Responsible Gambling Guide: Ensuring a Fair and Safe Gaming Experience
Welcome to the CasinoGrounds Responsible Gambling guide. This website aims to provide our community with a platform to share and discuss knowledge, opinions and anything related to online gambling in a responsible way.
Below, you’ll find information on different topics related to how companies as well as non-profit organisations work towards ensuring your online gaming experience with money is both safe and fair.
Responsible gambling is an essential focus of every single online gambling operator, and as such helping players with self-assessment is one of the keys to both uncover problematic and harmful gambling behavior, as well as raising awareness of what problem gambling is.
Self-assessments are done by giving players access to forms that have a series of questions. While answering these questions, you receive tips and information about specific topics to help you better understand how, why and what. Upon completion, you will also receive a score based on your input. This assessment is a straight forward way of telling you whether or not you have a problem or run the risk of developing one.
Every online casino has a section dedicated to Self-assessment when you’re logged in. If you can’t find it, contact support and they will quickly and gladly assist you in finding it.
Operators with a valid license and regulation are required to offer their players the option to self exclude by law. Self-exclusion allows you as a player to limit your access to your own player account where you have self self-exclusion for a given period, or on a permanent basis.
There are three ways of self excluding:
- Opting in for self exclusion one operator at a time
- Using a national self-exclusion scheme
- Installing Anti-Gambling software
When you opt-in for a self-exclusion period, it can not be undone. Most operators offer you the option to exclude yourself from play for days, weeks, months, and even 6 months. You can also choose to close your account permanently. When doing so, please note that any request to reopen your account will be scrutinized and thoroughly reviewed. As a rule of thumb, you can not expect an affirmative answer when requesting reopening of any accounts you’ve opted to permanently close.
Note that self-exclusion follows the license of the operator. If you self exclude with an operator that has several brands, your exclusion is enforced on all brands who share the operator’s license.
Problem gambling is a condition that’s being taken very seriously by operators, non-profit organisations, regulatory bodies and governments. Due to the fact that problem gamblers can simply register at a new online casino when wanting to gamble, it’s become clear that casinos offering self-exclusion isn’t satisfactory enough in order to fully address the problem on behalf of those who suffer from the condition, and those who are in close relation to them.
GAMSTOP: The UK’s National Online Self Exclusion Scheme
All casinos that holds a valid UKGC (UK Gambling Commission) license are required to join the UK’s national online self-exclusion scheme called GAMSTOP. Since this effort is new, not all operators have had the time to adapt to the change. It is however mandatory to do so in order to continue offering their services to players in Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
GAMSTOP is a free Self Exclusion service for UK residents. When you sign up with the service, you will prevent yourself from using any gambling websites and apps by the companies which hold a valid UKGC license, for a period of time of your choosing.
The only thing you need to do in order to get started is to register, provide GAMSTOP with your postcode, your date of birth and your email address.
For more information, visit GAMSTOP.
Spelpaus: The Swedish National Online Self Exclusion Scheme
All companies holding a valid Swedish Gambling License (Spelinspektionen) are required by law to register their games and services with Spelinspektionen. It is the national self exclusion scheme for Swedish residents.
Spelpaus.se is a free Self Exclusion service for Swedish residents. Signing up with the service allows you to instantly self exclude from all registered companies, both online and offline. You can choose to self exclude for 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, of indefinitely. The latter option will continue to self exclude you until you personally request to lift the restriction once you’ve been self excluded for a minimum of 12 months. The exclusion also prevents you from receiving any direct marketing.
For more information, visit Spelpaus.
Software to Help You Block Gambling Websites
To best combat problem gambling and addiction, players are also advised to make use of different software solutions that effectively works as a barrier between them and gambling companies.
Below you’ll find a short list of Anti-Gambling software known to help:
Useful Tips to Consider when Self Excluding
Casino and real money game play marketing is rampant. As such you should consider the following tips to relieve the constant pressure that might trigger your condition
- Opt out of any email / sms marketing from both operators and third parties
- Un-follow companies and brands that you’ve self excluded from on Social Media channels
- Be open about your condition and explain to your friends, family and loved ones that you’d rather not have anyone talk about gambling in your presence
- You’ll need to find someone to talk to. Either a friend, someone in your family, or a mentor through any of the non-profit organizations. You can also be anonymous on online forums and / or in support groups.
Player Account Limits and Restrictions
One of the most important aspects of responsible gambling is the active measures, such as account limits and restrictions. This allows players to control their own play with self-imposed limits and restrictions of their own choosing.
Important Information Regarding Changing Limits
Player account limits and restrictions is one of the most important aspects of a responsible gambling approach. As such the changing of limits comes with heavy restrictions on what is allowed to do, and what is not. This is done to ensure that players run as little risk as possible.
Licensed and regulated operators are obliged to follow these rules when it comes to any change of limits by players themselves.
- When lowering limits, the change must be instantaneous.
- When increasing limits, there must be a consideration period of a minimum of 7 days before completion.
- Players must be offered the choice to cancel their limit increase before completion.
Setting a deposit limit allows you to restrict the amount of real money you can deposit in to your player account during a given period of time, set by you. The account restriction must be done in conjunction with a time frame, such as daily, weekly or monthly periods.
Deposit limits can be compared to setting up a budget. It’s perfect for players who want to limit their play on online casinos.
Once a deposit limit is set, it can not be circumvented in any way. Deposit limits do not “carry over” to the next period, meaning that if you’ve set a limit of €100 pr. day, and don’t deposit that day, you can not deposit €200 the next day.
Note: deposit limits will not allow you to deposit 100% of your limit if making multiple deposits where the last remaining funds does not qualify for the casinos “minimum deposit amount”.
