Responsible Gambling Guide SA
We at PlayCasino are committed to responsible gambling. We want you to play safely at fair sites that won’t take advantage of you. Our objective is to see you have fun playing at online casinos, but in a responsible way.
How can we assure this happens?
We ask that you read our responsible gambling guide from beginning to end. We want you to be aware of the things to look out for so that your gaming sessions remain enjoyable and don’t turn into a problem.
This is what the Responsible Gambling Guide will cover:
- Behind the Scenes: Things to Know About Online Casinos
- How to Play Responsibly and Keep a Healthy Balance
- How to Recognize Signs of Problem Gambling
- What To Do If You Think You Have a Problem
BEHIND THE SCENES: THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ONLINE CASINOS?
One of the things you want to look out for when playing online is that the site you are playing at is fair. You want to make sure that the site is not doing anything to lower your chances of winning in a suspicious manner.
Explaining RTP, RNG and Independent Testing
Before anything, it’s important to remind you that it’s the nature of the online gambling world that the casino always has an edge over its players. In other words, over a lengthy period of time, the casino will make a profit on you. The longer you play, the more chances of the casino winning. An online casino is a business in every sense of the word. If it didn’t have an edge, it would go out of business very soon.
Every casino game has a Return to Player rate. You may see this displayed under slot games (eg. RTP 96%). This means that out of 100 players, 96 will win on the machine in the long run and 4 won’t. The house thus has a 4% edge on you for that particular game.
The results of the game are determined by a Random Number Generator so that every spin or bet is random. You’ll have the same odds as previous or future bets.
Now let’s circle back to fair gaming. Good online casinos that want to keep their industry reputations intact and who want to prove that they have fair gaming measures will have their Random Number Generators regularly tested by an independent, third-party auditor. The results of these tests will be displayed on the site for all to see. This proves to the player that they are playing at an online casino which is fair and trustworthy.
How do Scam Online Casinos Work?
In a perfect world, there would be no such thing as fraud, scams, or rigged online casinos. Thankfully, they are few and far between BUT they do exist.
We’ll point out some of the tricks used by rigged online casinos so that you know what to look out for:
❗ Rigged online casinos will regularly lock players out of the system.
They will freeze real money accounts and won’t give players access to their funds.
❗ Rigged online casinos charge incredibly high fees for withdrawing your funds.
We’ve seen some charges as high as 25%. This is definitely not normal.
❗ Rigged online casinos say that they have processed the player’s withdrawal request, but the funds never reach their destination.
We’ve also seen this happen in some cases. Online casinos like this get immediately blacklisted by us.
Why Pick a Good, Fair, and Reliable Casino?
Obviously, you don’t want to be caught out by rigged online casinos. You want to make sure that you’re playing at an online casino that goes above and beyond to prove that its Random Number Generator is fair and independently tested and that the platform is safe and secure. Your chosen online casino should assure you that you’ll get your funds after the withdrawal process is complete.
You want to play with complete peace of mind that the money you put into your online casino account will be used in a legal and enjoyable way, and that you don’t have to worry about financial issues.
For these reasons alone, it is essential to pick good, fair, and reliable online casinos. But how do you go about doing so?
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR IN A FAIR AND RELIABLE CASINO ?
This is where our useful guide comes in handy. Below, we will list what you need to look out for in an online casino to put your mind at rest that it’s a fair gaming site.
✅ Make sure that the online casino is licensed.
Good online casinos make sure that they are licensed by reputable gaming jurisdictions who take the license requirements very seriously. They demand full transparency, protection of players’ funds, dispute resolution and fast withdrawals. The best online casinos are not afraid to be answerable to these tough license requirements and are onboard to provide fair and reliable service. Good gaming jurisdictions include the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority and the Gibraltar Gaming Authority.
✅ Ask who the software providers are.
Many online casinos are multi-vendor sites, meaning that they are powered by more than one software company. Others get their games from only one provider. No matter which method the site uses, it’s important to check who the providers are. You’ll soon learn to identify the good providers in the business – those who have robust software and who have gained respect and recognition over the years. It stands to reason that software groups that have a good reputation to protect will not do business with scam online casinos. Names of good software companies to look out for include NetEnt, Playtech, Realtime Gaming, Rival Gaming and Yggdrasil – to name just a few!
✅ Good online casinos have powerful security systems.
Every fair and safe online casino will make sure that your personal information and money transactions are kept absolutely secure. They use the last word in online security technology to keep you protected. Firewalls, SSL encryption and others should be present in their security repertoire.
✅ The online casino must have a good industry reputation.
Read reviews about the online casino that you are thinking of playing at. Check to see what others are saying about it on the internet. It’s easy to get sucked into crazy marketing glitz but see how the casino has performed over a period of time.
✅ Ask which payment methods are offered.
You can’t fund your casino account safely or withdraw your winnings if safe banking methods aren’t available. Good banking methods will make sure that your funds are protected and that you don’t lose money through fraudulent or corrupt behavior. Use methods such as debit or credit cards, Neteller or Skrill.
✅ Customer Service should be excellent.
A good online casino wants to make sure that your questions or complaints are dealt with quickly, professionally and fairly. One way to do this is to provide 24/7 customer support through multiple channels. Take it one step further and test-drive the support team. Check the Live Chat function and see what kind of response you receive.
