Responsible gambling and safe gambling

Safe gambling means gambling that is fair, transparent, and reliable, in such a way that it takes into account the safety aspects of the gambler. Responsible gambling refers to the user’s choice of gambling options, taking into account his or her personal situation and circumstances, thus preventing problems related to gambling activity, such as compulsive gambling.

Safe and responsible gambling: recommendations

Safe gambling, or responsible gambling are elements in the supply and consumption of games of chance that lead to a reduction in the risk of problematic, compulsive, or pathological gambling behaviour. However, the concept of safe gambling is different from that of responsible gambling as they are based on different fundamentals. While safe gambling considers the safety aspects of the gambler, responsible gambling focuses on the avoidance of gambling-related problems based on personal situations and circumstances. Thus, not all safe gambling is responsible gambling, but all responsible gambling implies a safe gambling environment.

Participation in gambling is only considered safe on the online sites of legal operating entities as they establish clear and transparent gambling rules; guarantees of cheating and fraud-free gambling; provide adequate information on the rules of gambling; security in deposits, payments, and withdrawals; and clear identification of the person who participates. In this respect, legal gambling has a number of advantages:

  • It prevents access by minors and offers the possibility of self-exclusion (the power of a person to request that access to their gambling account be temporarily restricted without cancellation or closure) to vulnerable groups.
  • It ensures that gambling is fair, free of cheating and fraud.
  • Deposits, payments, and withdrawals are reliable and the data of participants are protected.

Consequently, illegal gambling is not controlled or supervised, with the consequent possibility of fraud and cheating, as well as the unreliability of payments and withdrawals by the entities operating such games.

In terms of responsible gambling, a number of general recommendations are provided:

  • Assess whether it is really worthwhile to spend money on gambling and not on another aspect of your life.
  • Establish in advance a timeframe for quitting gambling, regardless of whether you are winning or losing.
  • If you enjoy gambling, set a budget for it that is within your financial means. Make a commitment not to exceed that amount.
  • Always keep in mind that losing is within the realm of possibility. You are at least as likely to lose as to win.
  • Do not borrow money to gamble, as this can lead to the accumulation of debts. Do not lend money for other people to gamble either.
  • Do not try to substitute gambling for leisure, cultural or family activities.
  • If you gamble and lose money, do not become obsessed with winning it back by any means. It is likely that you will lose again.
  • Be especially cautious about how often you gamble. Try not to gamble more and more frequently.
  • If you personally are not going through a good patch of any kind, do not try to escape into gambling. Consider talking it over with friends or family, seeking support from social relationships, or doing cultural or sporting activities instead.
  • The more information you have about gambling, the better and wiser decisions you can make about gambling.
  • If you finally decide to participate in gambling activity in physical establishments, do so in properly licensed premises that offer all the guarantees.

You should remember that minors are not allowed:

Take part in games (casinos, bingos, tickets, raffles, tombolas, lotteries, recreational machines) or betting (horse racing, greyhound racing, and other sporting competitions).

Access to establishments or premises where gambling has been authorised: gambling casinos, bingo halls, gambling halls, or betting establishments).

  • If you have a problem with an authorised physical establishment where gambling or betting is taking place, you can request and lodge the appropriate complaint.

Do not forget that responsible gambling involves an informed and educated decision on the part of consumers for the sole purpose of entertainment, distraction and in which the value of what is gambled upon never exceeds what the individual can afford.