Casino Finder

Responsible Gambling Guide

Lauren Harrison Casino Cabbie Editor
Written by: 
Lauren Harrison
Checked by: 
Alex Tester
Updated on: March 21st, 2024

Every online casino offers safer gambling tools, but what’s available, what works best, how can you use them, and what additional support is available? This is need-to-know information for any person who gambles.

Read on and find out how to stay safe gambling online in the USA.

Contents

Casino Cabbie's Safety Guarantee

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Casino Cabbie is a US-licensed review site with over 20 years of experience in the industry. We are a trusted brand and an independent site. Our mission is to provide you with up-to-date reviews and information on all areas of gambling in the USA so you can make more informed and safer gambling choices.

We guarantee only to recommend legal gambling sites that adhere to strict consumer and gambling laws and provide responsible gambling tools, support, and education. Why? Because gambling is only fun when practiced responsibly.

What is Responsible Gambling?

Gambling is addictive - FACT. While most people can enjoy gambling occasionally, using it as a source of entertainment, for others, it's an addiction. Responsible gambling is something every player must practice. It's about reducing the risks and ensuring gambling is not damaging to you or those around you.

All gambling activities involve risk, so play smart. Arm yourself with information, know what steps you can take to reduce the risks, and how to get help should you need it (you'll find all this information and more on this page).

The State of Play: Gambling Addiction State-by-State

Established online gambling jurisdictions protect players from gambling harms; it's part of their duty of care to consumers. Yet, the US states that legalized online casino gambling (Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, West Virginia, and Connecticut) and made casino games more accessible have alarmingly high problem gambling rates.

These figures show that more needs to be done to inform and protect players in the USA about the dangers of gambling addiction.

best online casinos nj

New Jersey

According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, in 2023, NJ had a problem gambling rate of 5.3% of the adult population (down from 6.3% in 2017), with 13% classed as low or moderate risk. This is more than three times the national average.

responsible gambling in delaware

Delaware

No up-to-date data or studies are available regarding rates of gambling addiction in Delaware. As such, we revert to the US national level of 1-2%. However, like other online gambling states, the actual figure is likely much higher than the national average.

responsible gambling in pennsylvania

Pennsylvania

According to research undertaken by Pennsylvania State University in collaboration with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, "approximately one in three online gamblers expressed that they had experienced at least one problem* with their gambling in the past 12 months."

responsible gambling in michigan

Michigan

As a newer online casino state, we don't have problem figures. We know that during 2022, 4,306 calls were made to MI's Problem Gambling Hotline, an 18% increase from 2021 and a 171% increase on 2020 (pre-online gambling). Referrals for treatment have also increased. Stats tell us that only 1 in 10 problem gamblers seek help, meaning Michigan may have a very high rate of problem gamblers.

responsible gambling in west virginia

West Virginia

According to data from 1-800-Gambler West Virginia, 1 in every 50 residents will experience problems with gambling in WV, although experts say this is underrepresentation. Between 2021 and 2022, helpline calls increased by 6%, up to 1,759 calls.

responsible gambling in connecticut

Connecticut

Like many of the other online casino states listed here, CT tracks gambling revenue closely but not rates of problem gambling. What we do have is data on helpline calls. Since online gambling was legalized in the fall of 2021, calls to the CT Council on Problem Gambling Helpline have increased by 400%. Moreover, in the first nine months of online gambling in CT, 739 people registered for self-exclusion using the state's voluntary system.

*Note: according to the Pennsylvania research, problems do not refer to classification as a problem gambler; rather, there is a need for further assessment to determine whether an individual may be a problem gambler. Problems included gambling preoccupation; needing to gamble with large amounts to feel the same level of previous excitement; gambling for longer or more frequently; making attempts to cut down, control, or stop gambling; and borrowing money or selling belongings to gamble.

Why Isn't There a Cohesive Problem Gambling Measurement?

There's no cohesive system for measuring or reporting problem gambling in the USA because each state has an independent regulator, and different systems and metrics are in place. This also means different support services and levels of funding and research.

