Betting by People in Great Britain generated £14.3 billion for the gambling industry in 2019 (see Gambling Commission study on Gambling in Great Britain published May 2020) The UK betting industry is one of the biggest in the world which is also governed by strict gambling laws. All UK Bookmakers and Gambling sites are required to offer and promote responsible gambling to customers.
Betting on horses at a day at the races and backing the winner in the big race can give a unbelievable feeling of joy and excitement. Gambling in a sensible responsible way makes a fun leisure activity. The highs gambling can create can also mean however that it can become highly addictive. This is why betting sites are required to offer outlets to enable responsible gambling by way of tools and services provided to their users.
What is Responsible Gambling
The Government insist on responsible gambling not to curb it all together but to ensure it is undertaken in a controlled way and continues to be a fun activity. As mentioned above gambling generates positive feelings of excitement and satisfaction but sometimes even the most controlled people do not know when to stop gambling This is why it is felt that sometimes we need someone to intervene and limit our betting to ensure we do it in a responsible way and continue to enjoy the pastime.
Bookmakers see their business for the long term and it is not their mission to make people lose more than they can afford, By encouraging people to bet what they can afford responsibly they are fostering customers who will be able to bet for many years and continue to bet for fun.
Betting Operators add services to control and limit gambling. Some gambling tools and processes are law under the 2014 Gambling Act and others tools are added optionally. Some of the services provided by bookmakers include, Self Exclusion, Deposit Limits, Limit Access and Time Out.
Gambling Commission Guides to Responsible Gambling
The UK Gambling commission licence and regulate the gambling industry in the UK. The Gambling Commission was set up as part of the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain in partnership with licensing authorities (see guide to licensing authorities) such as in relation to Bingo Halls, Betting Premises, Poker, Casino, Adult Gaming Centres, gaming machines, and Horse Racing Tracks etc. You can search the Gambling Commission site to check if gambling company hold a UK Operating Licence.
The Gambling Commission has some useful articles in respect to safe responsible gambling including:
- Tools to help control time and money spent on Gambling ( details on Setting limits, Time Outs, Self Exclusion)
- How to Get Help with Problem Gambling
- Self Exclusion – Details on what it is and how it works
Gambling Safety Guide for Parents – The minimum legal age for gambling in Great Britain is generally 18 years old. This applies to adult gaming centres, betting shops, bingo halls, casinos, race tracks and online gambling. Currently the National Lottery can be played from the age of 16. However the Government has announced that the minimum age to buy National
Lottery products including lotto games and scratch cards will be increased to 18 from 1st October 2021 ( Government Response to consultation on the minimum age for playing National Lottery Games)
- Big Deal – This website is run by Gamcare and has information for young people on gambling issues.
Tools and Features Provided to Aid Responsible Gambling
More details on tools to assist responsible gambling are listed below, remember these tools alone will not control your betting but they will help guide you.
All GB regulated gambling site must offer Self Exclusion. It is a way to exclude yourself from betting on a website for a set period. The period of time maybe 24 hours, or 5 years, or possibly permanently. During the time of self exclusion you will not be able to bet on that companies website or premises.
Cooling off periods are similar to Self Exclusion but they are over a shorter period. The period could be from 5 minutes upwards. You can not bet during this time, this option is very useful when playing online games and casinos where stakes are spent in seconds, and as the name suggests this gives you time to cool off and reconsider your actions and if you do really want to continue betting at that time.
Another loss management tool, is to set deposit limits and loss limits when you first use a operator. You can set a deposit limit for a period of time say a week, in which you decide how much you deposit in this time . Once the limit has been reached you can not deposit anymore during the time period. Some bookmakers also have a loss limit restriction where you can set loss limit restrictions say set a limit of losing £500 per month.
Restrict time spent on a operators site. The time limit can be set for a single session or day. Time out tools are very useful when playing online casino, slots or poker.
Partial Exclusion / Limited Access
Finally another good option is to exclude you from certain sections of the site. For instance you might want to only have the ability to bet on sports and not to have access to the slots and casino sections.
Using Betting History To Control Betting
Betting operators provide ability to track your betting over a period by bet type or section of the site. The ability to see what you have bet on can help you keep track of your betting and to help you bet responsibly.
What Can I do To Help Me Keep Track Of My Betting?
- Only spend what you can afford – Always keep in mind that you are more likely to lose the money you stake than you are to win more, Therefore only gamble with money you sdo not need and not with money you need for things like rent or bills.
- Set your limits for time and money
- Don’t gamble when you’re angry or upset
- Don’t let gambling interfere with your personal relationships
- Remember – gambling is not the answer to any problem
- Any other problems you have will probably be made worse if you use gambling as a way to get away from them. If you feel you would like some
support to gamble less, or stop altogether, you can speak to a specialist Adviser:
– By telephone – FREE on 0808 8020 133
– Via online chat with GamCare at www.gamcare.org.uk
– Visit the National Gambling Treatment Service at www.BeGambleAware.org
– Gambling Therapy – offer support (http://www.gamblingtherapy.org)
– Gamblers Anonymous – they provide telephone counselling to anyone that needs it (http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/ga).
– See your doctor. If you are using gambling as an escape from depression or similar there may be underlying issues that can be treated properly.