Online gambling is booming in popularity. Playing on a slot machine is of course a lot more exciting if you can win money with this. However, games of chance also entail dangers.
If you don't play responsibly, you could end up with a gambling addiction. This can lead to serious consequences. That is why we tell you everything about responsible gambling in this article.
Play consciously and prevent a gambling addiction
With effect from the Remote Gambling Act (Koa), online gambling is legal in the Netherlands from October 1, 2021. There are strict rules attached to this. For example, providers of games of chance must pay sufficient attention to 'gambling addictions' if they want to obtain a licence. A risk analysis must be made, an addiction policy must be drawn up, knowledge must be kept up to date and players must be checked in CRUKS beforehand. In addition, players must be provided with information and gaming behavior must be registered. All this must be reported to the Gaming Authority (Ksa).
What is a gambling addiction and what are the possible consequences?
A gambling addiction means that you can no longer control the urge to gamble. You can't resist it anymore and you will gamble at all costs. This can cause serious problems.
These problems can develop into the following problems:
- Money problems, such as being in debt or stealing money to gamble.
- Problems with study and/or work.
- Psychological problems, such as depression or suicidal thoughts.
- Social problems, such as neglecting loved ones.
- Physical complaints, such as stress or fatigue or withdrawal symptoms when you try to stop.
It is very important to recognize and tackle an emerging gambling addiction in time. This prevents major damage. You can recognize an (emerging) gambling addiction by various symptoms:
- You think almost all day about when you can gamble again
- If you lost, you keep playing to wait for that one win at all costs
- You start lying about where all your money is going
- You fail to keep your own agreements
- You've tried several times to stop playing, but it doesn't work
- All attention is focused on online gambling, friends or family are no longer discussed
- You no longer focus on school or work
Do you recognize yourself in these symptoms? Then we advise you to contact care providers that specialize in gambling addictions. You can go to the AGOG en GGZ Intervention, but you can also register yourself at CRUCKS.
To which (vulnerable) groups may no games of chance be offered?
You must be at least 18+ to gamble. In the Netherlands, players aged 18 to 24 are also not allowed to use bonuses. You can only use this from the age of 24 or older. This is included in the law to protect younger players (18 to 23 years old), as bonuses can sometimes encourage gambling.
In addition, it is also dangerous for (former) gambling addicts and people with a cognitive deficit to gamble. (Ex) gamblers can quickly become addicted again. And disadvantaged persons may not be 100% aware of the risks of gambling.
It is also better not to gamble if you think that you can predict the outcome in a certain way. Online games of chance are entirely based on chance and cannot be predicted in any way. Sometimes it is said that you will win with a certain strategy. This is absolutely NOT true. Sometimes all a strategy can do is limit your loss. But with no strategy you can ensure that you will win for sure.
Gambling is for entertainment. Are you going to play for any reason other than that? Then we strongly advise you not to gamble. We also advise against gambling for people who are easily worked up by a loss. When your emotions get the better of you, you can make decisions that you later regret.
Tips for you to play responsibly
Not only the online providers must ensure that gambling addictions are prevented, you as a player can also take care of this. We have prepared a number of tips that you can use to gamble consciously.
1. Set a budget
It is wise to set a personal budget before you start playing. Think of an amount that you want to lose maximum or an amount that you want to bet maximum. If you stick to your personal budget, things are less likely to get out of hand. One of the symptoms of a gambling addiction is that you still go over your personal budget, and start playing with more than you had agreed with yourself.
2. Game Rules
Each game has its own rules. Games of chance also have game rules. It is important before you start playing that you are aware of the rules of the game in question. If you don't know the rules of the game, the house edge will only increase and the chance of winning anything will decrease.
3. Keep on having fun
Remember that online gambling is for your entertainment. The only good reason to gamble is because you like to gamble. Do you have other reasons to gamble? Then you are no longer playing responsibly, and this can also be a symptom of a gambling addiction. So every time you play or are going to play, think about whether you still get fun out of it. Do you find yourself getting annoyed by the game? Then stop playing, even if you have lost money at that time.
