Gambling has become increasingly popular in recent years, with the rise of online casinos making it easier than ever for people to gamble from the comfort of their own homes. In fact, in 2021, the market size of the casino and online gambling industry worldwide reached a total of 231 billion U.S. dollars.
However, with this convenience comes a significant risk of problem gambling and the potential for underage individuals to access these services.
Underage gambling remains a concern in the online gambling sector. Online casinos have implemented several measures to restrict access to underage players, including age verification checks and the use of parental control software. However, despite these efforts, it’s crucial for parents, guardians, and educators to educate young people about the risks associated with gambling and to ensure they do not engage in underage gambling.
By working together and promoting responsible gambling practices, we can create a safer gambling environment for everyone, particularly young people. In this article, we have explored the measures online casinos use to restrict underage gambling, as well as the importance of education and responsible gambling practices in combating this issue. Let’s take a closer look at how we can all play a role in preventing underage gambling and promoting responsible gambling practices.
Why Responsible Gambling?
The need for responsible gambling cannot be over-emphasized. First, it helps to minimize the potential harms associated with gambling. Such harms can include financial difficulties, relationship breakdowns, and mental health problems including depression and anxiety. By gambling responsibly, individuals can reduce the risk of experiencing these harms and improve their overall well-being.
Additionally, responsible gambling helps to ensure the sustainability of the gambling industry. This is one that operates in a way that is socially responsible and does not cause harm to individuals or society as a whole. By promoting responsible gambling, gambling establishments can demonstrate their commitment to sustainability and maintain the social license to operate.
Secondly, responsible gambling is important for the wider community. Gambling can have negative impacts on society, such as increased crime rates and social inequality. In that case, responsible gambling can help to mitigate these negative impacts and promote positive social outcomes. It can also lead to increased support for responsible gambling measures, which can further promote the sustainability of the industry and minimize its negative impacts.
What is Gambling Addiction?
Gambling addiction, also known as ludomania or compulsive gambling, is a behavioral disorder that is characterized by the urge to gamble despite negative consequences or a desire to stop. It is a type of addiction that can have severe negative impacts on an individual’s life, including financial problems, relationship difficulties, and mental health issues.
Gambling addiction is often linked to ludomania, which is a psychological disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to gamble. It is similar to other types of addictions, such as drug addiction or alcoholism, in that it is characterized by compulsive behavior and a loss of control over the behavior. Individuals with a gambling addiction may find that they are unable to stop gambling even when they want to, and may continue to gamble despite negative consequences.
While everyone is at risk of falling into problem gambling, certain risk factors put an individual at a greater probability of developing a gambling addiction. For instance, men are more likely to develop a gambling addiction than women.
Additionally, individuals with underlying mental health issues, such as depression or ADHD, are also at greater risk of developing a gambling addiction. Age is another factor that can increase the risk of developing a gambling addiction, with people between the ages of 18-24 being at a higher risk of developing gambling problems.
Other risk factors for gambling addiction include a history of substance abuse or addiction, a family history of gambling addiction, and a high-stress lifestyle. It is important to recognize these risk factors and take steps to prevent problem gambling before it becomes an addiction. This can include setting limits on time and money spent gambling, seeking support from friends and family, and seeking professional help if needed.
Signs You’re Falling into Problem Gambling
Problem gambling can have negative impacts on an individual’s life. It is important to recognize the early warning signs before it becomes a full-blown addiction. Here are some signs to look out for:
- Preoccupation with gambling
- Need to increase bets to feel the same level of excitement
- Lying to friends and family about gambling habits
- Chasing losses and continuing to gamble to win back lost money
- Spending more time and money gambling than intended
- Neglecting responsibilities at work, school, or home due to gambling
- Borrowing money or selling possessions to fund gambling
- Mood swings and irritability when not gambling
- Attempting to cut back or stop gambling without success
- Gambling is a way to escape problems or negative emotions
Does Responsible Gaming Help? And How?
Yes, responsible gaming can help players who are at risk of developing a gambling problem. By promoting responsible gambling practices, casinos and other gambling establishments can reduce the negative impacts of gambling and create a safe and enjoyable environment for players.
One way that responsible gaming can help players is by providing information and resources to help them make informed decisions about their gambling habits. This can include information on the risks associated with gambling, tips for setting limits on time and money spent gambling, and access to support services for problem gambling. By providing this information, players can make more informed decisions about their gambling habits and reduce the risk of developing a gambling problem.
Online casinos in particular have dedicated responsible gaming teams trained to handle problem gambling cases and even flag behavioral changes in players through the use of algorithms written by programmers. These teams can help players who are experiencing problems with their gambling habits by providing support and guidance.
This can include setting limits on time and money spent gambling, providing access to support services, and even temporarily suspending a player’s account if necessary. By providing this support, online casinos can help prevent problem gambling and promote responsible gaming practices.
Furthermore, almost all online casinos you visit today have a dedicated Responsible Gaming page. This page contains information on how to play responsibly as well as advice on what to do if you or someone close to you seems to be going off track with their gambling.
