Many people enjoy gambling as a hobby and there are lots of activities which come under this heading: for example, playing bingo with friends, entering an online poker tournament, or placing a bet on your favorite sports team. However, there is a small percentage of players who find it difficult to regulate their gambling, which can lead to it having negative effects on their life.
The signs of problem gambling include:
- Concealing gambling activity from others.
- Feeling preoccupied with thoughts about gambling when doing other activities.
- Having financial difficulties because of gambling losses.
- Gambling when stressed or anxious.
- Previous attempts to stop or limit gambling behavior have failed.
For people suffering from problem gambling help can be found in the form of apps and tools, specifically designed to minimize these symptoms. Here are some of the best apps to download for Android:
The Gambling Therapy app has been designed by the Gordon Moody Association and brings all the fantastic web content into a neat package on your phone. This app takes a holistic approach to dealing with gambling issues, offering you tools which block access to gambling sites as well as multilingual support groups and mindfulness exercises. By giving gamblers the tools to address the mindset and psychology behind why they struggle to stop, The Gambling Therapy app reduces their chances of relapsing, compared to just using blocking software alone.
Designed and developed by The Kindred Group and Zafty Technologies, Bettor Time is an app which will track your betting habits and allow you to see exactly how much time you spend gambling. You can then set limits and block times of the day where you make bad gambling decisions, such as when getting home from a stressful day at the office. The apps algorithms learn your gambling behaviour and will alert you to changes, such as increased activity or the placing of larger bets.
Responsible Gambling by Online Casinos
Online casinos themselves already offer a variety of ways you can keep control of your gambling habits. After all, it’s in their interests to look after their customers and let them gamble safely. But many people don’t think of providers as being responsible; they only see the advertisements for new players and enticements like a poker bonus which encourage people to make a deposit. Let’s have a look at some of the tools offered by online casinos which encourage players to gamble responsibly:
You can set your own deposit limits for a variety of time periods – days, weeks, months etc – to make sure that you only spend what you have budgeted for. This is a great way to stop chasing losses – where gamblers increase the size of their bets in the hope that winnings will offset the loses made so far. Unfortunately, this often just results in more money being lost and greater debts piling up. By restricting the player’s ability to make repeated deposits, online casinos are stopping them from overspending.
Online providers also give players the option to activate time limits on their accounts. These can be set as daily, weekly, or monthly limits and ensure that gambling doesn’t take over and eat into the rest of your time. If you’re the kind of person who is easily distracted, then a daily limit will help you to make time for other activities each day.
If you recognize that your gambling is beginning to get out of hand, you can contact the customer services team at your online casino and request to take a break for anywhere between 1 day and 6 weeks. Your account will immediately be suspended, and you will not be able to log in until the time has elapsed. The idea behind this ‘take a break’ action is that it gives you time to step away from gambling and work on the issues that escalated your activity.
For longer exclusion periods, you can request a ‘self-suspension’. These usually last from 6-12 months and there is no way to reactivate your account until the time is up. You also cannot open a new account. Many online casinos are part of the same group, under the same owners, and they will share your details so you can’t open new accounts on any of their other sites either. This might sound like an extreme action to take, but for some people it is absolutely vital to be able to push a ‘deactivate’ button in order to retain control over their gambling habits. There is even a service which will do all the work for you – the national self-exclusion register – so you don’t have to contact every provider yourself.
Online providers are eager to promote responsible gambling, whether through offering their own tools or championing those designed by others. Even if you don’t think you have a problem, using some of these apps and tools to set limits and monitor your behaviour will help ensure that you never develop any issues.