Play Smart

Tips for Safer Gambling

Most people gamble for fun and enjoyment. However, some people think of gambling as a way to make money, spend more than they can afford, or use gambling to distract themselves from everyday problems.

Following these tips can help you to gamble more safely.

Tips for Safer Gambling

  1. Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money:
    Think of gambling as an entertainment expense – just like buying a movie ticket.
  2. Only gamble with money you can afford to lose:
    Gamble within your weekly entertainment budget, not with your phone bill or rent budget.
  3. Set a money limit in advance:
    Decide how much you can afford to lose before you go to play. When it’s gone – it’s over! If you win, you’ve been lucky, but don’t be disappointed if your luck doesn’t continue.
  4. Set a time limit in advance:
    It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re gambling. Set a time limit or alarm, and when time’s up – quit! Odds are that the more time you spend gambling, the more money you will lose.
  5. Never chase your losses:
    If you lose your set money limit and then try to win some of it back before you leave, then you haven’t really set a money limit. Chasing your losses will usually just lead to bigger and bigger losses.
  6. Don’t gamble when you’re depressed or upset:
    Decision-making can be more difficult when you’re stressed or emotionally upset. Make sure you only gamble when you’re feeling happy and clear headed.
  7. Balance gambling with other activities:
    When gambling becomes your only form of entertainment, it’s unlikely that you’re still just gambling for the fun of it, and your gambling may even be a problem. Make sure gambling isn’t your only pastime.
  8. Don’t take your bank card with you;
    This is a good way to safeguard your money limit and not let being “in the moment” warp your judgment.
  9. If you use the Casino Cash Desk;
    Consider setting daily financial limits that are within your means by limiting the amount of money that can be withdrawn at the cash desk.
  10. Take frequent breaks;
    Gambling continuously can cause you to lose track of time and perspective. Step out for some air or a bite to eat at regular intervals.
  11. Responsible alcohol consumption;
    Alcohol can cloud judgment, and good judgment stands as your main line of defence against letting gambling get out of control.
How much do you spend on gambling?

www.BeGambleAware.Org offers a calculator that can help work this out for you.

This tool is completely anonymous and confidential - they do not ask for any personal details and do not store any data. Remember, everyone has different income and expenditure levels, and different financial limits. It is up to you to decide how much is ‘too much’.

Gamble Responsibly

If you are concerned about your gambling, click the links below to view our PLAYSMART leaflets for advice around staying in control and keeping your gambling affordable.

Keeping it Affordable Staying in Control

If you think you are spending too much time or money gambling, then ask staff for more information about self-exclusion schemes.

Self-exclusion means asking a gambling provider to exclude you from gambling with them for a length of time, with a minimum period of 6 months. All gambling providers in Britain provide this option, allowing any customer who has followed the procedure to request self-exclusion.

If you choose to self-exclude please then consider also calling the National Gambling Helpline, Speak to an Adviser on Freephone 0808 8020 133, 24/7, who can offer you free, confidential advice and counselling, self-exclusion can be helpful but will be more effective if you also give them a call.

The National Gambling Helpline can provide information, advice and support in over 200 languages. Call them and ask them for help in the language of your choice. Advisers will be able to let you know where counselling can be offered across Great Britain in other languages.

How the self-exclusion schemes work:

SENSE allows people to voluntarily enrol in a scheme to exclude themselves nationally from all land-based casinos in the UK.

  • You will be excluded for a minimum six months.
  • You will be removed from all marketing databases and you will not be contacted during the period of your self-exclusion.
  • You cannot leave the scheme before the minimum exclusion period has expired.

By joining self-exclusion schemes, you are agreeing that:

  • The information you provide to join a scheme will only be shared with operators within the specific scheme.
  • You will stay away from the venues from which you have self-excluded.

It is up to you to keep to your self-exclusion agreement, but the company and the staff will do all they reasonably can to help you. If you visit a venue from which you have self-excluded and are recognised or identify yourself as being excluded, you will be asked to leave and the other venues in the scheme will be informed.

If you want to self-exclude from online gambling, then you can visit GAMSTOP which is currently available as a multi-operator self-exclusion scheme to UK and NI residents. It does not yet cover all gambling websites.

Blocking Software

You can download a ‘site blocker’, which can block access from computers, tablets and phones to many online gambling sites, including some sites which are not part of the GamStop scheme e.g. illegal and overseas websites. Site blockers may also prevent some gambling advertising.

We know that you will be more likely to manage your gambling if you combine the use of blocking software and other technical tools like GamStop with the free treatment options on offer.

Bank Gambling Blocks

Bank gambling blocks are free tools offered by most UK banks to help get your gambling under control. They work by blocking transactions that are categorised as gambling – whether you’re gambling online or at a physical venue.

You can learn more about banking blocks by going to GamCare’s website: Everything You Need to Know About Bank Gambling Blocks - GamCare

Aspers are proud to have achieved a GamCare Standard – Advanced Level 2 Award. GamCare are a charity and the UK's leading provider of free information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling. Part of their goal is to work with the gambling industry to support customers and prevent people from experiencing gambling-related harm.

The Safer Gambling Standard is an independent quality standard that assesses the measures gambling businesses have put in place to protect people from experiencing gambling-related harm. Aspers was assessed by GamCare through a review of the policies, procedures, systems and controls of a gambling business, as well as interviews with staff, website reviews and premises visits.