Summary of deposit limits:
- Are set based on net amount deposited to player account, regardless of payment method used
- Are set based on a time frame of your choice
- Can not be changed once set
- Prevents you from playing for more than you want to during a given period of time
- Does not “carry over” to the next day, week or month
Deposit Limit Examples
Example 1: You set a deposit limit of €100 pr. day and decide to deposit €50. You now have €50 remaining.
Example 2: You set a deposit limit of €100 pr. week, and deposit €95. You now have €5 remaining you could deposit to your account. However, due to the minimum deposit limit at your casino being €10, you can not deposit the remaining €5 in your budget.
Example 3: You set a deposit limit of €1.000 pr. month. You do not deposit anything the first month, but decide to do so the following month. Your deposit limit is still €1.000 pr. month, and not €2.000, as deposit limits does not “carry over”.
Loss limits are account restrictions that allow you to set a limit on the amount of money you are willing to lose when gambling online. It restricts the amount of real money you can lose from deposits only, and does not include winnings. Once you reach your limit, the casino you’re playing at will automatically prevent you from playing beyond it.
Loss limits are also done in conjunction with time frames; daily, weekly and monthly. This ensures that you’re limiting your losses to X amount of money in X amount of days.
Summary of loss limits:
- Are set based on your deposited amount(s)
- Are set based on a time frame of your choice
- Does not include losses of winnings
- Does not change if you deposit more money to your account
Loss Limit Examples
Example 1: You deposit €100, and set a loss limit of €50 pr. week. You don’t win anything, and lose €50. Due to the limit restriction you’ve set, you can not gamble the remaining €50 in your account until next week.
Example 2: You deposit €100, and set a loss limit of €100 pr. Week. You win €2.500. The money you won does not count towards your loss limit restriction. This means that the winnings beyond your initial deposit of €100 will not be taken into consideration when playing, and that you can lose all of your winnings (€2.500) + your deposit (€100), before the loss limit restriction comes in to effect.
Wager limits are also set in conjunction with a time frame such as daily, weekly and monthly periods. Wagering limits are based on the actual wagers you make at the casino, independent of any other player restrictions previously set, such as deposit, loss and session limits.
If you set a wager limit of €100, then you have exactly €100 worth of game play at your casino. This limit does not factor in any winnings, bonuses, deposits, withdrawals or anything else. The limit is final, until the restriction period is reset.
Summary of wager limits:
- A player account restriction independent of other restrictions
- Are set based on a time frame of your choice
- A €100 wager limit gives you €100 worth of game play
- Does not include winnings, bonuses or other things that gives you more money to play for
- The best option for players wanting total control of their gaming budget
Wager Limit Examples
Example 1: You set a wager limit of €100, and now have a gaming budget of exactly €100. This can be used in any way you like, such as one hundred wagers worth €1, or 10 wagers each worth €10.
Example 2: You set a wager limit of €100, and decide to play 100 rounds on a slot machine each worth €1. On your last spin, you win €500, Due to the wager limit, you can not wager any more before your restriction period resets.
Example 2: You make a first deposit of €100, and set the wager limit to the same amount, €100. When depositing, you also got a match bonus of €100, bringing your total account balance to €200. You can still only play €100 worth of wagers during your restriction period.
The definition of what a session limit really is depends entirely on your country of residence. This is due to different regulatory bodies having different rules and guidelines, as well as interpretations.
The simple explanation to what session limits really are is that they limit your playtime on an online casino operator’s website. However, depending on where that operator offers their services, and who regulates them as pr. their casino licences, a session limit can be anything between an actual restriction – or a a simple function reminding you how long you’ve played for.
Summary of session limits:
- Definition depends on the regulatory body licensing the casino
- Definition depends on players countries of residence
- A session limit can be a restriction, preventing players from playing more after limit is reached
- A session limit can be a reminder, reminding players that they have reached their own session limit, but allows play afterwards
Session Limit Examples
Example 1: You set a session limit of 60 minutes pr. day. Depending on your country of residence (provided that the operator you’ve registered with is a fully licensed and regulated online casino) this means one of two things. 1) You can only play for 60 minutes, before further play is restricted by the casino. 2) You will receive a reminder telling you how long you’ve played for, but can continue to play after the 60 minutes reminder is shown.
Prevention of Underage Gambling
By default, all licensed and regulated online casino operators and bookmakers are legally required to prevent minors from gambling. Should any operators come across such breaches, they have to take immediate action. This also applies for tips in relation to suspicion of minors engaging in online gambling.
The definition of underage gambling is when a person under 18 years of age engages in gambling related activities. As such, even creating an account for the sake of playing with play money or to just explore is deemed illegal.
How Casinos and Bookmakers Prevent Underage Gambling
The prevention of underage gambling is a never-ending, ongoing effort by online gambling operators. All the time and resources spent in preventing this from occurring considered, it’s impossible to have 100% control.
Here’s what operators do to prevent underage gambling
KYC: Know Your Customer
Know Your Customer (KYC) is a process that allows the company offering a service to verify their customers. It’s mandatory for all licensed and regulated operators, and everyone who registers an account with an online casino will be faced with a request to document who they are at some point, sooner rather than later. One of these documents being requested is proof of ID.
Read more about it the topic here: KYC: Know Your Customer – The Reason Why Casinos Asks for Documents
Working Together with Parents
As the prevention of underage gambling can not ever reach a 100% success rate, operators also rely on working together with parents of minors. The operators themselves don’t have any form of control before the actual account registration takes place. However, parents have access to different types of software to stop their children dead in their tracks in finding sites to register on.
One of the world’s most reliable and #1-rated parental control software on the market is CyberPatrol, who’s now joined forces with Net Nanny and Content Watch to build a safe place for kids on the internet. It’s used in 135+ countries, and is available in English, Spanish, Italian, French, German, Turkish and Japanese for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS users.