Where to Get Help for Problem Gambling
Problem gambling can have severe negative impacts on an individual’s life. However, many organizations offer help and support to those struggling with gambling addiction. Here are some of the organizations that can assist:
- National Council on Problem Gambling
- Gamblers Anonymous
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- Gambler’s Anonymous
- Gambling Therapy
- International Center for Responsible Gaming
- Responsible Gaming Council
These organizations offer various services such as hotlines, online support, self-help groups, counseling, and referral services. It is important for individuals who are struggling with gambling addiction to seek help from these organizations to get the support and guidance they need to overcome their addiction. With the help of these organizations, individuals can develop the skills and strategies necessary to manage their gambling habits and lead a healthy and fulfilling life.
Resources Offered by Online Casinos
Almost all online casinos in the US have several ways you can use to check your gambling activities. We take a closer look at the resources you’ll come across to help you play responsibly.
⭐ Wagering Limit
A wagering limit is a tool provided by online casinos that allow players to set the maximum amount of money they can wager during a specified period. This limit helps prevent players from spending more money than they can afford and losing control of their gambling habits. For instance, a player can set a wagering limit of $100 per day or week, and once they reach this limit, they cannot place any more bets until the time elapses.
⭐ Loss Limit
This tool helps players manage their gambling activities by allowing them to set the maximum amount of money they can lose during a specified time. For example, a player can set a loss limit of $50 per day, and once they lose this amount, they cannot continue gambling until the period elapses. The loss limit helps players avoid chasing their losses and making irrational decisions that can lead to problem gambling.
⭐ Session Limit
A session limit is yet another gambling tool that allows players to set the maximum amount of time they can spend gambling during a single session. This tool helps prevent players from spending too much time on gambling activities, which can lead to addiction and other negative consequences. For example, a player can set a session limit of two hours, and once the time elapses, they must log out of their account and take a break.
⭐ Deposit Limit
With this tool, players can set the maximum amount of money they can deposit into their account during a specified period. A deposit limit helps prevent players from overspending and losing control of their gambling activities.
For example, a player can set a deposit limit of $500 per week, and once they reach this limit, they cannot deposit any more money until the time elapses. The deposit limit helps players avoid the temptation of depositing more money than they can afford and promotes responsible gaming practices.
Account restriction is another tool offered by online casinos to help players manage their gambling activities. This tool allows players to set limits on their account, such as excluding certain games or setting a maximum bet limit. Players can also use this tool to block their accounts temporarily or permanently. This option is useful for players who want to take a break from gambling or those who feel they are developing a gambling problem.
Self Assessment Tests
Online casinos also offer self-assessment tests to help players evaluate their gambling habits and determine whether they have a gambling problem. These tests are usually in the form of questionnaires that ask players about their gambling behaviors, such as the amount of money they spend and the frequency of their gambling activities. Based on the results, players can seek help if necessary and take steps to control their gambling habits.
Self-exclusion is a tool provided by online casinos that allow players to exclude themselves from gambling activities for a specified period. Players can choose to self-exclude from a particular online casino for a period of time.
Self-exclusion can be temporary or permanent, and players cannot access their accounts or participate in any gambling activities during the exclusion period. This tool is useful for players who feel they are losing control of their gambling habits and need a break to reassess their situation.
How to Support Other People
Helping others avoid or overcome problem gambling can be a challenging but rewarding experience. The first step in supporting others is taking care of yourself. It’s important to set boundaries, seek support, and take breaks when needed. Supporting others with problem gambling can be emotionally taxing, so self-care is key.
When supporting someone with problem gambling, it’s important to approach the situation with empathy and understanding. Avoid being judgmental or critical of the person’s behavior. Encourage them to seek help and offer to support them through the process. It’s important to listen actively and allow the person to express their feelings without interruption or judgment.
One of the most important things you can do when supporting someone with problem gambling is to educate yourself about the issue. Learn about the warning signs of problem gambling as listed on this page, available resources, and treatment options. Encourage the person to seek professional help, such as counseling or therapy, and offer to assist them in finding appropriate resources.
Underage Online Gambling
Underage gambling remains a concern in the US, particularly in the online gambling sector. Online casinos have implemented several measures to restrict underage gambling, including age verification checks and the use of parental control software.
Age verification checks are an essential tool for online casinos to ensure that their players are of legal gambling age. Players are required to provide identification documents, such as a passport or driver’s license, to verify their age.
Online casinos also encourage responsible gambling by providing parental control software that allows parents to block access to online gambling sites. This software can be installed on computers and mobile devices, and it allows parents to restrict access to online gambling sites based on age or content.
Parents, guardians, and educators play an essential role in educating young people about the risks associated with gambling and in ensuring that they do not engage in underage gambling. Online casinos also have a responsibility to ensure that their services are not accessible to underage players and to promote responsible gambling practices. By working together, we can create a safer gambling environment for everyone, particularly young people.
Responsible gambling is crucial in promoting a safe and enjoyable gambling environment for all. It’s essential to understand the signs of problem gambling and take necessary steps to seek help if needed. Online casinos have implemented several measures to promote responsible gambling, including the use of self-assessment tools and setting limits on gambling activity.
Moreover, we must work together to prevent underage gambling by educating young people about the risks associated with gambling and ensuring they do not engage in underage gambling. It’s also essential to be mindful of the legal age for gambling in your jurisdiction and to take appropriate measures to prevent minors from accessing gambling services.
By promoting responsible gambling practices, we can reduce the risks of problem gambling and create a safer gambling environment for all. It’s crucial to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with problem gambling, and we encourage everyone to take a proactive approach to promote responsible gambling practices.
Written by Keith Saiyalel
Proofread for quality assurance by Eve Luneborg