It is important to WhichBingo that all our visitors are aware of the potential risks in regards to gambling and that they know how to spot the warning signs of any potential gambling problem. We are working with the Better Change organisation to ensure that bingo, slots and casino games can be enjoyed in an environment of ‘Positive Play’ – so while we advertise all sorts of bingo offers, staff are trained to be aware of potential risks to customers. Many of the brands we advertise also work with Better Change both online and on the high street to ensure that you can enjoy your games safely.
In this section, you will find some of the warning signs as well as useful links to tools and organisations that can help you if you are experiencing any problems related to your online gambling activity.
If you’re worried about your gambling or a friend’s please visit begambleaware.org.
Signs to look out for
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.
- Having 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 gambling or hiding it from other people.
- Chasing losses or gambling to get out of financial trouble.
- Gambling until all 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, family, personal needs or household responsibilities because of gambling.
- Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable.
Remember, problem gambling behaviour is often hidden. It can be difficult to know if someone has a problem with gambling. It can also be difficult to detect because many people who gamble do not show their feelings and may lie or get angry if questioned about their behaviour.
How to stay in control
- Set deposit limits – Every operator is required by the UK Gambling Commission’s Licensing Code of Practice to provide players with controls over their spending which include the ability to set deposit limits. Once you set a limit, you will be unable to deposit more than the amount you set for a specific period of time.
- Self-exclusion – Again, every operator is required to provide players with the ability to self-exclude themselves, either temporarily or permanently from any gambling website. Generally, this will only exclude you from that individual website, although if it is part of a wider network of sites you may find yourself excluded from all on that particular network. In Spring 2018 a new national self-exclusion system called GAMSTOP will be launching that will allow players to self-exclude from every UK licensed gambling site in one go, but at the time of writing this system is not yet live.
Where to find help
- BeGambleAware – This site you will find advertised everywhere as the main source for help and support for a variety of problem gambling issues.
- GamCare – GamCare operates the National Gambling Helpline and offers free and confidential support, information and advice on problem gambling either via telephone, online, or text. GamCare also offers free face-to-face and online counselling for those affected by a gambling problem either directly or via its network of treatment providers across Britain.
- Gordon Moody Association – The Gordon Moody Association provides advice, education and high-quality therapeutic support to problem gamblers and those affected by problem gambling through residential, online and outreach services.
- National Problem Gambling Clinic – The Central and Northwest London NHS Foundation Trust (CNWL) operates the National Problem Gambling Clinic located in Soho, London, to provide free and confidential treatment services to gamblers and others adversely affected by gambling.
- Big Deal – Offers information, advice and support to young people impacted by problem gambling. They also provide information and resources to parents and professionals to increase awareness about the issue.
- Gamblers Anonymous – A group of men and women who have joined together to tackle their own gambling problem and help others do the same. Use their website to find a group in your local area.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to gamble and all operators will have processes in place to age verify. It is also against the UK Gambling Commission’s License Code of Practice for operators to market their products in a way that could be of particular appeal to those under the age of 18.
WhichBingo takes these requirements very seriously, which as stated in our Compliance Policy, we avoid using graphics, characters or games that may be deemed as appealing to under 18s. We also age restrict our content where possible, such as videos produced and shared via our Facebook and YouTube channel.
There are tools at hand for parents who wish to go further and restrict access to gambling sites on their children’s computers and other online devices. We advise at first contacting your internet provider to see what settings they can place and which tools they recommend for your devices.
Safe Play and Gambling Control Tools for Bingo Sites
As the UK Gambling Commission launches a new public awareness campaign regarding gambling control features and support groups, it seems an ideal time to check out the options provided by each software provider.
Online bingo provides hours of entertainment, fun and community to players across the UK, however, it’s incredibly important for players to put safety and wellbeing first. Software providers for the biggest and best online bingo sites in the UK each offer a set of measures to make everyone’s gambling experience great and you can easily implement their range of tools should you need to scale back or control your gameplay. Below, you’ll find the safe play tools in place from each of the most popular software providers.
If you are an avid online bingo fan, then no doubt you’ll have played at Dragonfish bingo software sites. Some of their most popular offerings include Bingo All Stars and Costa Bingo. These sites all include a range of safety tools to keep you safe whilst playing their games.
- Self-Exclusion Program – If you need a long break from online gambling, then you can use the self-exclusion program. This is easy to use and all you have to do is request this and the team will prevent you from logging in to the site.
