Responsible Gambling in Ireland

Responsible gaming is the act of gambling responsibly. Gambling is intended to be a fun and entertaining activity, but sometimes gamblers can fall into the trap of gambling addiction, which can negatively affect one’s mental, physical and financial life. Responsible gaming is the responsibility of both the player and operator to offer gambling activities.

What is Responsible Gaming?

In responsible gambling, the gambler needs to make sure that gambling remains a fun and entertaining activity with no purpose other than that. Casinos, on the other hand, should offer gamblers tools to help them recognise and control any problem gambling that may result from playing there.

There are also other organisations that can help individuals gamble responsibly as we shall see later on.

With this guide, we hope to give you all the necessary information you need in order to have a grand 'auld time playing at Irish online casinos while making sure you keep yourself and your finances safe. We'll show you how to spot the most obvious tricks done by casinos to keep you playing so that you are able to stay in full control of your leisure time and maximise your fun. 

What is Responsible Gaming

Can Gambling be Safe?

Gambling is safe, as long as you follow these guidelines

  • Set a budget;
  • Be honest with your friends and family about your activities;
  • Set limits on how long and how frequently you spend online;
  • Never gamble under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Do not gamble if you are under 18 years old.

What is Underage Gambling?

The legal gambling age in the UK is 18 years old. This means that anyone under the legal age of 18 is prohibited from gambling by law. This applies to all online and offline casinos, however, there are a few exceptions. The National Lottery, football pools, and a number of non-commercial gambling activities are open to those who are 16 years or older.

 Underage gambling is a crime and can result in legal action being taken against those found to be involved. 

What is Bad About Gambling?

  • Gambling can be addictive;
  • Addictions can have adverse effects on mental and physical health;
  • Addictions can have a negative impact on personal and professional relationships;
  • Gambling addiction can lead to financial problems.

How can I Spot the Signs of Gambling Addiction?

There are a number of different signs that point to gambling addiction, most of which are behavioural signs. If you or someone else you know is concerned about gambling addiction, take a look at the below questions:

  • Do you feel your gambling is out of control?
  • Have you noticed that you’re spending an increasing amount of time gambling online?
  • Has anyone expressed concerns about your gambling?
  • Do you try and win back the money you have lost?
  • Do you lie about the amount of time or money you spend gambling?
  • Do you suffer from mood swings when not gambling?
  • Have you committed any illegal activities to finance your gambling?
  • Have you tried but were unable to stop gambling before?
  • Are you in debt because of your gambling?
  • Have you borrowed money from family or friends to finance your gambling?

Is Gambling Addiction a Mental Health Issue?

Gambling addiction isn't a mental illness in itself but addiction is. Gambling addiction can also be a symptom of an underlying mental illness and as such should be treated with caution and can cause further mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression and should be treated in an appropriate manner to avoid further harm to the individual.

How Can I Overcome my Gambling Problems?

The first step in overcoming a gambling addiction is acknowledging that there is a problem and having the will to do something to change the situation. Denying there is a problem will only result in the failure of any further steps taken to remedy the situation. Therapy, including group therapy, can prove to be very helpful in dealing with, and treating addiction.

If you’re looking at overcoming a gambling problem, you will also need to avoid triggers and refrain from gambling in any way. Avoiding triggers, situations in which you feel like gambling is important. This might require a complete lifestyle overhaul to avoid temptation. Professional advice and assistance can not only help but is recommended to ensure a better future.

Online Casino Vs Slot Games 

As a customer at an online casino you, of course, want to have a fair chance of winning when you play. Simply looking out for a few things will go a long way in informing you whether you are being treated fairly.

Making note of the tricks used by online casinos is a good start, but understanding how the game engines are made and work will give you an even better advantage. You should understand that an online casino and the games it offers are totally different products made by different companies.

This means that every single game that the casino offers can function differently. when entering an online casino, take note of the terms and conditions that they list. To do that search for 'terms and conditions and when you start playing a new slot game, always check the rules provided with the game.

What are Random Number Generators? (RNGs)

How does a slot machine work? How does a slot machine decide whether you win or lose? Slot machines use a Random Number Generator technology. When you play a slot game, RNG generates random numbers from 0 to several billion per second.

These numbers correlate to the symbols you see on the reels. So when you press the PLAY button, the RNG generates specific values, which basically push the corresponding symbols into play.

This means the second you press the button, the engine knows whether you've won or lost. This technology works by using an algorithm, which tells the RNG which numbers to generate. This algorithm has to be inspected regularly to make sure that it functions properly and to provide the fairest gaming experience. 

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What Enticements Do Online Casinos Use? 

Just like many other businesses, online casinos use subtle but very effective tricks to retain their players. When you play at an online casino, you obviously want to be able to play for as long as you can, i.e. you want your money to last you for a good while.

Casinos actually want the exact same thing, they want the player to play for a long time because this increases the chances of the player losing his or her money. To ensure that you stay playing, casinos use a range of tricks and not all of them are obvious. Here are some of the most common casino tricks:

Displaying Recent Winners

Most casinos use this trick. They will display information about players who recently won, which game they played, and how much they won. This tactic creates an illusion that it’s easy to win and that YOU could easily be the next winner.

Not only that, players often instinctively want to be the next ones featured on the homepage - for all other players to see. The big secret is that those aren’t even real players or real winnings.

Loyalty Programmes and VIP Clubs

Players sign up to these schemes under the lure of better odds while playing and making the most of their money. When you sign up to a loyalty programme or a VIP club you are rewarded for playing a lot and often. Technically, this is just good practice for ensuring loyalty, but the real reason is that the longer you play the more you are going to spend.

Casinos know that even if they grant you a few rewards, ultimately, they will be getting this money back. It’s important to also be aware of forming an unhealthy habit by always playing towards the next reward.

Catchy Audio and Visual in-game Design

Despite what most people might imagine, online casinos and slot game providers spend time learning to understand how their customers work just like any other business. They know from countless research studies, what kinds of images and soundtracks are bound to incite visitors into playing for a longer time. 

The 'Almost Jackpot'

When playing a slot game, this will continue to happen - you’ll play for a while and then you’ll almost hit the jackpot. This might leave you with a sense of excitement, which is likely to make you want to continue playing. It’ll also help to create an illusion that the big win is just around the corner. And then, like clockwork, you will land 3 out of the 4 winning symbols, just short of the jackpot again. 

Frequent but Small Payouts

It’s difficult to keep playing a game for hours if all that happens is you lose more and more money. Small but frequent payouts ensure that the players remain interested in the game, and it makes it more difficult to tell how much money has been lost.

For this reason, slot machines are often designed in a way that will keep generating very small wins, but not the jackpot. Even if you were to win big if you continue to play for longer, you would have spent more money during that time - making the win actually worth less than you might think.

  • Keep track of the time
  • Set a budget to spend
  • Remember, it's game
  • Don't play when drinking
  • Don't use the money you need
  • You can't earn money by gambling

Which Organisations Help With Problem Gambling?

In the UK, there are a number of organisations that have made it their mission to help people with problem gambling.

Contact Irish Luck

Player safety is paramount to us. If you're struggling, or are unsure, you can always reach out to a member of our team - Cameron, Dermot or Siobhan are on hand to offer help and guidance should you need it.

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