Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling is a broad term that applies both to the consumers of gambling products and providers as well. For individual consumers, responsible betting involves owing up and being responsible enough over personal gaming habits. This activity should be perceived as a source of fun and not an exclusive money-making venture. Individuals should not let their gaming behaviors have a negative toll on their lives or lives of those around them.

For gambling product providers, it is incumbent upon them to provide highly safe, secure, and transparent platforms to gamblers. They ought to install effective measures to prevent underage children from indulging in gambling while at the same time capping deposits and proposing self-exclusion facilities to adult gamblers

Australian Gambling Regulators

In Australia, gaming regulation is a central government mandate. The government has legally mandated territories and states to oversee betting, racing, lotteries, and liquor regulation. The various state and territory bodies mandated to regulate betting include:

  • The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Gambling and Racing Commission It was legally established in 1999 through the Gambling and Racing Control Act. The Commission is mandated to regulate casino gaming machines, betting, lottery platforms, racing, and interactive betting activities. It also provides much-needed monitoring and research regarding the social effects of betting. The commission further provides education and counseling services to gamblers as well as progressively reviewing betting policies.
  • In Tasmania, responsible betting activities are amplified by the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission. It was established in 1993 through the Interactibe Gambling Act. Through its operating statement, the commission mobilizes resources towards ideal and regulated gambling environment, roots for activities that are geared towards betting harm minimization, and proactively engages all stakeholders on matters promotion of industry’s ethical and best practices.
  • The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR). As an independent statutory authority, the body is mandated to regulate Victoria’s liquor and betting industries. Its vision is to let Victorians and visitors enjoy safe and responsible gambling and liquor platforms, whether online or land-based.
  • In Western Australian, there is the Department of Racing, Gaming, and Liquor. Before issuing a license to any casino operator, the operator must prove beyond reasonable doubts that the environment is safe and that all gaming machines are thoroughly audited by professional third party bodies.

Policies and Regulation

Besides setting the territorial regulatory bodies, Australian Federal government has consolidated all the policies and laws and simplified them under the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001. The broad policy framework can be broken into finer details by looking at its propositions and prohibitions as follows:

  • All prohibited interactive gaming services are ineligible for offering in the Australian market.
  • An unlicensed interactive betting service provider is illegal to operate with Australian geographical borders including the virtual space.
  • Unlicensed regulated interactive gaming services must not be advertised.
  • The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reserves the right to develop the industry’s yardstick or code in case any industry code is deficient.
  • ACMA notifies the internet service providers about the prohibited web-based betting content so that providers have the legal space to deal with content in accordance with the laid down industry codes.
  • The ACMA, may, on its own prompting or in response to a lodged complaint, initiate an investigation process to access whether a person or a provider of betting products has contravened the laid down industry codes.

Self-Control Limits

Self-control limits are the personalized practices that are meant to lessen or completely avoid the negative effects of betting. In extreme cases, it can be referred to as self-exclusion, where you ban yourself from land-based and online gaming platforms. Anchored in the Australian Laws, betting providers must provide their customers with self-exclusion facilities. Whilst on the self-control limits, here are some of them.

  • Self-imposed deposit limits. Once your age is verified and the casino account sign up process is complete, you are free to deposit and play the different betting ranges at your will. If you find yourself betting outside your budget, or, depositing too often, you have the chance to activate the self-imposed deposit limits or the self-exclusion facilities as otherwise known. These facilities will allow you to set your own deposit limits which casinos are bound to adhere to.
  • Loss Limits. This is made possible through a high-tech casino software. Whenever you are about to reach your weekly loss limit, a pop up will automatically show up on your interface to indicate your closeness to the limit and your gaming session will automatically be terminated.
  • Session Limits. Specific pop-ups keep on appearing on your interface to constantly remind you of the length of your playing sessions. They then give you the option of logging out of the casino or continue playing as you wish. It is perceived as a gentle reminder of the time taken by your playing sessions.
  • Betting limits. You might be comfortable with the amount you deposit to your account every week but a little bit concerned with your betting or wagering amounts. You can set your weekly betting limits, which, your casino will adhere to.

How to Identify Gambling Addiction

In as much as gambling is fun, efforts must be made to ensure that it does not contribute to degeneration of addictive behavior patterns. Some of the considerations that you can weigh in to determine whether you have betting challenges or difficulties are as follows.

#  Are you Gambling Addicted?  Are you a Safe Gambler?
1  How often do you place real money bets in a day or week?  Do you consider gambling just one of many recreational activities you pursue?
2  What is your weekly gaming budget?  Do your bets stay within the limits of what you can afford? Are they reasonable and calculated?
3  Have you ever borrowed money to gamble?  Do you find it easy to stop gaming?
4  Have experienced family or relationship difficulties arising from gambling?  Do you recognize that losing can be disappointing but it isn’t everything?
5  Is there any chance that you can bet a substantial amount of your income?  Do you understand that your chances of winning are often very small?
6  Do you find yourself spending too much of your productive time in gambling-related activities?  Do you often find yourself betting outside your pre-planned budget?
7  How often do you sign up for new casino accounts?  Do you bet under the influence of alcohol or other drugs?
8  Can you stay for up to a week without engaging in any sort of betting?  Do you result in gaming whenever you are stressed up or tensed up?
9  Do you consider gaming as a profitable money-making venture?  Do you find it hard to balance your betting expenditure and household expenditure?
10  Do you constantly research on tips and strategies to help you big money even when your wagers are small?  Do you find yourself chasing bets in the hope of getting back the lost amounts?

Depending on the number of the answers you may know your the grade of your dependency on gambling machines. If you’ll notice the consistent negative pattern you should consider this while making your findings.

