When you begin playing online casino games, signing up for an account and depositing is only a small part of the picture. You also need to make sure that you understand more about gambling in general and how to stop things from taking a turn for the worse.
The amount of information we have about responsible gambling – and how to protect players – increases each year. Several charities and operators worldwide have taken it on themselves to provide educational resources, while several affiliate sites have done likewise.
If you’re looking for gambling initiatives to increase your awareness and knowledge, thus ensuring that your games remain fun, there are plenty of options available. Let’s hop into seven of the best from around the world.
Problem Gambling Awareness Month
Before we look closer to home, we’ll start our round-up across the Atlantic in the US. Problem Gambling Awareness Month is an annual event held by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and it’s been going for almost two decades.
Problem Gambling Awareness takes place each March and involves several initiatives, including:
Social media campaigns;
Screening days where the public can find out their risk of problem gambling;
Training for counsellors.
The campaign involves several bodies, including regulators for states that allow legal forms of gambling.
Safer Gambling Week
While some organisations in the US have had longstanding support for problem gambling initiatives, the UK has also become proactive in this respect. The most important week of the year in this vein is Safer Gambling Week, previously known as Responsible Gambling Week.
Safer Gambling Week takes place every November and involves several industry stakeholders, including the most significant operators and charities. During this week, you’ll find summits discussing essential industry topics, in addition to campaigns and more.
As you might expect in the digital age, Safer Gambling Week drives a lot of engagement on social media. For the 2021 event, which takes place in the first week of November, the hashtag you need to follow is #SGWeek21.
The YGAM Parent Hub
The Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) is one of the most proactive UK charities in raising awareness about gambling and potential harms. This is especially the case among young people, with the charity planning to host several workshops in England, Scotland, and Wales soon.
One of the charity’s best current initiatives is the YGAM Parent Hub – and if you have children of your own, it’s well worth checking out. This corner of the internet provides parents with advice to keep their children safe from gambling-related harms, including giving them pointers to possible gambling-related problems and identifying them.
On the YGAM Parent Hub, parents and guardians can also learn about why some children choose to gamble – along with a definition of the activity.
Besides real-money gambling, the YGAM Parent Hub is also useful for discovering information about video games – and the potential threats they pose.
The Bet Regret Campaign
The Bet Regret campaign is one of the more lighthearted initiatives on this list. But far from being a joke, it still delivers the serious message it intends to. A relatively new launch, the Bet Regret campaign was launched by UK charity GambleAware.
GambleAware has broadcasted these ads on TV and intends to raise awareness about why you shouldn’t sign in to your betting account when you’re not in the right frame of mind. These include:
When you’ve had too much to drink;
When you’re bored and can’t find anything else to do;
If you’re deep into an online casino or sports betting session and are trying to chase your losses.
Besides TV broadcasting, campaigners have also shared the Bet Regret video on social media. Former England goalkeeper David James features as a lead figure in some of the ads.
The YGAM Diverse Communities Programme
Slowly but surely, we’re seeing more published research investigating the impact of gambling-related harms on diverse communities in Britain.
According to 2020 research by YouGov, which GambleAware commissioned, 50% of ethnic minorities in the study identified as gamblers. Moreover, 7% were defined as problem gamblers – compared to 2% of white participants.
At the time of writing, initiatives looking specifically at the impact of problem gambling in diverse communities are thin on the ground. However, one of the pioneering initiatives is the YGAM Diverse Communities Programme.
The YGAM Diverse Communities Programme focuses on education and is currently available in the Home Counties and Greater London. According to the charity, the programme aims to “raise awareness and address the issue of gambling harm disproportionately affecting young people from ethnic minority populations”.
YGAM offers workshops free of charge to people aged between 14 and 24 and from BAME backgrounds, intending to help them avoid running into gambling-related problems later down the line.
The YGAM Student Hub
According to 2019 research by YGAM, around 264,000 students in the UK are at some risk of developing gambling-related issues. At that time, 88,000 were also already said to fall into the problem gambling category.
Students might feel compelled to gamble for several reasons. These could include stress with their exams and financial difficulties. To help them enjoy gambling responsibly, YGAM has created a free online resource called the Student Hub.
On the YGAM Student Hub, you’ll find sections defining gambling and talking specifically about gambling at university. The hub also talks about gambling-related harms, plus how you can stay safe while wagering on sports or playing online casino games.
Like the Parent Hub, you can also find information about video games – along with helpful advice for staying safe at university and managing finances.
Of course, you don’t need to wait for a specific time of the year or visit dedicated hubs to improve your awareness of potential gambling-related risks. Social media works as an information hub on its own these days, and you’ll find plenty of resources to help you out on Twitter, Facebook and more.
Twitter accounts worth following include:
These are by no means the only accounts you can follow but are an excellent place to start. You can also use hashtags to find valuable resources and profiles.
How TopRatedCasinos.co.uk Helps
As an established UK online casino comparison site, we know that we’ve got a responsibility to help our players to understand and shield themselves against the dangers of gambling-related harms. In addition to our online casino and games reviews, we also have a full page about responsible gambling as part of our beginner’s guide.
We’ve also put together a guide identifying charities that can help if you’re suffering from problem gambling or know somebody that is. Furthermore, they can help point you in the right direction if you’ve got any related questions.
Plenty of Online Gambling Resources to Help You Gain Awareness
Online casino gaming should be a way for you to have fun responsibly. And while this is the reality for many players, some fall into difficult cycles. It’s crucial to identify potential risks before you sign up for an account and begin depositing.
With this list, you’ve got a broad range of resources that will help you build your knowledge of gambling-related risks – or to help you inform a loved one about the possible dangers. You should also know which charities can help and where you can find assistance on our website.