Here at BingoSites, we take responsible gambling very seriously. This was introduced to the gambling industry by the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission), as a way of helping to reduce the amount of problem gambling cases in the UK.
It led to all online gambling sites that operated in the UK being required to have their own responsible gambling policy in place and the associated measures that came with this as a result.
Most bingo sites will very clearly display the ‘Responsible Gambling’ logo, as well as having information throughout the site, often on its own individual page, while you might find references to responsible gambling, such as ‘do not gamble more than you can afford to lose’ or something similar. This was all part of a major shakeup by the UKGC where all sites had to very clearly state the risks of gambling and every gambling operator that is regulated by the UKGC now has the ’BeGambleAware’ logo on their site.
Responsible Gambling measures that bingo sites have in place
As a way of helping to combat the risks of gambling, bingo sites that operate in UK jurisdiction are required to have a number of measures in place. Below are just some of the most important ones.
Know Your Customer
Also known as the KYC policy, this enables bingo sites to better qualify players at the registration stage. This involves the player providing as much information as possible about themselves, as well as in some cases what a player’s source of funds is, to prove that they have the means to gamble without getting into any difficulty. It also helps contribute towards fraud detection and prevents players from using someone else’s credit card which can be a major sign of a player having a gambling addiction.
All bingo sites must now offer players the chance to self-exclude themselves from playing on a particular site for six months. This means that the site will not be able to send the player any marketing material that might include promotional offers or details of new games.
Sites are also required to list details of resources that relate to organisations that help players who have a gambling problem. These are often found on a separate Responsible Gambling page and are easily accessible.
How to identify a gambling problem and what to do
There are a number of signs that can indicate a gambling problem either for yourself or someone that you know. If you (or someone you know) is gambling more than what can be considered ‘normal’, then this can be a sign, especially if you are thinking about it constantly.
Also if you notice a change in behaviour of someone that you know, such as being erratic or they are being defensive, anti-social, asking to borrow money constantly, this could also be a warning sign.
If this is the case, there are a number of steps that can be taken. If you notice these signs in yourself, then the first thing to do is cancel all of your gambling accounts to remove any kind of temptation. Another option is to talk to someone who you trust because this can be a great help, especially as it might help you to confront the problem and take the necessary steps.
Should you believe that someone you care about might have a gambling problem, you can sensitively broach the subject with them and be there as support. Ultimately, there are many organisations that specialise in helping people with gambling problems and this can be the most effective method.
Main responsible gambling organisations
There are a number of organisations that work closely with the UKGC and as a result, are able to provide expert help to those who have a gambling addiction. Below are just a few of the main ones that are available.
This is one of the main organisations for people with a gambling addiction in the UK and is a charity. If you are not sure whether you have a gambling addiction, their website provides you with the option to take a self-assessment, which is free, anonymous, and only takes a few minutes to fill out, which is also optimised for a mobile device.
The self-assessment is a series of 16 statements that relate to your gambling activity and you click a number from ‘1-10’ which relates to how true or false that particular statement is. Your results should give you an indicator as to whether you need to take any further steps or not. However, it is important, to be honest with yourself to get an accurate result.
Also on the site is a lot of information about Gamcare with different resources available, such as live chat with a specialist agent, plus a live text chatroom where you can talk to others who might be in a similar situation to yourself.
Funded by the charity Gamble Aware, this organisation works closely with the UKGC and is run by trained experts who can provide help and assistance to players who think they might have developed a serious gambling problem. They have a free 24/7 national helpline that puts you straight through to someone who can provide you with the necessary advice. In addition, you can find articles about dealing with a gambling problem as well as true stories of real people who have overcome being addicted to gambling.
This is a charity for the treatment of gambling addiction which is available for those who have a serious problem with gambling. As well as having a residential treatment centre, you can also reach out to discuss via text your gambling problem and decide whether this is something that may benefit you.
How to avoid becoming addicted to gambling
There are a number of steps that you can take so that you do not start to form a gambling addiction.
One of these might be setting yourself a deposit limit per week so that you remain disciplined – a way of doing this is by not gambling more than you can afford to lose. Also, do not see gambling as a means of making money, but instead, look at it as a way to unwind, which some people are able to do without developing a problem.
Another thing that you can do is simply limit yourself to a maximum amount of time per week. This could be playing no more than three bingo games in a seven day period for example. Also, opting out of marketing offers can help to reduce the chances of you forming a gambling addiction as well.