Responsible Gambling Guide for South African Players
Online gambling is a lot of fun and is one of the best forms of entertainment. But since it also involves money, we want to make sure that you are playing safely and responsibly.
We at OnlineCasinosOnline.co.za are thoroughly committed to responsible gambling. We want to guide you through the world of online casinos, indicating which sites are safe and fair so that you won’t be taken advantage of.
Trust us to help you enjoy online gambling in a responsible manner.
Your side of the bargain is reading this responsible gambling guide thoroughly. We have taken our years of experience in the online gambling industry and written down all that we know about responsible gambling in a clear and concise manner.
We want you to use this information to navigate the world of South African online casinos. We want you to know how to choose the best online casinos. We want you to know how to identify shady sites. We want you to know how to avoid problem gambling and to recognize if you or your loved ones have a gambling addiction. We also want you to know when and where to seek help.
We will cover all this and more in this responsible gambling guide for South African players.
What you Need to Know About Safe Online Casinos
We all agree that it’s important to play at a safe and fair online casino. You want to make sure that the site that you’re playing at isn’t doing anything underhanded to lower your odds of winning.
One thing to note is that an online casino is a money-making business in every sense of the word. Its objective is to turn a profit. For that reason, the casino will always have an edge over its players. But it’s important that this is done fairly.
Before we can show you how to look out for safe and fair online casinos, we’d like to explain a few concepts to you.
- Return to Player Rate (RTP): This a number that you’ll often seen displayed under casino games at a site. If you see RTP 97%, it means that out of 100 players who play at the casino over a lengthy period of time, 97 of them will win and three of them won’t. Another way of looking at this RTP rate is that the casino has a 3% edge on its players on that game.
- Random Number Generator (RNG): The results of all online casino games should be determined by a mechanism called a Random Number Generator. In other words, the result of every spin, every bet, every throw of the dice is completely random and not dependent on the spin before, nor the spin after it.
- Independent Testing: An online casino can say that its RTPs are a certain percentage on its games, or that its RNGs are truly random. But you’d feel better if you had proof, right? And the online casino wants to bring you that proof so that it maintains a good industry reputation. How does it do that? It gets a third-party, independent testing auditor to check its RTP and RNG numbers. The results are then published on the website to provide the proof and peace of mind that players are looking for.
- Scam Online Casinos: The Warning Bells! We’d love to say that scam online casinos don’t exist, but the sad reality is that they do. Thankfully, the percentage of safe, fair and trustworthy online casinos is significantly higher than rigged sites.
So, what are the tricks of the trade of fraudulent online casinos?
- They’ll tell you that your withdrawal request has been processed, and you never get the money.
- They’ll lock you out of your account, claiming that you broke a rule of the site or abused a bonus but aren’t willing to elaborate more.
- They’ll charge exorbitant fees when you make a withdrawal request – so much so that it won’t be worth your while to complete the request.
At this point, it’s important for us to convey to you that OnlineCasinosOnline takes a zero-tolerance approach to sites that have been found to do any of the above. We will place these sites our online casino blacklist and make sure that our players are made aware of their status.
The Importance of Choosing a Good Online Casino
If you’ve read our guide so far, you’ll appreciate the importance of picking a good, fair and reliable online casino.
You’ll want to make sure that:
- The online casino proves that its Random Number Generator and Return to Player rates are fair and independently tested.
- Your funds are made available to you once you make a withdrawal request, as long as you’re eligible to do so.
- The platform is safe and secure.
- You can enjoy peace of mind and concentrate on your online gambling entertainment.
Now, how do you go about ensuring that your chosen online casino is fair and safe?
Choosing a Fair, Secure and Reliable Online Casino
Our guide continues with important questions that you need to ask about any online casino that catches your eye. We’re talking about looking beyond the glitzy marketing buzz promising you the best bonuses/promotions/games/fill in the blank.
⦁ Is the online casino licensed?
The best South African online casinos are licensed and regulated by reputable international gambling jurisdictions. These gambling authorities demand that all their licensees adhere to strict standards of transparency, fairness, player protection and responsible gambling. If a site isn’t licensed by a jurisdiction such as the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority, it means that it is not answerable to a strict authority and can basically do what it wants. You want to choose a licensed online casino to ensure a fair and reliable gaming platform.
⦁ Who provides the software and games?
Check who supplies the games and software to the online casino, whether it’s a single or multi-vendor site. The best software providers are those who have been in the business for a while and have managed to build themselves a very good reputation. Look out for providers such as Playtech, Rival Gaming, Realtime Gaming and NetEnt. These providers won’t want to align themselves with shady online casinos because they’ll want to protect their hard-earned industry reputations.
⦁ What are others saying about the online casino?
You’ll get a good idea about what your peers and industry experts think about the online casino by reading casino reviews. It’s an important indication if the casino constantly gets good (or bad) reviews.
⦁ Which safety and security measures does the online casino take?
The best online casinos take all the necessary measures to always keep your financial and personal data safe and secure. Make sure that the site uses the last word in SSL encryption, Firewalls and passwords to bring you complete peace of mind.
⦁ What’s the customer support like?
A responsible online casino makes sure that you can reach its support team 24/7 through a number of channels, including the very convenient Live Chat. More than that, the team should reply to your complaints or questions rapidly, professionally, and thoroughly. Nothing is stopping you from firing off a random question to an online casino to see if you’re satisfied with the level of support.
⦁ What are the banking methods are like?
You should be able to deposit funds into your online casino account and withdraw your winnings using banking methods that are safe, discreet, and convenient. Banking methods should have processes in place to keep your money protected. Stick to well-known banking methods such as credit cards, Skrill or Neteller.
Play Responsibly: This is How
The main objective when gambling is to have fun. When it stops being an entertaining pastime, you should sit back and think why.
