WDW know that most online bingo players can enjoy games in moderation and within sensible limits. But there are those out there who may be in danger of developing an unhealthy relationship with gambling.
The Signs of Problem Gambling
If you recognise any of the following you may have, or be vulnerable to forming, an online gambling addiction:
1. Do you gamble to escape from a boring or unhappy life?
2. Have you ever lied to cover up the amount of money or time you have spent gambling?
3. Are you reluctant to spend ‘gambling money’ on anything else?
4. Have you lost interest in your family, friends or interests?
5. Do you feel depressed or even suicidal because of your gambling?
Bingo Site Features
There are some ways you can protect yourself and some of these are set by the online bingo sites themselves.
1. Daily/Weekly/Monthly Deposit Limit
With this feature customers can limit the amount of money that they can deposit into their account on a daily, weekly and/or monthly basis.
These limits can be changed, but only as a result of the customer doing so; sites can’t override the limits set by customers.
However, there are also sites that enforce player deposit limits themselves. This may be in the form of a scheme based on how long the user has been at a site, and the maximum deposit amount is scaled accordingly.
2. Time Out Periods
This encourages players to take a break if they feel it’s needed, without the need for total self-exclusion.
Sites give the opportunity for players to request a time out period, usually by contacting the Customer Service team.
The period of time can be anything from 24 hours to 6 months; however users can request that the time out period be stopped at any point.
The sites will not send you marketing or promotional material during your time out period.
As the most extreme of actions, it is possible to use the self-exclude feature on bingo sites.
This can be put into place for generally a minimum of 6 months, but often up to a year, and sometimes even permanently.
With this in place, the site will ‘close’ your account and return any remaining balance to you.
If a player decides they want access to the site once again then they can request that their account be reactivated. Even at the end of the self-exclusion period, the customer must contact the site to request a reactivation, as it isn’t an automatic process.
Once the account is live once more the site will give the customer a further 24 hour ‘cooling off’ period’.
Following this, the account will be reactivated unless you contact the site again within this period and request that your self-exclusion period be extended.
How to Be a Responsible Gambler
Here are some tips to help ensure you stay a responsible gambler:
1. Set Limits
The best way to self-regulate is to be clear about how much time and money you will spend during a bingo session. It’s much easier to set limits before you start playing than when you’re already become engrossed in games. This should help you resist the temptation to keep playing even when you’re on a losing streak.
2. Don’t Gamble When You’re Depressed or Upset
You aren’t thinking fully rationally when your emotions are unbalanced for any reason. To be a responsible gambler you need to have and maintain a clear head; so that you are able to make responsible decisions.
3. Only Gamble With Money You Can Afford to Lose
A responsible gambler knows that every time they play they run the risk of losing, and sometimes losing significant amounts.
Therefore you should only gamble with money that isn’t otherwise immediately necessary to your ability to pay bills for example.
Help and Support
If you do feel like your gambling is becoming a problem and you’re losing control, then you should contact services that can help you.
Some companies who are experts in dealing with problem gambling are:
GamCare – UK Based Helpline: 0808 8020 133 www.gamcare.org.uk
Gamblers Anonymous UK – 020 7384 3040 www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk
National Problem Gambling Clinic – 020 7534 6699 www.cnwl.nhs.uk/gambling