Player protection and safety

When gambling at an online casino site, the focus for a player must be on having fun. This applies to playing games like blackjack in a bricks and mortar casino as well. While it is completely normal for many people in this country to buy a lottery ticket every week, those who try their luck in the online casino from time to time are treated rather differently which is unfair.

As with the weekly lottery ticket, it is important to stay in control whenever gambling online. Particular attention must be paid to player protection and, above all, the protection of minors .

Of course, the principle applies that everyone has to be protected to the best of their knowledge. Responsible gaming must therefore be a central aspect when visiting the online casino but also in a physical gambling location such as a bricks and mortar casino.

Player protection in online casinos

One of the most important aspects of the UK gambling laws is player protection. However, there are some experts who do not see the restrictions and limits as the best solution and believe that this almost encourages players to play in an unlicensed casino instead.

Even without a legal licence, a casino can make a contribution to safe gaming with sophisticated player protection, but it is certainly recommended to only play at casinos with the right licences.

Responsible online casino operators encourage their players to set various limits and thus protect themselves. These include time limits, but also loss limits or restrictions on deposits. Users are recommended to set a deposit limit by considering their budget for online casino play.

Some operators have even developed their own software that changes gaming behaviour too. If various factors come together, the customer service department is automatically informed.

Trained employees will contact the player and stand by with advice and actions to recommend, which could include setting up a deposit or loss limit, or even opting to take a break from play. Some online casinos have a “CARE” program, which not only takes endangered players by the hand and offers active help, but also finances or at least supports therapy regarding addiction.

Of course, this is the ideal case and by no means the rule everywhere at online casinos. The opposite can also be the case. With many operators of online casino sites, the measures for player protection are not sufficient and they will need to be adapted to today’s requirements.

In our online casino tests, we keep a close eye on what an operator is doing in terms of player protection. This aspect is also included in our respective casino rating. We also devote a few lines to what player protection is in place at an online casino site within our expert reviews.


While a casino can do a lot technically, self-assessment is one of the key factors when it comes to protecting yourself. You have to be honest with yourself about this, because answering a few simple questions can help to identify a possible risk of a gambling addiction at an early stage.

These questions are taken from content that aid organisations use, among other things, as a basis for recognising a problematic situation or gambling addiction.

Please answer the following questions for yourself, referring to the last 12 months:

  • Do you now need to bet a larger amount to have the same thrill and fun as you did before?
  • Do you feel restless or irritable when you gamble less – or not at all?
  • In the last 12 months, have you tried to stop or cut down on gambling without success?
  • Do you often gamble when feeling down in some way? (e.g. anxious, stressed, lonely, guilty or depressed?)
  • Do you lengthen your session to chase losses and try to make up for it with wins?
  • When asked about the money and time you spend gambling, are you telling the truth to those around you?
  • Have you ever borrowed money or sold something to have money to gamble?
  • Have you ever thought about harming yourself because of gambling?
  • Have you stolen money from others and used it for gambling?
  • Have you lost some interest in other hobbies, your friends or even your family?
  • Have you gambled under the influence of alcohol or other mind-altering substances?

At first glance, many will say “no” to all questions. However, please take your time and think carefully. The questions relate not only to online casinos, but to gambling in general. This also includes the lottery and even games such as bingo, which also constitute gambling as well.

Surely there are some who didn’t have any money at hand and borrowed a few pounds from a friend for a lottery ticket or put a few coins into the slot machines in the kebab shop after a few beers after work. It’s also commonplace when someone has a bad day at work and is stressed out and then goes on to top up their online casino player account to get their mind off things.

Three “yes” answers can come together so quickly. If you answered “yes” to around four or five of these questions, then there may be a problem with gambling addiction starting to develop.

In this case, we recommend only playing in casinos where you can set various limits on deposits and losses and handle them quite strictly. If you get six or more “yes” answers to the above questions then you are advised to contact a help centre regarding gambling addiction.

There is often such a facility in larger cities but if this is not the case, you can contact national offices. The first contact can be made quickly via the respective websites of the organisations.

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Gambling addiction help

Gamcare 0808 8020 133

This organisation offers free information, support and counselling for problem gamblers in the UK. Gamcare runs the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) and also offers face-to-face counselling. Gamcare even has an online forum where people can talk about addiction issues.

