April 9, 2024

Casino Class 101: How to Use Safer Gambling Tools in New Zealand

When it comes to NZ’s online casinos, ensuring a safe gaming environment is essential for passionate players. In this article, we’re going to be discussing safer gambling tools and the role they play in maintaining a healthy relationship with gambling. By embracing these fundamentals, players can confidently explore the dynamic online casino scene, enjoying their gaming experience while ensuring their personal interests are protected.

No one wants to completely upturn their life just to have some fun and entertainment, which is why equipping oneself with the right knowledge and tools becomes crucial. Because here’s the hard truth: Anyone can fall victim to addiction, especially when it’s at your fingertips every day. You don’t even have to make the drive to a bar or casino to achieve that mental escape.

Being highly accessible (anytime, anywhere) is what makes online gambling so easy to abuse. But it’s also easier to put helpful mechanisms in place for yourself. At the end of the day, you’re in control of your activity online ‒ not a dealer, not the slot machine, not your competition, not your friends.

New Zealand is proactive in helping online gamblers prioritise their own safety and well-being. The DIA (Department of Internal Affairs) strictly monitors casino companies and encourages players to select secure platforms, protect personal information, and practise responsible gambling. Today, we’ll focus more on responsible gambling, providing you with our safer gambling toolkit.

What are Safer Gambling Tools?

It’s important to realise that even the top online casinos in NZ have a goal of keeping you playing and depositing money. And unlike brick-and-mortar casinos, there are no humans around to keep you in check. The responsibility of ensuring you don’t take things too far lies solely on you.

The players that get to the point of spiralling out of control and fighting addiction don’t think critically about their relationship to gambling. That said, the purpose of these tools is to keep you thinking and assessing how much control virtual casino games have over your life.

These tools are all available at your fingertips, just like online casinos are. If you utilise them, you’ll be in a better position to prevent gambling-related issues and contribute to a safe gambling environment for yourself and others. Adopting responsible gaming practices not only protects your financial health but also cultivates a more enjoyable and wholesome gambling experience.

Types of Safer Gambling Tools for Kiwi Players

Self-assessment tools: Many gambling websites offer self-assessment tools as a part of their responsible gambling initiatives. These usually come in the form of an anonymous questionnaire and provide a score of your risk, feedback, education, and resources. If you’re not sure where to start, PGF (Problem Gambling Foundation) has this self-assessment test to learn more about your relationship with gambling and how it compares to others in New Zealand.

Deposit limits: Many top online casinos in NZ allow their players to set daily, weekly, or monthly deposit limits, specifying the maximum amount of money you’re allowed to deposit into your gambling account. Once the limit is reached, the website typically prevents you from depositing any more funds until the limit period resets.

Loss limits: Similar to deposit limits, you can also set loss limits to control how much money you are willing to lose during a specific timeframe. Once the cumulative losses reach the predefined limit, the website may take action to restrict further gameplay or notify the user.

Time-out periods: Time-out periods allow players to take a break from gambling by suspending access to the website. You can initiate a time-out period through your account settings or by contacting customer support. During this period, you’ll be unable to access your account and engage in any gambling activities on the website.

Self-exclusion mechanisms: Like time-out periods, self-exclusion methods prohibit players from accessing an online gambling site to help fight addictive tendencies. There are a few different mechanisms to look into, including voluntary exclusion programs, self-initiated exclusion programs, multi-operator exclusion schemes, or blocking software.

Reality checks via play history: Online gambling websites will typically provide access to your play history, letting you review past gambling activities. Checking play history can help individuals keep their online gambling behaviour in check by providing insights into their betting patterns, spending habits, and overall activity.

How to Access and Use Safer Gambling Tools in New Zealand

With the internet at your fingertips, you have plenty of options for utilising safer gambling tools. To start out, you can go straight to the ‘Responsible Gambling’ section of your favourite online casinos. These sections are often easily accessible from the main navigation menu or through prominent links or buttons on the website.

You should also be able to find self-exclusion tools, time-out periods, and your play history by navigating to your account on the website. Keep these pages open in a tab when gambling to have resources only one click away if you feel yourself in an addictive spiral.

Lastly, there are many New Zealand foundations and organisations found online that specialise in safer gambling tools, as well as resources and education to recognise a problem and employ solutions.

Best Practices for Responsible Gambling at NZ Casinos

Establishing realistic limits for your online gambling activities comes first and foremost. Your “limit” may come in the form of time spent, money spent, or even how emotionally spent you are. If you enjoy the NZ online casino scene but want to feel more in control of the experience, create a list of limits.

  • Financial limits: Set a budget for gambling activities that’s affordable and aligns with your financial situation. How much money can be comfortably spent on gambling without causing financial strain?
  • Time limits: Establish boundaries on the amount of time spent gambling to prevent excessive or compulsive behaviour. Set a timer on your phone and commit to being done when it rings.
  • Emotional limits: Be aware of emotional triggers that may lead to unhealthy gambling behaviours. These emotions could be stress, boredom, obsessiveness, or loneliness.

Limits need accountability to work. Be accountable for your own gambling behaviour by regularly reviewing and reassessing limits to ensure they remain realistic and effective.

Furthermore, you likely won’t bother helping yourself if you don’t see a problem in the first place. A key aspect of responsible gambling is recognising warning signs and taking them seriously. If you ever find yourself in the following situations, it’s imperative that you take a break, seek help, and reassess your relationship with gambling:

  • You overspend on casino games beyond the intended limits.
  • You find yourself betting with increasing amounts of money.
  • You lie about your gambling behaviour to conceal its extent.
  • You attempt to recover lost funds by chasing those losses.
  • You are experiencing financial hardship or significant financial loss due to your gambling activities.

New Zealand is a country that’s not blind to the grip that gambling addiction has on many of its citizens, which is why Kiwis will find an abundance of resources for recovery. Here are a few of our favourites:

Call Gambling Helpline Aotearoa at 0800-654-655 or text 8006 for free support and the option to stay anonymous. Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Keep the Problem Gambling Foundation open in a tab on your computer when visiting online casino sites. You can chat with a support person right on their website, call 0800-664-262, text 5819, or email [email protected]

Learn more about gambling with Healthify. Knowledge is power!

Using NZ Online Casinos with Safer Gambling Tools

Now that you know everything you need to know about responsible gambling, make sure to choose NZ online casinos that align with that knowledge. Before you register with an online casino—or even look at the game selection—make sure they have safer gambling tools readily available.

You should find a dedicated section on the homepage, on the footer menu, or in the main navigation. Furthermore, you should always be able to receive help for problem gambling when you contact the online casino’s support centre. Some of the best online casinos in NZ will even prompt you to personalise your responsible gaming settings from the get-go as you create your account.

Going Forward: Embracing Safe Gambling Habits

In order to get the maximum joy and entertainment from online casinos, you should do everything possible to avoid falling victim to addictive or destructive behaviours. Dealing with problem gambling is a surefire way to strip any fun out of the activity.

Embracing safe gambling and enacting on the tools described above will ensure that this form of entertainment remains just that: entertainment. Be proactive in your quest for responsible gambling and you’re sure to have a more positive online gambling experience. Lastly, refer to our list of top online casinos in NZ that encourage responsible gambling and provide an abundance of safer gambling tools.

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