Despite the varying figures, one thing is clear: the rate of gambling addiction and harm is skyrocketing in the USA. Compared with other gambling jurisdictions, such as the UK, which has a problem gambling rate of 0.2% of the adult population, the figures are even more worrying.

Take the Test: Check Your Gambling Behaviors

If you're a regular gambler, we recommend doing this test at least once a year. It's a quick and straightforward gambling health check. If you answer yes to four or more of these questions, it's likely you have a gambling disorder (the more you display, the higher your degree of risk) and should seek help.

Before taking the test, bear in mind that you may have periods when symptoms subside; this doesn't mean you're in the clear, as this has been recorded in those experiencing problem gambling.

  • Do you need to gamble with increasing amounts to achieve the desired excitement?
  • Are you restless or irritable when trying to cut down or stop gambling?
  • Have you experienced repeated unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back on, or stop gambling?
  • Do you have frequent thoughts about gambling (such as reliving past gambling or planning future gambling)?
  • Do you often gamble when feeling distressed?
  • After losing money gambling, do you try to recoup your losses, referred to as chasing losses?
  • Have you lied about your gambling habit or tried to hide gambling activities?
  • Have you risked or lost a close relationship, a job, or a school or job opportunity because of gambling?
  • Do you rely on others to help with money problems caused by gambling?
responsible gambling 1

What To Do If You Scored Highly

If you answered yes to four or more of the questions on this list, skip to the state-by-state support services section. There, we detail the local support services available, including state government options and charity support services like the National Council on Problem Gambling. These services are impartial and designed to help.

What is the Best Defense? Get Educated

Responsible gambling awareness and education is the first and most important tool for protecting yourself while gambling online. Once you understand problem gambling and the signs of gambling harm, you can better assess your behavior and know if your gambling becomes harmful.

If you think this information is something only those who struggle with gambling need to know, you're wrong. Every person who lays real bets online must be informed of the potential harms and the best practices for staying safe - it's how you play smart.

Responsible Gambling Tools

Every US online casino and sportsbook must provide responsible gambling tools to players. In this section, we will explain how each works and give you step-by-step instructions on how to set it up on your casino or sportsbook account.

1. Deposit/Spending Limits

A deposit limit allows you to set a budget for the maximum amount you can add to your casino account daily, weekly, or monthly. Similarly, a spending or bet limit regulates the amount you can spend/wager.

Deposit limits ensure you keep to your intended budget and do not get carried away while gambling, which can lead to overspending. Every player should have a budget before gambling; it's a vital part of casino gaming and can also be implemented strategically through bankroll management to guide how you bet.

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How to Set a Deposit Limit

  1. Sign in to your casino account
  2. Go to the main menu and click profile/responsible gambling
  3. Click deposit/spending limits
  4. Input your daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limit
  5. Confirm the changes; you may need to enter your password to do this

How to Increase/Decrease Deposit Limits?

  1. Follow the steps above, but change the limit amount in step 4.
  2. Usually, decreases in the deposit or spending limits are immediate. However, if you are increasing the limit, then it may take 24-72 hours, depending on the casino's responsible gambling policy. This enforced cooling-off period stops players from chasing losses and spiraling.

If the casino team is concerned about your limit change, they may also reach out to check on your welfare.

2. Playtime Limit/Reminders

Playtime limits are about regulating the amount of time you spend gambling daily. They are important because even low rollers, who don't spend large amounts at the casino, can gamble compulsively. If you set a daily playtime limit of two hours after the time is up, you won't be able to log in to your casino account or play until the next day, when the limit resets.

Playtime reminders are slightly different from playtime limits. They are pop-up messages reminding you about the amount of time you've spent gambling. They have been found to help prevent dissociation, common in slot players, as the games are immersive, leading to players losing track of time and play.

responsible gambling 3

How to Set a Playtime Limit/Reminder

  1. Sign in to your casino account
  2. Go to the main menu and click profile/responsible gambling
  3. Click playtime limits/reminders
  4. Input your daily limit
  5. Confirm your new responsible playtime limit.

