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Responsible gambling means making choices based on all the facts, and staying in control of how much time and money you spend. People who gamble responsibly make sure they know all the facts. They decide in advance how often they will play, how much money and time they will spend, and when to stop. Sometimes, responsible gambling is making a decision not to gamble at all.

Gambling responsibly will keep gambling enjoyable, and lower the risk of harm to you, your family or friends.


What are the hallmarks of a responsible gambler?


Gambles for fun, not to make money or to escape problems.

Knows that they are very unlikely to win in the long run.

Does not try to ‘chase’ or win back losses.

Gambles with money set aside for entertainment and never uses money intended for rent, bills and food.

Does not borrow money to gamble.

Does not let gambling affect their relationships with family and friends.


Recognise a problem


It is important to be able to recognise signs that you may have a problem gambling.


Signs of problem gambling


Is your gambling causing problems for you or others around you?  The following signs may indicate a problem:

 •Spending more money and time on gambling than you can afford.

•Finding it hard to manage or stop your gambling.

DO YOU NEED HELP?If you think you have a problem, call  on 0808 8020 133* or read more by clicking the gambleaware link at the foot of pageHaving arguments with family or friends about money and gambling.

•Losing interest in usual activities or hobbies like going out with friends or spending time with family.

•Always thinking or talking about gambling.

•Lying about your gambling or hiding it from other people.

•Chasing losses or gambling to get out of financial trouble.

•Gambling until all of your money is gone.

•Borrowing money, selling possessions or not paying bills in order to pay for gambling.

•Needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or for a longer time to get the same feeling of excitement or buzz.

•Neglecting work, school, family, personal needs or household responsibilities because of gambling.

•Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable.


If you think you may have a problem, call the GamCare Helpline on 0808 8020 133 today. It is better to talk to someone about it than to carry on worrying on your own.


*Calls to GamCare are charged at the "local call rate". The cost of this call depends on your telephone provider and the costs typically range from zero to about 7p per minute. Calls are handled in confidence. Please see the following information about the GamCare telephone helpline.


The services described on this page are provided by third parties and registered charities and the information is for your convenience as part of being a responsible operator; it is not a substitute for seeking professional help or advice.


The regulation of gambling

in Great Britain

The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain. It is a non-departmental public body (NDPB) sponsored by the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS).


The Commission’s priorities include making sure that gambling is fair and open, and protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling.


With the exception of the National Lottery and spread betting operators, all gambling operators in Britain are licensed by the Gambling Commission and must follow its regulations.


More information can be found at


The National Lottery is regulated by the National Lottery Commission


Spread betting is regulated by the Financial Services Authority


Regulation of gambling advertising


Operators are required to comply with the advertising codes of practice that apply to the form and media in which they advertise their gambling facilities and services. Advertising is subject to the CAP (non-broadcast) and BCAP (broadcast) codes which are administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) .


CAP and BCAP cover content and placement of advertising and ensure that it is socially responsible. These codes forbid gambling advertising to target young people and aim to protect vulnerable people from exploitation and harm.


Operators should also follow the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Gambling which supplements CAP and BCAP and is monitored by the Review Group for Socially Responsible Advertising. The Gambling Industry Code was developed by the gambling industry and sets minimum standards in a number of areas not covered by CAP and BCAP, specifically:


 •Inclusion of social responsibility messages.

 •Display of website address.

 •Broadcast media messages.

 •TV advertising watershed.

 •Ban on children’s merchandising in sports sponsorship deals.