Responsible Gambling

Beth Turner

Beth Turner


Last updated on March 21, 2024 9:56 am

Online gambling at sportsbooks and casinos is a fun pastime that occasionally offers the chance to earn extra money. By practising responsible gambling, you can enjoy the benefits provided by these online gambling platforms continually with little impact on your daily life.

However, when responsible gambling falls by the wayside and circumstances arise, it becomes easy to fall into a pattern of problem gambling. If you find this happening to you and your gambling practices begin to impact your financial resources, time, and mental health, it is time to stop and get some help.

What is Problem Gambling?

Problem gambling refers to a persistent gambling behaviour or pattern that is problematic and leads to significant consequences, emotionally and financially.

Gambling problems may arise for several reasons. You may find it becomes a way for you to escape emotional stresses, or it offers a boost of serotonin when you’re feeling down, or gambling may become that thing you turn to in the hopes of overcoming a period of financial difficulty. When you begin to use gambling as anything other than a source of entertainment and fun, you have entered a state of problem gambling.

As with any addiction, problem gambling can develop over time until it becomes unmanageable. One of the best ways to prevent yourself from succumbing to gambling addiction is to know the signs of problem gambling so that you can get the necessary assistance or put measures in place before your gambling habits negatively impact your life.

How to Recognise Problem Gambling

Problem gambling presents itself in several ways, and each person’s experience may differ. However, there are several overarching indicators that may be suggestive of problem gambling.

Betting Beyond Your Means

A significant indicator of problem gambling is betting beyond your means. In an instance where your gambling goes beyond your budget, you find yourself appropriating funds from alternate sources to gamble with. This may include using funds from your savings, pension, food fund, backup credit cards, or a joint bank account, borrowing money from friends or family, or taking out a loan to fund your betting account.

If you find that this is something you are struggling with, it is essential to get help immediately, particularly in an instance where you have taken out loans to fund your gambling. Contacting the National Problem Gambling Clinic or a non-profit like the Debt Advice Foundation can help you get back on track and counter the negative gambling affects you may be experiencing.

Responsible Gambling Tip:

Always bet within your means. Setting up a monthly gambling budget with a set amount of money to stick to is a great way to practice responsible gambling, and it will help you stay within your means while still allowing you to have fun.

Chasing Losses

Another primary component of problem gambling to look out for is chasing losses. Chasing losses refers to when a gambler attempts to recoup losses made by placing bets of increasing value.

Responsible online gambling at casinos and sportsbooks should be a form of entertainment. However, when you find yourself working hard and placing bets of increased value to earn back lost funds, gambling takes on a whole new meaning and moves into the realm of problem gambling. Chasing losses typically follows on from spending beyond your means as you scramble to make back the money you have spent on gambling that wasn’t part of your original gambling budget. Unfortunately, because gambling is based predominantly on chance, you may not win your bet, leading you to place more bets of increased value to regain the sum you have lost, which grows with each bet you lose. Unfortunately, this vicious cycle sees bettors losing more time and money than they ever win back.

Responsible Gambling Tip

When you win a sum, withdraw your original stake to cover your initial input and play with whatever is left over. That way, you are playing only with the profits you have made. When these funds run out, it is time to quit.

Developing Unhealthy Habits

While many consider problem gambling to relate only to financial aspects, it is essential to remember that there are several other areas of your life that gambling addiction can impact.

Not everyone who has a gambling problem has these struggles because of financial reasons. You may find that you can stay within your budget, but you spend hours at a time gambling online, leading to neglect in other areas. For example, you may begin to neglect self-care, your responsibilities around the home or to your family, or your mental health.

These forms of problem gambling often arise if you are using online gambling to escape emotions, relationship problems, depression, or other daily challenges in life, like health problems.

If you find that you are using online gambling not for fun but as an avoidance tactic, we recommend seeking help either from a health professional or a problem gambling resource.

Responsible Gambling Tip

Many online gambling platforms allow you to set timers that prevent you from being able to play the games provided once you have reached your set time limit. These are a great way to manage the time you spend gambling online and to practice responsible gambling to avoid developing a gambling problem.

How We Approach Problem Gambling

At, we take responsible gambling seriously. While we promote online gambling, we also advocate for responsible gambling in all of our guides and articles by highlighting the need to gamble responsibly, by sharing helpful resources, or by offering a combination of both.

Raising Awareness

One way we promote responsible gambling is to raise awareness of problem gambling, what it entails, and the resources available to you. We do this by including details in our gambling site reviews on the responsible gambling efforts these sites provide, how they work, and what they mean.

Ensuring player safety is also important to us, so we will always offer transparent reviews on these sites and recommend only those that consider your best interests and safety.

