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Responsible gambling initiatives at Time2play CA

Written by
Checked by Elena I.

Our goal is to serve up the best possible player experience. Responsible gambling is a huge part of that.

At Time2play, we pride ourselves on being a transparent brand you can trust, and we’ve implemented a whole host of initiatives to transform that vision into reality.   

From an optimized scoring system to a player-centric community, here are the top things we’re doing to promote responsible gambling on our platform and the industry at large.

How we support responsible gambling

Casino review with thumbs up and down buttons and a mouse pointer over the checkmark sign

Transparent ratings from real experts

We use the same criteria to rate online gambling sites – everyone gets the same test, and we give numeric scores based on concrete, measurable benchmarks. Our rating criteria are publicly available, so you can see that we’re not just making up numbers. 

A player with review rating and thumbs up sign

Real, unedited player reviews

We encourage our readers to get involved. More voices = better quality, as far as we’re concerned. We want to hear from you, and we want you to tell us why you like/dislike each gambling site. It’s valuable to other players, and it’s useful for our own reviewing process too.

Arrow with rating bubble and Time2play logo

The Playscore – a marketwide view

We’re not afraid to put our cards on the table. Our Playscore crawls the web for as many reviews as it can find and amalgamates them into one easy average score. We’ll tell you what we think about each gambling site, and we’ll show you what everyone else thinks too.

Handshake next to Time2play expert rating score

No paid ranking boosts

This goes hand-in-hand with our transparent rating system. If everyone can see what it takes to get a good score, it’d look pretty weird if worse places started ranking high. The top spots in our tables are based solely on our own opinions, and we don’t rent them out to any operator with a chequebook.

People in front of cards and roulette wheel

A real community

We encourage you to sign up to Time2play and engage with each other on our forums. We think we’re pretty good at rating gambling sites, but we don’t want it to be just us. Hear from other players, learn from real people, support and advise each other. That’s how we win. 

Globe icon with a magnifying glass and shopping cart

A comprehensive one-stop shop

We’re aiming to expand to every major vertical of the global market, so our community, Playscores, and open systems will be available for whatever operator you want to get the dirt on.

Why we support responsible gambling

Betting is one of humanity’s oldest forms of fun, and we’ve all heard stories about lucky players who’ve done well for themselves. But the effects of problem gambling can be devastating, both to individuals and families. 

Gambling has its dangers, but with help available and protections in place, they’re mitigated. We’re committed to doing our part there. Here are some of the reasons why we take a pro-player and pro-people stance in the online gambling industry:

  • Widespread Issue

    Widespread issue

    Over 19.3 million Canadians are active gamblers, with an estimated 2% of the entire population over the age of 15 experiencing gambling-related harms.

  • Withdrawals

    Economic problems

    Problem gamblers can rack up debt very quickly, and are significantly more likely to have severe financial issues than nongamblers. 

  • Work Issues

    Work trouble

    Severe problem gambling is linked to a range of negative consequences which affect work.

  • hammer

    Crime association

    Research shows that problem gambling is linked to increased crime, with most severe cases of criminal behaviour aimed at procuring money to pay debts or chase losses.

  • Nav Home

    Family trouble

    Those receiving treatment for pathological gambling often report losing or endangering a relationship because of gambling. 

  • Kids

    The kids

    According to PA gaming regulators, up to 15% of US/Canadian youth have demonstrated gambling symptoms. Also, children of problem gamblers have shown an increased risk of mental health issues, including depression and suicide.

We show sections highlighting these risks on many of our pages. Why? We’ve got a few reasons:

  • Check Round (1)

    Safety

    We want you to remain safe and have the best gambling experience possible.

  • Check Round (1)

    Transparency

    We’re not afraid to address the downsides and risks associated with gambling.

  • Check Round (1)

    Clarity

    They clearly demonstrate why responsible gambling  is so important for the industry.

The rest of this page discusses how we can best avoid falling into the traps of problem gambling and what we can do to climb back up.

How can we gamble responsibly?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all definition of responsible gambling. It’s a broad set of initiatives by lawmakers and operators to promote fairness in the industry and to combat the potential harms associated with gambling. 

In Canada, the most common initiatives we find are dedicated pages on gambling sites and through regulatory bodies, guiding players to their responsible gambling tools and external help organizations. These are often province-specific and legally required by a gambling site in order to get its licence. You’ll usually recognise the seals by the RG stamped across them – it’ll be the same logo on all legal sites in a given province. 

