You’ll no doubt be aware that this week is Safer Gambling Week, and the reason for that is no doubt the fact that all the bookies have sent you the same copy and pasted email explaining how responsible and caring they are and “ if you need any help, just give us a shout”.
Of course, as you and I both know, they couldn’t give a toot about anyone or anything other than their bottom line, and the sole reason they’ve sent you the email is that they are required to do so.
I recently had a situation with one bookie (name and shame… BetMGM) where they wouldn’t verify my bank card as it was a virtual card and didn’t have numbers on it, so I couldn’t withdraw any money to it but, get this… they would still accept deposits from that card and bets on the account.
So yeah, they know where they can stick their faux concern.
Be safer AND smarter
That said, one thing I am fully supportive of is the increased range of gambling controls that are now available with the vast majority of bookies…
If you’ve never really delved into them, you could be forgiven for thinking that the only thing on offer is self-exclusion which, while clearly important, is only really for problem gamblers. However, there are actually a real variety, and plenty of these can be just as useful for those who don’t have a problem and, indeed, make a profit from their betting.
Here are three that I thought I’d highlight today:
Specific product restrictions
If you’re good enough, you can make a long-term profit from sports betting. The same cannot be said about casino, bingo or virtual sports. Most bookies now allow you to ban yourself from specific products while retaining full access to the others.
Now, you may think: “Why do I need to restrict myself? I just won’t use those products.”
But here’s the thing…
Why would you not restrict yourself?
Doing so removes all temptation (especially if you’ve had a really bad day with your sports bets and are getting the urge to chase) and there really is absolutely no benefit to having these products available to you…
A trip to the casino with mates can be fun. Sitting on your phone alone playing a slot machine when you could be doing a million other things is not.
Time specific exclusions
This is a goodie and one I utilise myself on bet365, where the majority of my betting bank is currently based.
Basically, you can set time periods where you won’t be allowed to bet and these automatically recur each week.
I have no need to place any bets between 8pm on a Friday and Saturday night and 7am the next morning. What I do often do on those nights is go out with friends for a few drinks.
As I hope you know by now, alcohol and betting are not great companions!
As with product restrictions, setting these exclusion periods has no negative impacts on your account as far as I can tell (the accounts in question are still eligible for sports promos/free bets etc) and, again, I just think it’s a bit of a no brainer.
Daily loss limits
Lastly, one that I’ve never used myself but could be helpful, especially to newcomers to the value betting game.
As you would expect, this tool prevents you from losing more than a certain amount in a 24 hour period by stopping you from placing bets after you’ve racked up a certain liability.
While it can be a bit awkward to use if you’re following a service (or your own strategy) with a wildly varying number of bets each day (remember, losing runs happen even with the very best tipsters/strategies!), I can see it being useful for somebody who gets the urge to chase losses, as it will give you the chance to cool off before getting back into the right headspace the following day.
What are your top smarter gambling tips?
I hope some of that has given you food for thought… As I said, these ‘safer gambling’ tools aren’t just for problem gamblers.
Having the right mindset is at least 50% of what makes profitable bettors profitable and if you can use an automatic tool to help with that (like not being able to bet when you’ve had one too many) then why would you not take advantage of it?
In that spirit, I’ll finish up today’s piece by asking for your top smarter gambling tips…
Send them in to email@example.com and if I get enough good ones, I’ll send out a follow up article later this week.