Responsible Gambling Guide for US Players

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Online gambling is a form of entertainment where players can experience a thrill by betting on the outcome of different events. From the winner of a match to the symbols after a spin of the reels, gambling is all about random chance. However, this thrill can become addictive and lead to problem gambling, also known as compulsive betting or pathological gambling.

In the US, about 2.5% of the adult population has a gambling problem, according to reports from the National Center for Responsible Gambling. Around 1% of US adults are categorized as having a severe gambling problem. The issue often leads to financial problems and can also affect family and friends.

The good news is that problem gambling can be avoided and healed. Moreover, it is never too late or too early to look into responsible gambling guidelines and policies. On this page, we will tackle the problem in more detail, take a look at what the government and the operators are doing to help players, and also at the best solutions to help you stay in control when gambling.

What is Responsible Gambling?

In short, responsible gambling is a combination of strategies and behaviors that help players approach betting as a form of entertainment. The goal should not be to earn money, but simply to have fun for a period of time.

To achieve this, you have to understand from the start that gambling, like most forms of entertainment, costs money. As a result, you should start gambling knowing exactly how much money you want to spend. Setting limits in advance is an essential part of gambling responsibly.

The second cost that goes into gambling is time. Again, you need to properly manage this resource by setting a time limit and organizing your schedule. Gambling shouldn’t interfere with other obligations.

Then, with both limits set, you should easily walk away from the gambling activity if either one is reached. For example, if you have a bad streak and lose your bankroll for the session within 20 minutes, you shouldn’t gamble for 40 more minutes because you planned on playing for an hour. The same goes for when you are having a winning streak but you reach your time limit. It is better to stop and continue some other time.

Overall, the most important aspect to responsible gambling is managing your time and money so that other parts of your life aren’t affected.

Tools for Responsible Online Gambling

Regulated gambling sites can help users manage their betting by providing various tools. These are often required for licenses in various states and the regulatory bodies can even fine operators for not giving players the necessary means to prevent problem gambling. You can learn more about the best tools for responsible gambling online and how to use them below.

Deposit Limits

Online gambling deposit limits are available at all regulated sites and they are easy to set up. In fact, most operators will give you the option to set a deposit limit when creating an account. This can be on a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, ensuring that you don’t go over your budget. Once you set a deposit limit, the site will not accept payments that exceed that amount for the respective period.

Betting Limits

These limits will restrict the amount of money that you can bet within a day, week, month, or year. It is a great tool for preventing players from betting outside of their bankrolls. It also works by limiting the number of bets you can make since the limit applies on the total sum wagered.

Time Limits

Although time limits are mostly used on online casinos, you can also find them at online sportsbooks and poker rooms. Players can set limits on how much time they stay logged into the account, both on the site and on the mobile app. It is always easy to lose track of time when playing casino games or checking out the latest betting odds.

Cool Down Period

This feature will block you from accessing the account for a set period of time. It is a forced break that can be very useful when gambling responsibly. Users can quickly set a cool down period and then close the gambling site knowing that they can’t access it. Once the period is up, you can connect back.

Self-Exclusion

The self-exclusion feature is a longer cool down period that we recommended for players who are already suffering from problem gambling, or are close to it. With this feature, you can enter your name on a self-exclusion list and you will no longer be able to play on any site within the state. Moreover, operators often check self-excluded players in other states as well.

Tips for Gambling Responsibly

The following are general tips that we recommend following even if you don’t think that you are experiencing problem gambling. Creating strong habits can help you prevent issues in the future. Here are some recommendations that you can use to better protect yourself when gambling:

  • Don’t bet money that you can’t afford to lose: You should only bet with funds that don’t have any other purpose. This means not gambling with money that you have to use to pay rent, buy groceries, pay for utilities, cover medical expenses, or anything else required outside of the gambling world.
  • Take advantage of online limits: As you can see, gambling sites allow you to set various limits. We recommend setting these from the very start based on a real evaluation of your situation. After setting the deposit limit, you have to take a break if you run out of funds.
  • Understand that the operator has the advantage: Know that casino games give the casino an advantage and that sportsbooks take a cut of the profits through the built-in margins. Don’t expect to win in the long run and don’t base your future expenses on these winnings.
  • Try other forms of entertainment and hobbies: Gambling shouldn’t be your only form of entertainment. It is best to have other hobbies that would keep you busy away from the gambling options.
  • Stop gambling when the fun stops: Lastly, it is best to stop playing when you feel that you are no longer having fun. Even if you are still within your imposed limits, simply stop if you don’t feel entertained anymore. You can always try later when you are actually excited about it.
  • Choose where you play: Registering with a safe online casino that provides the right tools is essential to staying in control. Not only do these casinos provide the right tools, but also adhere to strict fairness and security laws.

Problem Gambling Evaluation

It can be difficult to properly evaluate one’s own problems. When it comes to excessive gambling, the frequency is an indicator, but it is not the only one. There are also other aspects that go into it.

