Responsible Gambling in Sports: How to Play it Safe

At Bet India, our team is committed to responsible gambling. We want to ensure that all of our readers are having a fun, safe experience while betting online. You see, fun and safe gambling can quickly spiral into an out-of-control addiction if not kept in check; all of us have heard countless stories on how gambling has destroyed lives. At the same time, we’ve also heard success stories of how strategised betting has led punters to good profits.

Image that reads: Building on a tradition of repsonsibility

We always want you to be in the second category. Hence why we’ve prepared this comprehensive responsible gambling guide! As professional gamblers, want to educate you on smart betting and the risks associated with gambling. Here you will find everything there is to know about addiction to betting, how to identify it. Most importantly, you’ll learn the necessary steps that need to be taken to overcome it.

So, let’s get started!

What is responsible gambling?

There are a lot of definitions on responsible gambling; ultimately, it depends on who you ask. But at its very core, responsible gambling entails betting on sports (or any other event) in a safe, responsible manner, without severely impacting your personal life or that of others around you. In other words, responsible gambling is what you should follow if you don’t want your betting to quickly turn into an addiction.

You see, you may start out as a casual punter and quickly perceive it more seriously. However, if you don’t follow this path with a set plan of action, rules, and strategies, you may soon find yourself in the dark side of problem gambling. It can lead to problems in finances, day-to-day life, personal relationships and even mental health. Therefore, your end goal here should be to ensure that your sports betting habit does not impact your personal life, professional life, or simply the opportunities you get in life. There is a fine line that you need to draw early on.

Responsible sports betting: the 7 tenets

To help you become more responsible with your betting, we have outlined our 7 principles of responsible sports betting. These have all been amassed from research and personal experience. Follow these and rest assured, your sports betting habit will never turn into an addiction.

Don’t chase your losses

A major problem with sports betting is that punters tend to get really excited while making bets and when they lose, they tend to go about winning that money back. A $10 lost bet may lead to a $20 bet next to recover that money back and so on. What this is is the start of a vicious cycle.

It’s been said of investments, stock markets, and even casino betting – we will say it here too – never chase your losses. Accept that you will have days where you may not win a lot and that is absolutely all right. You need to stick to your game plan and not deviate from the strategies you’ve prepared. It doesn’t matter how much you lost – tomorrow is a new day and things may be different.

That’s the beauty of sports betting – it’s reliant on teams and players. Like most things in life, they will have good days and bad days too. Just because India lost to Sri Lanka today doesn’t mean that it will be the case for the entire series. Forms turn around, players’ morale gets better. Keep a calm, composed mind throughout your journey and stick to your guns.

Bet on what you know

The second fundamental of sports betting is to bet on what you know. This includes the markets you’re confident with, the teams that you follow, and the sports that you love. Unlike casinos, the outcome of bets in sports depends on the team/player. And the more you know about the team and sport, the better position you will be in. In the same way, you should also understand how odds are set by the bookmakers and what they truly mean.

You should also make it a point to back your decision with some hard research and data – more on this later.

By doing so, you will be more confident about the bets you place and your chances of going wrong will be lower. The same holds good for different markets as well – from simple outright winner markets to complex events like Asian handicaps, both teams to score, the number of runs in cricket, the number of games in tennis, et cetera, you should stick to the ones that you’re aware of. Otherwise, you may lose your bet to a sheer technicality that you failed to understand previously.

Set a fixed budget – bankroll management

This should not only be a part of your responsible betting plan, but also of your bankroll management. It is imperative that you assign a fixed budget – it can be daily, weekly, or monthly. Once you cross this budget cap, do not try to exceed it by betting some more. It can be tempting, but it will be a deviation from your plan. Also, please ensure that this budget is disposable, that is, even if you were to lose all of it, it would not impact your financial commitments. After all, you have a budget for your house, rentals, and what not – why not have one for your bets as well?

Money and gambling on a scale to signify the balance between both

If you are interested in betting on multiple sports and have a sound knowledge of the same, this becomes even more important. Cricket, tennis, football – make sure to split your funds to each of these and stick to that. If you are in sports betting for the long run and are looking to make some extra money on the side, you can never go wrong by assigning a fixed budget and then proceed from there. As you get acquainted with your habits, results, and the type of bets you make, you can gradually increase your budget for greater returns.

This will take some planning, of course, but once you get it right, it is going to be a smooth ride going forward.

Make data-based decisions

In other words: Research! Research! Research! Let’s take the example of football betting on a match between Liverpool and Chelsea. You know the two teams are strong and it is going to be an action-packed affair, but what about the bets?

