Responsible Gaming Tips & Principles to Consider

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Denise Truscello/Getty. Pictured: Circa Sportsbook.

The term "responsible gaming" gets thrown around quite a bit. You'll hear the term from sportsbooks and media companies, including us at Action Network.

However, what does the term really mean, and how can you effectively practice responsible gaming to get the safest and most enjoyable sports betting experience?

Read on for responsible gaming tips and principles to consider when betting on sports.

For more information on responsible gaming, head over to the Action Network's responsible gaming page here.

Responsible Gaming Tips & Principles to Consider

Understand the Difficulty Behind Sports Betting

First and foremost, it's important to emphasize that it is incredibly hard to win in the long term when betting on sports.

For a number of reasons, such as the "juice" or vigorish associated with every bet that is placed, sportsbooks always have a numerical advantage when a wager is placed.

A very, very small portion of sports bettors will be profitable in the long term, so for most bettors, this should be a recreational activity that is treated as such.

That means you should only be betting amounts of money that you can afford to lose, with the understanding that you could very easily lose the money that you are putting in.

Jennifer Shatley, who works at the UNLV International Gaming Institute, sums things up well when she states that, "Responsible gambling is about using gambling for fun and entertainment’s sake."

If you do not feel as though that is the case for you, please consider if you may be engaging in problem gambling and take the appropriate next steps.

Do Not Chase Losses Under Any Circumstances 

"Chasing" is a common term in the betting space that refers to trying to win your losses back in a quick manner, or in an attempt to get back to even.

For example, if you are frustrated that you lost two wagers and decide to double your next bet in an attempt to win it all back, this is chasing.

This could be a sign of problem gambling, and we strongly recommend against the practice.

Understand Limits and How You Can Use Them

While it might be hard at times to maintain responsible gambling principles, note that you can put safeguards in place to protect yourself against problematic situations.

We lay out all of the details behind deposit limits in this piece, but the basic concept to understand is that sportsbooks allow you to define limits for yourself.

You can set these limits in advance to protect yourself against situations when you want to chase, for example. These limits can be non-negotiable, and they can be a great line of defense against harmful patterns of gambling.

Know Your Resources

If you believe that you are in a problematic situation, be aware of the resources that are available to you. It might not be easy to reach out to anyone for help, but a key step in getting help is being willing to talk.

Whether it is your family, a close friend or simply someone that you trust, making them aware of the situation is a big moment that will go a long way.

Alternatively, organizations such as The National Council on Problem Gambling are designed to help you as well.

You can also call the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-522-4700.

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