Responsible Gambling

There are so many gambling options these days, both land-based and especially online. With the increased accessibility of gambling, it is vital that people gamble responsibly. Responsible gambling is what every player should strive to achieve when they are playing games for real money. 

Often people are not aware of what responsible gambling is. This is not only the case for players but also for the casinos and gambling sites that serve them. This article will not only touch on responsible gambling but also the resources available to people that may have a gambling problem. 

What is Responsible Gambling? 

Responsible gambling is looking at gambling as being a source of entertainment. In knowing what responsible gambling is, people also have to know that when gambling, there are risks involved and not only losing money. 

Whenever you gamble, you should aim to keep to your budget, basically meaning having a spending limit and sticking to it. Your goal is to win, but with the house always having an edge, any win should be viewed as a bonus. Conversely, losses should be considered within the gambling budget you have set for a session. 

Sticking to your budget is vital when it comes to responsible gambling. The old saying for gambling rings true: you should never gamble with more than you can afford to lose. 

Think of going to a casino just like you would going out. You want to have a good time with friends and family. When you gamble online, you may be doing so alone, but the same thing rings true, as you want to have a good time and not encounter any problems of issues. However, this often happens, which is problem gambling. 

If you have issues when gambling of not staying in your budget or not knowing when to call it a session, then you risk having a gambling problem or maybe even a gambling disorder. However, if those things do occur, you are not alone.

There are plenty of resources that can help you out with any gambling issue you may have. The main goal when gambling is to have fun, and responsible gambling makes that much more likely. 

Here are some tips to follow for responsible gambling: 

  • Set a budget for a gambling session and stick to it. 
  • Don't chase losses, which means do not bet more after a previous loss to try to win your money back. Chasing losses is the quickest way to lose a significant amount of money. 
  • If you do lose or hit a losing streak, chip away at losses and do not chase them. 
  • Have a time limit for your gambling session. 
  • If you are ahead, it can be a good idea to quit, as the saying rings true to always quit when you are ahead. 
  • Gamble in a smart way in not letting emotions alter your decision-making process. 
  • Keep track of your gambling spending habits. 
  • Take little breaks, as this can help you not develop a gambling habit but making it a fun and entertaining way to spend some time. 
  • If you think you may have a gambling problem, share it with someone, and do not keep it to yourself. 

On the casino and online gambling side of the equation, operators have guidelines in place to try to have players take part in responsible gambling. Some of those guidelines include: 

  • They have player information available, letting them know the risks of gambling. 
  • They show the various things that can lead to problem gambling and what are the signs for it. 
  • Trained staff that know the signs of a player not taking part in responsible gambling and knowing when to act if problem gambling is going on. 
  • Have information available to where people that may have gambling problems can get help. 
  • For land-based casinos, the trained staff are also aware of alcohol consumption, which can lead to problem gambling, and when to act if an issue occurs. 
  • Steering clear of marketing and advertising that target players that may have a gambling problem. 
  • Taking measures to ensure no underage gambling occurs. 

If a player wants more information on what a specific online gambling site does to help ensure responsible gambling, they can read up on that on the website. Also, a player can contact the customer service department to help find more information on responsible gambling. 

Problem Gambling and How to Understand it and Pinpoint It

Not adhering to responsible gambling can lead to gambling problems. There are many types of behaviors that go along with high risk and problem gambling. 

It can range from not making responsible wagers or compulsive gambling, and those things can affect a person's employment, relationships, and personal well-being. 

It is not always clear-cut when it comes to knowing when gambling becomes a problem, considering there are no physical nature symptoms. However, here some symptoms of problem gambling: 

  • Continually borrowing money for gambling 
  • Beginning to start to sell possessions to pay for gambling 
  • Hiding gambling from others, especially friends and family 
  • Continuing to gamble after accruing losses to win money back 
  • A change of behavior in a negative manner when not gambling
  • Not adhering to basic hygiene or health matters
  • Trying to escape problems or issues by gambling
  • Betting more to get more action
  • After a gambling session, feeling sad or remorseful but not being able to stop
  • Gambling instead of other time commitments such as work or being with friends or family. 

Problem Gambling Resources 

There are state and national resources that can help people with problem gambling. All states will have gambling resources in place, such as the Council on Compulsive Gambling in New Jersey or the Nevada Council on problem gambling. 

Many of the resources can be found with a simple Google search, and they are also often found on the state-regulated online gambling websites. 

