We all love to take risks. Be it spinning the reels on a free slot no deposit machine or engaging in an extreme sport, we indulge in activities throughout our lives which offer a potential risk, as well as a potential reward.
Why do we like taking risks? Well, because taking a risk results in the release of dopamine (the feel-good hormone). Dopamine is our motivation for everything, be it eating chocolate or having sex. Studies have shown that gambling too, releases dopamine.
As with drugs, when dopamine is involved, some people could potentially start gambling compulsively. They quickly become full-blown gambling addicts with a habit that has spiraled out of control.
Gambling addiction is a real problem. People get addicted to all forms of gambling – horse racing, sports bets, casino gambling, card games, etc. Certain personalities are more at risk of becoming addicted to gambling, but it can happen to potentially anybody. Gambling addiction is often insidious. You don’t know you have a problem until it is too late.
Now, with the popularity and widespread use of online casinos and online sportsbooks, we have added fuel to the fire. People can gamble from anywhere and at anytime of the day or night. They can just pull out their phones and start gambling away.
Gambling regulatory authorities have prescribed certain preventive measures at online casinos to tackle gambling addiction. The loss limits feature is one such measure which has proven highly effective thus far.
What are Loss Limits?
One of the most common issues players face is determining when to put the lid on a gambling spree. Unfortunately, there is no black and white answer to this question. It really depends on several factors. This includes your outlook to gambling, how much self control you have and whether you are the type who is at a higher risk of becoming addicted. That said, one of the most common remedies is to quit while you are ahead. But what does that even mean? You aren’t going to know you aren’t ahead anymore until you find yourself already behind.
This is why the Loss Limit feature at online casinos is a practical and effective tool. The tool is designed to foster responsible gambling and ensure a player does not get deeper into gambling addiction trying to chase losses.
As the name suggests, Loss Limit it is a limit on how you much you can lose. So, the player can simply make up their mind when thinking clearly about what would be an acceptable amount to lose while gambling and set that as their loss limit. Once you reach the limit, the casino will not allow you to play anymore (for a specified period called the ‘cool-off’ time) and therefore, you cannot lose anymore. This way, the loss limit is fool proof when it comes to stopping further, insurmountable losses.
Deposit Limit vs. Loss Limit Vs. Wager Limit – Know the Difference
The loss limit feature at an online casino is usually one of many responsible gambling features offered. Other popular responsible gambling tools include underage gambling policies, self exclusion, deposit limits, wager limits, session time-outs and several others.
So, what exactly is the difference between limits you can set on your casino account?
Loss Limit: Limits how much money you can lose within a specified period of time. For example – if you set a daily loss limit of €50. It means that the amount you can lose in a day is limited to €50. So, once you lose €50, you cannot play at the casino until the next day when the limit is reset. However, please note that the loss limit is a limit on net losses, which means that if you won €20 and then lost €50, you can still play as your net loss up to this point has only been €30.
Deposit Limit: This type of limit is self explanatory. It dictates what is the maximum amount of money you can deposit into your online casino account for a given period of time. This could be a daily, weekly or monthly deposit limit.
For example – if you set a deposit limit of €100 per week, it means that once you deposit €100, you cannot deposit anymore. And if you try making a deposit over €100 in a single transaction, the transaction will not be successful either. This way, you can set a budget for your online gambling and actually stick to it.
Wager limit: It is not only while losing that you become addicted to gambling. You can have a fair share of wins and still develop a full-blown gambling addiction. A wager limit will restrict how much you play irrespective of whether you are winning or losing. Therefore, if you were to set a daily wager limit of €40, then you cannot bet over €40 in a day. You can break up the €40 into smaller bets or even make just one €40 bet, but cannot exceed €40 in wagers for the day.
Why we Need Loss Limits?
For someone looking at the world of gambling as an outsider, it is very easy to be judgmental and suggest that gambling should be curtailed or banned. However, the online gambling industry is a huge catalyst for the national economy of most countries in which it has been legalized.
In fact, the online gambling industry is estimated to be worth a massive $102.97 billion by the year 2025.
A lot of people are able to gamble mindfully and only for the sake of harmless fun. It is a great way to blow off steam, have fun and maybe even win a few bucks.
Unfortunately, for a small portion of gamblers, it starts evolving from entertainment to obsession. They start playing compulsively to win money, and when they lose, they gamble even more in the hopes they will win and make up for their losses. In this way, they go deeper down the rabbit hole. In some cases, players can go completely bankrupt and ruin their personal, social and professional lives.
Online casino operators often link to gambling deaddiction centers and offer help to addicted gamblers. But as we know, prevention is better than cure and that is where measures like loss limits can be so effective.
A player setting a loss limit on his casino account can be the difference between playing for fun and stopping when it is time, or becoming addicted to gambling at the cost of their finances and relationships.
UKGC’s Take on Loss Limits
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission is one of the most renowned gambling regulatory authorities. They are known for setting the most stringent standards for online casinos, if they wish to be licensed by the UKGC.
The UKGC have published precise ‘Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards’. These are referred to as RTS.