If you want to decrease a playtime limit, changes are instant. The casino will enforce a 24-72 hour waiting period to increase or remove your playtime limit.

3. Timeouts/ Cooling Off Periods

A timeout means taking a break from a gambling site. Once set, this responsible gambling tool means you'll be locked out of the casino for the requested period. Timeouts are usually available from three days up to six weeks.

These are good options if you recognize that you need a break or want to restrict your gambling to certain days. For example, if you only want to gamble during the week, you can set a 5-day timeout limit on your account.

How to Set a Casino Timeout

  1. Sign in to your casino account
  2. Go to the main menu and click profile/responsible gambling
  3. Click time out
  4. Set the date you want to be locked out until
  5. You may be asked to input your user account details and passwords to confirm the time out.

How to Change a Timeout

You must contact the casino via email or phone to extend or reduce a timeout before it ends. You cannot access your account during the timeout period. If, during a timeout, you decide you do not want to gamble anymore and want to withdraw your account funds, you should also contact the casino to arrange a cashout and close your account.

4. Self-Exclusion

There are two types of self-exclusion. Exclusion for a casino site or self-exclusion from all gambling services legally available in the state. The main difference is that if you are excluded from a casino, you can still join a different site and continue gambling. However, if you use the state-wide self-exclusion scheme, you won't be able to register with any online casino licensed in that location.

Self-exclusion is the most robust tool in the responsible gambling tool kit and is usually used by players experiencing problem gambling or compulsive gambling. It can be set for between one to five years or permanently.

During a self-exclusion period, you will not be contacted by the casino and will automatically be opted out of all marketing communications. Any future bets or upcoming contests you have entered will be refunded.

After a casino or state-wide self-exclusion period, if you wish to rejoin a gambling site, you'll need to contact the casino support team/state regulatory body, depending on which type of self-exclusion you opt for. If you request a permanent exclusion, this cannot be undone.

Research has found that self-exclusion works best in preventing future gambling when combined with other support services, like talking therapies or support groups. Hence, if you decide to self-exclude, make sure you also get in touch with another service, like Gamblers Anonymous.

How to Set a Casino Self-Exclusion

  1. Sign in to your casino account
  2. Go to the main menu and click profile/responsible gambling
  3. Click self-exclusion
  4. Set the period you want to be excluded for
  5. You may be asked to input your user account details and passwords to confirm the exclusion.
  6. Your account will be immediately locked. It may take up to 24 hours for marketing communications to cease.

How to Set a State-Wide Self-Exclusion

If you have funds in your account when you self-exclude, the casino will automatically process your cashout and return the money via the deposit method.

Each online casino state has a state-wide self-exclusion scheme, which you can register for directly via the regulator. The process may vary in each state, but you can find the complete instructions and process via the following links:

Which Casinos Offer Which Safer Gambling Tools?

OperatorAvailable inDeposit LimitsPlaytime LimitsTimeoutSelf-Exclusion
888 CasinoNJ
Bally CasinoNJ, PA
Bally's Dover CasinoDE
Barstool CasinoNJ, PA
bet365 CasinoNJ
BetMGM CasinoNJ, PA, MI, WV
betParx CasinoNJ, PA
BetRivers CasinoNJ, PA, MI WV
Betway CasinoNJ, PA
Borgata CasinoNJ, PA
Caesars CasinoNJ, PA, MI, WV
Delaware Park Online CasinoDE
DraftKings CasinoNJ, PA, MI, WV, CT
Eagle Casino and SportsMI
FanDuel CasinoNJ, PA, MI, WV, CT
FireKeepers CasinoMI
Golden Nugget CasinoNJ, PA, MI, WV
Hard Rock CasinoNJ
Bally's Dover CasinoNJ
Harrington Gaming OnlineDE
Hollywood CasinoPA
Mohegan Sun CasinoNJ, CT
Ocean Online CasinoNJ
Pala CasinoNJ
Party CasinoNJ
Play Gun Lake CasinoMI
PlayLive! CasinoPA
PlayStar CasinoNJ
PointsBet CasinoNJ, MI
PokerStars CasinoNJ, PA, MI
Resorts CasinoNJ
Scores CasinoNJ
SI CasinoMI
Stardust CasinoNJ, PA
SugarHouse CasinoPA
Tipico CasinoNJ
Tropicana CasinoNJ, PA
TwinSpires CasinoNJ, PA, MI
Unibet CasinoNJ, PA
Virgin CasinoNJ
Wheel of Fortune CasinoNJ
Wind Creek CasinoPA
WynnBet CasinoMI

How Can Casinos Promote Responsible Gambling?

