Safer Gambling Week – What’s it All About

Operators are more committed now than they’ve ever been to reducing the impact of gambling related harms and once a year, the whole of the UK and Irish gambling industry – amusement arcades, bingo clubs, bookmakers, casinos and online, come together to hit home the message of how important it is to stay in control.

Gambling is a form of entertainment and most of us know when to stop, but for some, gambling is an addiction. Safer Gambling week will run from the 19th – 25th November with an aim of creating a conversation between customers, operators and the wider public and you may have already seen it advertised across social media.

Tools are already provided to players…

…deposit limits, spend limits and Tombola even allow you to ‘freeze’ certain games; a feature that I have implemented just this past week! The Arcade games can go through a lot of money in such as short space of time, so I found the game freeze option within the ‘safe play’ section of my account a godsend.

Stay Safe and Know the Signs:

Gambling should be fun and when it stops being fun, it’s time to stop. PlayOJO are just one of the hundreds of operators taking part in the annual event and have already started to post videos to their Facebook page. The videos detail how just a few simple things can help you manage your play:

  • Only spend what you can afford. The chances of you winning are stacked against you, meaning you’re likely to lose than win. Don’t be under the misconception that you’re due a win – you can go days, weeks, months or even years before getting a win. And most importantly – don’t gamble with money you need for things like bills or rent.
  • Know your limits. Decide on how much you can afford to lose, because chances are you will lose. Make your way to your account section on any online casino or bingo site and make use of the spending limit options offered to you.

Shocking statistics reveal 1 in 10 people have experience the problems that gambling can cause at work and Safer Gambling week want to get people talking about safer gambling. Recognising the signs that you – or someone you know have a gambling problem, mean you can get help quicker, and here are those signs:

  • Spending more money and time on gambling than you can afford
  • Finding it hard to manage or stop your gambling
  • Having arguments with family or friends about money and gambling
  • Losing interest in usual activities or hobbies, like going out or spending time with friends or family
  • Always thinking or talking about gambling
  • Lying about your gambling or hiding it from other people
  • Chasing your losses or gambling to get out of financial trouble
  • Gambling until all your money is gone
  • Borrowing money, selling possessions or not paying bills in order to pay for gambling
  • Needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or for a longer time to get the same feeling of excitement or ‘buzz’
  • Neglecting work, school, family, personal needs or household responsibilities because of gambling
  • Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable

Manage Your Gambling:

Aside from the spending limits and safe play options put to all players, there are other tools available to help manage your interaction with gambling – and one is to stop completely. Self-exclusion is just one, however, while it stops you accessing the website for a period of 6-months, it doesn’t stop you logging in or registering on others.

Many banking groups offer a ‘manage your spending’ feature where Visa Debit related gambling purchases can be switched off. Lloyds customers will find this on the mobile banking app within the main menu. Blocking software (Gamban) can be extremely useful if your solution is to quit gambling completely as it has the power to block access to gambling related sites from computers, tablets and phones.

Gamban is free to anyone who is getting treatment funded by GambleAware. To talk about this option, contact the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8023 133.

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