What is Responsible Gaming?
Online casino gambling in India is a relatively new phenomenon and these are exciting times for players.
With any new opportunities come risks, and within the gaming industry, addiction is chief among them.
Below is a summary of some of the pitfalls that encompass these issues, including gambling addiction, recognition of the problem and the tools to help casinos and players best deal these challenges.
What Does Problem Gambling Mean?
Although gambling is no more than a fun past-time for the majority of players, for a few players it can have negative psychological and social ramifications.
Gambling addiction is a progressive illness, affecting around 1% of the population. Players who suffer from this affliction can’t control their impulse to gamble.
In extreme cases the addiction can be diagnosed as a psychological disorder, wreaking havoc on an individual’s personal and professional life.
If left unchecked, it can lead to other problems such as depression, anxiety and substance abuse issues.
Responsible Gaming at Online Casinos
Any Indian online casino worth its salt will spend a fair amount of effort and investment on responsible gaming.
Casinos need to create a safe and secure environment for their players, protecting them from the possible downsides of gambling.
As in all walks of life, players also need to take responsibility for their actions. Online Indian casinos do have a duty to look after their customers, but as mature adults, players also need to look after themselves.
There is a fine line between recreational and problematic gambling. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that can be used to help both casinos and players from crossing this line.
Responsible Gaming tools
A great tool available to customers is to set time and deposit limits. This way a customer knows that they will never play for longer than planned or go over their desired deposit amount.
With a reality check, you will receive a pop-up telling you the amount of time you have spent gambling.
On the next level players can either self-exclude (temporarily suspend their accounts and stop any communications) or permanently close their accounts. This option is designed to protect players who believe they might be developing a problem.
Responsible Gaming Department
Any professional Indian online casino will have a Responsible Gaming Department. If they don’t, this should be a massive red flag as a casino to avoid.
This department is accountable for ensuring that none of their customers have gambling problems. They need to educate both their internal staff and customers on the dangers of problem gambling.
The Responsible Gaming Deportment is tasked with the protection of vulnerable gamblers, ethical marketing, online payment protection and the protection of customers’ data.
Although many land-based casinos in India only allow players over 21 to enter their casinos, online casinos may accept players as long as they are over 18.
Online casinos in India are still relatively new and need to take special care to protect this vulnerable demographic.
Studies have shown that players who start gambling before 18 are 300% more likely to develop a gambling addiction.
It is therefore essential to protect players under this age.
Both legally and ethically casinos must take the necessary steps to prohibit underage players on their site.
Recommendations for Responsible Gamblers
Are you worried about developing a gambling problem? There are a few simple steps you can take to protect yourself.
Ideally, always remember that gaming is meant to be entertainment. Try to compare your spending to a normal night out.
Stay within budget. If you were to go out with your friends, you might likely choose a budget for the night. Think of that sort of budget when placing bets. Stick to the same sort of budget without exceeding it and you’ll already start to see what a reasonable amount is to be gambling.
Never wager more than you can afford. Gambling is not a way to deal with financial difficulties.
Keep track of the time and money spent.
If you are hiding your gambling habits from friends and family, you might need to accept you have a problem. Reach out for help.
How to Recognize Signs of Problem Gambling
Just like any other problematic behaviour, gambling addiction can manifest itself in several ways. But there are a few sure tell-tale signs to look out for. If you display a majority of the symptoms below, we suggest you self-exclude from any casinos that you have registered with and seek help from family, friends or a medical professional.
Problematic red flags:
- Lying about your gambling behaviour
- Using gambling to distract yourself from everyday life
- Difficulty in not gambling
- Gambling until you run out of money
- Betting more than you can afford
- Gambling is taking a toll on your health
- You schedule your life around gambling activities
- Chasing your losses
Problem Gambling Helplines
If you feel that you are suffering from a gaming addiction there are plenty of resources in India that can help you.
GamCare provides counselling and practical advice about gambling activities in India.
You can also get free confidential help from BeGambleAware; they provide immediate help via phone or live chat with qualified 24/7 support.
If you feel you need support and counselling as a result of being adversely affected by gambling, then Gambling Theory might be for you.
Finally, if you feel that you want support from others who have been in your situation, Gamblers Anonymous are a support group who you can count on.