There are many terms associated with gaming and gambling. One of these is ‘responsible gaming’ or ‘responsible gambling.’ Our interchangeable use of gaming and gambling assumes that they mean the same.
Like everything in life, gaming has its set of standards, codes, risks, and limits. The ignorance or violation of these conditions comes with grave consequences. Casino games can be fun, no doubt. Whether it is slots, table games, card games, video poker, or craps, casino games are generally based on chance; little or no skill is required.
Nonetheless, every stakeholder must understand the responsibilities of their freedom to be involved in the gaming industry. Let’s explain what responsible gaming is.
The question is, ‘when you choose to put your money into organizing or playing slots, how much responsibility are you ready to take for your behaviour?’ It doesn’t matter whether you’re a casino operator, a gaming control board, a vendor, or a player. As a stakeholder, you must be aware of the risks and consequences of joining the gambling industry.
Responsible gaming simply means the various policies and social responsibility initiatives that compel gambling stakeholders to ensure respect for the integrity and highest standards of the gaming industry. It involves the requirements for casino operators to ensure fairness, quality, safety, and a secure user experience.
Also, responsible gambling requires gambling operators to create awareness about the consequences associated with gambling. The idea is to protect people from the potential harms and risks of online gambling, including problem gambling and gambling addiction. In the end, the initiative is aimed at helping people personally regulate their gambling conduct and control personal circumstances. As a result, they can manage their risks and gambling behaviours.
Here are the things responsible gambling seeks to achieve:
- Protect vulnerable players
- Prevent underage betting
- Ensure safe measures against cybercrime
- Protect player privacy and data from unauthorized user
- Provide secure online gaming and payment platforms
What is a Gaming Addiction?
One of the negative consequences of uncontrolled involvement in gambling is gaming addiction, also called problem gambling. By gaming addiction, we mean a persistent and frequent behavioural dependence on gaming despite the negative consequences. Repetitive gambling involves many harms, including relationship breakup, financial problems, or work-related damages. Problem addiction can be a mental, emotional or physical disorder. It has social and personal consequences on the individual gambling addict.
There are basically two forms of gaming addiction, single-player video gaming addiction and multiplayer video gaming addiction. Gambling addicts exhibit many social, emotional, mental, and physical symptoms.
- Impaired work and academic performance
- Mood change due to inability to game
- Restless and irritable behaviour that resembles withdrawal symptoms
- Low-mood changing behaviours
- Becoming detached and isolated
- Avoiding hobbies
- Obsessional thoughts about gaming, even when not playing
- Lying to people around you, including family and friends, about the habit
How to Help Gaming Addicts
Knowing when and how to get help when you’ve grown a gaming addiction is critical to identifying and overcoming problem gambling. Addiction can come from self-help, group, family, or cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
One way to help gaming addicts is to impose gaming regulations. For example, in Canada, gaming licensing authorities have a law on casino operators, and vendors have integrated facilities such as reality checks to help players set a time and bankroll limit. This way, they will know when to stop gambling and exit the website. The Canada First National Lower-Risk Gambling Guidelines will help check excesses in gambling.
Set financial limit
To help the addict, vendors can set financial limits on their casino accounts. The functionality could include not allowing the addict to re-fund or deposit money into his account until after a certain time lapse, say 24 hours.
Enroll in a Gaming Addiction treatment program
It’s increasingly difficult for the addict to make a decision that can help him out of the problem. Family members and friends can take the first step by enrolling him in a gambling addiction treatment program. There are many agencies and addiction treatment centers for such programs. Depending on the degree of the obsession, patients will need enough during and after the program.
Canadian Organizations That Provide Help
Canadian Centre of Substance Use and Addiction
75 Albert Street, Suite 500
K1P 5E7 Canada