Responsible Gambling – Enjoy Safe Games & Find Top Resources in the US
Last Updated: September 26, 2023
Online gambling can be extremely fun and engaging, but it can also be dangerous at times. Gambling can become quite a real addiction, so doing it responsibly is imperative.
While in the past, casino operators often tried to entice players to gamble as much as possible, even to their own detriment, that's been changing in the modern era.
Responsible gambling initiatives and programs are now widespread through the iGaming industry, offering help to players inflicted by gambling addiction and those at risk of it.
This page will cover all you need to know about gambling addiction, the resources at your disposal to help you fight it, and the responsible gambling tools that exist to help you gamble the right way.
Is Gambling Addiction Real?
While most people gamble just to have fun and unwind, gambling can become more than that for people if they are not careful.
Medical professionals have heavily researched gambling addiction which is now considered a mental disease, an addictive condition similar to drug or alcohol addiction.
Similarly to drugs, gambling can help create hormones associated with good feelings, which are very easy to get addicted to.
Players who spend too much time gambling run the risk of seeking the thrill of victory in a similar way in which drug addicts seek the thrill of a high.
While gambling addiction is mostly psychological and less physical, it is a serious condition that should not be taken lightly.
For that reason, gambling in a responsible fashion should always be your goal. Limiting your gambling time is the best way to avoid the traps of addictive gambling behaviors.
How to Recognize Problem/Addictive Gambling?
Addictive gambling is a condition that can impact anyone, whether you are young or old, rich or poor, male or female. The most important thing with addictive gambling, like any other addiction, is to recognize it early and get ahead of it.
You may be able to recognize early signs of problem gambling in your own life or the life of one of your friends, peers, or family members.
Some of the signs to look for include the following:
- Playing games of chance for many hours at a time
- Talking about gambling in social situations
- Lying to friends or family about gambling
- Feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, or sadness associated with gambling
- Borrowing money to fund the gambling habit
- Believing gambling games can be beat
- Putting gambling games over other interests in life
- Erratic behavior while playing the games
- Looking to win back the money lost in previous gambling sessions
Each of these signs alone may not be too much to look into, but it could be worth considering. If you notice yourself or anyone in your midst exhibiting these signs, try to talk to them about it or make yourself more aware.
Gambling addiction can be relatively easy to stop if caught early, but it can also be nearly impossible to reverse later.
Note that people may get very defensive when confronted about gambling addiction, so it should be done methodically, possibly with the help of a professional.
If you exhibit some of these signs and are unable to stop, seeking professional help from a counselor is the best way to ensure you are getting ahead of the problem.
Further on this page, we list the best US resources to get free help with gambling addiction in complete confidence and privacy.
How Responsible Gambling Practices Help Players
Responsible gambling is the name we use for a whole set of tools, resources, and practices employed in the modern US online gambling industry. In cooperation with gaming regulators and various responsible gambling organizations, online casinos can help players combat addictive gambling and get a better user experience from their playing time.
Responsible gambling practices include various things, ranging from how iGaming operators market themselves to actual tools players can use to limit their play and avoid problem gambling altogether.
For example, online casinos and other iGaming operators are obligated by law to avoid marketing to people under the legal gambling age and use misleading wording in their marketing campaigns that could suggest online gambling as a source of income.
Furthermore, all online gambling operators with licenses in the US are obligated to include a number of responsible gambling tools in their platforms.
On top of that, the best US casino operators also dedicate a good chunk of time and marketing money to responsible gambling campaigns, which bring attention to problem gambling and help players understand the phenomenon better.
Responsible Gambling Tools – Limit Your Own Play
As long as you play with a licensed US online casino or sportsbook, you can use a range of responsible gambling tools to help yourself without any external assistance.
The terms of their licenses obligate operators to allow players to limit their weekly and monthly deposits and self-exclude themselves from play for varying periods of time.
This means that you could set a fixed limit on your monthly deposits to a casino and completely ban yourself from playing for a month, three, a year, or indefinitely.
Once these tools are used, there is no reverting them until the period passes, which means you will be stress-free for a time period, allowing you to forget about gambling and restart your mind.
