Responsible Gambling

Responsible Gaming Explained

Dealing with problem gambling is a significant issue in the ever-accessible realm of online gambling. Numerous players face difficulties in regulating their gambling behaviors, given its continuous availability.

The initiative of responsible gambling has been launched by online gambling providers, regulatory bodies, and entities that supervise gambling procedures. The goal is to equip players with essential tools to manage their gambling habits responsibly and safely. This initiative is realized through various types of restrictions, self-exclusion methods, and other helpful tools.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive insight into these tools so that you can utilize them if necessary. We have categorized the effective Responsible Gambling practices into the following sections:

  • Casino-based responsible gambling tools – Each online casino provides its unique set of mechanisms aimed at promoting responsible gambling.
  • Country-specific responsible gambling options – Certain countries have established databases to limit access to licensed gambling operators. This section also discusses several responsible gambling strategies endorsed by licensing entities.
  • Global-level gambling access blockers – Numerous applications and tools are available which effectively restrict access to all forms of internet-based gambling.
  • Other responsible gambling principles – The concept of responsible gambling goes beyond the tools to manage gambling practices. It also focuses on fair gambling, player protection, prevention of illicit practices, and so on.
  • Our take on responsible gambling – Our approach and beliefs about responsible and irresponsible gambling practices impact how we assess online casinos and manage our website.

Remember, while these measures can certainly aid in keeping track and controlling your gambling activities, they may not entirely eliminate a serious gambling habit. If you find yourself grappling with problem gambling, we suggest that you read our separate article focusing on strategies to overcome problem gambling.

Responsible Gambling Tools in Online Casinos 

To promote responsible gaming and to adhere to legal standards, web-based casinos frequently present an array of responsible gambling alternatives for players to employ when betting begins to feel out of control.

Generally, each casino independently offers these options. In simpler terms, the responsible gaming tools selected in one casino are specific to that institution only. This creates limitations, as players can easily avoid deposit restrictions in one casino by switching to another.

Nevertheless, some casino groups deviate by offering these services across an entire network. This system implies that if you pick self-exclusion in a casino under a bigger consortium, you will be blocked from participating in all their affiliated casinos. However, this feature is not universal across all casino networks.

We'll delve into the following subjects:

  • Self-Exclusion
  • Deposit Limits
  • Loss limits
  • Wagering Limits
  • Session-Length Limits
  • Bet Size Limits
  • Reality Checks
  • Marketing Communication
  • Account Closure
  • Associated Casinos (Affiliated Brands)


To abstain from gaming entirely for a specified period, many casinos offer a self-exclusion option. Using this tool, you're barred from gambling for your chosen period.

The duration allowed for self-exclusion varies from one casino to another, but the commonly available periods include:

  • 12 hours
  • 1 day (24 hours)
  • 1 week (7 days)
  • 1 month (31 days)
  • 6 months (183 days)
  • 1 year (365 days)

To immune yourself from gaming, access the ‘responsible gaming' section at your chosen online casino, find and activate the self-exclusion tool for your chosen period. Ideally, a casino will uphold this restriction, even if you were to plea customer service to let you play.

Casinos should also stop circulating marketing materials to self-excluded players. Despite this, not all casinos abide by this practice. In our opinion, sending promotional content to self-excluded players is unethical.

Note: Big gambling sites offering a broader selection of products (e.g., poker, sports betting, casino games) may offer separate self-exclusion for each department. Here, you might opt to restrict yourself from a casino while still participating in poker games. There's also an option for total exclusion.

Different casinos manage the self-exclusion period differently. While some strictly enforce the period, others allow lifting the exclusion after a cooling-off period.

We've noticed some casinos even allow immediate lift-off of the exclusion without a cooling-off stage, which contradicts the essence of self-exclusion and is morally wrong. We're opposed to this approach, and hope casinos adhere to right self-exclusion standards moving forward.

Note: A cooling-off period is a designated waiting time between cancelling the self-exclusion and resuming play. For longer exclusion phases, this can extend up to one week, presumably giving players ample time to reconsider resuming play.

Deposit Limits 

For players who wish to maintain access to gambling while still exercising control over their expenses, setting a deposit limit is an ideal solution. This tool restricts the amount of money you can deposit within a specific timeframe. Each casino typically offers variable timeframes to suit your budgeting needs. Common options include:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Yearly

These timeframes' calculations differ amongst venues, with some using simple calendar days from midnight to midnight, while others apply the limit over any consecutive 24-hour window.

