There are many safety tips, but basically, make sure playing stays fun. In a wide-ranging interview with Casino Shield, the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) of Ontario has highlighted key ways for players to stay in control while playing at online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker tables.
The RGC helps the regulators in Ontario ensure that each online gambling operator is meeting the highest possible responsible gaming standards.
The RGC, first and foremost, wants to remind players that gambling should always be fun.
“There are many safety tips, but basically, make sure playing stays fun,” Tracy Parker, Director of Standards and Accreditation at the RGC told Casino Shield.
To help keep gambling fun, Ontario Sports Betting operators must provide a suite of responsible gambling tools to players to help them manage how much time and money is spent on the site. Implementing restrictions on how much time can be spent playing online and how much money can be spent helps players to only gamble as much as they can afford to lose and keeps them from chasing their losses.
Taking breaks from the action by setting cool-off periods, as well as by using time limit tools, is also a great way to curb addictive gambling behavior.
Responsible gambling tools on offer in Ontario include:
- Deposit Limits: Limiting how much money can be deposited on the site at any one time.
- Time Limits: Limiting the amount of time a player can spend on the site.
- Loss Limits: Once a certain amount of money has been lost, the player will have to sit out of further action.
- Game Type Limits: This limits the number of game types that can be played.
- Cool-Off Periods/Self-Exclusion: This is enforced downtime away from the tables, effectively getting the player to ban themselves from the site.
Parker goes on to outline some of the ways you can keep your gambling habits in check.
- Learn more about how the games work and about the tools that can help manage your play.
- Play with money you can afford to lose. Use tools to keep you on track.
- Don’t gamble when depressed or intoxicated.
- Don’t gamble when you’re upset or stressed.
- Limit your alcohol and/or cannabis intake while gambling.
- Manage your time and take frequent breaks; use tools to help with that
- Don’t try to win back what you’ve lost.
- Balance gambling with other recreational activities and priorities in your life.
- Seek help or make a change if your gambling is causing you concern.
The RGC takes responsible gaming quite seriously and has gone so far as to make sure that every online operator meets the standards outlined in their RG Check Accreditation Program before being able to offer real money gambling in the province.
RGC employs a 360 approach to preventing gambling harm … We work with all sides to ensure that robust consumer protections continue to be a priority. “RGC employs a 360 approach to preventing gambling harm. It is important to involve all stakeholders in the advancement of responsible gambling standards and best practices. We work with all sides to ensure that robust consumer protections continue to be a priority. Evidence-informed approaches are crucial to the effectiveness of RG, which is why leveraging research and data is so important,” Parker added.
In addition to the advice given by Parker at the RGC, iGaming Ontario (iGO) has put together an iGaming 101 primer for new players who might be interested in playing online poker, casino gaming, or sports betting for the first time.
The main topics covered in the guide include:
- Educating players on what types of games are available in Ontario
- Highlighting what a player needs to look for and how to choose an online poker room, casino, or sportsbook
- How to set up an account and how to set up a digital wallet before placing any type of bets or wagers
- How to choose a game that is right for the player’s needs
- How to stay educated and informed on the types of games available and how they work
- How setting money and time limits from the get-go can help a player stay in control of their gambling habits