Responsible Gaming in Canada

In Canada, all forms of gambling are illegal, except if controlled by provincial governments. In every province, you will find gambling authorities that are in charge of regulating gambling. For example, iGaming Ontario, a subsidy of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, controls the gambling market and decides which casino operator can start providing services. In Alberta residents can only gamble through the PlayAlberta website, regulated by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, or at offshore casino sites.

As much as gambling can be entertaining, it can be easy for players to lose track of the time and money spent when playing their favourite games online. Regulated online casinos have the responsibility to provide tools and resources for their players, so they can make more informed decisions about their gambling habits. Responsible gambling is both preventative and reactive. Let’s talk about some of the tools that are available for players. 

Responsible Gambling Tools

To ensure that your playing time is always enjoyable, online casinos put tools and resources at the disposal of players. These tools can be divided into two major sections: what the casino can do for you and what you can do yourself.

What Online Casinos Do to Help You

Regulated online casinos have the obligation to provide you with responsible gaming, so you can enjoy your online casino experience even more. Here are some of the tools they use!

  • Age Verification:  In Canada, the minimum age for gambling is 19 (except for provinces such as Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec where it is 18). When signing up at a regulated online casino, you must check a box that indicates that you are at least 19. Creating an account means you will have to share personal details, including your date of birth, so the casino can confirm that you are at least 19 years old. Any inaccurate information regarding your age could result in you forfeiting any possible winnings. 
  • Self-Exclusion: If you think you are at risk of getting addicted, or if for some reason you would like to take a break from gambling, you can ask the casino to exclude you from playing for a certain period of time. This time could range from 1 month to years. Self-excluding your casino account is irreversible for the duration of the time specified. This self-exclusion includes all games and everything regarding your account. 

What You Can Do to Help Yourself

If you want to limit your gambling activity, here are some of the tools you can make use of!

  • Deposit Limits: If you want to limit the amount of money you spend on your gambling habits, deposit limits are the perfect way to do so! You can choose to limit your daily, weekly, or monthly spending. All you have to do is choose the maximum amount you can deposit over a stretch of time. Once this maximum amount is reached, you will not be able to deposit any more money until the specified period of time elapses.
  • Time Limits: Just like deposit limits, players choose a specified amount of time they can spend on a gambling site. This responsible gambling tool is recommended to players who fear they could be in danger of getting addicted. Once the allocated time elapses, players will be forced to take a break and will not be able to access their account anymore.
  • Loss Limits: Loss limits are similar to deposit limit. However, instead of putting a limit on the amount of money you can deposit, you limit the amount of money you can lose. If you reach this amount, you will be logged out of your account automatically and be banned from playing any other games for a predetermined amount of time.
  • Time Outs: With time outs, players can decide to be excluded from playing any games for a predetermined amount of time after a certain threshold is met. This threshold could be winning or losing a big hand or pot. Time outs are a great way for players to clear their head, especially if they start chasing losses.

Make Your Gambling Experience Safer

Although playing at regulated casinos guarantees your safety, there are some things you can do to make your betting journey even more secure and reduce the risk of you encountering a problem.

  • Remember that gambling is a way for you to have fun and not a way to make money. 
  • Play only with money that you can afford to lose. The money you bet should never be money to be used for important things, such as rent, tuition or bills. 
  • Set a strict budget for yourself and ensure that you do not go over it.
  • Set deposit limits and only deposit what you can afford to lose. 
  • Don’t chase losses! If you lose (which is likely to happen), don’t try to bet more in order to get back what you lost. 
  • Don’t play when you are feeling negative emotions, like anger, sadness, or anxiety. It is difficult to make logical decisions when you are not feeling sound.
  • Finally, ensure that you partake in other activities apart from gambling. Do not let betting become your only source of entertainment.