Once a deposit limit is set, it becomes effective immediately. Lowering the limit also follows the same process. However, when it comes to increasing the deposit limit, casinos typically delay the process; waiting periods range from 24 hours to 7 days, depending on the casino policy. This delay in changes to deposit limit increases is in accordance with responsible gambling principles to avoid impulsive decisions.

Loss Limits 

A number of casinos offer players the feature of setting a loss limit during a selected period, similar to deposit limits. This not only accounts for your fresh deposits but also the existing balance in your casino account. The timeframe options for loss limits typically mirror those of deposit limits: daily, weekly, or monthly.

Casinos may vary in how they calculate these limits, but commonly a net loss limit is used. This means that it takes into account your wagers as well as your wins during that particular period. This type of limit essentially minimizes the amount by which your balance can decrease during a specific span.

Wagering Limits 

Comparable to deposit and loss limits, a betting restriction denotes the maximum amount you can bet during a specific timeframe. The outcome of your gaming (win or loss) has no effect on this limit.

Suppose you establish a daily betting cap of $500 and engage in a slot machine with a $1 bet size. You're permitted to play 500 rounds, irrespective of the outcomes. Whether you end up losing $300 or gaining a $2,000, once your bets reach the $100 limit, you are not allowed to play any further. You'll have to wait until the chosen time period ends to place your next bet.

Wagering limits share similar traits with deposit and loss limits but with the notable differences highlighted earlier. The typical periods are often the same (commonly a day, a week or a month).

Session Length Limits 

A few casinos impose a limit on the duration of gameplay, permitting you to play only for a specific period within a chosen timeframe. Once this limit is reached, you are not allowed to gamble further until the set time period is fulfilled. You can, however, still manage other aspects of your account like withdrawals.

If you decide on a playing duration limit that permits you to gamble for only an hour every day, once you spend 60 minutes gambling, you will be unable to play another round until the following day.

Bet Size Limits 

If you prefer not to limit your overall capability to play or make deposits, but want to regulate the size of your wagers, you can set a wager size limit. This option is self-explanatory – once you establish a wager size limit, you cannot place higher bets.

However, due to the fluctuating volatility and variability of casino games, there might be options to set different limits for various types of games. This flexibility allows you to customize your limits and provides a safer experience without imposing excessive restrictions.

For instance, you could create a maximum wager size limit of $5 for slot machines and $100 for roulette. Therefore, you cannot play slots for $5 per spin, but you can place a $20 bet on roulette.

As mentioned in our discussion on self-exclusion, larger gambling websites may offer responsible gambling strategies for distinct types of games. Thus, you could set individual wager size limits for sports betting, poker, casino games, and so forth.

Setting wager size limits can be beneficial if you have a habit of raising bet sizes after a period of losing and wish to refrain from the practice. However, if you find your gambling habits have become uncontrollable, it is advisable to explore more stringent responsible gambling strategies or seek professional assistance.

Reality Checks

Reality verifications are another important tool that doesn't restrict your ability to play, deposit, or place bets. These provide feedback about your gameplay session after you've played for a certain duration.

Usually, this reality checks tool will provide two pieces of information:

  • The duration you've been playing
  • The total money gained or lost since you started playing

You've been playing for 2 hours. During this time, you've lost $393.50.
Continue Playing – Log Out – Gambling History.

Marketing Communication 

Choosing not to receive promotional messages may not be directly linked with gambling, but it holds significant importance. Many casinos offer players the choice to unsubscribe from marketing communications. This provision allows players to avoid receiving promotional emails, calls, posts and SMS from casinos. Usually, it's possible to select which types of communication to enable or disable. However, there should be an option to disable all if desired.

Note: It's pivotal to remember that this pertains strictly to marketing-based communication. The casino reserves the right to contact you regarding significant account-related information; however, you should not get any promotional incentives that potentially incite play.

Promotional invitations or incentives can pose a severe risk to those struggling with gambling addiction. Even a seemingly innocuous offering like complimentary spins can trigger a relapse into negative gambling behavior. Hence, the power to disable promotional communication forms an integral aspect of conscientious gambling guidelines that every gambling service provider should adhere to.

Account Closure

One way to halt your gaming activities is by permanently closing your casino account. However, this process isn't always straightforward. It often proves challenging to entirely delete an account without a possible reopening option.

