Betting Responsibly – Setting Limits for Sustainable Play

Gambling sensibly protects both financial and emotional well-being of those who gamble. Gambling sensibly encourages moderation and recognition of problem gambling warning signs.

Apps should permit players to set voluntary limits on deposits, losses and wagers to match their individual financial and gaming backgrounds, as well as bet odds, including house edges, to enable them to calculate the statistical risk of each wager.

Set a betting budget

In doing this you’ll start paying more attention to the cash you’re spending, and you’ll also have a better understanding of how your performance has evolved over time. Better still, having one can give you the flexibility to adapt your style to specific markets.

There should also be a limit to how much you win (and lose): this way, you limit how much you can lose in any bet without endangering your whole bankroll. Finally, diversity increases the risk of loss, which is where the third principle of the Kelly Criterion comes in.

Smart betting involves a delicate balance in which the fantasy of betting on sport coexists, symbiotically, with a clear-eyed financial plan beyond the ‘bankroll’, the act of creating one too: maintaining records, analysing data and results; joining a peer-support forum – all these are part and parcel of a bettor’s education in how to enjoy the ride but keep it sustainable.

Set win and loss limits

By setting without/with limits, players can channel their play to meet various ambitions, whether they plan to only play and enjoy lightly, or taste the victory of a ‘winning streak’ and practise skilled bankroll management, without ever trying to make money (net) from gambling that is beyond their disposable funds or playing to a loss such as would lead to debt.

By using bet sizing strategies that operate within bankroll limits, you’ll ensure responsible and profitable play. In turn, this can ease emotional strain, diminish the need to base your expectations on a much larger potential win, and reduce your risk of making outsize bets in vulnerable moments.

A loss limit serves not only to protect you from your irrational impulses, it also serves to minimise the natural dopamine high from being triggered by the flood-wave of neurotransmitters that yank on the levers of pleasure and reward.

Manage your emotions

Emotional regulation, such as being able to control feelings and impulses while gaming, and while making decisions about different types of bets, is crucial for responsible gambling. Emotional regulation also enables the responsible gambler to stay alert to how gaming is affecting finances and wellbeing.

Betting by feelings is dangerous so it’s important that gamblers make decisions with their brain and not with their feelings. Players should not gamble with money they cannot afford to lose, and players can seek help when they cannot afford to gamble responsibly any more.

But like most things that revolve around good financial habits, responsible gambling is a process, a journey. As long as the bettor follows these tips, they’re on the right track. But what about sports-betting providers? Shouldn’t they also have tools available to the public that promote responsible betting? Absolutely. From deposit-limits and a timed lockout from betting (you choose the time frame, say between 24 hours and a week), to voluntary self-exclusion (the permanent lockout from betting) – all these tools, plus gamified messaging pertaining to when to stop, employ stats to help people stay on top of their habits. And done right, it can work. Gambling apps that offer extended, yet brief interactive quizzes can enable the relentless gambler to take their pulse every now and then, asking whether they’re falling into bad (problem) habits, and whether they can have fun with ‘just a bet’. The messages used in marketing should not show ostentatious gamblers, that painted image of the fun guy or guyette who always seems to ‘have a ball’. Nor should they misrepresent statistical risks. For instance, encouraging people to ‘just bet’ even when the chances of using the bet to enhance the game are astronomically against them.

Take breaks

Consider taking breaks from gambling when spending spirals, and bet only what you can afford. The discipline to exercise responsible gambling is a matter of exerting effort and control, but online-gambling sites have features that allow players to limit themselves based on time and money (a 24-hour cooling off period or a deposit limit), and casinos in-person have largely successful self-exclusion programmes that could ultimately prevent compulsive gambling behaviours and habits.

It makes sense from a social-responsibility standpoint for casino operators to urge gamblers to play responsibly and, of course, it’s good for business. If you want to read about someone running up an unpayable tab, it can make casual gamblers – or those worried about someone who has a gambling problem – think twice about their casino of choice. That’s why they highlight responsible gaming resources. If you’re curious about your options, head to Gaming Today.

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