Know when to stop
Playing games of chance requires some concentration. This concentration can decrease if you keep playing for too long. This can cause you to get annoyed, or inadvertently make you place a higher bet than you'd like. It is therefore wise to take regular breaks. But also make sure that you don't play too long despite your breaks. Do you play more often than expected at an online casino or can you not stop playing because you are waiting for that win? Then check with yourself whether you have everything under control, because a possible gambling addiction could be on the way if you suffer from this.
5. Chance of Loss
Keep in mind at all times that the chance of loss is greater than of profit. 'The house' always wins in the end. Therefore, do not be influenced by advertisements, promotions or attractive bonuses. Be sure to read the fine print before playing. Think of checking the payout percentage. For slots, a normal payout percentage is at least 96%. Is the payout percentage below 96%? Then consider again whether it is smart to play this slot machine.
6. Personal log
Do you like to gamble online? Then it is wise to check once in a while how often you gamble and how much money you spend on it. This can be done, for example, once a month. This way you will find out whether your gambling behavior has changed and whether you should be careful whether you are still playing responsibly.
You will undoubtedly have already finished this slogan in your head: “Play consciously, 18+”. This slogan is set up to make players more aware of the dangers of online gambling. It all looks very attractive and it brings some tension with it, but players should always be aware of what they are doing.
Of course you are responsible for your gambling behaviour, but online casinos also play an important role in this. The slogan is, among other things, intended to indicate that you are only allowed to gamble from the age of 18. But in addition, they want to indicate with the slogan that you have to play consciously. This way you can prevent a gambling addiction.
CRUKS: Central Register Exclusion Games of Chance
You can protect yourself against gambling addiction by registering with CRUKS. This means that as a player you can request a ban from any provider of games of chance, whether in online casinos or land-based casinos. By the way, providers can also register you with CRUKS when gambling addictive behavior is displayed. The minimum ban on games of chance applies for six months. Are you registering yourself at CRUKS? Then you can also request a suspension for a period longer than six months.
Is online gambling safe and reliable?
To answer this question, let's discuss the following points:
If an online casino has a license, you can assume that the casino is safe and reliable, because there are strict rules attached to a license. As soon as the casino does not comply with these rules, they will lose their license. In the Netherlands you can recognize an online casino with a valid license by the following quality mark on the website (from October 1, 2021).
In the Netherlands, the easiest and safest payment method is iDeal. In addition, there are also other reliable payment methods, such as Trustly, Muchbetter and Sofort. If the online casino offers these payment options, you know that your money is in good hands.
The AVG (General Data Protection Regulation) ensures the protection of privacy-sensitive information. This includes your personal data, gaming behavior and financial transactions. The Dutch Data Protection Authority is also involved in this. Online gambling providers must abide by these rules, otherwise they will be fined and this will most likely affect the license.
Help with a gambling addiction
In the Netherlands there are several agencies that can help you with a gambling addiction. This can be done in various ways. If you experience problems with gambling or responsible gaming and want to solve them, you can contact one of the helpful agencies. In this way you can prevent a possible gambling addiction or counteract the addiction.
The foundation AGOG actually consists of two parties that have been merged. You had the Anonymous Gambler (AG) and the Neighborhood Gambler (OG). To join forces, they continued under the name AGOG. It is now one of the largest, if not the largest, self-help organization in the Netherlands. Gambling addicts and people who are related to a gambling addict can go here. Through organized meetings, which are free, AGOG hopes to reduce the number of gambling addictions.
Jellinek is an expert on substance use and addiction, including gambling addiction. Anyone with a problem can count on them. They make information available, give personal advice and can proceed to treatment. In all shapes and sizes. From online self-help to top clinical care. In short, with Jellinek you can get your problems under control for free, anonymously and independently.
Hervitas is an addiction center especially for people with a gaming or gambling addiction. It offers personal help for someone with a gambling addiction and his or her environment. Bee Hervitas you are never alone. They do things a little differently than others. Everything revolves around offering maximum chances of recovery.