This is where research kicks in – you have your instincts which tell you that the match may end in a draw, or that both the teams are going to score. Whatever may be the case, checking out the statistics will not hurt your case. If anything, it will make your point better. Every move you make has to be driven by logic.

Look into the teams’ history, the players form, goal-scoring run, the head to head meetings in the past, their form in the tournament, and other similar factors to arrive at your decision. Similarly, in tennis betting, look at the past meetings of the two players and their recent form on the tour to wager a safe bet. Remember that statistics play an important role in picking the right bets in sports – it’s all about the numbers!

For instance, If the Royal Challengers Bangalore have an excellent track record at home against the other IPL teams (20 wins, 6 losses), it may be a safe bet to wager on them again in similar conditions!

You can further augment that knowledge by following pundits, previews, and betting tips like the ones found at Bet India. See the general consensus and build your bets on it. Of course, this won’t guarantee a 100% success rate but it will definitely up your chances significantly, rather than going by instinct or blind luck.

Track your bets

The importance of this cannot be emphasized enough, especially from the perspective of sports betting. Your success, in the long run, will be determined by the type of bets you place and the best way to make that happen is by identifying what works for you.

That’s why, you should get in the habit of tracking your bets, right from day one. Meticulously write down the matches you’re wagering on, the type of market, the amount, and the outcome of the bet. You can also make an excel sheet for the same! After a few weeks, you will have enough data to see what clicked and what didn’t and based on it, you can then formulate your betting strategies.

Image of an excel sheet that is used to track previous bets made

For example, if betting on tennis in a particular market is giving you good results – let’s say a win-rate of 70%, then you can safely assume it to be a good bet in the future too. However, for you to arrive at this conclusion, you need to have ample data – we are talking about 50-100 wagered matches at the very least. As we’ve said before, it’s all about the numbers.

Be patient and disciplined – keep emotions aside

It is often said that success in life comes with hard work, diligence, discipline and patience. The same holds good for sports betting too – to get success in the long run, you need to follow your strategies and stick to them, rather than winging it blindly. Winning $10 every day is certainly better than winning $100 on a single day on a crazy lucky bet and losing money on the other days. It will be difficult at the start but once you build this habit, you will find yourself navigating through this exciting world like a boss!

And while you are at it, always make it a habit to keep your emotions away. If you find yourself having a bad day or in a bad mood, it may not be a good idea to bet that day. Your judgement may be clouded by your emotions and this will only make it harder for you to pick the right selections.

Trust someone and share your journey

One of the best ways to keep your online sports gambling habit in check is by trusting someone close to you and sharing your experience with them. When you have a bad day in betting (you will, at some point in time), speak to your friends, a fellow punter, or relatives about it rather than feeling compelled to chase your losses. This way, you will be accountable not only to yourself but also to this person.

Keep them informed of your sports bets, your general experience, and how it is panning out for you. You don’t have to give all the details but as long as they know what’s going on with you, they will help you keep your habit in check. Remember that even though sports betting may be a taboo in India, there is no shame in talking about it as long as you do it responsibly. Plus, if you ever feel that your habit is getting out of control, you will have someone to talk to.

Sports betting and gambling addiction – the tell-tale signs

Fun and casual sports betting can quickly, and very subtly, turn into addiction without you even realising it. So it is important that you are self-aware of your betting habits. 

6 warning signs to identify when there is a problem

As a rule of thumb, you have a gambling addiction if you have the urge to gamble constantly, despite knowing of its severe consequences. There’s no self-control, no strategy – just an addiction you need to feed.

To help you in this endeavour, we have prepared this short list of tell-tale signs of problematic sports gambling. It is also a self-assessment of sorts for you to see where you stand. Furthermore, you will also find similar self-assessments at all leading sportsbooks.

  1. Lying about gambling to those around you
  2. Chasing your losses
  3. Losing track of time and gambling for longer than you intend to
  4. Feeling restless when you’re not gambling
  5. Feelings of guilt about your gambling habits and the consequences of it
  6. Borrowing/Stealing money or selling your belongings to fulfil your betting habits
  7. Always betting more than you need to and increasing bet sizes to get that rush
  8. Scheduling your life around gambling
  9. Obsessing with gambling
  10. Betting until you’re out of money
  11. Neglecting your family, friends, and work because of gambling
  12. Betting recklessly, without a plan
  13. Deteriorating mental and physical health due to gambling
  14. Using gambling as a way to elevate your mood when you’re feeling down
  15. Unable to stop gambling or stop thinking about gambling
  16. Massive debt incurred due to gambling
  17. Gambling with money meant for other crucial expenses

If you find yourself in this category, we recommend that you take urgent action. You may have a problem with sports betting but, with some help, you can kick this habit to the curb and get back to living your life to the fullest. There are many ways to go about it – let’s take a look at how to overcome sports betting addiction.