Since habit is one of the most frequent ways players get addicted to gambling, breaking the cycle with a temporary ban or a monthly limit is a great way to keep yourself in check.
Responsible gambling tools are yours to use, and if you don't quite know how to use them, you can ask customer support agents at licensed online casinos to help you out.
All major iGaming operators in the US will gladly help you exclude yourself from play or put various limits in place to ensure your gambling habits are not putting you or your family in danger.
Best Problem Gambling Resources – Where to Find Help
If you find that you or someone you care about is experiencing problems with gambling, you should seek some help in addressing the issue.
While talking to your loved ones and addressing the issue in person might also help, seeing professional help is the best course of action.
The following resources can help you with that free of any cost:
➡️ National Council on Problem Gambling – ncpgambling.org
In operation since 1972, The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is one of the foremost responsible gambling resources in the US.
Ranging from brochures and useful tips to actual helplines and trained professionals who can help gambling addicts, NCPG is a one-stop shop for all things related to RG.
NCPG offers different helplines and options for players in various states and can help you get in touch with councilors on a local level or get any type of help you need related to gambling.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any sort of gambling addiction issues, contacting NCPG is a guaranteed way to take the first step in the right direction.
➡️ Gamblers Anonymous – gamblersanonymous.org
Perhaps the most well-known organization dedicated to the promotion of responsible gambling, Gamblers Anonymous, has been around since 1957 and has helped hundreds of thousands of people find their way back from a dangerous addiction.
At Gamblers Anonymous, you can seek help for yourself or your loved ones and find a series of online materials to get you started.
Beyond that, Gamblers Anonymous offers phone meetings, virtual meetings, and in-person meetings all across the US, providing useful programs and steps to help existing or potential addicts.
If you struggle with gambling and can’t seem to shun the habit, although you want to, Gamblers Anonymous is the best place to look for help.
At Gamblers Anonymous meetings, you will meet people who have been through similar struggles and have overcome them, which is one of the best ways to put things into perspective.
➡️ GAM-ANON – gam-anon.org
Gam-Anon is an international organization dedicated to helping persons who suffer from problem gambling and who need help getting rid of their addiction.
Gam-Anon offers opportunities for live meetings across the US, Canada, and the rest of the world, as well as virtual meetings for people from all corners of the globe.
The purpose of Gam-Anon meetings is to allow people to meet others who have experienced similar problems with gambling addiction and to find a way to better their life and put aside their addiction.
Gam-Anon is also available for persons who have been affected by other people’s gambling habits, such as family members whose loved ones are compulsive gamblers.
➡️ Responsible Gambling Council – responsiblegambling.org
Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an organization registered in Ontario, Canada, but it also works with operators and individuals worldwide.
RGC offers resources and materials for youth and young adults and offers help to those in need. Even more importantly, RGC works closely with the operators to help spread the word and combat addictive gambling on a grand scale.
As an individual, you can check out the RGC website for some useful materials or contact RGC and seek help, whether in the form of online counseling or actual live treatment centers.
➡️ BeGambleAware – begambleaware.org
BeGambleAware may be registered in England, but it is an organization that helps people with gambling problems all over the world.
Whether you need help controlling your gambling action, want to help a friend or family member in need, or are looking for some advice, BeGambleAware has you covered.
The organization has been active for many years and has had great success in battling gambling addiction, making them one of the best resources.
You can contact BeGambleAware via phone or email, as well as live chat, and all your information and discussions will be held 100% private.
The professionals at BeGambleAware understand what you are going through and will be able to help you better understand the problem and find the best solutions for it.
Stay Safe – Play Responsibly
Gambling is a fun hobby that can become a dangerous habit and an addiction if not treated with care, so exercising moderation is highly advised.
While all the RG resources and tools we listed here can be of great help, the best way to help yourself with addictive gambling is to avoid it in the first place.
Gamble responsibly, only use leisure funds for it, and ensure you are always playing within your bankroll without risking any money you need for other expenses.
Remember to limit your gambling time and exposure to games of chance, and try never to gamble alone. Your friends will tell you if you are taking things too far!
If you can adhere to these guidelines and always remember to play responsibly, you will significantly reduce the risks and maximize the fun you are having at the casino, which should always be your end goal when gambling.