Friday 21 October 2016

Top tips for safer online betting

Published 10/06/2016 | 10:59

The power of internet and online betting means that it has never been easier to take a punt on your favourite team.

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Betting will for many be a part of the fun and banter of watching sport, but for some who find it hard to control their gambling it will be a less pleasant experience.

There are a number of things that you can do to ensure that you have a safer betting experience, especially if you find it difficult to control your gambling.

Don’t chase your losses

It is important to set a budget for the amount of money you are prepared to lose through betting. If you lose all that money in a period and then try to win it back before you finish betting, then you are chasing your losses.

Chasing losses will very often lead to even bigger losses and is not a strategy that is good for your enjoyment of betting. Remember that gambling is not a way to make money.

It is not an investment with guaranteed returns, but something you can do to increase the fun of watching sport.

Set deposit limits

All online bookmakers are now required by law to facilitate self-imposed deposit limits.

You can usually set this up in the Account Settings section of your betting app, where you should find options to set the maximum amount of money you can deposit on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

In this way, when you decide how much you want to spend on betting across a tournament, you can control that before you even place your first bet.

Take frequent breaks

Gambling can be a lot of fun, but it is important to remember to take breaks.

For example, you can decide to give yourself a day off from betting or decide to place some bets early in the morning and then don’t bet throughout the rest of the day.

When gambling is your only “fun” activity then it is probably the case that it is not actually much fun anymore. Ensure that you have other things in your life that make you feel energised.

Take time out

Another facility provided by the online bookmakers is the ability to set a so-called time out. This allows you to set a timeframe of when you would like to have your account blocked so that you cannot place any bets.

If you decided for example that you didn’t want to place any bets until after the Euros, you would set the timeout date as 11 July 2016, the day after the final.

This is a useful facility if you find that you have already spent your budget for the month, but would like to be able to bet again next month.


Self-exclusion is similar to taking time out but the rule are a little stronger. Once again you can set a future date until which you cannot place any bets.

Once that date passes you will need to actively contact your bookie’s customer service team and request that they unblock your account.

People will take this approach if they would like to ensure that their account is not automatically unblocked once the exclusion period expires as is the case with a time out.

Sticking to some simple rules can help you ensure that you stay in control of your gambling and keep it as a fun activity in your life.

If you struggle to control your gambling there are a range of support services available. Check out where you can take an assessment to see if you have a gambling problem and find tips and advice.

In Ireland there is a Freephone helpline provided by Dunlewey Substance Advice Centre 1800 936725 (ROI)  or 0800 088 6725 (NI).

In the UK a similar service is provided by the National Gambling Helpline 0808 802 0133. Gamblers Anonymous meetings are held regularly throughout the country and the full list can be found on the website.

If you don’t want to speak with someone directly, a UK website called GamCare provides a live internet chat room where you can speak with speak with others affected by problem gambling in a safe environment.

The chat rooms are moderated so everyone can feel safe talking about their gambling in an anonymous environment.

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