Realistic Statistics

Another way we raise awareness is by highlighting industry statistics. In our guides on specific casino games and sports betting options, we cover the statistics and reality of your chances of winning when betting. Besides highlighting the chances of wins versus losses, we also consider the return to player (RTP) specific games provide and how to find these details relating to the games an online casino offers.

We also review how betting odds work so you have a realistic view of your chances of winning. In addition to these stats, we regularly outline the advantages and disadvantages of specific bets or visiting online gambling sites and supply tips to help you practice responsible gambling.

Consistent Reminders

We extend the idea of awareness of problem gambling and how to gamble responsibly by providing constant reminders throughout our guides and articles. Some ways we do this is by walking you through the importance of responsible gambling in dedicated sections or by highlighting the need to visit sites that provide betting and transaction limits that work within your budget.

Providing Useful Resources

In addition to raising awareness, we will always attempt to provide you with helpful external resources that you can contact if you or someone you know needs assistance with problem gambling. We tailor these resources to your region so that you always have the help you need right at your fingertips.

Self Exclusion

One of the best ways to help yourself if you find you’re struggling with a gambling addiction is to apply for self-exclusion.

What is Self Exclusion?

Self-exclusion is a measure that online casinos and sportsbooks provide that you can apply for that allows you to essentially bar yourself from gambling online for a specified period.

In most instances, you can choose your self-exclusion period, which can range from 24 hours to several weeks to six months or even years. Once you have entered this process, you won’t be able to gamble online until your period of self-exclusion concludes, allowing you to stop gambling.

How Do I Apply for Self-Exclusion?

All reputable online gambling sites offer a responsible gambling section or page on their websites. Clicking on it will give you access to the site’s responsible gambling features, including the option to apply for self-exclusion. You’ll need to complete a form and choose your exclusion period before submitting this to the casino or sportsbook.

Self-Exclusion Regulations in the UK

Regulations that became law on 31 March 2020 outline that all gambling sites in the UK regulated by the UK Gambling Commission must adhere to the self-exclusion scheme offered by GamStop.

GamStop is a free self-exclusion service in the UK that allows you to bar yourself from gambling for a time. If you enter a self-exclusion period through GamStop, all UK-regulated casinos and sportsbooks may not accept bets or wagers from you, and doing so is considered illegal.

Organisations for Problem Gambling Assistance

While we can raise awareness and offer recommendations to help you enjoy responsible gambling, several agencies specifically deal with problem gambling and can provide you with the help you need. These organizations have professionals trained in assisting those with gambling addiction or in need of debt counselling and can better steer you onto the right path. Some noteworthy options include the following:

NHS Problem Gambling Services

The NHS provides a website that offers several resources to those who are struggling with gambling addiction, from a questionnaire that will help you determine whether you have a problem gambling issue to information on how to get help for gambling addiction. The site also provides resources like national help centres, charities that assist with problem gambling, and agencies that can help family members and friends of those struggling with gambling addiction find support.


This organisation helps manage the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133), which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Calls are free, and you have access to free information on gambling addiction, support, and counselling. GamCare also provides live chat, WhatsApp chat, and a forum for those who prefer those methods of communication.

This UK-based platform also provides additional online resources, such as recovery toolkits, information on money management, how to use and where to find blocking software, and self-guided workbooks.


This is the UK’s National Gambling Support Network service. Here, you can access a 24-hour helpline (0808 8020 133) or use the live chat facilities maintained by GamCare. Gamble Aware also provides physical and online resources according to region, making it easy for you to find help close to home.

Gamblers Anonymous UK

GA UK is a platform for men and women struggling with gambling addiction. Gamblers Anonymous offers several resources, including regular local meetings, phone lines, and online sites that provide literature, forums, and a meeting finder to help you access the help you need.

GA regularly holds in-person meetings or support groups in venues across the UK, allowing you to meet others struggling with compulsive gambling. This gives you the chance to hear the stories of other problem gamblers and connect with those who understand what you’re going through. GA offers programs to help you combat problem gambling, including setting you up with a sponsor to help you keep on track.


This UK-based agency doesn’t focus on supporting those with gambling addiction but instead works with online gambling sites to ensure these platforms offer safe gambling for all who use them.

The e-Commerce Online Gambling Regulation & Assistance (eCOGRA) regularly tests online gambling sites, including those we recommend in our guides, to ensure they provide responsible gambling measures, safe payment methods, and fair gaming. Gambling sites with eCOGRA certificates are recognised as being among the best, and in many instances, international regulatory authorities will require online gambling platforms to undergo these tests before they can receive their licences.

Additional Resources