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Our Top Tips for Staying Safe While Gaming

Whether you’re out for a night on the town or whiling away some quiet time at home, there’s plenty of fun to be had while gaming even before you consider the possibility of actually winning big.

Nonetheless, it’s crucial to prioritise responsible gaming habits to make sure that you’re safe – and that remains true whether you’re a seasoned pro or just dipping your toes into the water. Here are a few tips to help you safely get the most out of your mobile slots, bingo or any other game where money is at stake.

Set limits and stick to them

One of the most effective ways to stay safe while gambling is to set financial and time limits before you start. Decide how much money and time you can afford to lose, and do not exceed these limits, even if you’d like to in the moment. Many online platforms offer tools to help you set these limits, including deposit caps and session timers. Using these tools can prevent you from spending more than you can afford and help you maintain control over your gambling activities.

Time management: know when to walk away

Managing your time effectively while gambling is just as important as managing your money. It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re engrossed in a game but taking regular breaks is essential. Set a timer to remind yourself to step away from the screen periodically. This not only helps prevent fatigue but also allows you to reflect on your gambling activity and make rational decisions. Remember, gambling should be a form of entertainment, not a marathon.

Beware of the gambler’s fallacy

The gambler’s fallacy is the mistaken belief that, if something happens more frequently than usual during a given period, it will happen less frequently in the future, or vice versa – the idea that something is “due” to happen. This can lead to poor decision-making and chasing losses. Each bet is independent and past outcomes do not influence future results. Understanding this can help you make more informed choices and avoid the pitfalls of chasing losses, which can quickly escalate into significant financial problems.

Choose licensed platforms and venues

Make sure that, when you do gamble, you use platforms and venues that are licensed and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Licensed operators must adhere to strict standards designed to protect players, including fair play, secure transactions and responsible gambling measures, so choosing them makes you safer. You can check if a site is licensed by visiting the Gambling Commission’s public register.

Know the warning signs for addiction

Gambling addiction can be extremely harmful so it’s important to look out for yourself by knowing the warning signs. These include spending more time and money on gambling than intended, lying about gambling habits and experiencing feelings of guilt or anxiety related to gambling. If you notice these signs in yourself or someone you know, seek help immediately. Organisations like GamCare offer support and resources like the National Gambling Helpline for those struggling with gambling addiction.