This is how you can make sure that you control your gambling habits, and your gambling doesn’t gain control of you:
⦁ Set yourself a strict limit
This applies as much to the amount of money that you spend on your gaming sessions, as it does on the length of time you spend playing. Before you sign into your account, decide with yourself how much money you want to play with and, more importantly, how much you can afford to spend. This is your gambling budget and the onus is on your to stick to it, come what may.
The same applies to how long your gaming session continues. Set yourself an alarm for 10 minutes before it’s time to end and start wrapping up. Don’t tell yourself ‘just one more spin’ or ‘just one more hand’. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a winning streak and you want to keep playing, nor does it matter if you’ve lost more than you bargained for and you want to recuperate some of those losses. Just stop.
⦁ It’s another form of entertainment
If you go out or have a hobby, it will cost you money. If you had to categorize those things in your monthly budget, they would probably fall under ‘Entertainment’. That’s where online gambling should also lie. Just as you budget for X amount to eat out once a month, you can set aside Y amount to play at an online casino. Don’t budget with hopes that you’ll win money playing. The amount put aside should be the amount that you spend. Anything extra is a bonus.
⦁ Ask yourself if you can really afford it
It’s all good and well to budget online gambling into your monthly expenditures but you need to be honest with yourself if you can afford it. Can the money be better spent for more important things such as your mortgage, school or debts?
⦁ Be aware of exactly how much you spend
If you see a monthly statement of how much you spend at the online casino, you’ll always be on top of the numbers. Make it a habit to check your spending on a regular basis.
⦁ Know that the odds are against you
Earlier on we spoke about how the casino always the edge. You also need to be realistic about your chances of winning the bigger jackpots. The odds of taking home massive prizes worth millions of ZAR are undoubtedly minuscule. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t go for the big jackpots. It’s just to say that you should be aware and realistic about your chances.
⦁ Maintain the right frame of mind
How well do you function if you’re angry or upset? Would you trust yourself if you’re drunk? Then why would you even think of making important decisions related to finances if you’re not in the right frame of mind? You need to be absolutely present and emotionally on top of things if you play at an online casino. Do not use gambling as a pastime to ‘cheer yourself up’ after a fight with your spouse or after a few drinks. It won’t be the happy ending you hoped for.
The Telltale Signs of Problem Gambling
How do you know that you’re developing a gambling problem? There are many signs along the way that could hint that you’re going in that direction or that you have a full-blown addiction.
We don’t claim to be able to answer that question for you, but we can list a number of traits of problem gamblers. If you recognize yourself (or friends/loved ones) in even part of this list, your next step is to seek help. A professional will be able to make an official diagnosis and point you in the direction of the type of help you need.
Check this list as a first step:
⦁ You’ve become desensitized to the things that once brought you joy.
⦁ You’ve missed one too many family events.
⦁ Your sleeping, food or sexual habits have undergone a change.
⦁ You’re ignoring important things in life such as self-care, studies, relationships and commitments.
⦁ You fight with other people over finances.
⦁ You drink alcohol or take drugs more than you used to.
⦁ Your children are often left alone or neglected.
⦁ Gambling is always on your mind.
⦁ You experience mood swings or have anger management issues.
⦁ A lot more of your spending is done on gambling than before.
⦁ You have considered cheating or stealing to get your hands on funds to use for your gambling habits, or you’ve already done so.
⦁ You have asked your boss for an advance on your salary so that you can gamble.
⦁ You have asked friends or family for a loan so that you can gamble.
⦁ You have gotten yourself wrapped up in legal problems relating to gambling.
⦁ You are continuously late for school, work or other places that you need to be on time for.
⦁ You have withdrawn yourself from friends and family.
⦁ You are bored and restless.
⦁ You are depressed and/or suicidal.
⦁ You have cashed in important savings plans to fund your gambling habits.
⦁ You have taken loans against important things such as the family home to fund your gambling sessions.
You Think You have a Gambling Problem: What Now?
1. Get help today!
If you think that you have a gambling problem, don’t wait until tomorrow to get help. Many of the resources available in South Africa operate 24/7. Make that call today.
⦁ For free and confidential gambling counselling and treatment, contact the South African Responsible Gambling Foundation:
Website address: responsiblegambling.org.za
Toll free phone: 080 000 6008
⦁ For a resource that operates very similarly to Alcoholics Anonymous, you can contact Gamblers Anonymous SA. The group operates hotlines in major provinces, as follows:
Gauteng: 060 624 7140 or 071 377 2746
KwaZulu-Natal: 031 209 6359
Western Cape: 074 837 4001
2. Get rid of temptation
Just like you wouldn’t stock up on chocolates if you’re on diet, so too should you take the necessary steps to rid yourself of temptation if you feel that you have a gambling problem. Block the casinos and betting sites from your computer and mobile devices. Ask to be removed from their newsletters and marketing campaigns.
3. Use the online casino limitation tools
Responsible online casinos have a number of features in place that allow you to control your gambling habits on the site. For example, you can choose to cap the amount that spend per session/day/week or month. You can choose to cap the length of time that spend in your account. Once you exceed these limitations, the casino won’t allow you to continue. What’s good about these features is that they can always be changed.
This is probably the most extreme way to handle problem gambling or addiction, but it’s definitely the most effective. You can ask the online casino to bar you from playing at the site for a certain amount of time. During this period, you won’t be able to access your account, nor will you be able to bet for real money.
Once the period is over, you can continue to play. If you want to make things more long-term, you can opt to self-exclude permanently. This means that you’ll never be able to play at that site again. Remember to withdraw all your casino funds before you self-exclude permanently.
If you have any questions or concerns about problematic online casinos, responsible gambling or addiction, don’t hesitate to drop us a line.