- Deposit Limit – Want to make sure you can’t deposit more than your budget? Set a maximum deposit limit to make it impossible to go over your budget on the site.
- Unsubscribe from Marketing – If you need to resist temptation logging into the site, another great tool offered is removing your name from the site email list, so your inbox won’t be filled with lots of great bingo offers.
- Game Time Reminder – Be reminded of how long you have spent playing on the site with this tool. Use the settings tab to activate the game time reminder.
- Autoplay Limits – With the autoplay feature, you can set the number of rounds you want and your budget, then the game will play automatically. With this feature, you can set a loss limit, so if you reach this loss limit, the autoplay function will stop and you won’t go over your budget.
- Take a Break – Enjoy a cooling-off period where you can step back from gambling if you feel you have to do so. This can be 1 day, 2 days, 7 days, 1 month or 6 weeks.
Entain (sometimes known as Electraworks or Cozy Games in some places)
Entain is the software provider behind some very recognisable names in the online bingo world including Foxy Bingo and Ladbrokes. They implement a range of safe play tools that you can use to ensure you stick to your budget and don’t go overboard with your bingo spending. You can find the following tools in the Gambling Controls section which has a Responsible Gambling feature.
- Deposit Limits – An easy to use tool is the deposit limits. This allows you to set a maximum deposit spending limit on your account and you will not be able to go over your budget. This is also a great way to keep track of your spending.
- Cool-Off Sessions – If you feel that you need to remove yourself from the website and take a break, there is the option to set cool-off sessions. This means that for the specific time periods you set, you won’t be able to make deposits on the site. This is also referred to as a curfew and, for example, you can block yourself from depositing at the weekend if this is when you feel your spending can get out of control. You can even narrow this cool-off period down to the hour. While you won’t be able to make more deposits during this time, you will still be able to gamble using the funds already in your account.
- Max Stake Limit – If you want to enjoy slot games too at your chosen bingo site, this tool lets you set your maximum bet per spin. When you increase this limit, there is a 24-hour cooling-off period put in place, but decreasing it will happen instantly.
- Help-Centre – If you feel that you need extra assistance with a gambling problem, you can always get in touch with the bingo site team through the help centre. There is a customer support team waiting and ready to help you use any of these tools and limit you gambling spending.
- Deposit Curfew– some Entain brands have this option, with more to follow. Curfew is a new feature where you can block yourself from depositing for a set period of time or at particular times. It allows you to set and control when you can deposit, choosing either specific days or dates, and optionally hours too. If you find you are playing more at certain times you could, for example, block yourself from depositing on Friday or Saturday evenings.
Gamesys is a software provider that takes responsible gambling very seriously and you can instantly see this from the range of tools that they offer as well as the measures that the company itself has taken with its marketing. Here are the tools you’ll find with this software provider at sites such as JackpotJoy and Heart Bingo.
- Account Self-Exclusion – Self-exclusion is the best option for anyone who feels that their gambling is out of control and they cannot stop. This is the best tool to use as you can make your account inaccessible for a long period of time, which can be anywhere from 6 months to 5 years. During this time, you won’t be able to access your account not only on the current site you are playing at but also at other Gamesys Group gambling sites.
- Extra Information and Advice – Gamesys provide lots of extra contact information for gambling organisations that can help if you have a problem. This includes GAMSTOP, GAMCARE, Gamblers Anonymous and BeGambleAware.
- Links to Gamban – On a Gamesys site such as Heart Bingo, you’ll find a link to a free resource called Gamban. This is software that blocks gambling websites from appearing on any of your devices so you face less temptation.
- Account Deposit Limits – Set daily, weekly or monthly deposit limits to help you keep track of what you are spending and to ensure you don’t exceed your limit.
- Session Reminder – Easily keep in control of the time you are spending when logged into your account by setting session reminders.
- Account Cool-Off – Just need a small break from online gambling but don’t want to be locked out of your account for as long as 6 months? Then the account cool-off tool will be better suited to you. This lets you take a break of anywhere from 24 hours to 6 weeks. During this period, you cannot log in to your account on your current site or any other across the group.
Jumpman Gaming is one of the biggest and most popular online bingo software providers. They provide their software for a huge number of bingo sites that you may have already played at and take responsible gambling seriously with the following tools accessible.
