Gambling can be fun and safe, as long as you play sensibly. And with mobile optimised online casinos, it is easier than ever to gamble, wherever you are. 

A recent study by YouGov suggests that 2.7% of the UK population has a gambling problem, though GambleAware and the Gambling Commission call this an overestimation and put the figure closer to 0.7%. Either way, this is a significant part of the population struggling with a gambling problem. Thankfully, there are new measures put in place to help prevent problem gambling all the time. One of these ways is setting limits.

How you can gamble responsibly

Here are some ways you can control your spending and ensure you continue to gamble responsibly and safely.

Set Budgets: 

It is a smart idea to set weekly or monthly budgets, whether to control your gambling or just to budget your weekly shop. Some good advice is to never bet more than you can afford to lose. This means you will not gamble beyond your means and you can continue to enjoy fun, safe, and sensible gambling. 

Deposit limits: 

For a bit of extra help you can set deposit limits, which can be done through your online casino. These can be put in place for a certain time period, such as a week or month. You can deposit as often as you like, up to the limit you have set. This ensures you don’t continue depositing after you have reached your set limit, and helps you keep track of how much you are depositing regularly.

Block gambling transactions at bank level: 

If you are struggling, even after placing deposit limits with your casino, you can ask your bank to block transactions spent on gambling from your card. Large banks such as HSBC and Barclays, and the popular competitors Monzo and Starling offer this service. The block lasts until you decide to deactivate it, but there is a 24 hour cooling period from when you first set the block before you can then turn it off again. This allows a player to take time away from gambling and force them to take a step back before ‘chasing’ and trying to recoup losses. 

Autoplay controls: 

Autoplay controls can be really handy in controlling your spending. When entering a slot game you can set autoplay and change the controls to suit your needs. For example, a player could set the game to stop spinning after a certain number of spins. Alternatively, these can be set at a monetary level. One option is to set the game to spin until you have spent a certain amount of your funds. Another option is to set the game to stop spinning after you win a specific value. 

Different game providers will have their own autoplay options, and these can work slightly differently. Check out what autoplay options are available when you play a game so you know what your limits will be.

Time-out and self-exclusion:

For a stricter, and longer lasting, block to your funds you can set time-outs or self-exclude from all gambling sites. A time-out stops you being able to play on the site for a set period of time. These vary in length, from 24 hours to a maximum of six weeks. Self-exclusion with a third party such as GamStop is a block from all sites from six months to five years, and requires the player to contact GamStop to reactivate the account. This is obviously the most extreme method of controlling your gambling funds, and is in place for ‘problem gamblers.’ However, with all the other mechanisms in place, the vast majority of gamblers will not need to use these methods.  

Online gambling is meant to be fun and risk free, so make sure to play only with operators who encourage responsible gaming, and who work in partnership with industry groups such as the GambleAware programme and BeGambleAware.