy to lose track of the time when playing, particularly when you have had a lucky streak, however, taking regular breaks is healthy and just getting up and leaving the computer or mobile device to do something else can really help give you a reality check and let you get on with other more important things.
Set a game-play goal for yourself that you will get up and do something else after 1 hour. Set an alarm that will alert you when your time is up and stick to it. You can also commit to only playing with a set amount, for example, £10. Once you have deposited this and used it then it’s time to move on.
It is not difficult to become emotionally invested in the game and have a competitive mindset but these unhealthy behaviours can quickly escalate into an addiction so it is important to recognise these signs early on.
Know where to go
At the bottom of most online gambling establishments are lists of places sites you can visit to get help if you are starting to feel that things are getting out of control. GamCare is an invaluable tool and can give you advice on limiting your exposure to these sites using blocking software and can give you additional support through their dedicated helpline.
The gaming establishment themselves will also have a committed section that will offer advice and encourage you to take regular breaks so that you can continue to have fun playing but realise that you have to do so in a responsible way.