How to limit your gambling

A great thing about playing at reputed bookmakers is that they have several measures already in place, to control your gambling. They have implemented several features like time-outs, self-exclusions, reality checks, deposit limits, among others to keep your betting habits in check. You will also find a plethora of resources on the same subject for you to understand and overcome your addiction. And if you feel that this isn’t enough for you, just get in touch with the customer team and they will help you out. You can have them block your account for a fixed period of time, or delete it permanently. If you want to explore what it looks like, the set of tools designed by LeoVegas is a good place to start.

Deposit Limit

As the name suggests, this tool is particularly handy in setting up deposit limits on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Once you reach the deposit limit, you won’t be able to make any more deposits until the stated time period has passed. It should be used by all the punters, especially those who are inclined to spend more money on betting than they originally intended. Depending on your preferences, you can set the deposit limit directly from your sportsbook account.

Loss Limit

Loss limits are a bit similar to your deposit limits, except they are intended to control the losses you incur daily, weekly, or monthly. Once you have lost the set amount, you will not be able to bet anymore, hence limiting the amount you lose. This is particularly useful if you are prone to chasing your losses, or are simply losing a lot of money.

Wagering Limit

Last of the three limits, wagering limit allows you to put a cap on how much you can wager on daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Once you have reached the cap, you will not be able to bet anymore, hence allowing you to lock in your profits and giving you the time to withdraw your winnings successfully, rather than betting continuously.

Session Limit

Session Limit has got more to do with how much time you spend on the site. Once you log in and set up the session limit, you will be reminded, a few minutes before, that you’ve spent so much time on the sportsbook site. Then, you will be logged out automatically from your account. It is a terrific way to get a reality check and realize that there is more to your day than just betting.

In the same way, Time Alert will allow you to track your time on the site and inform you about the duration of your gaming sessions.

Self-Exclusion

As you may know, sometimes, you need to take a break from your relationship not because it’s getting suffocated, but because it’s much needed. You know that you will benefit from this break. The same holds good for sports betting too. With Self-Exclusion, you can now choose to close your account for a fixed period of time, chosen by you. Generally, you will be required to contact customer support for this, but rest assured, this is a terrific measure to keep your gambling in check.

How to treat sports betting addiction

Just like treating any addiction, the first step is to realise and accept that you have a problem. Only after that can you focus on treating yourself and recovering from the problem. Admittedly, it will be a long road to recovery but with some effort, you will be successful. It’s all about being self-aware and taking the necessary steps to recovery.

Even though gambling is somewhat of a taboo in India, it doesn’t mean that there is no help available. There are two leading support organisations in the world which specialise in treating gambling addiction:

Gamblers Anonymous

Gamblers Anonymous may seem like a very straight-forward website at first, but don’t be fooled by it. What they have is an extensive international database of meetings and support groups, including those in India. With that, you will also find a few links to helpful questions and answers to help you understand your addiction better.

Numbers of Gamblers Anonymous meetings in India

Numbers of Gamblers Anonymous meetings in India

Gambling Therapy

Gambling Therapy is undoubtedly among the most popular portal when it comes to overcoming gambling addiction. Whether it’s sports or casino, this platform offers help in multiple languages, including Hindi, English, and Punjabi. There are support groups, support forums, and even the option of getting live support. That’s right, you can speak to another person in real-time about your problem. Additionally, you will find self-help resources, information, and other literature prepared by experts in the field.

Seek Professional Help 

While you do have the option of speaking to your friends and family about your problem, you can also approach a professional psychologist/counsellor to treat your problem. You can dig deeper into the psyche of it and understand why gambling and sports betting is a disastrous trigger for you. This is where you will be diving deeper into the bottom of the problem pit. Undoubtedly, it won’t be nice but if you get through the hard part, the rest becomes easy.

It’s possible, it just requires effort

The stages of recovering from gambling addiction

Contrary to what people in India say, sports betting can be fun and engaging if you do it responsibly. With some discipline and strategy, it’s possible to make some decent money in the long run. Just remember to leave emotions out of it and rely on logic and data to place your bets.

We are committed to helping you achieve the same while abiding by the core tenets of responsible sports betting. All the best!