Responsible Gambling Guide

BettingLounge is committed to promoting gambling in a fun and responsible manner while helping people stay in control. We take regular breaks from our betting tips and encourage our followers to do the same.

Below you will find tips and advice for gambling safely, and responsibly and how to keep it fun. Also, we have posted links to professional help if you are concerned about your gambling, or if you are concerned for any of your friends or family.

Written by Steven Hubbard
Verified by BettingLounge team
Last updated 15/04/2024

The Importance of Responsible Gambling

We believe gambling should only ever be for fun, and should never be seen as a way to make money. While there has been a trend of so-called experts - focusing heavily on statistics - in the betting world recently, this is certainly not for everyone and new as well as experienced bettors need to be careful.

It is easy for betting to get out of hand, even for those who normally have high self-control, and that is why it has become increasingly important to focus on responsible gambling. Not to mention that the number of betting sites has increased, resulting in more enticing welcome offers and promotions.

Be wary of any person/company claiming to make guaranteed profits as it is highly unlikely and potentially a scam. Another important thing to note is the range of tools available on your preferred betting site. Having access to the common ones can help you stay within your desired limits, which we will discuss more below.

Tools for Responsible Gambling

Almost all UK bookmakers who are regulated and licensed by the Gambling Commission will have tools to help you stay in control, and gamble responsibly. Ensuring that gambling remains a fun activity is not only the responsibility of the bettors, in other words, but also the sites.

We encourage all bettors to at least use some of the tools, regardless if they are spending small or big amounts. The deposit limit is a great example, in that sense, as it allows the bettors to reflect on their habits and usually make a decision before things get out of hand. While it may not sound like a lot, it can be very powerful.

Although it differs depending on the site, some of the most common tools for responsible gambling are:

  • Deposit Limits

    Everyone should set gambling limits, and there is no better way than putting in a deposit limit. This will stop you from depositing more than your set limit! You can set deposit limits per day, week, or month and they can be changed if needed.

  • Reality Checks

    These can monitor the time you spend on a betting site and even your wins/losses during that period.

  • Self-exclusion

    If you want to take a longer break, self-exclusion is an option too. You can self-exclude on the site or with GamStop which blocks you from playing on all UK gambling sites for 6 months, 1 year or 5 years.

  • Take a break

    If you want to exclude yourself for a shorter time, check out the betting sites "Take a Break" or "Cool Off" features. Betting sites have different names for this tool, but it is essentially a period to block access to the site.

  • Self-assessment tests

    Most bookmakers offer a self-assessment test to give you guidance on whether you are a risk of developing a gambling problem. They are fully anonymous, and your answers will not be recorded. Some betting sites also include diaries, budget calculators and other tools to help stay in control.

Implementing and making use of the tools available can help many from falling into a gambling addiction. The latter has the potential to ruin lives and must be treated with great seriousness. The focus on responsible gambling is thus - fittingly - very responsible indeed.

Tips and Advice for Responsible Gambling

If you are stuck in your betting habits, it can sometimes be nice to refresh your memory with tips and advice on how to change your ways. While most of these may sound obvious, they can be difficult to identify in the moment and deserve some reflection.

It will vary from individual to individual, of course, but below are some key pieces of advice to ensure that gambling remains a fun activity:

  • Don't think of gambling as a way to make money. Yes, you can make money with gambling, but this is not the case for most people. Set yourself a budget, and gamble only what you can afford to lose.

  • Never chase your losses. Again, gamble what you can afford to lose. If you lose more than that, do not try to win the money back. Chasing your losses will likely lead to even bigger losses.

  • Avoid gambling if you are upset, angry or down. Gambling will not make you happy, it will likely lead to further stress or negativity. Try to only gamble when you're feeling positive.

  • Take regular breaks. We take regular breaks, and so should you! We will take 1-3 days off each week, but we recommend you take more breaks than that.

  • Set time and money limit. Set a time limit for how long you will spend gambling while always sticking to a budget you can afford to lose.

  • Avoid gambling while drinking or on drugs. It is never recommended to gamble while under the influence of any drugs. You will struggle to stick to a budget and it could be very costly.

  • Speak about your gambling with friends or family. If you are worried about your gambling habits, speak to your friends or family for help and advice. Never put gambling before your friends or family.

  • Check your account history. It is easy to lose track of how much you are gambling if you do not set out a budget. Be sure to regularly check your account history to keep an eye on your spending.

  • Seek help. If you break one or several of these tips, it could be time to seek help. Below is a list of problem signs to look out for, and a list of sites that provide professional help.

Common Signs of Gambling Addiction

Are you worried about your betting habits? Have you spent more money than you would have liked recently? If so, you might be wondering if your betting has gotten out of hand.

There are a few common signs that can help you determine whether you should take some additional measures, including but not limited to the following:

  • Spending more money on gambling than you can afford, or chasing losses.

  • Struggling to take breaks from gambling.

  • Always thinking about or talking about gambling.

  • Lying about your gambling habits and losses.

  • Arguing with friends or family about gambling, be it yours or theirs.

  • Borrowing money, or selling possessions to fund gambling.

  • Anxiety, stress or any worrying feelings while gambling.

  • Neglecting school, work, family, friends, or responsibilities due to gambling.

Of course, there are other signs to look out for, and it can be difficult to admit or know if someone has a problem with gambling. But, know you are not alone, and there are plenty of services out there to help you.

A good starting point for UK punters could be to take the self-assessment test provided by GamCare, which is a great way to determine whether or not their betting habits are unsustainable.

Services Offering Free Professional Help

There are several organisations that you can turn to if you feel that gambling has taken over your life. Especially if you relate to any of the signs mentioned above, and the betting advice is having little to no effect on your gambling.

It is important to highlight that these organisations offer free help, so bettors should not be worried about having to spend more money to overcome their addiction. Not only are they free, but they will most likely also help bettors save a lot of money.

GamCare: Another great provider of gambling support, advice, information and free treatment for anyone affected by problem gambling.

BeGambleAware: A leading independent charity in the UK that is committed to reducing gambling-related harms.

Gamblers Anonymous: The site offers various help for those affected by problem gambling including a forum, chat room, information, and local meetings.

YGAM: Young Gamblers Education Trust is a UK-registered charity with the purpose to "inform, educate and safeguard young people against problematic gambling and social gambling".

Gambling Therapy: A global service offering free practical advice and emotional support to anyone affected by problem gambling.

Gordon Moody: A unique intensive residential treatment programme in the UK for those gamblers most severely addicted. Also, the site provides advice, education and therapeutic support to problem gamblers.

NHS - Help for problem gambling: Helpful advice from the NHS, including advice, links to supporting sites and more.

OKrehab: "OK Rehab specialises in addiction treatment. This treatment is available via both inpatient and outpatient treatment providers."

Responsible gambling can make your life better from a financial as well as mental health standpoint. Adopting the tools available, or seeking help if you need to, can thus make a big difference.

It is important to remember that you are in control of your betting - while the betting sites are mostly looking to maximise their own profit - and this is why you always have to gamble responsibly.

We hope this guide has provided you with a blueprint on how to do just that, from the very basic to the more advanced measures.

Steven is an experienced iGaming content writer who has been working in the industry since 2018. He is passionate about sports betting and enjoys writing about all aspects of the industry, including bookmaker reviews, betting tips and strategies, and news and analysis. If you have any questions about online gambling in the UK, please don't hesitate to contact him.