The thrills of online gambling and the importance of playing responsibly

Gambling has always been a popular pastime in the UK. And that desire to have a flutter on the horses or the latest football matches has become even more popular since the birth of the internet in the 1990s. In fact, online betting in the UK is a super-hot topic right now as MPs call for reforms to tackle the issue of problem gambling whilst the industry continues to drive huge profits. 

So why do we all love to gamble so much, and what can we do to ensure we always play responsibly? 

Why do we gamble?

Obviously, the potential for financial rewards is the main driver for anyone who decides to place a bet. The thought of winning a sum of money just because you believe Liverpool to be a dead cert in their next league game makes laying down hard cash a tempting proposition. And the thrill of that cash heading your way when you do get a winner is also exciting.  After a winning bet we all feel on top of the world, especially if we put a lot of research into making that choice. All that work paid off, and it’s a great feeling.

When that rush wears off then it’s tempting to go in and place another bet and try to win some more. Of if we lose, we may be tempted to chase those losses and recover our money. Both scenarios are to be treated with a great deal of caution. Whilst the emotion of the moment can get to you, it’s always important to keep a cool head where gambling is concered. 

How to keep it safe

The golden rule with gambling is to play responsibly. In the UK we see that idea now more than ever. In fact, regulators insist that the operators push the message with every advertisement they pay for. But what does it mean, and how can we do it? 

Here are 5 tips on how to play responsibly: 

  1. Set your budget

The biggest danger with online gambling is that you lose track of how much you are spending. It is easily done. Playing online, you do not need to leave the house, or visit the bank to take out funds and place you bets. It’s all done through your computer or mobile. And the betting opportunities are immense – there are 1000s of markets to choose from at bookmakers, and 1000s of casino games to try, whilst depositing more funds to bet with takes just seconds. Also, take advantage of special promotions such as Betwinner's sign up bonus which offers players 100% bonus on first deposits.

The dangers are clear and to avoid spending more than you can afford you must set yourself a budget each week. Don’t be tempted to deposit more and chase down your losses. And always use the responsible gambling tools in your casino or sportsbook account to set your own daily or weekly limits. These are a great way to ensure you never spend more that you can afford.  

  1. Keep it fun

Of course, for gamblers its important to remember that relying on betting to provide the money to pay their bills is to be avoided. Gambling should always be a fun experience, not a way of life. 

Watching sport is fun as it is, and adding the excitement of having a bet on the outcome of a match makes it even more thrilling. But if you find that you can’t enjoy a game WITHOUT having a bet, then it is time to stop. The same goes for playing casino games online. These are great fun to play, win or lose. But if you start to feel that you are not having fun, that watching the reels or the cards is more stressful than enjoyable, then it’s time to stop too. 

  1. Don’t gamble with credit

Another golden rule for gambling is to only use money that is yours! It sounds obvious, but in the worst cases of problem gambling, players have borrowed money on numerous credit cards and pay day loans to fund their habit, always assuming that at some point they would get the big win that would allow them to pay off their debts. But that big pay day never happens. 

Fortunately it is now illegal for gambling operators to accept deposits with credit cards in the UK which has gone some way to stopping this behaviour. Anyone who gambles must stick to this rule – only play with money that is your own, and never gamble on credit.

  1. Only make affordable bets

It is possible online to stake large amounts of money in one bet. Whilst it is expected that new rules may outlaw stakes of more than £2 on online casino games in the future, currently many online slots in the UK accept bets of up to £100 per spin. Betting at this level is incredibly risky and a punter can burn through a large balance in a matter of mintues.

The best advice is to play with small stakes of £1 or less per spin. It means that your money will go further and you will enjoy longer sessions playing online without the risk of racking up those big losses in short periods. Remember you can also set limits on how much you can wager, lose or deposit in your account at any UK licensed casino. 

  1. Look for help if you need it

If you do find that your gambling is getting too much and you are unable to control your own behaviour then you should seek professional help from one of the chartiable organisations in the UK like Gamcare or Gamblers Anonymous. They will be able to provide you with help and advice, including information about local groups who can provid support for those with a problem gambling issue. Don’t keep it a secret, share the problem and start getting support as soon as you can.

The message is here is simple. Gambling can be great fun and should be enjoyed as a hobby. Following these rules is vital to make sure it stays that way. And if it is becoming a problem, then seek help immediately. 

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