The National Centre for Behavioural Addictions 020 3214 5700

The body includes the National Problem Gambling Clinic (including the Young Persons’ Problem Gambling Clinic) and the National Centre for Gaming Disorders.

Gamblers Anonymous UK 0330 094 0322

The body runs local support groups that use the same 12-step approach to recovery from addiction as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Even if you don’t want to admit it yourself, addiction issues can happen to anyone. Some research has found as many as 1.4 million adults in the UK could have a gambling addiction, but the Gambling Commission believes this estimate is too high. According to the Gambling Commission, about 0.7% per cent of UK adults have a gambling addiction, which remains a significant number of people. The number of unreported cases of addiction to gambling at sites such as online casinos is probably much higher. You have to take numbers like that seriously.

Even if you are not affected by a gambling addiction yourself, you can take the first steps in cases involving family and friends and get in touch with the trained staff of addiction help centres and therapy centres. There are plenty of excellent independent aid organisations that you can consult online without spending a lot of time.

Responsible gaming

Online gambling can be a very entertaining, exciting and sometimes even a profitable form of leisure activity. However, it is important to remember that the advantage is always with the house and you will lose out in most gaming sessions. Most experienced gamblers can attest that the magic of online casinos is the thrill that comes as the reels spin or the ball bounces around the roulette wheel. Most people get this tension before the actual outcome of the bet.

This is the way you have to approach the matter. However, some people lose this perspective. The step from fun to addiction is often smaller than one would like to admit. This can quickly lead to private and, above all, financial problems. While the UK is trying to get the better of it with the help that is available from bodies such as Gamblers Anonymous and Gamcare, people also need to rely more on personal responsibility and responsible gaming features like limits.

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Play safely - set limits!

Common sense tells you where the limits are. Everywhere in life there are always situations in which you reach your limits and sometimes even exceed them. Many casinos are aware of this. So that casino visitors can safely enjoy their gaming session, many operators have given their customers the option of setting individual limits on their deposits, or even on their losses.

These restrictions can mostly be set for daily, weekly or monthly play. Below, we have briefly listed some of the most common functions for responsible gaming and player protection:

Notifications: This feature will remind players how long they have been playing games such as slots continuously after a pre-set time. Depending on the casino site in question, these notifications can be set up to let you continue playing or to be unsubscribed immediately.

Session Limit: A session limit determines how long you can play during a session, a day, a week or even a month. When the limit is reached, you are automatically prevented from continuing to play the game in question.

Deposit Limits: With this setting you can limit the amount that can be deposited per day, week or month. If the limit is reached, no further transfers can be made to the player account until the end of the period. Deposit limits can be changed, but not immediately for obvious reasons.

Loss limit: If you want to be sure that you stay within specified limits in the event of losses, you must set a loss limit at a casino site. This restriction can also be set for specified periods of time. This restriction always refers to the net loss of the deposited amount. So if you’re on a lucky streak, you can go on to lose all of your winnings completely without activating this function.

Wagering and Wagering Limits: This limits the amount you can bet per day, week, or month.

There are different ways of handling the above between the providers regarding limits. With many casino sites, you can make these settings directly in your own customer account area. Other platforms require contacting customer service to set up the restrictions. The limits can be changed at any time. If you want to tighten this up, you can do this directly in the player account.

If you want to relax your restrictions there is usually a 24-hour wait rather than them being applied automatically. You may need to contact customer service or confirm an email from the operator. This waiting time avoids short-term decisions that can be to a player’s detriment.


Cool down breaks and self-exclusion

Anyone who is concerned that their game is becoming a problem can self-impose a cooling-off period or be banned from playing at a casino for a certain period of time – or even permanently. With a time-limited lock, the account is frozen. With most providers you can neither register during this breather nor do you receive advertising mails with special bonus offers.

You cannot log in for a self-determined number of days. There is usually the option where you can choose to freeze an account for a day, a week, four weeks, six weeks or even six months.

If you wish to reactivate your account during this time, you will need to contact the online casino’s customer service department. You will receive a notification after 24 hours that you have to confirm before you can access the account again.

With an unlimited ban, you are permanently excluded from gaming at an online casino or all the platforms of an operator. It is important to withdraw any remaining funds from your player account prior to self-exclusion.

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