Online gambling is all about having fun. It’s about enjoying the challenge of playing new games and pitting your wits against machines, fellow bettors, and live dealers. There is also the added excitement of landing the odd win or jackpot. But it’s important to gamble responsibly, and that is what we here at Gambling ORB always recommend.
The moment your main aim with online gambling is to win money, is the moment you need to stop and reconsider your priorities. Your goal should be to have fun, and if you happen to win a few AUD in the process, treat it as a bonus. Responsible gambling is all about not spending money that you cannot afford.
Playing online pokies or casino table games is a great form of entertainment. As long as you gamble responsibly, it’s a great way of spending your free time.
But if you or someone you know is showing signs of becoming addicted, you need to know what to do, and that is what this GamblingORB article is all about.
Another Form of Paid Entertainment
We all need to be entertained. All work and no play make Jack (or Jill) a dull boy (or girl), as the saying goes. Most entertainment in Australia costs money. A trip to a movie theatre, seats at the opera, even an evening at the local pub with your mates; they all cost money, and online betting is no different.
What is different is that you stand to win a few dollars when you play online pokies or blackjack, or whatever. It’s that thrill or, worse, the expectation, that can get you into trouble. You need to know how to gamble responsibly, and if you can’t, you need to learn how.
Responsible Gambling Begins with Doing Some Research
You should never rush into anything blindly. Whenever you try something out for the first time, you need to do a little research to know what you’re getting yourself into. You wouldn’t, for example, start playing blackjack if you were totally ignorant of the rules, now would you? The same goes for any form of online gambling.
Have a look at a few Aussie websites. Don’t register or play; this is research only, so just check them out. Have a look at their terms and conditions. If there are any words whose meaning you are unfamiliar with, like “wagering requirements,” for instance, research those words specifically. Check out some gambling-related social media and chat sites.
Setting Up Some Limits Before You Gamble
It’s all too easy to get carried away by the moment. So you need to set up some limits.
#1 Setting Up a Gambling Session Money Limit
Limiting how many Australian dollars you are willing to spend in any one gambling session is a good place to start with a responsible gambling ethic. You should already know how much free cash you have left after paying your bills and living expenses. This is the only money into which you should tap. Never try and spend what you don’t have.
#2 Setting Up a Gambling Session Time Limit
Having decided on your cash limit, the next step on the road to preparing how to gamble responsibly is to put a time limit on each online session. It’s all too easy to get carried away by the moment, and the longer your session is, the more $s you are likely to spend. So, set a time limit and keep to it.
Control Your Behaviour When You Gamble
It’s all very well, starting out with good intentions. But, if they fall by the wayside, as soon as you get into an online betting session, you could find yourself in trouble. So the next part of this GamblingORB article on learning how to gamble responsibly focuses on standing by your guns.
#1 Be wary of Bonuses
Most Aussie gamblers begin online betting by claiming a welcome bonus. It’s the most popular type of bonus, and all casinos have them to attract new players to their platforms. They are couched in terms that seem very generous, and players often claim them and win some money only to find out they can’t withdraw their winnings until they have met the bonus’s wagering requirement.
This is a classic instance when an Australian gambler might lose sight of the time and money restrictions he or she laid down as part of their responsible gambling rules. The excitement of making the necessary extra deposits and playing them through them to access their winnings, takes over. Don’t let it.
#2 Understanding that the House Usually Wins
All online betting games, be they pokies or table games, have a House edge and an RTP (Return to Player) percentage. The smallest house edge is typically 1.5%, and this applies to some variants of blackjack. If the House edge is 1.5%, it means that the RTP is 98.5%. You will never see an RTP of 100% or more, which basically means you will lose in the long term. Understanding this is fundamental to responsible gambling.
The team here at Gambling ORB fully acknowledges that you might buck the trend and win in the short term. But over a longer spell or across many sessions, you will lose.
#3 Don’t Fall for the Gambler’s Fallacy
The “gambler’s fallacy” is the conviction that repeating circumstances will repeat a previous win. That is rubbish. All properly licensed and regulated Australian online casinos have RNGs (Random Number Generators) that determine the outcome of games, be those games pokies, cards, or other table games. The key word here is “random,” and understanding that is fundamental to learning to gamble responsibly.
The dictionary explanation of “random” is “a result that occurs without definite aim, reason, or pattern.” Online betting platforms spend a lot of money having the RNGs independently audited and certified that they produce random, fair gaming outcomes. GamblingORB confirms that repeating circumstances are nothing more than a fluke.
Making Use of Responsible Gambling Tools
If you want to take your responsible gambling approach to the next level, you might want to “formalise” your self-made restrictions using the tools that the online casinos you use offer. Here are some of the most popular tools around.
The Responsible Gambling Bet Limit Tool
This tool allows you to set a daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limit. Once in place, the Australian platform will alert you if you try to exceed that limit. It is not affected by money transfers between different wallets or any withdrawals you might make. Any increases you might try to make won’t take effect for 7 days, while any decreases are actioned straight away.
The Loss Limit Tool
As our team here at Gambling ORB can tell you, chasing losses is bad news. It;’s an easy way of increasing your losses. But with a Loss Limit Tool, you can limit the amount you can lose or transfer in a certain period.
The Gamble Responsibly Time Out Tool
Australian bettors experiencing a losing streak can use this tool to suspend their access to the casino for anywhere from 1 to 30 days.
Other tools that can help you with how to gamble responsibly include:
- The Budget Calculator Tool – Helps you to analyse your income and your outgoings to arrive at a potential betting budget.
- The Reality Check – This tool takes into account any real money games you play. It works on bet placement. It is applied on a session-by-session basis, and you receive a report after each session. It is not restrictive – it is informative.
- The Responsible Gambling Self Assessment – This is a tool that asks you a number of questions about your gambling activities. Based on your answers, it will indicate whether you are gambling responsibly or whether you might have a problem.
The last of the available tools is the self-exclusion tool which is part of the discussion below.
What You Should Do if you Feel You Cannot Stop Gambling
If you feel you want to stop gambling but are having difficulty doing so, you may need to use a self-exclusion tool. It is the ultimate step for any Australian to take if they fear they cannot gamble responsibly.
Self-exclusion, also referred to as self-banning, is a voluntary step any Australian gambler can take. Once in force, it excludes a player from areas of gambling sites or an online betting site entirely. All Aussie betting platforms are required to provide their customers with this option.
There are various self-exclusion programs all across Aus. They tend to work in similar ways.
- Choose the platform from which you wish to be excluded.
- Sign a deed or confirm electronically confirm with the platform the length of time of the exclusion.
GamblingORB advises Aussie players to think long and hard before activating a self-exclusion order. Once it is in force (there is usually a 24-hour cooling-off period), it cannot be revoked until the requested exclusion period has ended.
If you think you need help, here are several support organisations you can talk to about how to gamble responsibly before making a rash decision and regretting it in hindsight – companies like GamCare and BeGambleAware.org. You might also like to read the “Gambling Addiction and Problem Gambling” guide on the helpguide.org website.