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The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to problem gambling prevention.

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Players’ Advice to Each Other: Set a Money Limit

by Responsible Gambling Council | Jun 14, 2013 12:10 PM

Newscan (Vol. 15, Issue 22)

“It would help a lot if the casinos I played at would offer me the ability to set my own limits.”

“The best way to curb any gambling problem is to enforce strict restrictions as per what the maximum amounts are that people can possibly play.”

These statements by players on Internet gambling forums were collected as part of the RGC Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices’ study, Monetary Limits Tools for Internet Gamblers, prepared for the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre and published this week. This review found that when players on these forums asked each other how they manage their gambling the most common response was to set limits. Players said, “I allocated myself a weekly allowance” or, “I reduced my online limit to $100 a month.”

One of three study components—50 Internet gambling sites and the relevant literature were also reviewed—this review of player forums suggests not only that there is a need for more monetary limit-setting features, but also that players want them.

Players turn to Internet gambling forums

Internet gambling forums can be an important source of information for Internet gamblers. A 2007 eCOGRA survey of Internet gamblers found that 40% of respondents had visited Internet gambling forums at least once a week. However, the current review showed that many of these forums do not offer information on problem gambling. It is not surprising, therefore, that players look to each other to discuss and request help for gambling problems. As one player posted, “What safeguards are you putting into place every day to keep yourself safer on the path of gambling?”

While players benefit from each other’s experiences shared on these forums, they could also benefit from having access to detailed information on problem gambling at the sites where they play. In the study’s review of 50 Internet gambling sites, the review found that while many sites have some form of responsible gambling information page, often this information is buried at the bottom of the website. According to one player’s forum post, “I would like to see on ALL portals a clear link to problem gambling and help pages.”

Internet gambling is big business

The industry has grown exponentially from 30 gambling websites in 1994 to over 2,500 today. And Internet gambling is not just in other countries; it’s a reality in Canada. Seven provinces (British Columbia, Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Manitoba, and Newfoundland and Labrador) currently offer some form of Internet gambling—and Ontario will soon be offering its own gambling website.

This report suggests that monetary limit-setting features in conjunction with other responsible gambling measures that elicit self-reflection (e.g., player history reports, responsible gambling and problem gambling information, pop-up messaging and normative feedback) have the potential to help gamblers reduce excessive gambling expenditure. 

Internet Monetary Limits Download the full report