People do sometimes get addicted to gambling. We’d be amiss if we didn’t even mention it.
Online gambling is way more convenient and accessible than casino gambling used to be. This is great for your average customer, but it can be a double-edged sword for people with addictive personalities.
Barriers to Entry
One of the key aspects of forming or breaking behaviours is creating, or removing, barriers to entry.
Having to physically visit a casino is a barrier to the average person’s gambling behaviour. At any point along the decision tree of whether to go out to a casino, you might decide it is no longer worth it and stay home.
It could start raining. You might not be able to find your keys. You might have to get in your car, or on a train.
If you’re on your couch, on your phone, on the other hand? Well, then – there are hardly any friction points at all. You just boot up your online casino, and away you go!
Quite often, as in our river belle casino review for players, we’ll point this out as a good thing. Because generally, it is! However, if you’re addicted to gambling, this makes it easier to return to a casino when it might not be the best idea.
For this reason – nearly all modern online casinos create their own barriers to entry. You can also make your own, psychological barriers, if it works for you. But we’ll look at what casinos can do for you first!
There are, broadly, five types of account controls you can set yourself at most online casinos. They are:
- Deposit limits
- Spend limits
- Time limits
- Time-outs or Breaks
Deposit limits let you limit the amount of money you can deposit at the casino in a given time period. You’ll usually get the options of daily, weekly or monthly deposit limits.
Simply set your limit to an amount you’d be totally happy with spending, and the casino won’t let you deposit any more than that.
You can lower your limit, or even turn it off, but it takes a cool-off period before you confirm the change. Usually, 24 hours or sometimes 48.
This creates a second barrier because during that 24 hours you might decide it’s not actually worth cancelling the limit!
Spend Limits are similar, but they take into account your total spending at the casino rather than deposits. So, for example, if you have a spending limit set up, and you win a large sum – you’ll be prevented from gambling it all (if you think that’s a risk).
Time Limits are great for low-stakes players who aren’t worried about the money, but the amount of time spent gambling. Just set yourself a reasonable daily, weekly or monthly limit, and you’ll be unable to place any bets after you pass that point.
Time-Outs or Breaks let you lock your casino account for a period of time. They usually start at 2 weeks and go up to six months or a year in some cases.
The shorter breaks, like 2 weeks to a month, often automatically expire when the time’s up. Then you can just log back in and start playing again.
However, some casinos will make you contact them by email or phone to confirm, before you can come back after a long break.
These are a great last resort if you think your gambling habits are getting too much. Or, if you change financial circumstances, for example. If you lose your job, you can lock yourself out for a month until you get a new one, and you can afford to spend a little on gambling again!
As well as these account controls, a top online casino will have a few other things to minimize the potential for gambling addiction to form.
For example, the best casinos have ring-fenced withdrawals. This means that when you make a withdrawal, and it’s pending or being processed by the casino, you can’t cancel it.
This means at no point can you decide you want to gamble with that money instead.
These kinds of clear rules and decisions are important when deciding your own online gambling limits.
Not everyone needs rules to avoid becoming addicted. The majority of players can sensibly gamble. But, if you know your personality type can be addictive, then you’d be wise to choose a casino that offers at least some of these features.