With problem gambling growing in the industry, Bingo Sites (UK) takes responsible gambling very seriously. We believe that all users of bingo websites, betting platforms, and casinos should have support available whenever they need it. As providers of a bingo experience, websites in the niche have a responsibility to raise awareness of responsible gambling among all players.
In this guide, we want to do our bit to help the industry and those in need!
First and foremost, we support a fair and safe environment for all. No underage players should be allowed access to a bingo website and those with a history of gambling problems should have support (without access to gambling opportunities). When Bingo Sites (UK) recommends a bingo website, we want users to feel safe in the knowledge that we have considered their responsible gambling offering. If inadequate, we’ll steer clear and recommend a website that is serious about this area instead.
Whether you’re reading this for yourself or on behalf of a loved one, we hope you find it informative.
Compulsive Gambling – Do You Have a Problem?
In truth, the definition of compulsive gambling has evolved over the years. In years gone by, the only opportunities to gamble would be in physical bookmakers, casinos, and bingo halls. Therefore, it was easy to spot compulsive gambling – it would be defined as anybody who couldn’t stay away from these locations and didn’t mind risking more than they had.
These days, we have mobile devices in our pockets capable of loading bingo websites in record time. While a good thing for the bingo experience, it also means that those with a gambling addiction can satisfy their urges and cravings before a second thought. Especially with apps, players remain logged in and can enter a bingo room within 30 seconds of unlocking their phone.
Just because you have an app, we aren’t suggesting this is a sign of a compulsive gambling issue. However, the line between an avid gambler and problem gambler has become blurred in recent years. For loved ones, they can’t identify the extent of the problem because the individual may lie and hide their problem. Sadly, the individuals can also lie to themselves and this is where the problem spirals.
How do you recognise a problem in yourself or a loved one? We’ve listed some questions below that you can ask yourself or others:
- Do you play to forget negative emotions, conflicts, problems, or frustrations in your life?
- Have you ever gambled while you should have been working, studying, or doing something else important?
- Do you feel yourself chasing losses and gambling to pay off debts?
- Do you gamble important money (such as rent, bill money, or another form of important cash)?
- Does all of your disposable money go into gambling?
- Do you feel as though you’ve lost control of the experience? Or that gambling is no longer fun?
- Have you ever stolen from loved ones, borrowed from friends, or sold belongings just to fund gambling?
- Have you ever put gambling in front of loved ones and other important aspects of your life?
- Have you ever felt the urge to gamble at work or in other situations where it wouldn’t be appropriate?
Do you have a problem? For many, it’s these questions that makes them realise that an issue exists. For others, it takes a look at how much time and money they invest in the practice. Perhaps you can no longer enjoy anything in life because it doesn’t live up to what you feel when gambling. If so, you need to get help to take back control of your life.
Helping Individuals with Gambling Addiction
After reading the section above, we know that some people will recognise a problem in themselves while others will recognise it in others. Either way, one of the first (and most difficult) steps is to open up and admit there’s a problem. We know it sounds cliche but understanding that you have a problem is the only way to get onto the path of recovery.
Just as we see with drugs and alcohol, compulsive gambling is an addiction. For addicts, they seek the thrill of gambling and it sometimes gets to the point where they can’t get this excitement from any other part of their lives. Of course, there’s also the obvious financial turmoil that compulsive gambling causes.
After admitting a problem, the second step is understanding that you aren’t the first person to experience gambling addiction and you won’t be the last. With this in mind, there are resources and organisations ready and waiting to help. We recommend following the steps below:
Step 1: Close All Accounts – Firstly, remove your access from all gambling accounts. In our experience, it’s best to cut all cords across bingo, betting, casinos, and other sources. As well as hitting the self-exclusion button, talk to the customer support team of your chosen website.
These days, systems are in place to close access universally to all problem gamblers. Therefore, you won’t be able to self-exclude from one platform and immediately sign up to another.
Step 2: Seek Professional Help – Thankfully, there are now plenty of resources available for those who need help online. For example, we recommend utilising the following:
- Gamblers Anonymous
- Responsible Gambling Trust
- Count Me Out
- Gam Anon
- The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling
- Gambling Therapy
With experience in helping people in your position, they deal with individuals anonymously. If this is a concern, please know that your identity will never be shared with others. Of course, we advise getting family members and friends in on the recovery for motivation and inspiration. When the people close to you understand what’s happening, they can support in the right way.
Gambling Addiction and Anonymous Help
We want to follow the previous section with some more information about anonymous help. For many gambling addicts, they steer clear from getting help because they don’t want the whole world to know about their problems. Don’t worry, this is never the intention of any organisation.
For example, most organisations will ask a few questions about your experience, the games you like, your age, etc. From here, they’ll recommend treatment and the best course of action. On the GambleAware website, you’ll see a whole host of resources accessible without giving a name.
If you think you need help, don’t assume that this will mean identifying yourself as an addict to anybody who you don’t want to. Every year, many people recover and get themselves onto a brighter path anonymously.
Responsible Gambling Advice
While some readers will recognise problems in their gambling habits, others are reading this as a precautionary measure; perhaps you want to prevent the gambling experience from going too far. For others, it’s a case of keeping an eye on loved ones. Here’s some responsible gambling advice to prevent addiction:
1. Monitor Activity Carefully
Firstly, use the account tracking features whether this is with an online bingo website or casino. Normally, it takes just a few clicks to review all deposits, bets, and withdrawals. Keep control of how much you wager and, if required, create a document tracking how much you spend.
2. Only Wager Money You Don’t Need
This sounds like an oxymoron because we need all money. However, there’s a difference between spending £10 not important to your survival and risking rent money. As soon as you start gambling essential funds, this is where the problem starts.
3. Relinquish Control – Don’t Chase Losses
Next, we advise all gamblers to relinquish control and realise that they have no power over the outcome of bingo. Just because you play more than a casual player, this doesn’t entitle you to more wins. Just because you know more about online bingo than most, this doesn’t guarantee a win. Instead, realise that an RNG (random number generator) is in control. If you win, that’s great. If you lose, it’s not the end of the world.
The house ALWAYS wins, and this is true of all online gambling websites. Therefore, nothing good will ever come from chasing losses. If you lose £200, you’re not then more likely to win the next £200.
4. Extra Tips
To finish, here are some more tips for bingo players:
- Follow the advice from TV ads and stop when the fun stops; if gambling is a chore, log out of your account and stay away from the website. Bingo is a form of entertainment, so try to keep it this way.
- Remember that making a living from bingo and other forms of gambling is almost impossible. Success stories are just that – rare stories.
- Set a deposit limit for gambling whether this is manually or through the bingo website. Most gambling websites have this feature now so that no deposits are accepted after reaching the limit.
Bingo Sites (UK) takes responsible gambling very seriously, and we hope the information and resources listed here help to prevent and reduce the growing gambling addiction problem. If you need help, just ask.