Fair games are an important part of responsible gambling too – any casino site will need to have its games audited to make sure they pay out regularly and aren’t overwhelmingly favouring the house. This sort of stuff is usually handled by each province’s gaming control board. In Ontario, for example, it’s the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and its subsidiary iGaming Ontario. 

While legal protections are in place, there are plenty of things we ourselves can do to drill into the safe side of things.

  • Real Money

    Money management

    Setting budgets before gambling is one of the most effective practices we’ve come across. It’s way easier to stop when you set yourself a hard number. Make sure it’s a number you can afford, and stick to it. Stopping at the finish line between black and white is an easier job than slowing down in the shades of grey.

  • balanza

    Expectation management

    One of gambling’s biggest myths: if you play long enough, you’re guaranteed a big win. You’re not. Think back on your favourite sporting comebacks, and you’ll know wins are never set in stone. With casino games, RNG software is legally required – it means casinos can’t deliberately take advantage of you, but it also means nothing, be it win or loss, is guaranteed.

  • Cuando Parar Stop

    Know when to stop

    Chasing losses is one of the worst things you can do in terms of responsible play. If you’re in a hole, you need to know when to stop digging. Setting budgets can help you here too.

  • Mantente Informado

    Ask for help

    Just about every task in life is easier when you’ve got someone to rely on. Never be afraid to reach out and ask for help. It may be hard, but the benefits far outweigh the risks. If turning to those closest to you is too hard, there are professional organizations you can reach out to, which specialize in helping struggling players.

Gambling addiction – tips on spotting the signs

Even if you know about responsible gambling, spotting the signs of problem gambling isn’t always an easy task. You may think the signs would be obvious, but never write off the possibility – remember, prevention is always better than cure. 

We’ve put together a list of tips that could help you flag the warning signs.

Halt hand sign next to chip and coins
Tip 1

Stop cold turkey and see how you feel

Try to spend a few days without gambling. Is it harder than you thought it would be? Do you find yourself snappy and irritable at all? How often do you think about gambling? If you’re unhappy with any of the answers to these questions, you may want to think about reaching out.

Warning sign next to a house
Tip 2

Analyze your money trail

What part of your budget does your gambling money come from? Have you ever had to cut back on living expenses to fund your gambling? Have you ever borrowed money to gamble or stolen it? These are all clear warning signs.

Downward arrow behind coins, cash and dice
Tip 3

Think back over your losses

Have you ever ‘chased a loss’ – lost more than you wanted to, then lost even more trying to win it back? Has a loss ever made you feel stressed and distraught? Have you ever lied about losses, especially to those closest to you?

Parents and a kid inside a roulette wheel
Tip 4

Ask your friends and family

What does your family think about your gambling? Does it affect your relationships with them or your friends? Are you relying on them to fund your gambling?

The signs mentioned are heavily linked to gambling addiction. That being said, we’re not here to diagnose you. That’s not our job, and it’s not yours either. If these signs have aroused any concern, reach out to a professional, and they’ll have achieved their function. You should never self-diagnose without consulting an expert.

Do you need help?

If you’ve decided to reach out, you’ve got options. There are plenty of support organizations that provide help to those who want to control their gambling better.

ConnexOntario

ConnexOntario provides free and confidential health services related to problem gambling, substance abuse and mental health in over 170 languages. The organization is the most comprehensive database of addiction and mental health services in Canada, offering current and accurate data on support groups, crisis helplines, emergency assistance and other related services. You can contact ConnexOntario 24/7 via Live Chat, email or phone (1-866-531-2600). For help outside of Ontario and other resources, visit responsiblegambling.org.

Gambling Therapy

Gambling Therapy is a free global service offering assistance, like advice, consultations and therapy, to those in need. Whether you are experiencing gambling-related harms or are affected by someone who is, Gambling Therapy can help you set foot on the right track. 

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Collaborating Centre and is Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital and one of the world’s leading research centres in its field. CAMH is affiliated with the University of Toronto and offers information on addiction and gambling as well as care and treatment while being the driving force behind preventative initiatives and gambling-related social change. 

Gam-Anon

Gam-Anon is an international support network that holds meetings all across the world, offering experience, strength and hope through a 12-step self-help fellowship aimed at coping with emotional, mental, spiritual and financial troubles caused by problem gambling. 

