Despite being online slot enthusiasts, all of us here at Slot Gods understand that there’s more to life than just gambling. No matter how much we enjoy playing slots there comes a time to take stock and take a step back, that’s why we’re advocates for safe and responsible gambling.
Below we’ve written two incredibly important guides detailing how to stay safe when playing online slots, and how to recognise if you (or someone you know) is exhibiting signs of problem gambling. In addition to the aforementioned, we’ve also included the details of organisations and resources out there that can assist with problem gambling and debt management.
If you feel that your gambling is getting out of hand and that you may require additional support, we urge you to take the advice listed below seriously. It’s easy to succumb to bad habits and there’s no shame whatsoever in admitting struggles and seeking help.
How to stay safe when playing online slots
There are a whole host of useful tools offered by regulated slot sites that players can take advantage of, even before they’ve made their first deposit and began spinning the reels of their favourite online slot games.
These tools allow you to safely limit both the amount of money you can spend, as well as the time you spend playing online slots. Even if you don’t feel you have a problem with excessive gambling, it’s worth still using these features.
All of the safer gambling tools most (if not all) responsible slot sites offer have been listed below with an explanation of what each tool does and how it can help you.
Deposit limits do exactly what they say on the tin, they allow players to set a strict limit as to how much money they can deposit from their bank account into their casino account.
These limits can be set over a specific period of time, so players could set a limit as to how much they could deposit over a day, week, month or even a year in some cases.
If you wish to decrease your deposit limit this is something that can usually be actioned right away, however, if you’d like to increase your deposit limit the slot site should only action it after 24 hours, allowing you the opportunity to decide whether it’s something you’d really like to do.
Time limits are similar to deposit limits in the sense that they allow players to set a fixed amount of time they can spend playing online slots (or other casino games) at that specific slot site. Once this time limit is reached players will no longer be allowed to access any games or wager any of their money.
This tool is ideal for those players who get engrossed with games and tend to play their online slots on autoplay for a sustained period of time. With a time limit, players can’t allow time to slip away from them whilst they spin the reels.
Reality Check tool
The Reality Check tool is essentially a pop-up that will appear every so often (roughly around every 20-30 minutes) when a player is playing online slots (or other casino games). The frequency of the reality check pop-up may vary from site to site and may even need to be enabled in the player’s account settings.
This reality check will display essential information to the player such as long they’ve been gambling for and how much money they’re up or down by in that timeframe. Whilst a simple innovation, this often hits home quite how much money a player has lost during a session.
Cooling off periods
Most slot sites allow players to activate a cooling off period whenever they feel they need to take a break from gambling. A cooling off period is essentially a short period of time that players are barred from accessing their account and playing online slots (or other casino games).
On average most cooling off periods will allow players to stop gambling for between 24 hours and a week, once that time is over they will be able to access their account again.
Temporary exclusions are a step up from cooling off periods, this is essentially a much longer break that sees players locked out of their accounts for anywhere between 1 and 3 months.
Temporary exclusions are ideal for players that may not necessarily have a serious gambling problem but might want to ensure they don’t spend any unnecessary funds for a period of time. They’re also a fantastic way for players to fully understand and discover whether or not they need to take their exclusion further after a few months.
Self-excluding from a slot site is the most drastic measure a player can take to ensure that they can not gamble at that particular site again. This is recommended for any players that feel they do not have control over their gambling habits.
Players can opt to self exclude from anywhere between 6 months and 5 years (however this may vary from site to site). It should be noted that if players self-exclude from one site, that does not mean they’re self-excluded from others.
Players that wish to self exclude from all forms of gambling for a set time should consider signing up to either GamStop or Gamban, the details of both can be found further down the page.
Recognising problem gambling
Gambling addiction is a form of impulse-control disorder and those struggling with addiction can find it difficult to cope with their urges to gamble. Sometimes you might not even realise you’re suffering from addiction until the signs are laid out in front of you. Below, we’ve listed some things to look out for that may well indicate a problem that needs addressing.
You’re spending more money than you can afford to gamble with, leaving you unable to pay for essential things in your day-to-day life.
You’re neglecting day-to-day responsibilities (such as work, family, friends or even your basic needs such as eating and hygiene) in order to gamble instead.
You’re keeping your gambling habits a secret from those close to you and are not divulging details about how much money you’ve spent.
