The Gambling Commission – the regulator for gambling activities across Great Britain – has produced this short guide to help consumers stay safe when gambling, plus advice on how to find help if gambling is getting out of hand.
- Ask yourself why you are gambling
Are you gambling to escape debt or as a way to make quick money? Think carefully about your motivations to gamble. Gambling shouldn’t be seen as the answer to improving your personal finances. If you have concerns about money, speak to a financial adviser or student support services.
- Monitor how often you’re gambling online
Websites must give you access to historic account activity. This means you can see exactly when, how much and what you’ve been gambling on over time and make well-informed choices about what to do next.
- Keep track of how much time you’ve spent gambling
With a reality check, you can set alerts to pop up on screen, which help you to monitor the time spent gambling either online or on gaming machines in a betting shop.
- Limit how much you can spend
If you’re concerned about how much money you’re gambling, you can set a limit on how much you spend. You can also set a limit on how much you spend on gaming machines in a betting shop.
- Give yourself a timeout
During a timeout, you can block yourself from gambling online for a set amount of time, of up to six weeks.
- Need a longer break? Self-exclude from gambling for a minimum of six months
If you think you are spending too much time or money gambling – whether online or in gambling premises – you can ask to be self-excluded. This is when you ask the company to stop you from gambling with them for a period of time. The exclusion will last for a minimum of six months. Find out more >>
- Read the terms and conditions
Did you know almost 80% of gamblers haven’t read the terms and conditions on the websites they are gambling on? By taking the time to read the T&Cs, you can ensure you understand exactly what you are gambling on, and what restrictions are attached to promotions and bonus offers (such as a minimum spend level before the bonus is paid). This will help you make an informed decision on how you take part.
- Make sure the website you’re gambling with is licensed
Make sure you’re gambling with a Gambling Commission licensed business. This means you’ll be protected by gambling and consumer protection rules in Great Britain. Licensed gambling businesses must display that they are licensed and provide a link to the licence register, where you can see what type of activities they are allowed to offer and also if the Commission have taken any regulatory action against them.
You can also take a look at GamCare’s Safer Gambling Standard for information on how this accreditation helps you to identify businesses doing more to keep you safe >>
- Feel it’s getting too much? Talk to someone
There are a number of support options available if you feel your gambling is getting out of control – or even if you are worried it might do – and either want to stay in control or stop gambling altogether. GamCare offers a range of help, as does the National Gambling Treatment Service.
Get in touch now – the National Gambling Helpline is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year on Freephone 0808 80 20 133 or via live chat. Our Advisers can listen to what’s going on for you, and talk you through all of the options available for support.
The Gambling Commission regulated gambling activities across England, Scotland and Wales. Find out more >>