A good way to answer the question “Do I have a gambling problem?” is to learn more about the concept and start practicing ways to prevent it. You can also check out the Gamblers Anonymous quiz to have a starting answer. There are only 20 Yes/No questions that you can go through within a few minutes.

Another way to help you evaluate your own situation is to take a step back and look at your recent activity. How much did you gamble over the past couple of weeks, both in terms of money and in time spent? Are you having financial issues because you lost too much gambling? Did you cancel plans with family and friends to do something connected to gambling? Did you actually have fun during your sessions?

If you answer honestly and you see that it is not a healthy response, you might want to look into it further. Of course, this doesn’t automatically mean that you are addicted to gambling or that you have a problem. It is best to leave the actual diagnosis to a qualified professional. However, you can always start taking measures to prevent problem gambling.

Problem Gambling Help Resources

  • Gamblers Anonymous: A group of men and women with experience with problem gambling that share their experiences and help each other solve common issues.
  • National Council on Problem Gambling: The biggest organization with the mission to create comprehensive policy and helpful programs for players who are affected by problem gambling. It offers resources for most states.
  • Gam-Anon: An international service where players can learn more about problem gambling, take part in meetings, and share with others that are going through similar issues. It promotes a 12-step program to fight against compulsive gambling and provides assistance along the way.
  • GamTalk: A supportive community of men and women with the goal of helping people who are having gambling issues. It offers a 24/7 online chat room and scheduled sessions with trained support workers.

Problem Gambling Agencies by State

State Official Agency for Responsible Gambling Phone Number
Alabama Alabama Council on Compulsive Gambling 211
Alaska Alaska Department of Health Division of Behavioral Health 1-800-273-8255
Arizona Arizona Department of Gaming 1-800-6398-7837
Arkansas Arkansas Problem Gambling Council 1-800-522-4700
California California Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-426-2537
Colorado Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado 1-800-522-4700
Connecticut Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services 1-888-789-7777
Delaware Delaware Council on Problem Gambling 1-888-850-8888
Florida Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling 1-888-236-4848
Georgia Georgia Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-715-4225
Hawaii Hawaii Island Recovery 1-866-390-5070
Idaho Idaho Gambling Addiction Hotline 1-844-779-2637
Illinois Illinois Council on Problem Gambling 1-833-937-4274
Indiana Indiana Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-994-8448
Iowa Iowa Gaming Association 1-800-2387-633
Kansas Kansas Coalition on Problem Gambling 1-800-522-4700
Kentucky Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-426-2537
Louisiana Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling 1-877-770-7867
Maine Maine Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-426-2537
Maryland Maryland Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-426-2537
Massachusetts MA Problem Gambling Helpline 1-800-327-5050
Michigan Michigan Association on Problem Gambling 1-517-672-6904
Minnesota Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling 1-800-333-4673
Mississippi Mississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling 1-888-777-9696
Missouri Missouri Department of Mental Health – Compulsive Gambling 1-888-238-7633
Montana Montana Council on Problem Gambling 1-888-900-9979
Nebraska Nebraska Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-522-4700
Nevada Nevada Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-426-2537
New Hampshire NH Council on Problem Gambling 1-603-724-1605
New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling of NJ 1-800-426-2537
New Mexico Responsible Gaming Association of New Mexico 1-888-696-2440
New York New York Council on Problem Gambling 1-518-867-4084
North Carolina NC Problem Gambling Program 1-877-718-5543
North Dakota Gambler ND 1-877-702-7848
Ohio Problem Gambling Network of Ohio 1-800-589-9966
Oklahoma Oklahoma Association on Problem Gambling & Gaming 1-800-426-2537
Oregon Oregon Problem Gambling Resource 1-877-695-4648
Pennsylvania Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania 1-800-426-2537
Puerto Rico Addiction and Mental Health Services Administration 1-800-981-0023
Rhode Island Rhode Island Council on Problem Gambling 1-401-354-2877
South Carolina South Carolina Gambling Addiction Services 1-803-896-5555
South Dakota South Dakota Department of Social Services 988
Tennessee TN Department of Mental Health 1-800-889-9789
Texas Texas Gamblers Anonymous 1-855-222-5542
Utah National Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-426-2537
Vermont Vermont’s Problem Gambling Resource Center 1-802-488-6000
Virginia Virginia Council on Problem Gambling 1-888-532-3500
Washington Washington State Gambling Commission 1-800-547-6133
West Virginia First Choice Services 1-800-426-2537
Wisconsin Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-426-2535
Wyoming Wyoming Council on Problem Gambling 1-800-522-4700
Vlad Grindu
Gambling Expert
Vlad Grindu
Gambling Expert

Vlad has more than a decade of experience in the gambling industry, specializing in analyzing and reviewing online betting platforms. He is an expert in casino games and sports betting, providing detailed guides for major publications in the iGaming industry, including Casino.org and Covers. Vlad has a Master’s Degree in Economics and enjoys the occasional esports game.