Gambling online and sports betting are enjoyable pastimes. Whether you’re following odds on games to place wagers or playing poker, you understand the exhilaration that comes from cashing out or winning big. Studies in New York have shown that the majority of bettors are in fact responsible gamers. They tend to set a budget before visiting a casino, whether online or in-person. This is just one way to engage in responsible gaming.

That said, gambling addiction is a real thing and something that all bettors need to consider. Getting used to the thrill of gambling can become a problem, so please take a moment to read below so you understand the importance of responsible gaming and whether you or someone you know has a problem.

What Is Responsible Gaming?

The amount of time you spend gambling or betting is not necessarily an indicator as to whether or not you have a problem. The problem lies in how it is affecting your life and those around you. States in which gambling is legal have created codes of conduct. These codes of conduct supply a standard to which all bettors and gamblers must uphold. These rules and regulations are not only in place for bettors to follow, but they are also there to ensure casinos and sportsbooks are providing safe, transparent, and responsible gaming to their customers as well.

The New York State Gaming Commission has regulations in place that monitor gambling venues to make sure they are upholding these responsible gaming rules. They ensure venues are providing the appropriate outreach to gamblers who may have a problem.

New York State established the Responsible Play Partnership in 2013 in partnership with its Gaming Commission, the New York State Office on Alcohol and Substance Abuse Services, and the New York Council on Problem Gambling. They work with stakeholders, casinos, and surrounding communities to not only provide necessary help to problem gamblers but to improve available resources.

How Can You Practice Responsible Gaming?

You may have enjoyed betting casually and are now finding you’re doing it more and more. While the frequency in which you are betting isn’t necessarily a problem, there are other factors to consider when identifying a problem. If you enjoy betting and gambling but want to be sure you are doing it safely and responsibly, there are some things you can do regularly to check in with yourself.

Am I Gambling Or Betting Responsibly?

Gambling and betting are fun and thrilling, especially when you’re winning. Ask yourself if you’re still enjoying online sports betting or playing at online casinos. Do you feel frustrated or irritable when playing? These are signs that could lead to a bigger problem. It is important to regularly ask yourself whether or not you believe you’re exhibiting healthy and responsible behavior.

Gambling For Fun Vs Making Money

If you approach gambling or sports betting as a way to have fun as opposed to a means to make money, you can relieve some pressure and focus on the gaming aspect–strategizing when sports betting is a great way to have fun and learn more about a sport or team you are following. Consider the tactics you bring to betting or online gambling and focus on that fun aspect.

Set A Budget When Gambling or Placing A Bet

Whether you’re walking into a casino sportsbook or playing on a mobile app, it’s important to set a budget beforehand. This will guide you in knowing when you should stop playing and keep you from spending money you either don’t have or know you shouldn’t be spending.

Avoid Alcohol and Drugs When Gambling Or Wagering

We all know how drugs and alcohol can oftentimes affect people’s better judgment. Avoid consuming drugs or alcohol when gambling or betting so you’re not making uninformed or potentially dangerous decisions. You’ll be in the moment and able to think clearly about your next move without having any clouded judgment.

Set A Timer When Gambling

Setting a budget is a great way to gauge when it’s time to stop gambling, but setting a timer for yourself is also useful. If you’re playing on a mobile app, set the timer on your device and stop playing when it goes off. If you’re visiting a casino, set a timer on your stopwatch or smartphone for a reasonable amount of time, and know it’s time to leave when it goes off.

Setting Limits When Gambling

The above tips are useful for following responsible gaming, and it is important to have a plan before stepping into a casino or opening a mobile gambling or sports betting app.

If you focus on the entertainment aspect of gaming instead of as a means to make money, you can play responsibly and understand when you have had enough gaming for a day. Setting a budget helps as well as it ensures you are not over-spending and bringing unnecessary stress to your financial situation.

If You Think You Have A Gambling Problem

Knowing how to identify a problem is a crucial step to getting the help you need. Whether you are an experienced bettor or gambler or are just beginning to dip your toes into the world of casinos and sportsbooks, you are not immune to potential problems or gambling addiction.

It is easy to assume that someone with a gambling addiction is easy to spot. This is simply not true. Oftentimes, someone with a gambling addiction will hide it from loved ones and can even carry on in their job and perform tasks as they need to. This is why it’s important to check in with yourself regularly and ask if you have a problem.

If you suspect you could have a gambling problem, ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I no longer having fun when gambling or betting, but instead feeling on edge and frustrated?
  • Am I spending more money than I should be? Could I have possibly put myself or my family in financial hardship?
  • Am I hiding how much I am gambling from those closest to me – my family and/or friends?

If you are answering yes to any of these questions, there are resources available to you. Identifying that you have a problem is an important step in getting the help you need.

What Is Voluntary Self-Exclusion?

If you believe you have a problem and are ready to take the necessary steps to get help, voluntary self-exclusion may be a viable option in your road to recovery. Voluntary self-exclusion means you essentially report yourself to your state to have yourself banned from all casino and betting facilities. In the state of New York, this includes everything from commercial casinos to racetracks.

You fill out a Voluntary Self-Exclusion Form and have it notarized before mailing it to the New York State Gaming Commission.

Responsible Gaming Resources

New York offers many resources to gamblers who have identified addiction or feel they may be at risk. Here are some resources for you:

New York Council on Problem Gambling: 1-877-846-7369 (24-hour hotline)

Gamblers Anonymous: This link will take you to the New York Council on Problem Gambling site where you can select your region to find a location near you. Gamblers Anonymous aims to help individuals by connecting them to resources that can help. Selecting your region from this map will also lead you to other available options in your area.

KnowTheOdds: This New York organization helps individuals who are suffering from gambling addiction. They offer a welcoming environment that aims to help with recovery.

Understanding Responsible Gaming

Gaming and betting should be fun for everyone who participates, so Gaming Commissions must monitor these activities to keep them safe for all. Understanding the importance of responsible gaming before stepping into a casino or opening a sportsbook app is a great first step to take. Legal gambling is a great industry, and the more people who practice responsible gambling, the more likely the industry will open up in other states in the country.

About the Author

Jessica Andrews

Jessica Andrews is a writer and editor for NY Sports Day, based in Dallas, Texas. She has worked as a professional writer for several years and was Public Affairs Director for the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce in Southern California. She roots for the Boston Red Sox and Vegas Golden Knights.

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