Responsible Gambling in the US
Gambling is fun, and you should enter it with such a mindset. However, it’s not always so rosy, and losing money can touch a nerve, leading to problematic behavior like chasing losses and spending more than one can afford.
This is where Responsible Gambling comes in. It is not a single item to define but an effort by independent organizations, state regulators, and online casinos. The aim is to reduce problem gambling by offering solutions to problematic players and tools to prevent problems from ever happening.
Do You Suspect a Gambling Problem?
These are common symptoms to look out for if you suspect a gambling problem or want to get familiar with the immediate signs of trouble.
- Trying to get back lost money (chasing losses)
- Lying to close ones about your gambling habits
- Risking relationships with closed ones because of gambling
- Gambling as an escape from issues
- Trying to reduce gambling without success
- Need to increase your gambling spending to achieve the same thrill
There are many ways of identifying a gambling problem. In fact, odds are that most people with a problem are feeling some of the negatives of gambling addiction or trying to surpass them. We recommend using the NPPG’s Screening Tool for anyone with a minor suspicion. It can serve as a good starting point to your path on getting help and treating gambling addiction.
Take Control and Limit Your Spending
US online casinos offer practical self-control tools to help you control your spending. There are also ways of excluding yourself from playing if you feel things are getting out of hand.
You can set a limit on your deposit amount on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
The best type of limit! Set your playing budget as a loss limit, and you can never spend more than you intend. There are two types of loss limits: “total loss” or “net loss” limits.
Set a limit on how much you can play. Once you’ve wagered past your limit, you can’t play anymore – win or lose.
Good to time your sessions. Set a limit for an hour or two and you’ll be automatically blocked after the session limit expires. These decisions are typically not reversible without a 24-hour cooldown period.
Typically, you can set limits daily, weekly, and monthly. Spending outside your means is virtually impossible if you use these tools. Reversing a limit takes at least 24 hours, meaning you can’t act on impulse and change limits on a whim.
The tools available at each US online casino can vary. Different state regulations will affect this, and you may find a difference in self-control tools in a New Jersey vs. a Pennsylvania online casino. Some casinos employ useful tools even without an obligation by state regulations as a form of goodwill to ensure satisfied customers.
Self-Exclusion & Cool-Off Period
Self-exclusion is an important self-control tool available at every US online casino.
You can self-exclude for a short, long, or permanent period. You can manually request self-exclusion at any online casino by talking to customer support.
If you feel you need a temporary break, that’s why cool-off periods exist. This is an additional tool to restrict yourself from playing for a shorter period.
- Minimum Cool-Off Period: 72 hours
- Maximum Cool-Off Period: 1 month
The Importance of Responsible Gambling Efforts
It’s estimated that approximately 1% of the US population has a severe problem with gambling, and up to 9% of young adults have experienced gambling problems. This means that millions of people are affected. Severe gambling addiction can lead to severe issues, such as domestic violence, coinciding with alcohol or drug abuse. This issue has paramount importance that can’t be ignored.
Responsible gambling is imposed by state regulators, like the NJDGE and online casinos.
These efforts address gambling problems with regulations, such as:
- Marketing Guidelines
- Security Checks (Credit Cards, SSN)
- Age Verification (ID card, passport, driver’s license)
- Proof of Income Checks
- Gambling Control Tools
- Help for Problem Gamblers
There are many instances where responsible gambling efforts can help. Depositing large amounts of money will instantly trigger a proof of income check. Online casinos must verify if you can afford what you spend or if you’re risking a lot more than you should. After all, entertainment should be your primary goal, and spending within your budget is crucial.
What We do For Responsible Gambling
We play our part in promoting Responsible Gambling. Our mission is to ensure you have the best possible online gambling experience. This goal of ours is reflected on every page written by our industry experts. It’s paramount for us that you are playing in a safe environment.
- We promote casinos with helpful and responsive customer support. You must have support from the casino staff as if they were physically next to you.
- We pay attention to the types of available self-help tools at a casino we’re promoting. We guide you to safe and cost-effective payment options. When reviewing casino games, we always highlight the game variants with the lowest house edge and player-friendly rules.
- We offer guidance in this page to the best gambling assistance organizations in your state. We offer advice to control your spending, and point you to self-help resources.
Get Help – Gambling Assistance Organizations in the US
The NCPG (National Council on Problem Gambling) is the head authority on gambling assistance in the United States. You can reach them through the following channels:
The NCPG websites assists you through support groups, self-help tools, advice, counseling and treatment directions.
Depending on your state of residence, you will find different venues of getting help. Most state-specific organizations are affiliated with the NCPG, so you’ll be in good hands.
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We urge you to take advantage of these agencies’ free, anonymous support if you have gambling issues.
For states without an individual responsible gambling authority, we recommend contacting the NCPG itself. We recommend them as your first choice on problem gambling matters, regardless of state.
Self Help Resources
In addition to resorting to the NCPG or your state’s problem gambling institution, global organizations and communities can help.
As their name implies, these are entirely anonymous websites and communities. You can seek help from gambling assistance experts, chat with different people, share experiences, and help each other.
Tips for Controlling Your Gambling
Ultimately, it’s up to you to control your habits. Regulations and guidelines can only do so much if you don’t use what’s available. Whether advice or tools, your impulses can get the best of you.
Here’s our best advice for staying in control when playing at online casinos.
Gamble for fun!
Gambling should be a fun activity. We can’t ignore the fact you can win money while doing so. However, understand that the odds are always stacked against you. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying adrenaline of playing at online casinos, the same as you would going on a rollercoaster, but avoid a “playing for profit” mindset.
Set a budget, stick to it!
As we said, gambling should be for entertainment. As you’d set aside a budget for going to the movies, or a restaurant, do the same for playing at an online casino. We strongly advise not to surpass your budget, because that’s one of the first signs of a gambling addiction problem.
Never chase losses
Going down the rabbit hole of chasing losses is a surefire sign of losing even more. When you chase losses in frustration, you’re more likely to make even worse decisions than before, just to get back what you lost. Once you’ve spent your budget, take a break – cool off, and play again when you feel good.
Take advantage of responsible gambling tools!
Most online casinos let you use self-control tools that will do the work for you. In the heat of the moment, it can be challenging to stop yourself from playing. However, if you set a deposit or loss limit before playing, then you’d have no choice but to stop once you’ve reached this limit.
The most crucial bit is recognizing the signs of bad gambling habits while they’re happening. Once you’ve done so, even a short break to cool you off can help immensely. It will clear your head and let you think more rationally again.
Final Words on Responsible Gambling
Responsible gambling has a completely different meaning today compared to when online gambling was a novelty. You have loads of tools to put total spending control. Gambling organizations keep searching new ways to protect players and provide a safe gambling environment.
Our efforts at UScasinos are not stopping either. Your quality experience is our number one priority. There is help for those who want it, and remember that self-exclusion is your best friend in a time of gambling crisis. Every casino is obligated by law to allow self-exclusion of any player, at any time, for as long as it takes.