Responsible Gambling Week
- 6 Nov 2019
The entertainment value of a slot is clear to see, especially for us at RTP. We normally review the latest games and best brands out there, but today we’re doing something a little bit different. We always want to deliver the most helpful information possible to you so, considering it is Responsible Gambling Week, we have compiled a blog that covers the dangers of problem gambling and how you can battle against it. The following information and many more resources can be found at BeGambleAware, a charity-funded organisation committed to helping those who need it most.
How Slots Work
When it comes to responsible gambling, one of the best ways to start is by learning how slots work, so you can make informed decisions regarding your wagering. Perhaps the most important bit of information to know concerns the way outcomes are determined; we are of course talking about the RNG machine or random number generator. This software is designed to ensure the parameters for each spin are entirely random every time. This is meant to make your gameplay as fair as possible, as any spin you take will remain unaffected by playtime or any previous spins. The RNG works separately from the game itself and doesn’t decide whether you win or lose per se, rather, it is simply supplying a random combination of numbers.
The RNG is meant to ensure there are no patterns in the games, so the casino cannot take advantage of its patrons and vice versa. While this does make it fairer for both parties, it also factors into a vital part of responsible gambling. The entirely random nature of the medium means there is no way for you to discern if you are going to win; the result is always going to be decided by chance alone. Because of this, you can never rely on the slots churning out a win, and your conduct should reflect this.
Identifying a Gambling Problem
It can be quite difficult to spot the signs of an emerging gambling issue, especially if it is yourself that is at risk. One of the first things to be mindful of is your motivations for using the site, as playing slots should only ever be for fun. Using online gaming in place of a career, or simply with the expectation of winning a substantial amount, is unhealthy behaviour. In short, you should never view slots as a source of income. If you suffer from any mental health or substance-related issues that might influence decisions, then this can increase the likelihood of developing a problem. Don’t use games as a form of escapism as, if you are dealing with difficult circumstances in life, there are much better solutions than heading straight for the reels.
If you are gambling dependant, then your relationships are likely to deteriorate as a result. Problem gambling often consumes those who suffer from it, making them prioritise the games over all else. This can manifest in several ways, such as causing divisions between loved ones, borrowing money to fund the habit or forgoing life’s essentials like bills and food in favour of long gaming sessions. If you notice you or someone you care about spending more time on the slots and less on the things that matter, then it’s time to act.
Steps to Take
Numerous organisations offer support if you are dealing with a dependency issue, however, there are also several steps and limitations you can enforce yourself. The first of these is self-exclusion, which will prevent you from accessing certain brands. Every casino must be able to facilitate such requests, so you need only get in contact with your provider. Alternatively, if you’re after a stronger method, one helpful tool you can use is GAMSTOP, a piece of software that allows you to self-exclude from all the brands that are currently participating in the scheme. Whilst it doesn’t cover every organisation out there, it covers most of the major brands in the industry, so make sure to check their website to find out which casinos are signed up.
In addition to this, there are other small techniques you can use to help constantly regulate your gambling. Money management is a vital aspect of this; setting a hard limit on how much you are going to spend, calculating the spare funds you have aside from your essential budget and not chasing losses are all great ways to stay safe. Time is just as important as money though, so try to set a time limit in advance of your sessions. Make sure to take regular breaks and save room for other activities. Remember, the length of your game times has no bearing on the Random Number Generator, so don’t assume a longer session will lead to more wins.