Responsible Gambling: A Guide for Canadian Gamblers

Whether you’re choosing to gamble through internet casinos, or land-based casinos, it can be a lot of fun. It is designed to take your mind off of the stresses of everyday life, while also (hopefully) making you a couple extra dollars along the way. Harmless, right? Not always. Sometimes gambling moves from the fun and entertaining, to something scarier, like an addiction. Responsible gambling is supported by the top Canadian casinos our team here at Maple Casino recommends. We believe that players should always stay ahead of the game by playing safe.

Therefore, Maple Casino’s highly rated casinos are committed to creating a safe and responsible online gaming environment by complying with industry standards set by regulatory bodies like eCOGRA. So, always remember that gambling, if not played responsibly, could result in financial, social or health related problems.

Canadian Under 18 Policy

  • Gambling involves risk and should be carefully monitored.
  • Anyone under 18 is strictly forbidden to gamble.
  • Gambling can be harmful and should be played responsibly.

The legal age of players to register and play at any of Maple Casino’s shortlisted casinos is 18 years. If children below 18 have access to a computer, account holders should take care to keep their account details confidential. Do not leave children unattended around computers while the online casino website or the software is in use.

Responsible Gambling

Gambling Addiction

Like any addiction, a gambling addiction can be classified as a mental disorder. This is because when you look at a person with an addiction, they simply cannot control themselves. They are unable to limit their actions, even if they know it is hurting them or the people around them. Gambling addiction refers to the circumstance where gambling begins to affect a person’s life in a negative way. If gambling causes any problems to a person’s emotional and physical well-being, state of mind, their family, relationships, job or financial situation, it is crucial to seek help.

In the sense of a gambling addiction, it comes in many forms. Here, we are going to highlight the 3 that are the most prominent and that most addicted gamblers fall into:

The Problem Gambler

Perhaps the least extreme of the 3 we are going to mention, a problem gambler is often chasing losses, with a refusal to stop. Now most people who gamble, will often chase losses, but a problem gambler is different. They have no desire to stop at any point and will keep going far beyond their means.

The Compulsive Gambler

When it comes to the compulsive gambler, they have absolutely no control. They will often times not think of the consequences of their actions or the effects of gambling addiction on family. This could lead to the wagering of money they simply do not have. And constantly finding reasons to gamble where there isn’t any, even if it takes a toll on their life.

The Binge Gambler

Someone who is a binge gambler may not spend a lot of time gambling or thinking about gambling. But when they do, they go overboard. They are able to control the frequency in which they gamble, but cannot control themselves once they are in the game.

The Cause of a Gambling Addiction:

There is no singular factor that causes someone to become addicted to gambling. It can be something as simple as a player not having control of their behavior. They become addicted in a way they were not intending. Or it can be as complex as someone who struggles with addiction in other areas of their life. They are immediately vulnerable to addiction in other areas of their life.

Be on the lookout for yourself, and for people in your life who may have a problem.

What to look for:

  • Everyday thoughts and activities are consumed by the thought of gambling and the next time to play.
  • Symptoms of withdrawal, annoyance and agitation occur when there is a cut back on gambling for whatever reason.
  • Gambling is clearly being used as a coping mechanism for the stresses and problems of life.
  • There seems to be no limit on the amount of money that will be spent on gambling and chasing losses.
  • Family and friends are kept in the dark to the point where they may not even realize there is a problem.
  • Participation in illegal activities in order to keep the addiction afloat.
  • There has been an effort to stop gambling in the past, but it failed.

Woman placing wedding ring in pile of chips

How can a player protect themselves?

It is important that players be able to take matters into their own hands if they may have a problem. Here are a couple options for players looking to protect themselves or others:

1. Self-Exclusion Periods

6 Months Self-Exclusion Period: all existing and new casino accounts within the casinos recommended by Maple Casino, can be locked for six months. This is on the premise that a player requests to do a self-exclusion period due to a gambling problem or inability to control his/her gambling. Any funds which are in the account of the player will be subject to the casino’s terms and conditions. Usually, no promotional material is sent to the player by any means while they are on the self-exclusion period. The account can only be reopened after six months at the player’s request. The casino will not contact the player with a reminder.

2. Cool-Off Period

However, if a player does not feel they need their account to be locked, online casinos can also offer the following:

a) the 24-hour cool-off period. (all accounts locked for 24 hours, the player will have to contact the casino to unlock the account);

b) the 7-day cool-off period. (all accounts locked for seven days and the player will have to contact the casino to unlock the account)

3. Deposit Limit Options

Another way in which a player can monitor their gambling habits is to set deposit limits. This will help curb the amount they spend at any given time. A player should simply get in touch with the casino’s contact centre. The limit is in place within 24 hours. The options are as follows:

  • Daily deposit limits
  • Weekly deposit limits
  • Monthly deposit limits

4. Locking of accounts for a predetermined timeframe

A player can inform the casino as to how long they would like their account to be locked. The casino will lock it and the account will remain locked until that period passes.

Who can help?

RGC Banner for Gambling Addiction Support

Responsible Gaming Council (RGC):

A great resource we have here in Canada, is the Responsible Gambling Council. Although they are Canadian based, they have a vision of a world free of problem gambling and gambling addiction. On their website, they have resources for both the public and the industry. Also for regulators when it comes to safer, more responsible gambling practices. They even have information on how to gamble safer, who is at risk, gambling & young adults and a self-assessment quiz if you’re worried you may have problem.

Visit their website to have access to all of their resources.

The Canadian Partnership for Responsible Gambling
http://www.cprg.ca

Problem Gambling Guide
http://www.problemgamblingguide.com/

Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Canada:

There are a couple of provinces that have Responsible Gambling Awareness Week or similar events throughout the year. These are to inform players on safer, more responsible gambling. Also allowing players to seek help and share stories, while providing support to both land-based and online gambling addiction.

Nova Scotia: Responsible Gambling Awareness Week takes place during the first week of October.

Alberta: Responsible Gambling Awareness Week takes place during the second week in May.

British Columbia: Responsible Gambling Awareness Month takes place from February-April.

If you believe you or someone in your life has a problem with gambling and addiction, please visit:  thelifelinecanada.ca

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