Smarter Play: Tools to Use for Online Gambling

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In a recent conversation with Brian Christopher’s fan club The Rudies, a player mentioned to Brian they didn’t want to play online because they were afraid it was too available and too easy to keep playing.

This is an understandable fear. But one thing that’s unique to online gambling is that casinos know each player a bit more intimately because all players have to register and verify themselves before they play. This is to ensure that casinos know the person is of a legal age and in a legal geographical area to play. This is a process known as Know Your Customer, or KYC.

In physical casinos, technically they don’t need to know anything about you. You don’t have to register for a card – you could just walk right up to a machine, put money in, and play. Part of the reason why casinos incentivize you with offers through the use of a players card is to encourage you to give them that information, but it’s not required.

Online’s a different matter. And because you’re logged in when you play, the tools can be more robust to help players protect themselves. Here are a few examples of tools available in online casinos that can help you as a player play within your means.

Setting a Budget or a Stop Limit

You can set up a limit of how much you’re willing to play within a certain time period. When you hit that limit, the system can lock you out of making further wagers until the time period resets. This is a good way to ensure you don’t spend more than you’re comfortable doing so and only using your entertainment budget.

Cooling Off Periods

Sometimes you have a bad run, and the temptation can be there to chase losses, which is never advisable. A cooling off period lets you say I don’t want to be allowed to play for some number of days, allowing you to put some distance between that bad run and any further interactions with online play.

In that way you can walk away, cool off, and be sure that your next session is played in a calmer mindset with some distance from that loss. Because real money is involved, gambling can be an emotional experience. For some, cooling off periods are a helpful, if not essential, part of ensuring a healthier experience with gambling.

Self Exclusion

The biggest tool is the most expansive and restrictive, which is to be put on self exclusion lists to be blocked from playing at all. Problem gambling is real, and if you’re finding yourself in a place where gambling is indeed a problem, self exclusion tools are a lifesaver to put distance between you and gambling operations altogether.

It’s important to note these may work in tandem with physical casinos, so putting yourself on an online list may extend to physical casinos. But if you do have a gambling problem, it could be the absolute right step to take.

And of course, if you need help, please don’t hesitate to call 1-800-GAMBLER or visit this website.

Physical Casino Tools

It’s helpful to note that some of these tools are also becoming available at physical casinos. MGM, for instance, has been rolling out GameSense, which features some of these features. Unfortunately, they also require a players card, and as we know slots work just fine without a card. But it’s still a step forward and better than not having them at all.

In that way the online tools are more complete as they’re linked to your account, which you must log in to use to play.


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