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Glossary of Responsible Gambling Terms

As you examine different responsible gambling resources, you will encounter various terms and lingo that you may or may not know. At the very least, you may not know these terms in this context. So, here’s a quick rundown on some of the bits of jargon you will find in your responsible gambling journey.

General terms

The first terms to know are the basics. In particular, it’s important to understand the differences between problem gambling and gambling addiction, as they are often used interchangeably.

  • Responsible gambling – A set of practices that help you manage your time and money as you gamble.
  • Problem gambling – Problem gambling is when your gambling begins to demonstrate compulsive characteristics, such as risking money reserved for necessities or missing social engagements in favor of gambling
  • Gambling addiction – Gambling addiction is a more serious condition, as there is an impulse control problem that goes beyond the sufferer’s ability to control independently.

To put it another way, all with active gambling addictions are problem gamblers, but not all problem gamblers have gambling addictions.

Responsible gambling practices

US online casinos are legally required to protect their players by promoting responsible gambling. Here are the most common tools.

  • Session limit – A self-imposed limit on the length of your online casino session.
  • Deposit limit – A voluntary limit on the amount of money that you can deposit during a certain period of time.
  • Wagering limit – A cap on how much you can bet on a single spin or hand.
  • Loss limit – A preestablished maximum on how much you can lose. Once you reach this limit, you won’t be able to play for a period of time.

Responsible gambling support groups

It is quite possible that a clinical approach to your treatment won’t be sufficient to curb your destructive habit. After you identify that you have a gambling problem,  the next step is finding what support groups are commonly available to you.

In addition, if you are a friend or family member of someone struggling with problem gambling, it’s a good idea to have support options, too. It’s a delicate approach in helping a loved one, the resources below are the best-known and most active support communities for problem gambling.

  • Gamblers AnonymousGA is a peer support group where problem gamblers come together to share their experiences, discuss recovery methods, and encourage one another in their journeys. Most metropolitan areas of any size have a GA meeting on a weekly basis, if not several.
  • GamTalk – GamTalk is an online discussion board that functions in much the same way as Gamblers Anonymous. It is moderated and frequented by fellow problem gamblers who are at different points in their journey. Best of all, and unlike GA, you don’t have to wait for a meeting to reach out about a problem.
  • GAM-ANON The sister organization to Gamblers Anonymous, GAM-ANON provides weekly meetings in support of the family and friends who are struggling under a loved one’s gambling problem. GAM-ANON meetings provide attendees with effective ways to cope with the stresses and trials of their situation, along with compassion and support for their struggles.

Responsible Gambling Tools

  • 1-800-GAMBLER – Help is always available. 1-800-GAMBLER is an all-day, everyday option to connect you with a trained counselor. The counselors can, in turn, direct you to treatment and support options near your location. As long as you are currently inside a US state or territory, the helpline
  • NORC – The NORC Diagnostic Screen for Gambling Disorders survey is a tool for giving you a sense about whether your gambling has become worthy of concern. You can take the survey anonymously on the National Council on Problem Gambling website. Despite its name, however, it is not definitive proof you have a problem – a positive result means that you should seek advice from a professional.
  • 20 Questions – Gamblers Anonymous has its own version of the NORC which is, in many ways, a more complete record of where things stand. As is the case with the NORC, you can take the quiz through its organization’s website, and all results are confidential. Although the 20 Questions is certainly more thorough, it suffers from the same problem as the NORC, in that it is not considered an affirmed diagnosis if you are found to exhibit a number of warning signs.
  • Self-exclusion – Self-exclusion, or voluntary exclusion, refers to the most drastic step that you can take in service of arresting your gambling problem’s progress. In essence, agreeing to be placed on the list bars you from accessing any gambling outlets in your area. If you determine that no amount of therapy or support group attendance will keep you from gambling, you may need to place yourself on the list. Self-exclusion is almost always managed by individual state governments, as there can be civil and criminal consequences if you violate the terms of your placement. However, it can also be a lifesaver if you honestly believe that you won’t stop playing otherwise.
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