At The Casino Heat Canada we are advocates of Responsible Gambling. Online betting on sports, casino games or poker is a lot of fun and potentially rewarding when enjoyed sensibly. However, statistics show that there is always a small percentage of people who are at risk of addiction. Arguably the risks are higher in the age of online gambling where access to betting markets and casino games is instant through a mobile phone.
We have published the information on this page to help you to understand the dangers of gambling, to know the signs to look out for that show evidence of addiction and to know what to do if your behaviour becomes problematic.
USEFUL TOOLS TO HELP CONTROL YOUR GAMBLING
The gambling sites listed at The Casino Heat are all fully licensed. As a condition of their license they are required to provide tools within your account to help you to manage your own spend. They are usually easy to locate through a ‘Set Your Limits’ or ‘Responsible Gambling’ link. If you want to set limits but can’t find the links you can ask a Customer Support agent to help you.
RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING TOOLS PROVIDED BY YOUR CASINO
A Time Out is a simple and easy way to slow down your spend if you feel you want to gamble less for a short time. You can use this option to block access to your casino or sportsbook account for a period of time set by yourself. The block can normally be for 24 hours, one week, a month or six weeks. It’s quick to set up a Time Out and it will stop you from logging into the same site again, but it still requires you to exercise self-control and avoid playing elsewhere instead.
Setting Limits on Your Losses
There are several options to set limits on your losses through your betting account. You can choose to limit your deposits, your wagering or your net loss over a period of time. A limit like this can normally be set for a day, a week or a month. If you try to spend over the limit your deposit or stake will be denied and you won’t be able to continue betting until the time period is up.
Excluding Yourself From a Casino or Sportsbook
Most gambling operators will also give you an option to exclude yourself from their websites for good through a ‘self-exclude’ function. You may have to contact the customer support team to request this. The important point here is that not only will your account be closed, but you will also be excluded from ALL marketing communications that might entice you to come back and open a new account.
OTHER OPTIONS TO MANAGE YOUR GAMBLING
If you are looking for alternative suggestions to help you to maintain a grip on how much time and money you are spending online then we recommend some of the following. You could label these a softer approach. Remember, all of these tips require a degree of self-control as well and in the main they are useful for active gamblers trying to play sensibly. If you feel that you have lost all control then we recommend you seek help from one of the organisations listed further down the page.
If you are a serious and regular gambler then keeping a budget sheet can be a good idea. It’s a straight-forward way to keep an eye on how much you are spending and record your wins and losses. In gambling it’s very easy to lose track of your money and find yourself getting into difficulties.
The best way to do this is to start with a budget in mind. How much do you have to spend each week or month? Decide if you want to break that down further by day, or week, and stick to that amount. You can keep a running total of deposits, withdrawals, wins and losses in a spreadsheet or written diary to help. This is also a useful way to keep track of any radical shifts in your spend patterns which might indicate a loss of control.
Another option commonly used by online gamblers to manage their spend is to utilise eWallets like Paypal and Skrill which allow you to keep your gambling balance and budget separate to everyday expenses. To do this you need to open an account with one of the popular eWallet services and transfer your monthly budget into there. You can then make deposits and withdrawals to and from your chosen casinos or sportsbook from your virtual wallet.
eWallets also provide one of the fastest withdrawal options for gamblers online because the balance becomes available instantly. Banks and credit card providers may take a 3 to 5 days to clear your funds.
Website Blocking Software
The issue of problem gambling has been addressed by software companies who have created blocking applications that can be installed on your home computer, mobile device or tablet. These applications simply prevent the user from accessing any betting websites or downloading any betting apps. You will find both gambling-specific software and generic software that includes settings that block a range of sites including gambling ones.
Here are 3 of the best blocking softwares currently available:
10 QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER – ARE YOU GAMBLING TOO MUCH?
We advise all our readers to consider thinking about the tools and strategies on this page if they are regular gamblers. They are very useful in maintaining sensible levels of betting. However, if you feel that at some point you are spending too much then this list of 10 questions may help you to further understand if you have a gambling problem. If you are answering yes on each occasion, you should seek help.
- Do you spend beyond what you can afford on gambling each month?
- Do you lie to friends and family to cover up how much you are spending?
- Do you always look for one more bet to keep your session going?
- Are you preoccupied with thoughts about gambling even when you are not betting?
- Have you given up other hobbies to spend more time gambling?
- Do you borrow money, sell your possessions or steal to fund your gambling?
- Do you chase your losses when gambling?
- Have you forsaken responsibilities to gamble?
- Do you bet more than you used to so that you can keep the buzz going?
- Are you feeling depressed about how much money you have spend on gambling?
GETTING HELP FOR A GAMBLING PROBLEM
If you have been through our list of 10 questions and you feel now that you have gambling addiction then we recommend that you seek help right away. If your behaviour is out of control then you will need a third party to work through the problem. Here is a list of organisations that help addicted gamblers. You can contact them through their websites.
A Toronto-based non-profit organisation seeking to prevent problem gambling by helping operators and regulators to set higher standards for safer play whilst educating players about the risks and assisting anyone affected by a gambling addiction.
Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital dedicated to helping those with mental health issues including gambling addiction.
A national charity dedicated to promoting a safe society including the dissemination of information about problem gambling.
An Ontario-based organisation helping to improve mental health and the treatment and prevention of addiction. They form part of CAMH and their website contains a lot of useful resources and educational materials.
National Council on Problem Gambling
An advocate for all programs and services assisting people impacted by problem gambling. They also run a national helpline and provide a lot of information on their website to assist those impacted by this issue, including a directory of addiction counsellors.