- Deposit Limits – You have the option at these sites to set your deposit limits daily, weekly or monthly, allowing to play at a pace that suits your budget. When you set a deposit limit at your chosen site, this will not be applied to other Jumpman Gaming sites. Limits can be lifted, but only after a 24 hour cooling off period.
- Take a Break – Need to take some time off from playing at your favourite Jumpman Gaming site? That’s no problem as there is a tool that lets you choose how long you want this time frame to be (24 hours, 1 week, 1 month or up to 6 weeks) and you won’t be able to access your account.
- Self-Exclusion – For longer breaks from gambling, you will instead want to use the self-exclusion tool as this allows you to take breaks of a minimum of 6 months.
- GAMSTOP – Links to register with GAMSTOP which is a free service where you can self-exclude from every online gambling company licensed in Great Britain.
- Reality Check – This tool enables you to set reminders that let you know how long you have been gaming for. When you get this reminder, you get the option to carry on playing, see your transaction history or log out. It will continue to appear at regular requested intervals.
Microgaming is the software platform behind a number of popular brands, although from 2020 it no longer provided a bingo software of its own. Instead, some of the sites migrated to Pragmatic Play bingo but retained the casino and slots selection from Microgaming. They offer a range of tools that will help to ensure you enjoy gambling on their sites responsibly.
- Self-Assessment Test – Think that you may have developed a problem with online gambling? Take the site’s self-assessment test which will let you know if you’re gambling responsibly.
- Activity Statements – Keep track of exactly how much you are spending with activity statements. These give you a detailed breakdown of your gameplay including how much you have deposited and wagered.
- Session Reminder – Online gambling should never get in the way of your day to day life and responsibilities. Use the session reminder tool to keep track of the time you are spending online gambling so you know when to stop.
- Deposit Limit – When online gambling, you should never exceed your budget and what you can afford and doing so indicates you may have a gambling problem. To ensure this doesn’t happen, you can use the deposit limit tool to set a maximum deposit limit.
- Take a Break – Take some time away from gambling using this tool which allows you to take a break from the site anywhere from 1 day to 4 weeks.
- Self-Exclusion – If gambling is getting in the way of your daily life, you may have to take stronger precautions. The self-exclusion tool locks you out of your account for 6 months up to 5 years, depending on what you decide.
- Affordability Calculator – This is a tool that only takes 5 minutes to use, but is very helpful for working out how you can spend your money each month that stays within an affordable budget.
Playtech is an industry giant in the online gambling world and you are sure to recognise some of the big brands that it powers including Buzz Bingo and Gala Bingo. It offers several tools that you can use to ensure you are gambling responsibly.
- Deposit Limits – In your account, you are able to set a deposit limit. This limit won’t allow you to overspend on your pre-determined budget.
- Game-Play Reminders – This is a cool safe play tool that stops you from getting lost in the game for too long. With this tool, you can keep track of the time you spend playing and get a reminder when you have hit that time limit.
- Set a Time Out – With the Playtech time out function, you can temporarily close your account. This can range anywhere from 1 day to 6 weeks. This is a great way to give yourself a break from gambling. Furthermore, during this time the site will refrain from contacting you about promotions and offers they are running, so there is no need to worry about being tempted back in.
- Self-Exclude from the Site – If you feel that you need a longer break from online bingo, it is extremely important that you have the tools in place to do this. With this software, you can self-exclude yourself from the site. This can range from 6 months up to 5 years and you can do this online or by calling the site customer service team.
Tombola is one of the most recognisable names in the UK online bingo scene and has a range of measures in place to help you play responsibly and keep within your budget. The site even runs an annual Safeplay week to keep the message at the forefront of its offer.
- Deposit Limits – Set a maximum limit of how much you can deposit either daily or weekly from your my account section. Any increase in the limit will take 24 hours to come into effect.
- Stake Limits – Set a maximum amount that you would like to stake per single game. Turning off the stake limit or raising it is subject to a 24 hour cooling off period but is a great tool for those who want to keep their spending under control.
- Time-Keeper – This allows you to keep track of the length of time you’ve been playing on the site and will send you reminders.
- Cooling-Off – This tool allows you to temporarily lock yourself out of your account from 24 hours up to 6 weeks.
- Self-Exclusion – For anyone needing a longer break from online gambling, use the self-exclusion tool to stop yourself being able to log into your account either for 6 months, 1 year or permanently.
No matter which site you choose, each of these software providers offers an excellent range of tools that will help you to manage your online gambling and bet responsibly.