Responsible Gambling: Setting Guidelines for Online Betting, How to Know if you Have a Problem

Responsible Gambling Hotlines
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Massachusetts Gambling Hotline


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Ohio Gambling Hotline


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Online sports betting and casino gaming have become increasingly popular forms of entertainment since the Supreme Court repealed PASPA in 2018. While fun when done in moderation, casual gambling can develop into a problem or even an addiction when left unchecked, leading to serious consequences for a gambler and his or her family.

Problem gambling and gambling addiction are on the rise nationwide. Fortunately, every state now offers state-specific gambling addiction resources to those in need. To protect yourself or someone you know from harm, it’s important to adopt proper responsible gambling habits before issues arise and to know how to deal with those potential issues if they do.

Whether you enjoy betting on sports, playing table games, or entering the lottery, this page provides a full guide on how to gamble responsibly.

7 Tips to Encourage Responsible Gambling

Understanding how to game responsibly begins with understanding what causes individuals to gamble irresponsibly. To avoid potentially precarious situations while you’re gambling, here are 7 tips:

1) Set a Budget

One of the most important things to do when betting on sports is to set a budget. Decide how much money you are comfortable losing and stick to that limit. Gambling should be a form of entertainment, not a source of income.

Never bet more than you can afford to lose.

2) Understand the Odds

It’s crucial to understand the odds before placing a bet. The odds determine the probability of a particular outcome happening. Knowing the odds can help you make informed decisions about which bets to place.

3) Bet on What You Know

When betting on sports, it’s a good idea to bet on what you know. Stick to the sports you know and understand, and avoid betting on sports or events you have no knowledge of. This will increase your chances of making informed decisions and winning your bets.

4) Avoid Chasing Losses

One of the most important things to remember to avoid chasing losses. Don’t try to win back the money you’ve lost by placing more bets. Chasing losses can lead to further losses and financial problems.

5) Take Breaks

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a game and lose track of time and money. Take regular breaks to give yourself time to reflect on your bets and ensure you’re not betting more than you can afford.

6) Don’t Drink and Bet

Drinking alcohol while betting on sports can lead to poor decision-making and irresponsible behavior. It’s best to avoid alcohol altogether when betting on sports to ensure you make informed decisions.

7) Seek Help if Needed

Remember, gambling should be an enjoyable activity, not one that causes financial problems or addiction. If you think your gambling is becoming an issue, seek help before your problem turns into an addiction.

There is no shame in asking for help. Moreover, problem gambling help is more accessible than ever. Each state with legal gambling offers specific addiction prevention and treatment resources to guide you through the journey.

For more information, visit our guide on gambling addiction.

Nationwide assistance is also available 24/7 through call or chat via the National Council on Problem Gambling hotline:


Responsible Gambling Safeguards

As sports betting and casino gambling have become more popular, regulators have begun enforcing more stringent responsible gambling practices for operators.

This is part of the reason why regulated gambling is significantly safer than betting in unregulated markets. However, compulsive gambling can still manifest in any market, whether legal or not.

Many operators now feature in-app tools and integrated pop-ups to encourage players to set safeguards while gambling. Some of the most popular responsible gambling tools available include:


Set Deposit Limits

Limits the amount of money a bettor can deposit into his or her sportsbook account on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
Screenshot 2023 05 18 102121


Set Wager Limits

Limits the amount you can place on an individual wager.
Maximum Wager Size


Set Session Time Limits

Limits the amount of time you may be logged into the sportsbook site in a single day.
Session Time Limits


Set Loss Limits

Similar to wager limits, this option allows you to set a cap on potential losses over a fixed period of time.
Wager Limits


Account Cool Off

This option allows you to block access to your account for a specified amount of time, giving you an opportunity to step away and perhaps seek help.
Account Cool Off


Problem gamblers also have the more definitive choice of voluntary self-exclusion. This option allows players to opt out of all gambling activities at in-person and online sportsbooks and casinos for anywhere from one to five years.

Exclusion is especially difficult to reverse once implemented, making it the most effective solution for those struggling with gambling addiction.

However, the decision shouldn’t be taken lightly since it is a more permanent process.

