“Bet with your head, not over it,” goes a well-known gambling saying. That’s certainly true for some. March is Problem Gambling Awareness Month and regulated online poker and gaming sites have safeguards in place to problem gamblers.
According to the International Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG), about 1 percent of the US adult population has a “severe gambling problem.”
Many players find poker and gambling a fun activity to pass some time. Casinos are simply entertainment destinations for these players.
However, gambling may be compulsive for some. A player’s personal problems can spiral out of control quickly if they don’t keep their gaming in check.
Those who enjoy online casinos and online poker will find some resources to help. US operators work to promote safe and responsible gaming. Here are five safeguards that trustworthy online poker sites have in place for those who need some help.
1 – Players must be 21 to enter
To prevent underage gambling, all poker sites require multiple forms of identification and a Social Security number to play. Regulated markets work to keep online gaming among adults only.
“The most recent research estimates that 6 to 9 percent of young people and young adults experience problems related to gambling – a higher rate than among adults,” NCRG reports.
Regulated online casino and poker sites have measures in place to help prevent this.
2 – Online poker deposit limits
Players will find a deposit limits page in the responsible gaming section of most sites. The self-imposed limit allows players to regulate how much money they can use to fund an account.
A player can decide to cap the amount of deposits daily, weekly, and monthly. Once these are set, they can only be changed after a certain time period has ended.
3 – Loss notification
Sometimes it’s easy for players to lose track of their losses. New Jersey online casinos make sure to notify players after certain limits are reached.
When a player deposits and loses more than $2,500 in a year, a pop up will appear on the client. This notification will halt the games until the player acknowledges the screen.
Sites in NJ also provide information to help players who may need help. Other states offer similar programs. These friendly reminders can provide some introspection for those who play online poker regularly.
4– Player time limits
The running joke is that casinos don’t have clocks and want players to gamble longer than needed. The ability to activate time limits is another safeguard provided on legal online casino sites.
Players can determine their daily, weekly, and monthly playing time limits. Once a site reaches a player’s preset limit, the casino games halt.
For real money online poker players, this restriction should be taken into consideration when at the tables. Those playing a tournament, will need to coordinate the time needed to play.
Once the time limit is up, the client locks the player out of the tournament. Casino support is unable to unlock these imposed limits until after the time limit for the day has ended.
The biggest step a player can make is to exclude themselves from playing. Players in New Jersey can self exclude from all gambling for a minimum of one or five years. Other states offer similar time limits.
This means they can no longer play on any sites, live or online, once the self-exclusion is in place. That’s an important thing to remember, but self-exclusion may be an answer for those with serious concerns.
“Make sure that players realize the ban is not contained to just one site,” a player who wished to remain anonymous told USPoker. “I thought I was self excluding from only one online site, and I found out pretty quickly I was banned from all sites in New Jersey and all Atlantic City casinos for one year.”
Online players can learn more about self-exclusion by visiting:
- New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
- Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
- Michigan Gaming Control Board
The Nevada Gaming Control Board doesn’t offer a self-exclusion initiative. However, individual casino properties may offer their own. Those with a gambling problem can also call 1-800-GAMBLER.