Other popular resources for problem gambling on the national level include: 

National Center for Responsible Gaming 

This organization can help people with gambling problems, and the main focus is for treatment while it also financially backs problem gambling research and youth gambling. They have a website that has many research papers available to read, as well as videos. 

The organization can help people gamble responsibly, and they also have a lot of information when it comes to the right way to talk to youth about gambling. 

National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) 

The NCPG is a very useful one for anyone that thinks they may have a gambling problem. It has links and resources for places to get help with problem gambling in all 50 states. 

One of the good tools it has on its site is self-screening tools that can show people if they have a gambling problem. 

There is a toll-free NCPG hotline, which is 100% confidential, and the line takes texts as well. On the NCGP site, there is also a chat service available. 

Gamblers Anonymous 

This is a national group to help people with gambling problems, and as you can tell by the name, it is 100% confidential. There is a national toll-free hotline, and not only is there a lot of information on the site to promote responsible gambling and deal with problem gambling, but it also shows state-by-state group meeting areas. 

The meeting areas are simple to find, as the Gamblers Anonymous site has a locator feature as well as a map. 


GamTalk is an online community to help people deal and communicate about problem gambling. There are stories from gamblers and recovering gambling addicts as well as chat rooms available for open communication for any gambling issue. 

Programs for Self-Exclusion 

There is self-exclusion available for players with a gambling problem, and they can ban themselves from gambling. The time limit for self-exclusion depends on the state, as it is typically for one year, five years, or forever. 

With self-exclusion, the problem gambler has to do it themselves, as it cannot be done by another party such as friends or family. 

Note that if someone has a concern about possible problem gambling but is not yet ready to file for a self-exclusion, he or she can file for a suspension of credit privileges by submitting a request in-person at the Division of Gaming Enforcement's office. 

This move will at least limit gambling on credit and prevent more debt from accumulating.

There are various ways to register to self-exclude, as it will depend on the state. For example, in New Jersey, residents can visit the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement website. 

If you decide to take part in self-exclusion services, marketing lists are not available to you anymore. If you self-exclude and gamble and are caught, your winnings and current chip amounts are both forfeited. For land-based casinos, they will receive a physical description and photo of the person that self-excluded. 

As of July 2020, more than half of the states in the U.S. have self-exclusion for land-based casinos and card rooms. The only states that have self-exclusion for online gambling sites are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Illinois, and Michigan. 

Responsible Gambling Online 

No matter where you are, it is important that you follow behaviors for responsible gambling, whether it be at land-based casinos or online gambling websites. When gambling online, you have to pinpoint the behaviors yourself, as you are playing alone. This can be more difficult to do, but you know the signs for problem gambling. 

There are some online gambling sites that have responsible gambling measures in place. For example, DraftKings Sportsbook lets players choose a daily limit for their spending on the site. It also gives players a choice for limits on daily and monthly deposits. 

With the popularity of online gambling these days, it is important to adhere to responsible gambling. One issue that comes up as well when gambling online is underage gambling. 

It is easier for younger people to gamble online even though online gambling sites have measures to thwart it. Parents can take advantage of parental control software as well to keep children from gambling. 

Gambling can be very fun and entertaining. However, it can also lead to problem gambling. Any time you think you may have an issue with gambling, seek out help and see if you do have a problem, then deal with it with all of the resources available. 

What is the minum age for gambling according to responsible gambling?

On most states the age varies between 18 and 21 years old, however the restriction may change depending on the gambling activity. For example while in PA sports betting age is +21, Montana has no restriction for people +18. We recommend you to check each particular state regulation to ensure the legal age for any gambling activity.

Responsible Gambling FAQ

If I think I have a gambling problem, what should I do?
Any person that thinks they have a gambling problem should seek out resources to see if they have a problem or not. If they do, other resources can help people with their gambling problem. 
What is the legal gambling age in America?
The legal gambling in America is typically 21 years of age for land-based casinos and card rooms, as well as state-regulated casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms. 
If I have any behaviors that stray from responsible gambling, do I have a problem?
It depends on the extent of the behavior. Still, it is a good idea to talk to an expert and take advantage of resources to pinpoint if you have a gambling issue or problem. 

About Cole Paganelli
Cole Paganelli author profile

Cole is really big into Major League Baseball, but really - the big four Pro US sports are his passion. Cole grew up a Yankees fan, but married a Red Sox fan. It's tough around the house during those big games, but his hatred for the Red Sox has waned a little. Cole has a goal of seeing every Major League Baseball Stadium before the end of 2022!

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