Under 18 policy in Canada
As gambling is a risk-based activity, Canadians can enjoy some really great policies monitoring the way that online gambling takes place. First and foremost of these is the fact that no one under the age of 18 can actually gamble online. This is strictly forbidden.
Licenced casinos in Canada are also able to enforce this through Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols. These require you to provide your ID and proof of address. Failure to do so will mean that you can’t actually open an account.
As we mentioned, sometimes gambling can become an addiction. Like other addictions, this is a mental disorder and can be uncontrollable for the affected person. Even if the person knows that gambling is harmful to them, they are often unable to stop.
Severe gambling addictions not only affect the gambler, but also those around them as well. It can affect their state of mind, their family, work, relationships and finances.
There are three different types of gambling addiction. To help you out, we’re just going to quickly outline them here:
While all addictions are serious, the problem gambler is probably the least extreme of the three addiction types listed here. Usually, this type of gambler will continue to chase losses and not stop. At some point, all of us will chase losses when we gamble, it’s a built-in response. But, problem gamblers stand out as they don’t even have the desire to stop and will keep going far beyond what they can afford to lose.
These types of gamblers have no control at all. Usually, compulsive gamblers don’t even think about the consequences of their actions or the effect their addiction could have on those around them. Like other gambling addictions, this generally leads to the player spending money they don’t have and even finding other methods to obtain funds to fuel their addiction.
This is one of the harder ones to spot as binge gamblers can spend months without gambling at all. However, the problem arises when they do start to gamble again. Rather than doing so in moderation, they will go overboard when they start playing. They can control the frequency but once in the game, all control is lost.
How to spot gambling addiction
For those of you that do gamble, or know people that do, it can be very helpful to be able to spot the telltale signs that things aren’t quite right. In this section below, we’ve provided a list of things to look out for both in yourself and others that might indicate there’s a problem:
- Daily thoughts are filled with gambling and when you can play next.
- Withdrawal symptoms such as annoyance or agitation happen when you stop gambling for a while.
- You use gambling as a coping mechanism for stress.
- There is no limit to the amount of money that is spent on gambling or chasing losses.
- You hide the fact that you’re gambling from your friends and family.
- An attempt has been made to quit gambling but this failed.
- You take part in illegal activities in order to fund your gambling.
Responsible gambling tools
If you feel that you have a problem or a predisposition to addiction, then there are a number of steps you can take to safeguard yourself. Luckily, Canadian casinos have a number of responsible gambling tools available to you.
Most casinos, and all the ones recommended by us at FatGambler, will have responsible gambling policies in place including the option to self-exclude. This means that you can lock your account for a period of 6 months to a year. Once you do this, not even the casino can unlock your account. Additionally, the casino will cease sending you any promotional materials. Furthermore, once the account is unlocked after the designated time period, the casino will not send you a reminder.
Self-exclusion is the most extreme option, and is not for everyone. Another helpful tool is the cool-off period where you can implement shorter periods of time away from your casino account. Many casinos will have the option to cool off for 24 hours or up to 7 days. You will need to contact the casino to unlock the account after this time period is up.
You can put preemptive measures in place too, thanks to casino deposit limits. Before you even begin gambling, you can set the maximum amount you can deposit in a set period. Casinos offer daily, weekly or monthly deposit limits and can help you budget better. This also ensures you can’t spend what you don’t have.
Helpful responsible gambling options
Finally, if the above measures are not helping, then Canada has a number of other helpful resources for you. For example, responsible gaming Ontario is monitored by the OLG Responsible Gaming Program. This is where you can get information about gambling so that you can make informed choices about how and when to play.
Other helpful options include the Responsible Gaming Council (RGC), which offers resources for the public and the industry, and the Canadian Partnership for Responsible Gambling.
At the end of the day, gambling should be fun. If it isn’t, reach out to someone for help.