One of the problems when it comes to dealing with gambling addiction is just how hard it is to spot in ourselves and others – this is compounded by the fact that many players are in denial about the negative effects their gambling may be having on their lives. To get a better idea of where you fall on the spectrum from mild to major, you can take an online self-help test in a few minutes to discover the truth (or at least reveal any potential issues before they become serious). Several high-profile online casinos offer these tests within their responsible gaming sections, but there are also some well-respected third-parties that may provide the impartiality you’re looking for. Then, once you have the results and you want to do something about it, read on…
It’s very easy to lose track of time when playing slots, table games, and other forms of casino entertainment – in fact, Las Vegas casinos are notorious for removing all clocks and windows so that players cannot easily gauge how many hours have gone by. Online, however, you can set up reality checks. These pop-up notifications will remind you how long you have been playing and often provide you with a message asking if you need to take a break. You can usually set your preferred time frame, from 30 minutes to two hours or even more sometimes.
Another tool employed by lots of online casinos is the session limit. Once enabled from within the responsible gaming settings, a session limit will kick you off once your chosen timeframe has elapsed, or else can be configured to only allow you to log in once or twice per day. This is a great way to ensure that you aren’t wasting your life away by playing for hours a day.
Some players are more concerned about the money they are spending on gambling. Therefore, if you feel like you need to set some limits before you start playing (rather than trying to reason with yourself in the heat of the moment), you can set up your account so that you can only deposit a certain predefined amount per day, week, or month. As soon as you reach your limit, the site in question will refuse to accept any other deposits until the blocked period expires.
Another important tool for those who don’t know when to stop is the loss limit. This one is largely self-explanatory, but it essentially kicks you out if your losses over a predefined period exceed whatever limit you decide to put in place. In this way, you can still gamble to your heart’s content but you won’t be able to go chasing after losses or take too much of a hit each week or month.
If you are really struggling to cope and the abovementioned tools aren’t doing much to stop you from playing or spending to excess, then you can choose to block your own access to particular iGaming sites. This can be temporary or permanent, so the choice is yours. But if the temptation isn’t there because you can’t log in anymore, it may be the turning point in improving your life.
The first method of blocking your own access to an online casino or sports betting site is to self-exclude. This can be set within your casino account settings or by contacting the customer support team who can advise you on how to do this or manually block your access for a given period of time. Typical timeframes for self-exclusion range from 24 hours (known as a cooling-off period) up to anything from a week, a month, to several months or years – though it largely depends on your country and the policies of the online casino site in question. Once in place, however, you will be logged out and not be able to log back in until the time is up.
If you want a more technological solution that doesn’t entirely rely on the gambling site, there are some third-party tools such as Betfilter or Gamban, to name but two of many, that will prevent you from accessing any gambling sites. This is especially useful for those players who may be tempted to sign up elsewhere if they get tired of waiting for another self-exclusion period to end. Some of these tools work on both desktop computers and mobile devices, so there’s no way to circumvent the blocks during a moment of weakness.
We have several articles on GoodLuckMate dedicated to responsible gaming topics and have included lists of help organizations that can help in times of need. This can be for yourself or for someone you know to be experiencing problems with gambling. Getting professional and often completely free help from trained counselors, financial advisors, and mental health experts can be the first step in the road to recovery. Do not delay if you are feeling overwhelmed!
There are plenty of options for limiting your account access, from the ones you set up to give yourself a much-needed break from time to time, to more rigid technological solutions that can keep you from temptation at critical moments in your life. We hope that this article has helped you and we would be remiss not to mention once again that help is there if you need it!