Gamblers Anonymous

Operating since 1957, Gamblers Anonymous is a community organization, describing itself as having only one membership requirement – a desire to stop gambling. It runs hotlines in multiple provinces and has a web tool to help its users locate nearby meetings.

Government pages

Regulators who license gambling operations often have pages dedicated to responsible gambling. The AGCO and iGamingOntario are good examples, but check your local government website to see what else is available for you.

Other responsible gambling tools

Other self-help options are available beyond contacting support organisations.

Many gambling sites keep a log of every bet you have made, all your wins and all your losses. This can help you get a complete overview of your gambling, and help you decide when to stop.

These tend to work a little differently, depending on the operator. However, the basic premise is that players will be able to set a pop-up which reminds them of gambling risks at frequent intervals. The interval can be based on money spent, time spent, etc.

There are plenty of free self-tests available online that can indicate whether your gambling is problematic. Of course, these shouldn’t be taken as professional diagnoses, but they can help spur players toward getting help.

Operator-provided responsible gambling tools

Canadian gambling sites, especially online casinos, are legally required to have account tools to help you control your play. These usually include features like the ones listed here. 

Protecting minors

Protecting minors from gambling is extremely important. For one thing, underage gambling is a serious criminal offense, and no gambling site will ever pay out illegal winnings. Research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the University of Waterloo found that nearly 10% of teens in three Canadian provinces said that they have gambled in the last three months and that those who found their way to online gambling were more likely to engage in multiple forms of betting. Among these adolescents, 36% had a score indicating harmful gambling behaviours on a scale measuring problem gambling versus 8% among offline-only underage gamblers.

Additionally, a separate study by Huang and Boyer found that young males engaged in gambling activities more than females; furthermore, the at-risk and problem gamblers were almost two or three times, respectively, more likely to be young males than females, with most instances of at-risk or problem gambling occurring in low-income households.

Fortunately, there are things we can do to try to limit exposure as much as possible. Parental control apps such as Kidlogger and Qustodio give parents the ability to monitor kids’ internet use and filter out potentially harmful content. Software which completely blocks all online gambling also exists, but be careful not to shoot yourself in the foot if you enjoy the occasional bet too.

Legal age by province

The ages of 18 and 19 are the big milestones for legal gambling in Canada – the specifics tend to vary by province, and some forms of gambling are regulated differently. While Ontarians may gamble once they hit 19, for example, lottery tickets can be purchased at 18.

Region Legal age – casino Legal age – sports betting
Alberta 18 18
British Columbia 19 19
Calgary 18 18
Manitoba 18 18
Montreal 18 18
New Brunswick 19 19
Newfoundland and Labrador 19 19
NW Territories 19 19
Nova Scotia 19 19
Ontario 19 19
Ottawa 18 18
Prince Edward Island 19 19
Quebec 18 18
Saskatchewan 19 19
Toronto 19 19
Vancouver 19 19
Yukon 19 19

Other vulnerable groups

Minors aren’t the only demographic who are disproportionately at risk from the dangers of gambling. We believe in the value of bringing attention to those who are most at risk and highlighting their struggles. Together, we can provide knowledge and build a better, stronger, safer gambling environment for all.

FAQs

What is responsible gambling?

There is no exhaustive definition of responsible gambling. However, it is largely concerned with employing processes, primarily set by lawmakers and gambling operators, which aim to make the gambling industry a better place, both through fairness initiatives and player protection.

Why is responsible gambling important?

Responsible gambling initiatives help protect vulnerable players. They also prevent legal and licensed casinos from employing predatory practices to extract money from the general gambling population.

How can I gamble responsibly?

Apart from using the responsible gambling tools provided by operators, you can employ some tips such as budget-setting, managing expectations, knowing when to stop and asking for help. More details can be found in our section on gambling responsibly.

What are responsible gambling tools?

Operators in Canada are legally mandated to provide tools which allow players to impose limits on their gambling, giving them increased control over it. These include limits on play time and financial losses and even include the power to temporarily or semi-permanently ban yourself from all gambling activities. Learn more in our section on responsible gambling tools.

Where can I get help for problem gambling?

There are various organizations that help gamblers across Canada to find support at critical moments. Some of the most prominent are ConnexOntario, Gamblers Anonymous and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. A longer list can be found in our Get Help section.

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