Last updated: 01 July 2024

Responsible Gambling has a firm focus on responsible gambling. We’ve all been in positions where our gambling habits get out of hand. All of our team members have spent time on GamStop and we’ve got friends who have sadly been diagnosed with gambling addiction. 

That’s why it’s a core part of our ethos to educate UK punters on how to gamble responsibly. We created this page to do just that; it’ll give you tips and tricks on how to be a responsible gambler – and how to approach any self-exclusion schemes. 

Responsible Gambling – Key Signs Of A Gambling Problem

Knowing how to identify a gambling problem is the first step in avoiding it. We can’t stress enough how critical it is for everyone to be aware of the main signs of gambling addiction: 

Thinking About Gambling All The Time

We all think about gambling now and then – and there’s nothing strictly wrong with that. Problems begin if gambling is always on your brain. If you can’t sleep or concentrate because you’re thinking about placing bets, you need to step back and self-reflect. 

Betting What You Can’t Afford To Lose

Responsible gamblers bet what they can afford to lose so any losses aren’t a big deal. Problem gamblers will bet money they either don’t have or need for other things. If you lose money and can’t pay your bills, you’ve got a gambling problem. 

Gambling To Try And Recover Losses

Never chase losses. Gambling should never be a way to try and earn money, especially if you’re attempting to reclaim what you already lost. Don’t get into the habit of “one more bet” to try and hit the jackpot and break even – it’s a telltale sign of a serious issue. 

Getting Angry When You Lose

Look, everyone gets a bit frustrated when they bet on black but red comes in. It’s completely normal, though the problems start when you take things too far. If you’re screaming and shouting after every loss and throwing a hissy fit, it’s time to take a break and get help. 

Issues In Your Personal Life As A Result Of Gambling

If problems start appearing in your personal life because of your gambling habits, you need immediate help. Nobody should ever lose their job because they were caught betting at their desk. Relationships shouldn’t be put under strain because of your poor gambling habits. When bad things are happening in your life, look at the cause. If it all relates to gambling, please seek help. 

Gambling To Deal With Your Problems

Many gambling addicts will use betting as a way of dealing with personal problems. You gamble and spin the reels because you’re depressed or want to escape something in your life. Gambling is not a crutch and should never be treated as such. You’ll develop a dependency, which quickly leads to addiction. 

Devoting Too Much Of Your Life To Gambling 

Our team is passionate about gambling and we place the odd wager most days. However, we don’t devote hours a day to online gambling (unless it’s related to our work). If you’re logged into a casino and spend multiple hours a day placing bets, you are following unhealthy habits. Gambling should be a side thing – a little hobby you do now and then for fun. 

What To Do If You Have A Gambling Problem

Go through all of the signs listed above and consider if you’re showing them. Even if one singular sign is present, you need to get professional help. Gambling problems are easier to kick when you act quickly before the bad habits set in. 

The team is happy to share some of our favourite responsible gambling resources. Punters in the UK can contact the following places: 

  • GambleAware – This is one of the biggest online resources for problem gambling in the UK. You can speak with an online advisor, take quizzes to see if you have a gambling issue and find loads of other advice.
  • National Gambling Helpline – There’s a hotline you can call 24/7 from in the UK to talk to someone about your gambling issues. Call 0808 0020 133 for free whenever you need help.
  • GamCare – This is another large company in the UK with tonnes of information on gambling addiction and problem gambling. It has guides, live chat, WhatsApp chats, forums and loads more.
  • NHS – You can find lots of useful info on problem gambling and gambling addiction from the NHS. If you think you have a problem, it’s worth booking an appointment with your doctor and they could refer you to a specialist.
  • StepChange – If you have financial problems due to gambling, StepChange can help. They provide free advice on dealing with debt and won’t pass judgment. 

Our Tips For Gambling Responsibly

Do you want to know the best way to avoid falling into bad gambling habits? Understanding how to gamble responsibly! 