StateProblem Gambling Hotline NumberOther Local Resources
1-800-GAMBLERAlabama Council on Compulsive Gambling
Alaska800-478-7778 Gambling & Problem Gambling in Alaska
Arizona1-800-NEXT-STEPArizona Office of Problem Gambling
Arkansas1-800-GAMBLERArkansas Problem Gambling Council
California1-800-GAMBLERCalifornia Council on Problem Gambling
Colorado303-662-0772Problem Gambling Coalition of Colorado
Connecticut1-888-789-7777Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling
Delaware888-850-8888Delaware Council on Gambling Problems
District of Columbia1-800-GAMBLERDepartment of Human Services
Florida1-888-ADMIT-ITFlorida Council on Compulsive Gambling
Georgia1-866-922-7369The Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
Hawaii1-800-GAMBLERGambling & Problem Gambling in Hawaii (Fact Sheet)
Idaho1-800-GAMBLERGambling & Problem Gambling in Idaho (fact sheet)
Illinois1-800-GAMBLERIllinois Council on Problem Gambling
Indiana800-994-8448Indiana Council on Problem Gambling
Iowa1-800-BETS OFFIowa Gambling Treatment Program
Kansas800-522-4700Kansas Coalition on Problem Gambling
Kentucky1-800-426-2537Kentucky Council on Problem Gambling
Louisiana1-877-770-STOP (7867)Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling
Maryland1-800-GAMBLERMaryland Problem Gambling Helpline
Massachusetts1-800-327-5050Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health
Michigan1-800-270-7117Michigan Association on Problem Gambling
Minnesota800-333-HOPEMinnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling
Mississippi1-888-777-9696Mississippi Council on Problem & Compulsive Gambling
Missouri1-800-GAMBLERMissouri Department of Mental Health
Montana1-800-GAMBLERMontana Council on Problem Gambling
Nebraska1-800-GAMBLERNebraska Council on Problem Gambling
Nevada1-800-522-4700Nevada Council on Problem Gambling
New Hampshire603-724-1605New Hampshire Council on Problem Gambling
New Jersey1-800-GAMBLERNew Jersey Self-Exclusion
New Mexico1-800-GAMBLERNew Mexico Council on Problem Gambling
New York877-8-HOPENYNew York Council on Problem Gambling
North Carolina1-877-718-5543North Carolina Council on Problem Gambling
North Dakota1-800-GAMBLERNorth Dakota Department of Health
Ohio800-589-9966The Problem Gambling Network of Ohio
Oklahoma1-800-GAMBLEROklahoma Association on Problem Gambling and Gaming
Oregon1-877-695-4648Oregon Council on Problem Gambling
Pennsylvania1-800-GAMBLERPennsylvania Problem Gambling Helpline
Rhode Island1-800-GAMBLERRhode Island Council on Problem Gambling
South Carolina1-800-GAMBLERSouth Carolina Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services
South Dakota1-800-GAMBLERSouth Dakota Department of Social Services
Tennessee800-889-9789Tennessee Problem Gambling Helpline
Texas1-800-GAMBLERTexas Department of State Health Service
Utah1-800-GAMBLERUtah Department of Health
Vermont1-800-GAMBLERVermont Department of Health
Virginia 1-888-532-3500Virginia Council on Problem Gambling
Washington1-800-547-6133Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling
West Virginia1-800-GAMBLERThe Problem Gamblers Help Network of West Virginia
Wisconsin800-426-2535Wisconsin Council on Problem Gambling
Wyoming1-800-GAMBLERWyoming Council on Problem Gambling
Alec Cunningham is a lead writer and analyst for She has covered countless online sports betting and casino legislation topics and now specializes in responsible gambling and gambling addiction recovery. In 2022, she served as a panelist at the All-American Sports Betting Summit, discussing the ever-evolving role of women in the gambling industry. As a college athlete, Alec Cunningham played Division II golf at Tusculum University. She graduated in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Professional Writing. After working in the music industry as a concert promoter, tour manager and artist developer, she returned to her love of written word in 2020. Since then, Cunningham's love of sports has led her to become a responsible gambling advocate.