Responsible Gaming In Ontario

From betting on sports to rolling dice, humans all over the world have always enjoyed gambling. While it is a fun activity that you can find in just about any culture, it does come with some risks. Responsible gaming is crucial and should be practiced by all bettors.

Because gambling can be so tempting, it can quickly go from having a little bit of fun sometimes to having negative effects on your day-to-day life. It’s not hard for things to escalate and quickly turn into an addiction. Responsible gaming is beneficial as it can help you make safer choices with your gambling.

What is Responsible Gaming?

When it comes down to it, responsible gaming means making safe choices with your gambling so that it doesn’t take over your life and morph into an addiction. One of the biggest things to remember is that whether you’re betting on horse racing or playing casino games, the house is designed to win.

Responsible gaming includes:

  • Not betting when you have responsibilities that are more important
  • Always bet less than you can safely afford to lose
  • Set time limits on your gambling

Responsible gaming means playing because gambling is enjoyable and exciting, not because you’re expecting a payday. Betting establishments are made to make a profit. They understand that some of the bettors they attract are going to win, but a majority will lose. Because of this, it’s important that bettors go into the game looking to have fun rather than looking to win.

The Importance of Responsible Gaming

If you want to be able to enjoy gambling without becoming addicted, responsible gambling is essential. It allows you to play as regularly as you’d like while preventing it from taking over your life.

Being irresponsible when you gamble can get out of hand quickly. While you may think that you have everything under control, you never really know until it’s too late. Gambling addiction can develop rapidly, and before you know it, you’re dealing with many negative actions of addiction, including:

  • Neglecting your family and friends to go gamble
  • Losing the money you needed for necessities, such as rent or electricity
  • Digging yourself into debt to pay for your habits

Best Practices for Responsible Gaming

When it comes to staying safe while gambling, there are several practices you can adopt to play responsibly and avoid gambling addiction.

Avoid Chasing Losses

Because the house is set up to win, losses are more common than wins. Loss chasing is when a player keeps betting more money to make up for the losses that are stacking up. No matter how bad the day has been, don’t stray from your time and budget limits.

Strict Budgeting

One of the easiest ways to keep your spending under control is to set yourself a budget. Always make sure that you stick to that budget and keep your bets within what you can afford. Do not bet anything you can’t afford to lose.

Time Limits

Whether you generally gamble in person or online, setting time limits can prevent you from spending too much time either at the casino or looking at your phone.

Stick to Short Timeframes

If you’ve had trouble quitting in the past but are ready to practice responsible gaming, it is important that you gamble in shorter bursts. If you spend too long playing, your mind gets into a routine, which can make beating the addiction that much harder.

Recording Apps

If you’re using online sportsbooks and casino apps, chances are they will have some sort of time recording option that keeps track of how long you play. Keeping track of this can let you know when your screentime begins to climb so you can pull back the reigns a bit and stick to the time limit you set for yourself.

Enjoy the Small Wins

The main reason to gamble is to have fun. Winning big is so rare that if you go into it with the expectation that you’re going to make a large profit, you’re more than likely going to be disappointed. Any small win is worthy of celebration because not only are you having fun playing the game, but you’re winning a little bit here and there.

How Gaming Outlets Can Make Responsible Gaming a Priority

As the person that is gaming, it is definitely your responsibility to make good choices when you’re gambling, but the gaming outlet should also play their part in making sure their players are being safe, too. Some things the establishment can do to help include:

  • Some online casinos have a function that kicks people off if they’ve reached a certain time limit, ensuring that they don’t spend too much time playing in one day.
  • When players seem to be intoxicated or in a poor mental state, brick-and-mortar gambling establishments often cut them off, so they don’t make any hasty decisions when they’re not able to make smart choices.
  • It is required by law that some gambling organizations are not allowed to advertise to vulnerable groups including minors, as they don’t want to expose them to gambling before they are able to control their actions.
  • It is forbidden for minors to gamble under any circumstances.

Sportsbooks and casinos often follow some or all these practices in order to keep their patrons safe and ensure they have a good time. When gamblers have fun, they’re more likely to return in the future.

Limits

To stick to a time limit, it’s best to stick with gambling websites and gaming apps that allow you to set limits on your deposit frequencies and amounts, as well as the amount of time you spend on the app. While you should never gamble while drunk, these safety measures can help keep you from spending too much even if you are under the influence.

Self-Exclusion

As a responsible gamer, it’s important to exercise your ability to practice self-exclusion. You can contact the sportsbooks or casinos you frequent and place yourself on a list that prevents you from gambling at all for a specified timeframe. This is especially helpful for anyone that struggles with limiting their gambling habits.

Resources for Responsible Gaming

There are many resources available for Canadians in Ontario and throughout the country that are here to help you play responsibly. The Responsible Gaming Council is a Canadian-based organization that wants to see a world free from gambling addiction. They have resources available on their website for the industry and the public.

Other resources include:

Enjoy Gaming More When It’s Done Responsibly

Gambling and betting on sports games and events can be a lot of fun, but it can also lead to problems including addiction if it isn’t managed appropriately. Make sure you take some responsible gaming precautions before you start gambling, and you’ll be setting yourself up to enjoy betting and wagering without the threat of addiction.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of Toronto Sports Media. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.