At, we’ve compiled some tips from our team and other professional resources explaining the simplest ways to be a responsible gambler: 

  • Gamble For Fun, Not Money – Sure, you want your bets to come in, but every wager should be for fun. Don’t gamble as a way of making money or trying to earn a living to pay your bills. When it stops being fun, stop gambling.
  • Set Money Limits – Look at your finances and treat gambling like any other recreational expense. Think about how much you can afford to spend every month and set a limit. If you don’t go over the limit, you’ll be fine.
  • Set Time Limits – Likewise, set reminders or alarms on your phone to encourage you to stop gambling. If your alarm goes off after an hour and you’re still sitting at the desk staring at an online casino screen, you need to get up and take a break. Breaks will help you refresh and avoid being drawn into placing more bets.
  • Set Loss Limits – Decide how many losses you’ll endure before you step away for the day. For instance, if you lose three bets in a row, you walk away. It stops you from chasing losses which will make you lose more money.
  • Only Join Trusted Casinos/Betting Sites – Avoid any site that doesn’t have a review or looks dodgy. Joining trusted casinos or bookies will ensure you’re on a website with responsible gambling features in place. This includes self-exclusion options, the ability to set limits and more.
  • Don’t Bet While Intoxicated – Never gamble when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your judgement will be clouded and you’re in no position to spend or wager money. Make gambling a thing you do when you’re stone-cold sober. 

All You Need To Know About GamStop & Self-Exclusions

The main purpose of our site is to help UK players find casinos outside the country that don’t participate with GamStop. As a result, we want to offer some information on GamStop, explaining what it is, what it enables you to do and how it fits into responsible gambling. 

In short, GamStop is the largest self-exclusion program in Great Britain. It currently has hundreds of thousands of members and serves one simple function: to block gamblers from using online casinos or betting sites. 

You can join the scheme for free and choose your self-exclusion period – 6 months, 12 months or 5 years. You will then be blocked from all betting sites complicit with GamStop for this period. For UK players, that includes every UKGC-licensed betting operator in the country. 

How GamStop Helps Problem Gamblers

The purpose of GamStop is to help problem gamblers take a break from betting. Blocking them from every UK-licensed site means it’s harder for them to give in and start gambling again. In theory, having an extended break helps you reflect on things and develop a responsible relationship with gambling. Many people have used this scheme and praised it for existing. 

How GamStop Makes Problem Gambling Worse

On the other hand, the GamStop program has made problem gambling worse for some punters. You’re unable to cancel a self-exclusion once it’s been activated, meaning some punters are banned for 5 years. If they feel okay after a few months or one year, they still can’t bet for ages. This is what leads players to dip into the Black Market and join bad sites that scam them or encourage bad gambling habits. 

The Best Way To Use GamStop For Responsible Gambling

In our view, the best way to utilise GamStop is as a last resort. Try other ways of getting your gambling under control – such as following the tips mentioned above. You could even contact certain betting sites or casinos and freeze your account for a few days or months. 

If all else fails, GamStop can force you into action. Use it to stay away from gambling for some time – and opt for the shortest exclusion possible. If you’re ready to return but your exclusion is still operating, look for safe non-GamStop casinos or sports betting sites that provide a secure place to gamble responsibly. 

Responsible Gambling Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if I have a gambling problem?

Contact some of the organisations listed on the page above. GambleAware is a great place to start or reach out to the National Gambling Helpline at 0808 0020 133. Get help immediately and try to close your gambling accounts.

Is it wise to use casinos not on GamStop?

Yes, but you must gamble responsibly. It’s unwise to use any casino if you don’t know how to bet without following bad habits. You also need to ensure you pick non-GamStop casinos with great player support and responsible gambling resources. Check out our reviews to find the best options.

Do non-GamStop betting sites and casinos let you self-exclude?

Yes. All casinos and betting sites outside GamStop offer self-exclusion. They aren’t linked to the GamStop scheme, so you have to contact the operator directly. Speak to player support at your chosen site and they’ll organise for your account to be temporarily deactivated.

Who Wrote, Verified & Authorised This Page?

Hey there, I’m Patrick Bamford and I’m the chief writer at After graduating with a Master’s at the London School of Economics and Political Science, I developed an affinity for gambling. I started dedicating my life to exploring this industry and learning as much as possible. With the emergence of GamStop many years later, I turned my attention to absorbing the scheme and offering tips on how to gamble responsibly on casinos outside GamStop. People loved what I was putting out there on forums, so I worked with a friend to create Now, my full-time job is writing content for you guys and staying updated with all the non-GamStop betting going on!