Knowing that online casinos are accessible 24/7 and players can play anywhere, in their private rooms, on their mobile at anytime of the day or night, UKGC have identified the potential for online gambling to become a life-crippling addiction for some. Therefore, remote gambling and security technical standards have been published in order to introduce measures and features to minimize the risk of gambling addiction to online casino players.
With regards to financial limits specifically, the UKGC has RTS-12 which deals with financial limits.
The objective of RTS-12 is to “To provide customers with facilities that may assist them in sticking to their personal budgets for gambling with the operator. Customers must be also be given the option to set financial limits at an account level”
The RTS also provides guidelines on how to implement easily accessible facilities that make it possible for players to impose their own financial limits. These guidelines go over how to set limits for telephonic, internet and mobile gambling. It also addresses in what forms the limits can be set, time periods for the limits and some additional tips.
The bottom line is – the UKGC mandates that online casinos offer players financial limit features which players can use and protect themselves from losses and addiction.
How to Set Loss Limits on your Casino Account
The way that you set loss limits on your casino account may vary a bit depending on which online casino you have an account with. As long as the online casino is licensed by the UKGC, you can rest assured that the feature will be available.
If you aren’t too sure of how you can set a loss limit and other responsible gambling features, we suggest you get in touch with the casino’s customer support team. They will walk you through the process.
In fact, in some casinos, contacting customer support is the only way in which you can go about setting up loss limits. Just use the live chat, email or call option and let them know that you want to setup loss limits on your casino account. They will be able to apply the limits from the backend.
Some other online casinos allow you to setup loss limits through the casino website itself. Generally, you will find these options in the account section after you have logged into your online casino account.
You can follow the below steps and you should be successful in most cases:
- Launch the online casino website on your browser
- Login to the online casino with your user name and password
- Click on my profile or my account
- Click on the loss limits settings option
- Enter the amount you want to limit your losses to
- Specify the time period –daily, weekly limit, bi-weekly or monthly limit
Mindful Gambling 101 – Steps You Can Take
Yes, loss limits are a practical and foolproof way to stop yourself from impulsive gambling and losing more than you should have. However, it is always a good practice to not rely solely on the loss limit to keep you from the clutches of gambling addiction.
In fact, we would suggest that you don’t even hit the loss limit. It should just be imposed as a last resort or plan B. There are ways in which you can play responsibly by yourself and stay well within your own control and limitations.
Here are a few tips to help you gamble mindfully:
Other Useful and Effective Responsible Gambling Features
Like loss limit, there are other features that online casino offers as part of their responsible gambling campaign. We have already touched upon other limits such as deposit limits and wager limits.
Let’s look at some of the other common responsible gambling features:
Self exclusion – Also referred to as voluntary exclusion, this feature is where a player can exclude themselves from the online casino for a specific period of time. When the self-exclusion period starts, the casino will not send any promotional material or communications to the player. The member’s account will be frozen until the specified end of the self-exclusion period. This way, even if the player wants to gamble, they cannot do so until the cool off period is over.
Underage gambling – Underage persons don’t have fully formed brains. In fact, it is known that the rational part of the brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25. Therefore, their ability to have good judgment and decision-making skills is seriously hampered. This is why a minor who starts gambling can become addicted extremely quickly. Therefore, licensed online casinos will always verify a player’s identity by requesting them to upload government issued identification documents. Underage players are prohibited.
Session time out – Session time out is a limit, much like a loss limit, a deposit limit or a wager limit. However, a session time out is essentially a limit on the time you spend playing. If you have a session time out set for 30 minutes you cannot play for longer that at a stretch. This is a good way for a gambler to realize they have played up their allotted time and serves as a sort of reality check. These periodical reality checks are an effective way to prevent gambling addiction. Often, you do not know how much time has passed when you are fully engrossed in a game. This is why a session time out limit is a wise limit to impose on you.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t see a loss limit option on my casino, how do I set the loss limit?
If you are playing at a lawful online casino which is licensed by the UKGC, then as per the UKGC requirements the casino must offer this feature to its players. If you are unable to find it on the casino website, contact the casino’s customer support team to have it set up.
I have reached my loss limit, when can I play again?
When you set a loss limit, you set the amount of money and also the amount of time. Therefore, if you have a daily loss limit and you reached your loss limit for the day, you can only play again the next day. Likewise, if you have a weekly loss limit, you can only play again the following week and so on.
Someone I know is addicted to online gambling, what can I do?
If you know someone who gambles compulsively and excessively, they might need professional help. There are gambling deaddiction centers and other professional services which are effective. Depending on where you are based, you should consult with a professional and schedule a meeting at the earliest. While responsible gambling features are good for preventing gambling addiction, it does little to help someone who is already addicted. You will find most online casinos suggesting established organizations such as Gambling Anonymous, GamCare and Gambling Therapy, to name a few.
Can I set a limit on how much I bet?
Yes, you can set a wager limit. While a loss limit is set only upon reaching a certain net loss, a wager limit restricts how much you wager for a given period of time irrespective of whether you are winning or losing. Likewise, you can also make use of a deposit limit to restrict how much money you can put into your casino account in a given period of time. A wager limit and a deposit limit are imposed irrespective of how much you have won or lost.