At its best, playing at online casinos is an entertaining and exciting activity.
We believe in helping our community get the most out of its gaming experience. Playing responsibly is a big part of this.
We know everyone loves a win – whether that's a few cents at the poker table or a massive progressive jackpot – but it's important to not lose sight of the losses.
As any seasoned and sensible player can confirm, the appeal of online casinos lies in the thrill of playing the games, rather than their outcomes. This is a view we strongly support.
However, some players can get addicted to gambling. If problem gambling is left unaddressed, it can lead to serious financial, personal and mental issues.
We care about your wellbeing and so do the best online casinos out there. There are options available to you if you feel that your gambling behavior is getting out of hand.
How to gamble responsibly
The golden rule in the world of online casinos is to know your limits and never go past them.
Don't treat playing as an opportunity for reckless behavior. Instead, take careful decisions about how you spend your time and money, where to play, how to have fun and when to stop. As the saying goes, by failing to prepare, you're preparing to fail.
These guidelines are a good start to gambling responsibly:
- Start by setting bet and loss limits based on the money you can comfortably afford to lose, and stick to them
- Never borrow money to gamble
- Set a reasonable time limit for gameplay sessions
- Take frequent breaks
- Alternate gameplay with other activities
- Avoid gambling when highly stressed, depressed, intoxicated or otherwise distressed
- Talk to someone if you feel your gambling is spiraling out of control
Underage gambling is prohibited by law. Online casinos conduct regular checks to ensure that no one under the age of 21 is permitted to play.
Gambling can prove risky for adults and it's downright harmful to minors. On Bojoko, we make it clear that we only accept users over the legal age of 21.
This is to safeguard the interests of groups who are especially vulnerable to the ill effects of gambling.
How to recognize if you have a problem
Problem gambling doesn't happen overnight so it can be hard to diagnose in yourself or others.
The symptoms usually develop over time and the earlier you notice them, the higher the chances of making a quick recovery.
Here are the classic signs to look out for:
- Playing over your limits - You gamble with money you can't afford to lose and money that should be going towards essential expenses such as rent or a mortgage, utilities, groceries etc.
- More time and money spent gambling - You spend too much time gambling with increasing sums of money.
- Chasing your losses - You're trying to win back the money you've lost, believe you have special luck or abilities, or that you're due a change in luck.
- No more fun - You feel you need to play no matter what and you're constantly thinking of the next opportunity to gamble.
- Got to find money - You do or are willing to do anything to get money for gambling, including borrowing, cheating and stealing.
- Missing commitments - You're late to appointments, absent for increasing time periods from commitments such as work or school, call in sick more than average, and act secretive about your whereabouts.
- Personality changes - You exhibit frequent mood swings, seem worried, agitated or irritated, and you're sometimes in distress or depressed, with a tendency for manipulative or controlling behaviour.
- Bad finances - You're getting in debt and have no realistic way of paying it back.
- Loved ones hurting - People close to you are suffering from your gambling and have pointed out you might have a problem.
Seek help immediately if the symptoms described apply to you. Acting in good time is the best possible thing you can do for your health and the wellbeing of those closest to you.
What to do if you have a problem
If you're displaying signs of problem gambling or addiction, there are many ways to take a step back or get the support you need.
Depending on how severe the problem is, you should either try to:
- tone down your gambling
- stop playing altogether
- seek professional help
Take a self-assessment test
Some gambling support organizations and online casinos offer a self-assessment test. It allows you to determine whether you may have a gambling problem, and how severe it is.
The Center for Problem Gambling's self-assessment tool walks you through 20 statements to determine your gambling risk level.
Switch on "reality checks"
"Reality checks" are notifications that appear in online casinos which remind you about your playtime. They alert you about the length of your gaming session on a regular basis.
Take a break or self-exclude
You can be the master of your own self and elect to take a break from gameplay when you notice you've been playing for a while. This way, you can take control over the time you spend playing and the choices you make.
Online casinos are also required to offer the option of self-exclusion. You can ask to be barred from accessing your player account for any length of time. This can range from hours to years. You can also delete your account permanently too.
Block online casino and betting sites
Going a step further than self-exclusion, you can block online casino and betting sites altogether. This is a good option if the temptation to gamble anywhere is too strong.
You can do this by tweaking the settings on your browser or operating system. Using a password-protected website blocker or gambling-specific blocking software is a smart choice.
Gamban is the best software for blocking gambling websites in the US. You can block all online casinos, sports betting, bingo, lotteries and any other form of betting sites.
Get your promo code for a free trial and download the software here.
When none of the methods listed yield the desired results or the problem is too extensive for you to handle on your own, you should seek professional support.
There are a number of organizations in the US which provide support services to problem gamblers.
Gamblers Anonymous is an independent charity. It funds research, education and treatment services to minimise gambling-related harm in the US.
Helpline: (626) 960 - 3500
The National Council on Problem Gambling is a national access point to resources for those seeking help for a gambling problem. Help is available 24/7.
Helpline: 1-800-522-4700 (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
800-Gambler is a private non-profit organization. It providers education and information to people affected by problem gambling. The helpline is free and confidential available throughout most of the US.
Helpline: 800-GAMBLER (available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week)