Temporary or Permanent Self-Exclusion

Self-exclusion comes in, in case you have set for yourself deposit limits, session limits, betting caps, or loss limits, but, they have not been successful in controlling your behavior. By self-exclusion, you give your favorite casino the requisite permission to suspend your account thus making it hard for you to log in, make deposits or play for real money. There are options for either temporary or permanent self-exclusion:

  1. Temporary self-exclusion. You specify the number of days that you want the casino to restrict you from accessing the casino. After, the temporary self-exclusion period, you will have to get in touch with the casino support desk to reinstate your account login credentials.
  2. Permanent Self-exclusion. This is the ultimate decision to completely ban yourself from playing at a casino with no intention of ever going back. The decision is irreversible. In case you are planning for this move, it is advisable to withdraw all your real money balances as you will no longer be able to access your casino.

Available Casino Options

Casinos have various ingenious ways of preventing addictive betting. Some of them include:

  1. Casino websites or corporates demonstrate and support activities geared towards responsible betting by creating awareness and integrating policies and strategies to pro-actively address the underlying problem.
  2. Self-ban programs. Casinos maintain a well-managed and communicated self-ban program that includes among other things the counseling and access to community resources to help against addictive gaming.
  3. Advertising and promotion. Casinos restrict themselves to advertising and promotions policy that does not mislead or target individuals with gaming problems or minors. Also, thorough screening processes must be in place for all types of gaming adverts.

18+ Gambling Condition

In Australia, all new online casino registrations are required to specify their date of birth (DOB). This helps the respective casinos to confirm whether you have reached the legal majority age for betting (18 years). To prove your accurate date of birth, casinos normally require proof of identity and age through a scanned copy of the gamblers’ personal ID, driving license, or passport. This is especially when you are making real money withdrawals from your account.

In other parts of the world, like the USA, Europe, and South Africa, the legal gaming age is a minimum of 18 years, which must be verified during the real cash deposits and withdrawals to and from your casino account.

Australian Regulatory Authorities

To enforce the 18+ years rule for gamblers, the Australian government has instituted a number of territorial and state-specific regulatory authorities. Their overall and general mandate is to oversee a safe and secure Australian gambling environment in both land-based and online casinos. These fully independent and statutory bodies include the likes of The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Gambling and Racing Commission, the Tasmanian Liquor and Gaming Commission, The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) and the Western Australia department for Racing, Gaming and Liquor.

Self-Exclusion In Australia

Self-exclusion in Australia involves a voluntary free program in which Australians ban themselves from gaming venues or online gaming. This allows gamblers to prevent themselves from gaming platforms like pubs, clubs, TABs, or even online websites.

For instance, in Melbourne, you choose the organization or the casino you want to ban yourself from and you will be prompted on the steps to take. In Victoria, you can speak to the staff of the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) self-exclusion program on (03) 9654 3491 or visit their website. The Victorian Clubs community self-exclusion program can as well be reached via (03) 8851 4949. Under the Crown casino, the Responsible Gaming Support Centre is reachable through 1800 801 098.

Tips on Safer Gambling

In case you are a seasoned gambler or a prospective gambler, you can always steer way from addictive and other negatives of betting leveraging these tips.

  1. Limit yourself to gaming on online platforms that have pre-commitment tools. This will prove invaluable in the management of your time and budget. e,g the Responsible Gambling (RG Check) accreditation will help you to avoid the risky playing behaviors.
  2. Ensure to leverage the pre-commitment tools to set your time and money limits on gambling.
  3. Make the use of site blocker apps to minimize your exposure to gaming.
  4. Avoid gambling whenever you are tensed up, stressed, or upset.
  5. Avoid playing while under undue alcoholic drug influence.
  6. Use software like Bet Blocker or GamBan to block sites you do not access to.
  7. Plan your games and wager budget way before you start real money play.
  8. Ensure to take frequent health breaks from gambling.
  9. Only gamble within your budget. Never borrow money or use the household expenditure budget for gambling.
  10. Do not try to chase losing gambling streaks in the hope of winning back the lost amounts.
  11. Do not perceive gaming as an exclusive money-making venture. It is a way of having fun.
  12. Ensure to leave your credit cards at home whenever visiting a casino. This will prevent you from overindulging in betting.
  13. Ensure to strike a workable balance between gambling and other recreational activities.
  14. If you no longer derive fun from gaming, it is high time to quit.
  15. Do not over-rely on good luck strategies as they sometimes fail to achieve the desired ends.

Where to Go for Help?

In case you have betting problems or you fill addiction is setting in, there are friendly forums where you can get help easily.

  1. The gamblinghelponline.org.au is a convenient website that you can access for free and get helped on a range of issues concerning addictive gaming. On its homepage, you have a dashboard with options for ‘chat now’, self-help, ‘join a discussion’, assess your gambling and SMS support. There are positive recovery stories, tips on how to get helped, and a special calculator to help you set the limits.
  2. The gamcare.org.uk is another online forum where you can get help through phone calls, 24-hour live chat, group chat, and the 24/7 Gamcrae Forum where you can forward your message via the message board. There are resources about how to overcome problem gaming and self-exclusion facilities including top-notch blocking software.
  3. The austigamingcouncil.org.au. This is an exclusive that helps you to know more about which online gambling services are legal and illegal in Australia. In case of gaming difficulties or problems, the website has provides the number 1800 858 858 through which you can reach the support staff and get confidential help.
  4. The Australian National Gambling Protection. In Australia, there is the National Consumer Protection Framework that was launched in November 2018. The framework provides among other things, nationally consistent protection for the consumers of the Australian Interactive wagering services.
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