Ideally, each casino should provide a mechanism for total account termination, but some make the procedure exceptionally complex. Generally, you can reactivate the account through the customer service department.

Hence, we wouldn't advise using the account closure strategy as an approach towards responsible gambling. Self-exclusion proves to be a far more effective method in this context.

Affiliated Casinos 

When referring to responsible betting choices, it's often assumed that every casino is an independent business entity. In reality, numerous casinos belong to the same corporate entity, operated by shared management or are interconnected in other ways.

If a gambler chooses to employ a responsible betting option in a casino part of a larger network, that option might apply to all the casinos in that group. The application of this rule varies from group to group. Unfortunately, there are instances where this rule is not adequately enforced.

We once observed where a player who had self-excluded themselves from a particular casino, was able to play and even win at an aligned sister casino. After victory, they were told their winnings were void, due to their self-exclusion at the sister establishment, as per the Terms and Conditions, and were returned their initial deposit instead.

While it's commendable the casino has the exclusion rule in its Terms and Conditions, it should have been applied before the player requested a withdrawal. In all likelihood, the player was unaware of the ruling or that the two casinos were affiliated. The clause allowed the casino to retain all funds, if the player hadn’t won, thus making the player risk money without an opportunity to win or withdraw. This represents a clear unfairness to the gambler.

So, what should we deduce from all this? While it's hard to provide a general recommendation as each casino manages these situations uniquely, you should be aware:

  • Many casinos are affiliates of larger parent corporations.
  • A responsible betting option exercised in one casino might apply across the entire casino network.
  • The affiliation between casinos might not be glaring until it's too late.

Furthermore, if you've self-excluded from a casino but feel compelled to indulge in a different one, consider other responsible gambling alternatives, deliberated in the later parts of this article. Alternatively, if you feel your betting habits spiralling out of control, we suggest looking into other methods to overcome problem gambling.

Responsible Gaming Tools

Country-Specific Responsible Gambling Options 

Several countries have inculcated responsible gambling practices as mandatory requirements under their gambling legislation. These usually include nationwide databases of people prohibited from gambling due to various reasons, but the practices can differ from one region to another.

Alongside nationwide gambling regulations, some casino licensing bodies also have their devised systems, such as those in the UK and Sweden. Meanwhile, some countries are still developing their strategies, like Malta. These regulations apply to all casinos operating under the licenses provided by particular licensing bodies.

In this article, we discuss some standout examples of responsible gambling measures established by national jurisdictions and licensing bodies. We will discuss the following:

  • Gamstop (UK's self-exclusion scheme)
  • Spelpaus (Sweden's self-exclusion scheme)
  • Malta Gaming Authority’s self-exclusion scheme


The UK's national self-exclusion program, Gamstop, enables players to voluntarily block themselves from all casinos that bear the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) license. This program is not yet fully operative, and not all casinos have incorporated it, but the participation will increase in the future as all UKGC-licensed casinos will be mandated to join.

Only UK residents can sign up for Gamstop, making them ineligible to participate in any legal gambling activities in the UK. To register, users need to provide details like their name, postcode, date of birth, and email address. There are three self-exclusion durations to choose from six months, one year, or five years.

According to Gamstop, players who join the scheme will continue to receive promotional content from the casinos unless they personally opt-out.


Sweden's recently liberalized gambling market has opened up for international online operators in addition to offering a national self-exclusion program, Spelpaus.

Similar to Gamstop, Spelpaus offers even more robust protection. It blocks you from participating in both online and physical casinos operating under a Swedish license, all of which are run by a state monopoly.

Additionally, casinos are prohibited from sending promotional and advertising messages during your self-exclusion period.

Self-exclusion can last for one month, three months, six months, or until further notice. For the predefined periods, the exclusion ends automatically once completed. However, for the indefinite period, it will continue until manually withdrawn, which can't be done within the first 12 months.

MGA Unified Self-Exclusion Scheme

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), a significant licensing authority globally, offers a unified self-exclusion scheme for land-based Maltese casinos. The MGA aims to extend this system to the online casinos that hold MGA licenses.

The system operates much like the UK's Gamstop, but unlike Gamstop which limits itself to UK-located players, MGA’s scheme is open to all players, irrespective of their geographical location.

Regrettably, this innovative system has not been launched yet, and it's unclear when it will be. Establishing such a robust system encompassing hundreds of casinos is challenging. However, if accomplished, it will reinforce the availability of responsible gambling options for players worldwide.

