Responsible Gambling in Canada

Gaming at casinos can be incredibly fun. Mere interest in playing games can see you get a PS5 or an Xbox. However, gambling presents a thrill that cannot be found in any form of gaming. However, the joy that gambling gives makes addiction a serious possibility. Thus, it becomes very easy to blur the fine line between thrill-seeking and reckless gaming. It is in this conversation that responsible gambling comes in. It is an initiative in the gambling industry that seeks to help gamblers keep the thrill-seeking at a safe level. This piece will examine what responsible gambling is, what it entails, how to know reckless gambling, and responsible gambling resources.

What is Responsible Gambling?

From the preceding section, you can tell responsible gambling is of immense importance to any and every gambler. But what is it, and just how important can it be?

Responsible gambling is the movement that seeks to prevent and manage gambling problems by developing guidelines and rendering social services to gamblers. The concept of the responsible gambling initiative confers a set of responsibilities on stakeholders to keep their personal and interpersonal activities in gambling on the safe side. Simply put, everyone has duties and benefits accruing from responsible gambling – the players, the casinos, gambling associations, the government, and even the rest of society. How?

For players, responsible gambling is important because it helps to maintain physical, mental, and psychological propriety, as well as financial safety. The initiative is of importance to casinos and gambling associations because it is often a regulatory requirement, and it ensures gambling is not banned as a last resort. Responsible gambling is also of importance to the government because it has to protect its citizens and spend less on dealing with the effects of gambling problems on players. The effects of gambling problems are not confined to players alone. Their families, friends, acquaintances, and even total strangers may directly or indirectly suffer from the effects of gambling problems, which is why responsible gambling is essential to society.

Signs of Problem Gambling

Think about a person that is so addicted to gambling that they constantly borrow money to fund their bets. Everyone knows that it is never a good idea to gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose, yet some people still do it. That is how you know it is truly a gambling problem.

On the other hand, think about a person that loses a game, laughs it off, and boasts that they must win it back in the next round. This may sound more in control, but revenge gambling is yet another serious gambling problem. This comparison shows that even behaviors that could be serious gambling problems could be downplayed because they seem more normal than others. Do not make that mistake. Treat all gambling problems with seriousness. Some other signs of problem gambling include:

  • Obtaining illegal funds or selling assets to fund gambling urges.
  • Letting your gambling activities negatively impact your responsibilities to others.
  • Making gambling a priority rather than a luxury.
  • Seeing gambling as a source of income as opposed to a pastime.
  • Failing to respect the time and financial limits set for gambling.
  • Finding it difficult to get gambling out of your thoughts.
  • Feeling guilty about the extent of your gambling activities or about sharing it with others.

These are some of the most common signs of problem gambling, and it is quite obvious that they are behaviors that will negatively impact you or your loved ones in the long run. It can lead to debt, crime, homelessness and loss of property, loss of income, anger issues, as well as other psychological effects like depression.

How to Gamble Responsibly

Once you can acknowledge the signs and effects of gambling problems, it becomes imperative to embrace responsible gambling. The initiative stresses a myriad of tips and responsibilities for players to either prevent or correct gambling problems, as well as standards for gambling providers to cultivate a viable environment for responsible gambling. Some of the responsible gambling tips for players are as follows:

  • Ensure you know and fully accept the risk that comes with gambling. Always have it in mind that there is a high probability of losing, and never gamble with overly high expectations.
  • Always set strict financial and time limits for your gambling. You can set restrictions on your bank account for gambling sites and set timers or calendar dates for when to gamble. 
  • Make sure you have an accountability partner that helps you keep tabs on the time and money spent. It is best for you to be part of a community of responsible gamblers. You can have more fun playing while exchanging safety tips.
  • Ensure you play at casinos that are committed to providing responsible gambling environments, such as low minimum and maximum bet limits.
  • Consider gambling as simply playing casino games. That means you play that like any other game with the aim of having fun rather than winning money.
  • Never hesitate to contact a loved one, therapist, or responsible gambling organization near you if you need help with a gambling addiction.

Gambling operators also have responsible gambling duties, which include;

  • Confirming players are of legal gambling age.
  • Incorporating time limits, deposit limits, and lower bet limits in their casinos.
  • Hosting responsible gambling campaigns and information on their sites.
  • Undergoing accreditation from relevant authorities as regards fairness and responsible gaming.
  • Sharing safe information with authorities for responsible gambling research.

Resources for Problem Gambling

1.0Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario90 Sheppard Avenue East
Suite 200-300
Toronto, Ontario M2N 0A4

1-800-522-2876 – Toll Free in Ontario
2.0Responsible Gambling Council411 Richmond Street East, Suite 205
Toronto, Ontario M5A 3S5
1 (416)
3.0Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis50 Corriveau Avenue
St. Albert, AB T8N 3T5
1-800-272-8876 – Toll Free

6.0Problem Gambling Resource Network3312 Parsons Rd NW, Edmonton, AB T6N 1B5(780)
7.0Centre for Addiction and Mental Health250 College Street (College and Spadina)

Toronto ON – M5T 1R8
1 800 463-2338 – Toll Free

416 535-8501

Final Thoughts

Gambling problems can affect everyone, irrespective of age, gender, financial status, or the kind of gambling in question. As such, it is important for you to always be on the lookout for these signs. A significant part of the responsible gambling social initiative is focused on educating stakeholders in the gambling industry, especially players, on where gambling can start going wrong. However, responsible gambling is most effective as a preventive measure. Do not wait until you see signs of problem gambling before adopting responsible gambling practices. Leverage all the resources and features available to you, and it becomes much easier to keep gambling safe and maximally enjoyable.


Victor Castillo

Gambling Expert 

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