Aside from educating players on how to gamble responsibly and the tools available to them, like deposit limits, there are many other ways casinos can promote responsible gambling. Here are a few:

  1. Mandatory Limits Over Voluntary: Online casinos can make it compulsory for new players to set a budget and time limit or to opt out. This ensures that all players engage with responsible gambling tools and raises awareness. Research has shown more players use budget limits when it is mandatory to either set them or opt-out.
  2. Using responsible and transparent language: Online casinos must advertise responsibly and use clear language or explain industry jargon to avoid misleading players. A recent example of this going wrong is the use of risk-free bonuses. Casinos used this terminology to represent cashback offers, selling them as risk-free, which technically isn't true because money is still gambled and lost = risk.
  3. Offering Responsible Bonuses: low and zero wagering requirement bonuses are a great example of online casinos promoting responsible gambling. Instead of binding players to gamble large amounts to fulfill wagering requirements and cashout, zero and low wagering bonuses let players bet at their own pace and do not tie up their money to withdrawal restrictions.
  4. Interventions: The responsible gambling tools we've already discussed rely on consumers identifying negative behaviors and taking action, but when gambling becomes a compulsion, this is extremely difficult. Gambling operators should use technology like AI to monitor player accounts and send automated interventions when they suspect gambling harm. These interventions can encourage players to take a break and remind them of their total losses and playtime.

State-by-State Support Services

StateOfficial Responsible Gambling OrganizationHotline Phone NumberHelpline AvailabilityLive Chat
New JerseyCouncil on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey1-800- GAMBLER24/7Yes
DelawareDelaware Council Gambling Problem Helpline1-888-850-888824/7Yes
PennsylvaniaCouncil on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania1- 800-848-188024/7Yes
MichiganMichigan Problem Gambling Helpline1-800-270-711724/7No
West VirginiaWest Virginia's Problem Gambling Help Network1-800- 426-253724/7Yes
ConnecticutConnecticut Council on Problem Gambling1-888-789-777724/7Yes