Please note that we've highlighted only three of many existing systems run by different entities. Despite this, we believe these to be the most influential and significant. Should you feel other self-exclusion frameworks require mention, feel free to inform us, and we will gladly include them.

Useful resources to further your understanding of problem gambling and get assistance for gambling addiction:

Tools & Apps to Restrict Access to Gambling 

Being a responsible gambler is not just relying on the features given by gambling platforms or implementing country-wide initiatives. There are several tools specifically designed to assist gamblers in reducing their exposure to gambling on a wider global scale.

Such tools are developed to prevent players from accessing gambling websites and related advertisements. There are also apps, not primarily built for gambling restrictions, but that can be repurposed for such use.

Typically, these applications function in two modes, often in combination:

  • Domain Blocking – Certain tools use an in-built database of online casinos and betting operators, restricting user access. These blocked sites must be consistently updated to ensure effectiveness. However, this allows the user access to useful sites, like those offering help to resolving gambling issues.
  • Keyword Filtering – Works by blocking any content that features words like “gambling”, “bet”, or “casino”. Though periodic updates aren’t necessary due to the constancy of the keywords, unfortunately, some beneficial sites may also get blocked, which is counter-productive. These filters may also obstruct unrelated webpages that happen to include such keywords.

Note: While previously several tools for specific keyword filters were available, none appear updated to current technology standards. You may come across apps with this functionality, but they would not primarily focus on gambling.

We have assembled a list of the most efficient and popular tools that could assist in limiting you or another person’s gambling access. Take a look, learn their functions, and, if necessary, choose what suits you best. Unfortunately, many require a subscription, but there are a few free ones.

Highlighted ones include:

  • BetBlocker – a free tool, blocks domains, can be used on unlimited devices, and is designed for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. It also includes parental control features.
  • Gamban – similar to BetBlocker, accessible on Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.
  • Net Nanny – keyword filter, for parental control and is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android.

Note: Ensure all your personal devices are protected. If a solitary phone or PC lacks a blocker, it could defeat the purpose of using blocking software, which poses a risk of falling back into the gambling trap.


As a free tool, BetBlocker is an unparalleled alternative to help you abstain from problematic gambling. BetBlocker is designed to restrict oneself or another person from accessing a vast array of gambling sites. It has two variants:

  • Gambling Self-exclusion – Ideal for those wanting to avoid gambling. It restricts access to gambling sites in its database for a predetermined duration, from 24 hours up to “forever”.
  • Parental Control – Designed for parents who want to prevent their children from online gambling access. It permits the creation of a password to remove restrictions when required. Besides children, it can aid adults in gambling restrictions, given it can be installed across all devices.

BetBlocker blocks specific domains and, hence, will not inhibit gambling-linked advertisements. It will not obstruct any websites not on their list. It's fully free, usable on multiple devices, and available for various platforms. Though not perfect, it is a cost-effective solution.


Gamban, like BetBlocker, restricts access to various gambling platforms in its cloud database. Currently, it's free through TalkBanStop for UK residents and is supported by many operators and organizations.

It's compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS and offers support to address any queries or help with installation.

Net Nanny 

Net Nanny serves to primarily support parents who wish to regulate their children's digital use. However, it can easily be appropriated to block gambling websites. Its limitations as a parental control mean that you cannot use it to block your own access to such sites and apps.

Gambling access can be restricted with the internet filter feature. Given it's primarily a parental control app, it can't be used by an individual to block their own access to gambling websites. It can be used to stop another person from indulging in gambling activities or installed by someone else on your devices, to aid in self-exclusion.

As we've highlighted, these tools are not foolproof, but using them responsibly is a step in the right direction. Consider the cost, your specific needs, and compatibility, to find the tool that best serves your purpose. Do look into other options too, like Cybersitter or Qustodio, under the ‘parental control’ category to see whether it fits the bill.

Responsible Gambling - blocking Apps and Tools

Other Responsible Gambling Principles 

Responsible gaming extends beyond the control systems and instruments intended to help players manage their betting habits. It's a holistic attitude that includes gaming platforms, their providers, and even other related organizations that prioritize player safety.