HOW TO MAKE SURE YOU PLAY RESPONSIBLY AND KEEP A HEALTHY BALANCE??
Gambling can be a whole lot of fun, but it can also stop being fun. It depends on how you handle it.
Follow these golden rules when gambling to make sure that you’re in control at all times?:
Decide how much time you’re going to spend at the online casino.
Set yourself a limit on the length of your gaming session. Even if you’re on a winning streak, leave when you said you would. There’s a reason that you don’t see clocks on the walls of brick-and-mortar casinos. They specifically want you to lose track of time.
Decide how much you’re going to spend at the online casino.
Put aside the money that you have earmarked for online gambling and don’t spend more than that. Budget how much you can afford in a given month/week/per gaming session and stick to that decision.
Keep telling yourself that gambling is just a form of entertainment like any other.
What do you do for fun? Go to the movies? Buy video games? Go to the gym? All these cost money. They’re entertainment that costs. That’s how you should look at gambling. You don’t mourn things when the movie ends, so don’t let gambling make you feel that way. When you set aside time to gamble online, tell yourself that it’s entertainment that costs. You had fun doing it but when it’s over, it’s over.
Don’t spend more than you can afford to lose.
If you can’t afford to play at the online casino, then you definitely can’t afford to lose money. Don’t play with money that’s been set aside for other things (such as your rent, your studies or your food!) It goes without saying that you should never spend anybody else’s money on your gambling sessions!
Be aware of the odds.
The chances are that you won’t hit the big progressive slot jackpot worth millions. The odds are simply not on your side. We aren’t saying that you shouldn’t try for the jackpots, nor should you stop playing. But you should be realistic about your chances. Rather, have fun playing and if you win – that’s just a bonus!
Don’t gamble to impress.
There will always be someone who has a bigger bankroll than you. Accept that your spending limit may be less than your friends or family members. Stick to your own budget. You are the one that has to live with the consequences if you overspend.
Don’t chase your losses.
If you lose at the online casino, accept it at move on. This ties in with some of the points above about not spending money you can’t afford to lose, and seeing gambling as a form of entertainment. Don’t go back the next time and try to win back your losses. Each gaming session should be started anew.
Only play with a full presence of mind.
Don’t gamble if you are tired, upset, or angry. Definitely do not gamble if you are under the influence of alcohol or any substance. We can guarantee that things won’t end well.
Pay with a credit card.
When the itemized statement arrives in the mail, you will see just how much was spent at the gambling site. There’s nothing like seeing see numbers black on white for a powerful reality check.
RECOGNISING SIGNS OF PROBLEM GAMBLING IN YOURSELF OR YOUR FRIENDS?
You may be in complete denial that you have a gambling problem. You may even convince yourself that you are in full control and that can stop whenever you want.
But if you answer ‘yes’ to some of these questions because of gambling, we suggest that you approach a professional and get their opinion.
❓ Have you stopped doing things you previously enjoyed?
❓ Are you missing family events?
❓ Are there changes to your sleeping, eating, or sexual habits?
❓ Are you ignoring self-care, work, school, or family tasks?
❓ Do you have conflicts over money with other people?
❓ Do you use drugs and/or alcohol more often than before?
❓ Do you leave your children alone and/or neglect their basic care?
❓ Do you think about gambling all the time?
❓ Are you less willing to spend money on things other than online gambling?
❓ Do you cheat or steal to get money to gamble or pay gambling debts?
❓ Do you have legal problems related to gambling?
❓ Are you often late for work or school?
❓ Do you neglect personal responsibilities?
❓ Have you withdrawn from family or friends?
❓ Do you have mood swings or sudden bursts of anger?
❓ Do you complain of boredom or restlessness?
❓ Are you depressed or suicidal?
❓ Do you frequently borrow money or seek out salary advances?
❓ Have you cashed in savings or insurance plans?
❓ Do you suffer from headaches, stomach problems, difficulty sleeping, or loss of appetite?
All of the above can also apply to someone else who you may suspect has a gambling problem. If this applies to you or someone you know, it’s important to read the next section to understand how to get the help you need.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE A GAMBLING PROBLEM?
Know that there is help available
There are many resources available to South Africans who believe that they, friends or relatives have a gambling problem.
Some of them include:
- The South African Responsible Gambling Foundation – offers free and confidential treatment and counselling to those affected.
Tel: 080 000 6008 (toll free)
- Gamblers Anonymous SA
Gauteng hotline: 060 624 7140 or 071 377 2746
KwaZulu-Natal hotline: 031 209 6359
Western Cape hotline: 074 837 4001
Block the online casinos/betting sites
This may seem a little extreme, but if you feel that you’re not in control of your gambling habits, the best way to handle it may be to go cold turkey and block the casinos and/or betting sites. This means that even if you want to, you won’t be able to access the sites and spend money there.
✋ Set limitations to your online casino account
Many online casinos allow you to limit the amount you spend on your gambling. You set the amount and the online casino won’t be allowed to gamble more than that. You can always change the amount.
Opt to Self-Exclude
If you don’t think that you are strong enough to stay away from an online casino, even if you know that you have a gambling problem, ask the online casino to exclude you from the site. This means that even if you ask to fund your account and play the games for real money, they’ll refuse to allow you to. You can choose to self-exclude for a limited time (a week, a month, a year) or permanently.