Many people enjoy placing a bet and whether it’s in the real world or online, on a sports game, at a casino table or on a slot machine, wherever or however you chose to gamble it should be fun and stress-free. Gambling is an exciting form of entertainment but to ensure it remains a positive activity you should always gamble responsibly and always choose a gambling operator who is willing to help you conveniently manage your betting preferences and behaviour. How do I keep it fun? Most people gamble responsibly and this maximises their chances of having a fun and positive experience. However, you should never take for granted that having fun is a given when betting with real money. There are some simple, commonsense rules to live by when betting and to ensure you continue to enjoy your gambling activity. These include: Betting within your limits – play for fun and not for money. Treat gambling as entertainment. Setting deposit limits with your online provider or a budget when you go are betting in a bricks and mortar environment. Taking regular breaks – your online casino operator can help you with this. Setting length of play or number of bets per session limits – good operators will ensure you set responsible limits. Self-exclusion. There are many options available to help gamblers assess and address their gambling behaviour and a good source of independent advice is the problemgambling.ie website. How do I control my play? Most online casinos offer a variety of ways to set limits on the amount of time and money you spend gambling. When you sign up with a casino operator check the “Responsible Gambling’ section of their website. This will include tools to help you manage your gameplay such as setting deposit, loss and play limits, requesting regular breaks, budget calculators and self-assessment questionnaires. You can also consult with your online casino operator – often through live chat – to ask what options for controlling your activities are available and what best suits your circumstances. Don’t be afraid to ask. How can I take a break? Most online casinos offer multiple ways to help you take a break from playing. Whether it is for a few days or a few weeks (usual options range from 1-30 days but can vary from operator to operator) you can impose your own limit and the operator will rigorously enforce it. Should you feel the need to take a longer break, self-exclusion is a popular option to ensure you take a permanent break from gambling at a specific operator. How do I get help and support? The following checklist can help you decide if you exhibit some signs of problem behaviour. If you have displayed any of these behaviours you should consider the completing the self-assessment test at GamCare.gov.uk. Constantly thinking about gambling Betting more money, more often to achieve the same thrill Irritability or restlessness when trying to cut back or stop gambling Trying to recoup losses by “chasing” – betting at a higher level or more often, usually with money you hadn’t intended to bet with Inability to stop or control gambling when you have financial problems or your gambling is impacting your relationships Getting a thrill from risky gambling behaviour Chasing past gambling experiences Hiding or lying about gambling activity Gambling leading to guilt or feelings of remorse Borrowing or stealing money in order to continue gambling Gamblers who would like to talk to someone in person about their gambling behaviour can contact Helplink.ie at 0818 99 88 80 Here are some handy rules to remember from GamCare: Only spend what you can afford Set your limits for time and money Gambling is not the answer to any problem Gambling when angry or upset is not a good idea Gambling shouldn’t interfere with your personal relationships Gambling should be considered a form of entertainment and should be a fun and enjoyable activity. Know your limits and when the fun stops, stop!