Understanding Controlled Gambling: What You Need To Know

Understanding Controlled Gambling: What You Need To Know

Here at KingCasinoBonus, when it comes to the latest slot games or casino action, it’s always about gambling responsibly. It’s vital that you gamble responsibly and ensure that your day-to-day life isn’t affected by any losses or the size of your bankroll.

Gambling should be a pastime that comes as part of a balanced lifestyle, and once those scales tip towards being unbalanced in the favour of a punt on blackjack or you’re depositing more than you can afford into your account to chase losses, then it becomes problematic.

Managing your gambling activity in order to maintain that balanced lifestyle can be challenging for some, but there are plenty of tips and tricks out there to make sure your gaming stays within boundaries and things like bill paying, relationships and putting food on the table doesn’t become challenging. This guide is here to provide you with those practical strategies to ensure you manage your gambling in a controlled and responsible manner.

Understanding Controlled Gambling

Controlled gambling is what many people do already practice. It’s essentially a term used to describe gambling activity that doesn’t cause any damaging consequences for a player, particularly when it comes to the money they are spending, as well as the time and frequency in which they are doing so.

Problem gambling is effectively the opposite of that, and can take a huge toll on a person’s life, financially, mentally and even physically, affecting the likes of relationships, careers and the ability to pay bills. Compulsive gambling, or gambling disorder means that you’re willing to risk something that you value in order to gamble and often requires professional treatment from help organisations in order to manage the problem effectively.

Being self aware of your gambling patterns and activity, and continually reviewing your relationship with gambling is an important factor for anyone. Gambling addiction doesn’t discriminate and making sure you have the tools to keep your playing controlled is always useful to ensure those scales do not tip.

Controlled Gambling Strategies: Six Top Tips

Many players adopt strategies and rules to guarantee they play within their means and there are a range of them to suit various different players. This includes:

Set a financial limit on your gaming before playing

Firstly, work out your finances and understand how much disposable income you can afford and are willing to play with. It’s also important to note that this should be money you are comfortable with losing as, we’re sure you’re aware, wins aren’t guaranteed in gambling.

It can be difficult to stick to a self-imposed limit, so if you do think you will struggle, online casinos will allow you to set a deposit limit on your account. This means you’ll only be able to deposit the amount you’ve set each day, week or month.

Walk away from losses

Chasing losses is one of the most common signs of problem gambling, with it often leading to bigger losses and creating a loss of control that can really spiral. There are spending calculators out there that can help you keep track of your gambling but essentially if you’re sticking to your initial budget, you’ll be much better placed to accept the losses and move on.

Set a time limit on your gambling

While the financial implications of problem gambling are significant, it can also take a toll on your time too, which can affect the likes of relationships and their careers. Many gamblers find it easy to lose track of time during sessions on the slots or table games, which can lead to the likes of ignoring responsibilities and day-to-day tasks, not to mention blow a budget or overspend.

As with deposit limits, online casinos regulated by the UK Gambling Commission also allow you to set time limits. Before each gaming session, give yourself a time limit and either consciously keep an eye on that time or set a time limit within your gambling account, which will then alert you when that period is complete. From there, it’s time to get back on with your daily life.

Keep a monitor of your emotions and mental health

Keeping a diary of your gambling can be a good way to monitor your relationship with it. You may find there are key trends for when you turn to it, such as a stressful day at work. However, using gambling as a coping mechanism isn’t healthy and can lead to the likes of gaming disorders and other mental health conditions.

Log the emotional and mental state you are in before you gamble and after you gamble and it will provide you with a good idea of your reasons for gambling and whether that is a healthy place to be in.

Take breaks in your sessions

Immersing yourself in longer gambling sessions can make it difficult to keep track of the time and money you’re spending. By taking regular breaks, you can clear your head and keep a better track of your spending and the length of time you are gambling for. We always recommend this as staying hydrated and getting fresh air will also improve your decision making when it comes to gambling and knowing when to stop.

Don’t drink and gamble

Finally, gambling under the influence of drink or drugs is a recipe for disaster. Your inhibitions are lowered and the likes of rational, clear thinking and decision making go out of the window. It makes it more difficult to stick to your limits and in the cold light of day can increase anxiety, stress and financial difficulties significantly.

If you are going to gamble under the influence, such as with friends at a casino night, tell a friend your limits and encourage them to help you to stick to them. But, ultimately, it’s best avoided.

Is Your Gambling Getting Out Of Your Control? Here’s Help…

If you’re finding it difficult to stick to the strategies above or generally you’re finding that your gambling is getting out of your control, the best option for you is to stop gambling. That could be for good, or it could be for a period of time to cool down.

There are a range of further strategies that can help you with this, including:

Set up a bank block

At many of the UK’s banks there are features in place that allow you to put a block on any gambling spend. This can often be set-up using your online banking or by getting in touch with an advisor either over the phone or in a physical branch.

Essentially what this will do is block any gambling spend you try to make. For example, if you try to make a deposit at an online casino, the payment will not be processed and your deposit will not enter your betting account.

Download a gambling blocker tool

Alternatively, and something we recommend at KingCasinoBonus if you are struggling to control your gambling, is to download blocking software. This works in a similar way to parental control in that it will prevent you from visiting any gambling website. There are many blocking software options out there, and they can be excellent in preventing problem gambling from escalating further.

Self-Exclude from Gambling

Every online casino will provide you with the option to cool down or self exclude, while GAMSTOP is a tool that will exclude you from all gambling sites licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission.

Players can exclude themselves for six months, one year or five years and once activated it cannot be removed. You can find out more about GAMSTOP by clicking here.

Reach out to friends and family

If you are struggling with controlling your gambling, reaching out to friends or family members can be useful. We always find it’s important to talk about such issues and having a familiar face who knows you well can be a good starting point.

By reaching out to friends and family you can use them almost as a comfort blanket or people who can help you take more responsibility and accountability for your gambling, speaking to them when you feel like it’s getting out of control and finding the encouragement you need to stop.

Get help, see a professional

Ultimately, the best option for you when your gambling is becoming uncontrollable is to utilise all the tactics above, but seek professional help alongside it. There are many help organisations out there that can help in the immediate and longer term with your gambling problems, from charities offering free advice lines to rehabilitation centres and weekly support groups like Gamblers Anonymous.

Using these is the most important step to not just combat compulsive gambling now, but ensure that you’re equipped with the tools to avoid it becoming problematic again further down the line.

Frequently Asked Questions About Controlled Gambling

How do I know if my gambling isn’t controlled?

There are several key signs that could suggest your gambling is becoming out of control, among these signs are:

  • Turning to gambling to overcome stress, anxiety and other problems in life
  • You have impulsive urges to gamble
  • You have a preoccupation with gambling, and a loss of interest in other hobbies
  • Your gambling is having a negative impact on your relationships with others
  • Your gambling is having a negative impact on your finances
  • You’re hiding the amount of money you’re spending on gambling from others
  • Your gambling is having an affect on your working life
  • There are many more signs too, but if you are noticing any of the above, then it could be time to start utilising the strategies mentioned and seeking help.

What are the best organisations to get help with uncontrolled gambling?

There are many rehab centres and charities across the country that can help with problem gambling. At KingCasinoBonus we’ve produced a definitive guide to the best organisations out there that can help with the various aspects of problem gambling. You can view it by clicking here.