In a broader view, “responsible gaming” encompasses various important areas:

  • Safeguarding vulnerable players – Key implementations of the principle include the very control measures discussed earlier, and also involve providing necessary support to those struggling with problem gambling to secure a safer gaming environment.
  • Prevention of underage gambling – Since only adults are entitled to participate in any form of gambling activity, strict measures need to be undertaken to prevent underage individuals from gaming. This involves verifying players' ages before granting them access to games.
  • Ensuring player data safety – Online casinos often deal with sensitive customer information. Therefore, the onus lies in implementing rigorous security protocols to protect this data from misuse.
  • Fast and secure payments – A prime duty of online casinos is to ensure timely, fuss-free dealing with player withdrawals. This means that your earnings reach you promptly and in a secure manner.
  • Fair play gaming – No player should be at a disadvantage due to unfair practices in games. This fairness aspect covers numerous areas such as offering games with justifiable RTPs, ensuring legitimate earnings reach players, fairness-stressing clauses in terms & conditions, and many more.
  • Ethical and responsible advertising – The responsible gambling strategy doesn't just comprehend operational measures but also extends to ethical marketing methods. Hence, casinos should be careful not to target vulnerable audiences or children in their promotional campaigns.
  • Anti-money laundering procedures – Any platform where money changes hands is a potential hotspot for illegal financial activities. Hence, online casinos should deter such activities through robust verification procedures to prevent fraudulent actions.
  • Prioritizing customer satisfaction – Essentially, all the above-discussed points culminate into this final one. Online casinos should strategize to ensure overall customer satisfaction because it is in their best interest to maintain happy bettors.

Our Stand on Responsible Gambling 

While we don't operate as a gambling provider, we take responsible gambling very seriously. Our aim is to guarantee a secure gambling environment to all users navigating our site. Our focus is on how online casinos deal with their clientele, ensuring they adhere to the highest standards of fairness and applying responsible gambling methodologies.

So, what exactly do we mean when we say gambling needs to be fair and secure? 

Players can count on fair gambling when casinos uphold ethical standards and refrain from deceiving their users. This relates to reasonable and transparent terms and conditions, fair bonus payouts, and ensuring winnings are paid out. We endorse such fair gambling platforms proactively. In case we find any discrepancies during our exhaustive vetting process, we promptly notify our users.

Safe gambling means access is granted only to age-appropriate individuals, vulnerable parties are shielded, and measures are in place for players who may require self-regulation tools. Observance of these safety parameters is mandatory for online casinos. Upon spotting non-adherence by any site, we take it as a significant concern. Moreover, we believe that reliable casinos should enforce their regulations via software that prevents players from inadvertently breaching any rules.

We also concern ourselves with the portrayal of gambling. Regrettably, casino gaming is often misrepresented as an easy money-making venture, which is a gross misrepresentation. We aim to present a realistic view of gambling to our users without embellishing facts.

Consistently, we caution our users that the house always wins eventually. We never make false promises of extraordinary winnings through our strategies or articles. Online casinos that create a fair, secure environment for players receive our top ratings.

Should we identify casinos deviating from responsible gambling norms, including our definition of fair play, we seek to rectify the situation directly (till now, we have successfully persuaded five casinos to alter their T&Cs). This is a testament to our efforts to create a safer, more responsible online gambling sphere.

Ultimately, players shouldn't over-rely on responsible gambling measures, blocking accessories, online filters, or other options to fight gambling addiction. While these can benefit many players, they are not foolproof, and can be circumvented. For individuals genuinely desiring to quit gambling, more concrete measures to overcome addiction should be explored.

Responsible Gambling FAQ 

Why should we prioritize responsible gambling?

Responsible gambling minimizes the risk of severe financial loss and also shields against the onset of unhealthy behaviors and negative emotional states like stress, anxiety, and depression.

What does responsible gambling entail?

Responsible gambling revolves around four key principles: prevention, awareness, intervention, and control.

Do the majority of people gamble responsibly?

Yes, the majority do gamble responsibly. Nonetheless, all gamblers should remain mindful of potential risks and consistently practice responsible gambling.

How can I gamble without becoming addicted?

To gamble responsibly and avoid addiction, it’s crucial to understand the risks involved. Keep an eye on your emotional state and lookout for signs of problem gambling like chasing losses and financial distress. Always set self-imposed limits and stick to your gambling budget.

What does a responsible gambling policy include?

A responsible gambling policy consists of strategies and practices aimed at minimizing the potential adversities associated with gambling.

What tools can assist in responsible gambling?

Effective tools for responsible gambling include setting deposit limits, time-out sessions or cooling-off periods, wagering limits, reality checks, loss limits, self-evaluations, time and session limitations, withdrawal locks, and options for self-exclusion.

Play Responsibly - checklist

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