Gambling can be a huge amount of fun, especially when we win. However, unfortunately for some people gambling ceases to be enjoyable and moves into the realm of addiction. We want to do everything we can to ensure that this does not happen. To that end, here you can find some information about how gambling problems can develop, how to spot them, and what resources are available to those who need help.
What Is Responsible Gambling?
When you hear people talking about responsible gambling or responsible gaming, they are simply talking about a way of place bets that does not carry any risks beyond the scope of the bet. In other words, they are not betting with money that they need for more important things, such as rent or bills, and they are not in danger of putting themselves or their families in financially precarious situations.
At the most basic level this means setting a gambling budget and sticking to it. It means ensuring that you stop gambling once you have reached the end of your budget, even if you lost it all in a frustratingly short amount of time. If you start chasing losses or begin gambling using funds that you need for other purposes, then this is the very opposite of responsible gambling and may suggest that you are beginning to develop a problem.
Signs of a Gambling Addiction
There are several signs that a gambling addiction may be developing and it is up to both the gambling operators and the bettors to keep an eye out for them. However, a gambling addiction develops slowly over time and a person may not recognise it in themselves until it is too late. Furthermore, it can be hard for others to spot, as there are no obvious external signs, such as there are with drug or alcohol addictions.
If you notice any of the following, then there is a chance that a gambling addiction is developing:
- ⚠ Prioritising gambling over all else
- ⚠ Putting gambling ahead of personal and family relationships
- ⚠ Being dishonest about the amount of money or time spent gambling
- ⚠ Gambling with more and more money in pursuit of a rush
- ⚠ Gambling with money that is needed for bills, rent, food, and so on
- ⚠ Setting a gambling budget but then exceeding it regularly
- ⚠ Becoming angry or unsettled when unable to gamble
- ⚠ Being unable to stop oneself from placing a bet when offered the opportunity
- ⚠ Taking loans in order to fund gambling
- ⚠ Escaping into gambling rather than addressing other issues
- ⚠ Being told by family or friends that you may have a problem with your gambling
Of course, each person is different and the above are only guidelines. However, it is worth staying vigilant at all times as a gambling addiction truly has the ability to destroy the lives of both the gambler and those around them.
How to Get Help with Gambling Addictions
There are many resources for people in Ireland who struggle with gambling addiction. Very often, the first step of the process, making the decision to seek help, is the hardest thing. However, once a person has decided to seek help there are several excellent options available free of charge.
Some of these options include:
- ✔ Extern Problem Gambling – https://www.problemgambling.ie/
- ✔ Gamblers Anonymous Ireland – https://www.gamblersanonymous.ie/
- ✔ Gambling Care – https://gamblingcare.ie/
Responsible Gambling Practices
Hopefully you will never have experience with problem gambling, but if you are a gambler, you should be sure to make use of all the resources and tools available to you to ensure that it never becomes an issue. There are some basic tips that you should follow at all times:
- ✔ Create a gambling budget and always stick to it
- ✔ Put a time limit on your gambling sessions and stop once the time is up
- ✔ Take regular breaks when gambling
- ✔ Never place bets when drunk and ideally, refrain from alcohol altogether when gambling
- ✔ Always ensure you understand the odds/rules before placing a bet
- ✔ Never place bets to chase losses, accept that you will sometimes lose
- ✔ Only gamble if you are doing so for fun, never do it to earn money or to escape from other pressing issues
- ✔ Make use of the tools offered by online bookmakers, such as deposit limits and reality checks
The Responsibilities of Gambling Operators
There is no escaping the fact that it is up to the individual to seek help if they are struggling with gambling addiction. However, by law, gambling operators, such as casinos and bookmakers, also have a responsibility towards their customers. These responsibilities are extensive and include the following:
- ✅ Identifying at risk gamblers – Operators need to have procedures in place that will pick up on those who are at risk of gambling harm. Operators must then contact these customers to address the issue.
- ✅ Prevent underage gambling – Bookmakers need to verify the identity of all of their customers and ensure that all bettors are of a legal age to gamble (18 in Ireland).
- ✅ Prevent money laundering and fraud – Gambling operators have to ensure that their services are not being used for illegal purposes such as money laundering, fraud or identity theft.
- ✅ Privacy protection – Bookmakers must ensure that customers’ personal details are kept secure at all time.
- ✅ Safe payments – Bookmakers must ensure that they only use reliable and reputable payment methods in order to protect customers’ money.
- ✅ Responsible marketing – Gambling operators may only run advertising campaigns aimed at a suitable audience and all adverts must advocate responsible gambling.
- ✅ Dispute resolution and complaints – All operators must have procedures in place to handle customer complaints and disputes.
As long as a gambling operator honours these responsibilities and a player makes use of the tools available to them, then for most Irish bettors, gambling will remain a fun activity at all times.