Located in Another State? Help is at Hand

StateOfficial Responsible Gambling OrganizationHotline NumberLive Chat
AlabamaAlabama Council on Compulsive Gambling1-800-426-2537No
AlaskaAlaska Department of Health Division of Behavioral Health1-800-273-8255No
ArizonaArizona Department of Gaming1- 800-639-8783Yes
ArkansasArkansas Problem Gambling Council1- 800-426-2537Yes
CaliforniaCalifornia Council on Problem Gambling1-800-426-2537Yes
ColoradoProblem Gambling Coalition of Colorado1-800-522-4700No
FloridaFlorida Council on Compulsive Gambling1-888-236-4848Yes
GeorgiaGeorgia Council on Problem GamblingNo state-funded service (use 1-844-779-2637)No
HawaiiHawaii Island Recovery1-866-390-5070No
IdahoIdaho Gambling Addiction HotlineNo state-funded service (use 1-844-779-2637)No
IllinoisIllinois Council on Problem Gambling1- 800-426-2537Yes
IndianaIndiana Council on Problem Gambling1-800-994-8448No
IowaIowa Gaming Association1-800-2387-633No
KansasKansas Coalition on Problem Gambling1-800-522-4700Yes
KentuckyKentucky Council on Problem GamblingHotlines depend on location; refer to the footer of linked siteNo
LouisianaLouisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling1-877-770-7867Yes
MaineMaine Council on Problem Gambling1-866-811-5695No
MarylandMaryland Council on Problem Gambling1-800-426-2537No
MassachusettsMassachusetts Problem Gambling Helpline1-800-327-5050Yes
MinnesotaMinnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling1-800-333-4673Yes
MississippiMississippi Council on Problem and Compulsive Gambling1-888-777-9696Yes
MissouriMissouri Department of Mental Health – Compulsive Gambling1-888-238-7633No
MontanaMontana Council on Problem Gambling1-888-900-9979No
NebraskaNebraska Council on Problem Gambling1- 833-238-6837No
NevadaNevada Council on Problem Gambling1-800-426-2537Yes
New HampshireNH Council on Problem Gambling1-603 724 1605No
New MexicoResponsible Gaming Association of New Mexico1- 888-6962-440No
New YorkNew York Council on Problem Gambling1-518-867-4084No
North CarolinaNC Problem Gambling Program1-877-718-5543No
North DakotaGambler ND1-877-702-7848No
OhioProblem Gambling Network of Ohio1-800-589-9966No
OklahomaOklahoma Association on Problem Gambling & Gaming1-844-779-2637No
OregonOregon Problem Gambling Resource1-877-695-4648Yes
Rhode IslandRhode Island Council on Problem Gambling1-401-354-2877No
South CarolinaSouth Carolina Gambling Addiction Services1-877-452-5155No
South DakotaSouth Dakota Department of Social Services988 (health crisis hotline)Yes
TennesseeTennessee Department of Mental Health1-800-889-9789No
TexasTexas Gamblers AnonymousNo state-funded service, use GA
1-855-222-5542
No
UtahNational Council on Problem GamblingNo state-funded service (use 1-844-779-2637)No
VermontVermont’s Problem Gambling Resource Center1-800-522-4700No
VirginiaVirginia Council on Problem Gambling1-888-532-3500Yes
WashingtonWashington State Gambling Commission1-800-547-6133Yes
WisconsinWisconsin Council on Problem Gambling1-800-426-2535Yes
WyomingWyoming Council on Problem Gambling1-800-426-2537No

Nationwide Charity Support Services

Outside of state services, multiple charity organizations aim to support those struggling with problem gambling as well as their family and friends. These free services are crucial and include support groups, therapy, in-person meetings, online chat services, and more.

If you're considering self-exclusion from gambling, we highly recommend also using one of the following support services, as using multiple support methods leads to lower rates of repeat gambling in those who self-exclude for shorter periods.

National Council on Problem Gambling

The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) is available in almost every state. It's a countrywide organization and one of the most prominent working with problem gambling support and advocacy. They provide information on available treatments, screening tools, and a 24/7 helpline and chat service.

The NCPG is instrumental in advocating for greater regulation and legislation to protect players and raise public awareness. They assist an average of 18,592 players monthly, operating on an ethos of respect and neutrality.

national council on problem gambling incoming call volume

Gamblers Anonymous/ Gam-Anon

Gamblers Anonymous is a support service for those suffering from compulsive gambling. They follow a twelve-step program with locally run support groups in most states. You can join their virtual meetings if you're in a location without a physical meet-up.

The only requirement to join a meeting is the want to stop gambling. Online resources are also open to family members, friends, or anyone affected by another person's gambling.

GamTalk

GamTalk is an online support and information service. Their main goal is to prevent problem gambling by spreading awareness and education. They don't operate a phone line, but a multi-language community chat forum and chat rooms are available.

Top 3 Gambling Site Blocking Software

Aside from the self-exclusion tools and support services we've listed, if you want an extra layer of protection that prevents you from gambling online, these are the top three gambling site-blocking apps and services. When installed on a device or browser, they prevent you from accessing all gambling sites.

1. BetBlocker - Free

betblocker gambling site blocking logo

BetBlocker is our number one recommendation for a gambling site-blocking app because it is free and easily accessible to everyone. You don't need to share your personal information with the service and can access the software anonymously.

BetBlocker currently restricts 77,300+ gambling websites (you can also suggest sites that should be blocked), is available globally, and only takes two minutes to download and set up. One feature we particularly like is that if you're a casual gambler wanting to restrict which days you gamble on, you can use BetBlocker's calendaring tool. BetBlocker is available for Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, Android, FireOS and AppGallery.

