Responsible gambling is paramount to ensure fun, recreational experiences at casinos and sportsbooks. If you fear your gambling is out of control or would like to prevent bad habits from developing, you’re in the right place. The Sports Geek has compiled a host of responsible gambling tips and advice for players. Whether you’re dealing with possible gambling addiction or simply want to avoid bad habits, we’ve got you covered.

From setting a budget to calculating risk, there are plenty of steps you can take to encourage safe gambling activity. Remember, online gambling should be fun. While we all desire to win a big jackpot, we should never risk more than we can afford.

In this article, we’ll take you through the signs of problem gambling, how to address addiction issues, and where you can get help.

Never forget that it is OK to ask for help. Support is available for anyone who needs it

What Is Responsible Gambling?

Responsible gambling is the discipline of betting money without incurring severe financial risks, or indulging in addictive behaviors. The majority of players gamble responsibly and have great fun while doing so. They bet within their means, and all winnings and losses fall within sustainable parameters. However, anyone can be susceptible to the harms of problem gambling and addiction, even if they’ve attempted to bet responsibly.

Remember, there is no shame if you are suffering.

Failure to adhere to responsible gambling techniques is often the cause of addiction. This can lead to financial ruin, bankruptcy, a breakdown in family relations, and other issues.

Being proactive is the best way to prevent problem gambling before it arises. Below are some responsible gambling tips that every player should practice while betting at a casino or sportsbook.

Responsible Gambling Tips

Remember, you are responsible for gambling safely and setting your own limits. Being mindful of the money and time spent while gambling is essential to maximizing your enjoyment and steering clear of issues. Here are some quick strategies to implement:

  1. Gambling offers players the chance to win money. However, this activity should primarily be seen as entertainment, not a form of income. Only a handful of pro gamblers make enough money to live on. Most players, especially beginners, should instead view gambling as a fun hobby.

  2. Always set a budget. It doesn’t matter if you’re a new player with relatively small funds, or a high roller chasing big jackpots. Sticking to a set budget helps protect you from financial difficulty if your luck runs out in a casino or sportsbook.

  3. If you have money in more than one bank account, restrict problem gambling habits by blocking access to accounts you don’t want to use for gambling. Request that your bank blocks transactions made at sportsbooks or casinos. Set up a dedicated e-wallet or use crypto to make gambling deposits instead. This will keep your personal and gambling accounts completely separate.

  4. The best gambling sites allow you to set deposit and loss limits. However, you can also set a personal win limit. This way, you’ll know to stop once you’ve reached your desired winnings. For example, if you’ve set a $100 win limit, the $130 you’ve won betting on horses is enough for the day.

  5. Smart bettors use a balance index to stay on top of their budget. This way you only withdraw surplus money above the index when you win. If you go below the index, you reduce your stakes until you win enough to rebound to the original level. Say your index is $100. If you win $20 on a blackjack game and your budget rises to $120, then you withdraw $20. You can swiftly accumulate winnings without going bust.

  6. This is obvious advice that any knowledgeable gambler will agree with. Only bet on sports or play casino games that you know well. Wagering on sports and games with little understanding of them is like throwing money away. You will almost certainly lose unless you strike very, very lucky. Always understand your odds and familiarize yourself with game instructions or sports-related research before placing a bet.

  7. A common example of irresponsible gambling is to try and bet your way out of a hole. It very rarely works. Not only do you need to bet bigger to cover your deficit, but you’re at risk of betting with your heart and not your head. Never chase losses. Instead, end your gameplay before it gets worse.

  8. This is another simple but often overlooked tip for responsible gambling. Never bet while intoxicated or under the influence of any drug. Never bet to show off in front of your friends. This can inevitably lead to irrational wagers that result in big losses. What’s more, betting in this condition can exacerbate gambling addiction issues.

Warning Signs of Problem Gambling

Ensuring safe online gambling habits is one thing. Spotting the warning signs of problem gambling is more difficult, as gamblers often struggle to confront these issues.

A problem gambling self assessment tool is a good way to determine if you or someone you care about is suffering from addiction. We’ve also included six warning signs of problem gambling below:

1. Inability to Stop

The inability to stop gambling activity is one of the biggest red flags of addiction. Abstention is the first step to recovery but also the hardest.

2. Overriding Your Limits

If you set a deposit or bet limit, and then consistently override it, you likely have an addiction. Limits are in place to help you. But if you view limits as a hindrance rather than a helpful tool, this can indicate a much larger problem.

3. Gambling Impacting Other Areas of Your Life

Constant thoughts of gambling and negative effects on your home life or emotional well-being signal that it’s time to get this under control.

4. Having Financial Difficulties

The goal of gambling is to win money. However, it certainly isn’t a solution for fixing financial difficulties. If your financial circumstances are worsening as a result of gambling, this is a sure sign of addiction.

5. Dishonesty About Gambling

If you or someone you care about is covering up your gambling activity, it is evidence of a problematic habit.

6. Experiencing Mental Health Issues

Stress, substance abuse, and a breakdown in interpersonal relationships can all result from a gambling addiction. Being mindful about your state of mind is therefore important to addressing unhealthy gambling habits.

Get Help: Resources for Gambling Addiction

There is a lot of help out there for those suffering with gambling addiction. Quite often, it’s difficult for a problem gambler to acknowledge the addiction in the first place. It takes mindfulness and self-care to take this first step and, while it can be scary, it is always worthwhile.

If you or someone you know is suffering from problem gambling issues, there are plenty of helpful resources. Talking to loved ones and friends is a great place to start. But there are also many professional support groups and organizations you can access today.

Get started by checking out the gambling addiction support websites below:

* Reputable online gambling sites also provide resources for problem gambling.

Other Problem Gambling Support Available

There are also a number of hotlines you can call from anywhere in the country to get help with problem gambling. Most resources provide free assistance, but there are also paid support services that may be covered by your health plan. Check the organizations below for additional problem gambling support options:


24/7 Free Gambler’s Hotline: 1-800-522-4700

The Gambler’s Hotline is operated by the National Council on Problem Gambling and is 100% confidential. The hotline offers advice and access to local health and government organizations that can help. You can also text on 800-522-4700 or use the live chat on the website to speak directly to a specialist.

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous is an organization that helps individuals recover from gambling issues. Answer 20 questions to begin your recovery journey and join in-person and virtual meetings across the United States.

Paid Support Services

Many problem gambling clinics are available across the country that provide paid support for those suffering with addiction. Check if your healthcare plan covers this support, or if you need to pay out of pocket. The Gambling Clinic, for example, offers low-cost support for anyone seeking help.

About the Author
Dave Consolazio profile picture
Dave Consolazio
Sports/Casino Writer
Dave Consolazio is an avid sports fan and an experienced sports writer with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He lives in Los Angeles and enjoys all sports, though football and hockey are his favorites. When he isn't betting on or writing about sports, Dave also enjoys playing poker, playing video games and keeping up with the latest iGaming news and trends.