Online gambling is growing in popularity year after year. Its close ties to the gaming market make it attractive for young people while the older generation is equally as interested. Gambling can be a regular hobby like anything else, though only when you do it responsibly. Many support groups and organisations outline key responsible gambling tips – yet things often get in the way, making it difficult to gamble responsibly.
We look at some of the key challenges preventing responsible gambling habits and how you can overcome them. It will lead to more disciplined gambling for everyone, restricting losses and keeping your mental health in check.
Restrictive Self-Exclusion Programs
Some countries have introduced self-exclusion programs to help punters ban themselves from multiple sites at once. The UK has GamStop while Australia recently rolled out BetStop.
Both follow the same premise: a player joins the scheme and is immediately blocked from joining any betting site or casino that’s connected to the program.
Schemes like these always sound fantastic and promote responsible gambling, but they can have the opposite effect on some punters. They block you for months or years, meaning many players look for black market casinos instead. This leads them down a dark path full of terrible decisions and big money losses.
Overcoming this challenge is simple; look for non GamStop casinos or casinos that aren’t on a self-exclusion scheme. These sites offer safe places for punters to come and play, so there’s no fear of being scammed or playing illegal games.
Aggressive Casino Marketing
Taking regular breaks and setting betting limits are both crucial if you want to gamble responsibly. It’s hard to do either of these things when you’re bombarded with constant casino or betting site marketing materials.
Throughout any given day, you may encounter the following:
- Billboard ads for casinos
- Bus station adverts for betting sites
- TV ads telling you the latest deals
- YouTube ads encouraging you to gamble
- Emails from casinos you joined
It all adds up, tempting you back to the site to wager money. You’re trying to stay away and take a break, but it’s proving impossible. Can you do anything to overcome the constant stream of aggressive casino advertising?
Yes and no. You can’t get rid of print adverts on billboards or bus stations, nor can you stop companies from advertising on your TV. However, you can tackle online ads and email advertising.
How To Block Online Gambling Ads
These steps will ensure you don’t see any adverts for gambling while surfing the web on your PC:
- Find the best ad blocker software – PC Magazine has a great list to look through
- Install the ad blocker in your web browser
- Turn on the ad blocker
- Experience ad-free viewing on YouTube and avoid other online ads
What about when you’re using a mobile device? Some mobile ad blockers exist, but they’re not that common. Your best bet is to report the adverts when you see them. Click on the information symbol on an ad and hit “Report”. Explain why you don’t like the ad and it should slowly reduce the amount of gambling ads you see.
How To Avoid Gambling Emails
This process is far simpler. All you need to do is update your email preferences. When you see adverts come through from casinos, scroll to the bottom and there’s usually a button to “Unsubscribe”. Click it and you’ll no longer receive marketing emails from them.
Alternatively, tools like Unroll.me can help you unsubscribe from multiple mailing lists at once, meaning you don’t have to wait for the emails to come through before avoiding them!
Limiting the gambling adverts you see will help restrict your temptations. It will make it easier for you to take breaks and practice responsible habits like setting bet limits.
The “Thrill” Of Gambling
What stops most gamblers from stepping back and being disciplined? If they manage restrictive self-exclusion schemes and handle the bombardment of advertising, it’s the “thrill” of gambling that keeps reeling them in.
Gambling makes people feel alive and your body releases adrenaline as your heart beats faster when you think you’re going to win. People often talk of a “rush” or “high” associated with gambling – it’s what makes it so addictive.
To counter this, you need to find new ways of getting these feelings. Here are some suggestions:
- Play online video games with high-risk elements
- Take up an extreme hobby
- Play card games for free with friends or family
- Enter free prize draws online
If you can replicate the “thrill” of gambling without spending lots of money or putting your finances at risk, then it’s much easier to keep it a friendly habit.
The right way to approach responsible gambling is by looking at betting as a hobby. Set aside money for it like you would any other expense – instead of going to the cinema one weekend, you spend that money on a few bets. Overcome the challenges stopping you from being a responsible gambler and you’ll be in good stead moving forwards.