2. GamBan - $34.99/annum (7-day free trial available)

gamban logo - gambling site blocking software

GamBan is a paid service and one of the cheaper ones out there. Like BetBlocker, when in use, it blocks gambling sites and apps. UK gambling charity GambleAware has independently evaluated it as 99% successful in blocking legal and illegal gambling sites and the most effective of six different options.

GamBan works on Mac OS, Windows, Android, and iOS. The $34.99 per year covers unlimited devices and can be paid at $3.49 per month rather than the annual fee. GamBan also blocks crypto and trading platforms.

3. GamBlock - Prices range depending on the number of devices

gamblock logo: gambling site blocking software

GamBlock is the priciest service out of the three, as costs depend on the number of devices you want to use it on, but it's also one of the most comprehensive. It's available for Android, Windows, or Apple. The settings survive factory resets on devices and are still effective with VPN and TOR use, so there's no way of getting around it.

GamBlock prices start at around $150 per device, depending on the operating system.

Responsible Gambling Tips and Strategies

  • Know the Rules: Always read and understand how each online casino game works before you bet. You should also understand terms like RTP and how the house edge works.
  • Set Your Limits: Always give yourself a budget before you gamble. If you know, you're likely to get carried away while playing cement it using a deposit or bet limit.
  • Never Borrow Money: Only spend what you can afford and never borrow money or get into trouble to finance gambling. Betting should never be viewed as a way to make income.
  • Expect to Lose: While you're hoping to win when you gamble, it's more likely you'll lose. Never chase losses.
  • Consider the Terms and Conditions: Before you join a casino, consider the terms and conditions, like wagering requirements and cashout rules. Only play if the rules are fair and fit your budget.
  • Take Regular Breaks: Don't gamble for long periods, as this can lead to you losing track and becoming too immersed in a game. Take regular breaks.
  • Never Gamble Under the Influence: Attitudes to risk and reward are altered when using alcohol or drugs. Gambling while under the influence can lead to more significant harm and rates of addiction, so don't do it. 
  • Take Regular Gambling Health Checks: If you're a regular gambler, undertake a problem gambling health check (like the one further up this page) regularly to ensure your gambling behaviors are healthy and not harmful.
  • Always Gamble Responsibly and Only for Fun: Gambling should be fun. When it's no longer fun, you should stop. If you cannot gamble responsibly, it's better not to play.

Responsible Gambling Guide FAQs

What is responsible gambling?

Responsible gambling is a concept that’s about recognizing that gambling is addictive and taking sensible steps to lower the risks, like setting a budget, using playtime reminders, and being aware of the signs of gambling harm and monitoring them.

Who is at risk of problem gambling?

Anyone who gambles is at risk, but research has shown that people who already have addiction issues (like drugs and alcohol) and younger gamblers are more at risk.

What is the best defense against gambling addiction?

Education, awareness, and following responsible gambling guidelines are the best defense against gambling addiction.

If you’ve not already, arm yourself with knowledge, tips, and responsible gambling strategies by reading the complete guide on the page above.

Who should I contact if I am experiencing problem gambling?

Scroll up to the "state-by-state support services" section on the page above. You'll find your state's problem gambling helpline number in the table.

If you live in a location with no localized services, then the National Council on Problem Gambling Helpline number is given.

If I seek help, will there be any ramifications?

Problem gambling hotlines are impartial and there to help. There are no ramifications to seeking help. If you're worried, you can always stay anonymous when you call.

Where can I find a casino’s responsible gambling policy?

Each online casino and sportsbook has a responsible gambling section. You can usually access it via the main menu or the site footer. There, you'll find the casino's responsible gambling policy.

The Responsible Gaming Casinos List

Due to the nature of this page, we don't want to advertise casinos here. However, we know some readers may have hit this page looking for a list of the top-rated and responsible online casinos. If this is you, follow the link and check out our reviews to find a legal and safe gambling site.

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