The importance of responsible gambling cannot be overstated. Those who participate in online sports betting should be assured they are doing so in an environment that provides protection, and be mindful of any behaviors that could signal the onset of gambling problems.
Many online sportsbooks have safeguards in place that assist with this endeavor and promote safer gambling practices for their users. They also have resources that make it easy for those with gambling problems to get the help they need.
What is responsible gambling?
Responsible gambling means making sure one’s gambling doesn’t put anyone at the risk of harm. The ways to ensure that kind of environment include setting limits, gambling at legal and regulated sportsbooks, and knowing when to stop if a session isn’t going your way.
Responsible gaming practices also include making sure those with a gambling problem are not put in situations where issues are taken advantage of. This requires a collective effort from online sportsbooks and local and federal regulators.
What can sportsbooks do to ensure responsible gambling?
Online sportsbooks must take certain steps to keep those who struggle with problem gambling away from their services. Those measures can include the following:
- Information: Links and contact information for agencies that can help.
- Education: Informing players of signs when one’s hobby is becoming a gambling problem.
- Player protections: Assisting with setting limits, instituting a cooling-off period, providing self-exclusion lists, and other measures.
- Cooperation with agencies: Working with trained professionals designed to aid in the treatment of problem gambling.
Importance of responsible gambling in sports betting
Online sports betting is only growing more prominent throughout the United States. At least one state, North Carolina, will launch the industry in 2024, and more could be coming in the years ahead.
Promoting responsible gaming practices helps instill a set of values, one that will help the industry grow in a healthy way. It also sets precedents for what bettors should do to avoid falling into problem gambling habits, such as betting too much or wagering while in a vulnerable mental state.
Responsible gambling legal requirements
Each online sports betting operator must take certain steps to promote responsible gambling. In addition to the above measures, you’ll find the ones below, too.
- Preventing underage gambling: All legal, regulated sites have measures in place that ensure children and those that don’t meet minimum age thresholds cannot wager.
- Self-exclusion programs: Users struggling with responsible gaming can put themselves on lists that will stop them from using certain sites.
- Responsible gaming disclosures: Sportsbooks must clearly advertise ways those who suffer from problem gambling can get help.
- Advertising restrictions: Some states have limited the ways in which sportsbooks can advertise their products and services.
- Wagering/time restrictions: Users of online sportsbooks can set their own limits with regard to both money and time spent on an app or website.
Identifying problem gambling signs
If you see these actions or behaviors, you may be witnessing signals of problem gambling:
- Prioritizing gambling over family and friends
- Increasing one’s stakes to get the same thrill
- Using gambling as an escape from other problems
- Excessively chasing losses to try to win money back
- Asking others for money to gamble
How to get help
If you’re struggling with a gambling problem, or know someone who is, help is available. A number of organizations can provide resources to combat issues with responsible gaming, and a few are listed below.
- National Council on Problem Gambling
- Responsible Gambling Council
- American Gaming Association
Help is also available over the phone. The National Problem Gambling Helpline can be reached at 1-800-GAMBLER, and connects those who call with free, confidential assistance.
Responsible Gambling FAQs
What is the difference between responsible gambling and problem gambling?
Responsible gambling means one is setting limits and betting in a reasonable, rational way. Problem gambling, meanwhile, can mean anything from prioritizing gambling over healthy relationships to betting what one can’t afford to lose.
What does safe betting mean for gambling operators and sportsbooks?
Safer gambling provides a healthier atmosphere for operators and bettors alike. It also improves the reputation of sports betting at large.
When is gambling considered a problem?
There are many signs gambling could be a problem for someone. Going past one’s limits, constantly seeking gambling action, and diving further into wagering while in vulnerable states may be signs someone has developed a gambling problem.
Is it possible to gamble responsibly?
Yes. Betting within one’s means, setting time and financial limits, and knowing when to walk away are all positive responsible gambling habits and behaviors.