You’re lying about or downplaying the amount of money you’ve spent gambling, maintaining that it’s harmless fun, when in fact it’s having an effect on day-to-day life.
You feel that gambling is only worth it if you’re playing with high-stakes.
You’re chasing your losses and betting bigger in an attempt to recoup lost money.
You’re experiencing anxiety around your gambling habits, or it makes you feel irritable or depressed to think about.
Organisations that can help with problem gambling
If any of the above points resonate with you, or someone you know then we’d highly recommend contacting any of the following organisations listed below.
All of these organisations are based in the United Kingdom and offer discreet and confidential services to those suffering from problem gambling. They will not be able to recover losses related to problem gambling, but they will be able to offer impartial advice and guidance.
Be Gamble Aware
Be Gamble Aware offers free, confidential help for anyone worried about their (or someone else’s) gambling habits. They also offer a 24/7 live chat service.
Phone: 0808 8020 133
GamCare is the leading provider of free information, advice and support for anyone affected by problem gambling in the United Kingdom. Those in need of help and advice can contact an advisor confidentially over the phone or via live chat online.
In addition to the above services, GamCare also has an online forum in which like-minded problem gamblers can talk to each other 24 hours a day in a bid to support each other.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0808 8020 133 / 020 7801 7000
An organisation synonymous with gambling, Gamblers Anonymous is the world’s largest organisation that supports people suffering from gambling addiction.
Problem gamblers can attend weekly Gamblers Anonymous meetings in practically every town and city anywhere in the United Kingdom or around the world.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 0330 094 0322 (National) / 07771 427 429 (North-East) / 07974 668 999 (North-West) / (028) 7135 1329 (Ulster)
Gordon Moody Association
The Gordon Moody Association is a charity that offers problem gamblers advice, counselling, online support. In addition to this, the Gordon Moody Association offers unique structured residential treatment programmes in the United Kingdom.
Phone: 01384 241292
Gambling Therapy is a free, global online service offering practical advice and emotional support to anyone affected by problem gambling. Gambling Therapy is run by the Gordon Moody Association.
Email: [email protected]
BigDeal is an organisation that was set up specifically to support young people and help them find information and support related to gambling harm.
Phone: 0808 8020 133
Websites, software and apps that can help with problem gambling
If you’ve come to the realisation that your gambling is spiralling out of control then it may be that you require assistance from a website, software or app that can stop you from signing up to or playing at a slot site altogether. If you’re in the United Kingdom then the below organisations can provide this service quickly and efficiently.
GAMSTOP is a free service that allows players to put strict controls in place to help restrict their online gambling activities. Players provide their registration details to GAMSTOP who share them with slot sites, if a player then tries to register with one of these slot sites they will be denied, as the operator must first check whether that player is on the GAMSTOP database.
GamBlock is a sophisticated piece of paid-for software that allows players to completely block all access to online gambling sites as and when they arrive on the internet.
Not only was this software developed as a tool to be used by problem gamblers, but it’s also used by businesses, government departments, libraries and educational organisations to ban computer users from accessing gambling sites whilst on their premises.
Gamban is a tried and tested, affordable piece of software that can be installed on Android and iOS devices. This feature blocks access to thousands of gambling websites as well as provide resources to those struggling with problem gambling. There’s a monthly cool off subscription and an annual exclusion subscription. Players can access a 7 free day trial at any time.
Self-exclusion.co.uk is a website that allows problem gamblers to voluntarily self-exclude themselves from physical betting shops across the United Kingdom.
Phone: 0800 294 2060
Organisations that offer support related to gambling debt
If you’ve managed to obtain substantial debts from problem gambling then it can feel like you’re trapped and in a situation that feels near impossible to escape. There is help out there. Below you’ll find a number of compassionate organisations that can offer helpful advice and support for anyone struggling with money problems as a result of excessive gambling.
Step Change is a debit management organisation that provides people with completely free, confidential and expert debt advice and money guidance. They help you deal with debt management plans, bankruptcy and dead arrangement schemes.
Phone: 0800 138 1111
Citizens Advice is a one-stop shop for confidential advice either on the phone or in person. This organisation is able to help people with a multitude of issues, not just debt management as a result of problem gambling.
Phone: 03444 111 444 (England) / 03444 77 20 20 (Wales)
Debt Advice Foundation
Debt Advice Foundation is a national debt advice service and education charity that offers people free, confidential support and advice to anyone worried about their debts.
Phone: 0800 043 40 50