Responsible gambling is a concept to which modern bookmakers now pay more than just lip service, which has got to be a good thing for punters and society in general. Whether this change in attitude has come about due to legal compulsion, a sense of doing what’s right (possible but we rank it a 50/1 shot), or because they have realised it is better, in the long run, for business is a matter of opinion.
Deposit limits are a key tool for punters looking to make a first step towards keeping their gambling at a level at which they are comfortable and it is a really useful facility. In this article we will take a look at what deposit limits are, how they work, what your options are, and how you go about setting them and changing them.
What Are Deposit Limits?
Deposit limits are fairly self-explanatory: they are a tool that allows you to restrict how much money you can add to your online betting account. They are offered by virtually all forms of betting site, be that an online casino, a bookie, a bingo site or anything else. They are voluntary and so many punters do not use them and thankfully the majority of people who gamble do not really need to.
That said, many people may from time to time feel they are betting and losing too much money. The easiest way to control this is by setting up a deposit limit, which will put a physical limit on how much money you can add to your account and therefore set an absolute maximum you can lose within any given period.
What Options Do I Have?
The precise options you have when it comes to deposit limits will vary from betting site to betting site. The two obvious factors are how much money you want to be able to deposit and over what time period you want that to be.
So, for example, you may decide that you do not want to lose more than £10 per day. Alternatively, you may decide that you are comfortable losing 5% of your salary, in a worst-case scenario. As such you may decide that a deposit limit of £100 per month is appropriate (assuming you take home £2,000 per month).
Most sites will allow you to set more than one limit, so you can, for example, have a daily, a weekly limit and a monthly limit with some sites. What limits you decide on will depend on what you are trying to achieve, how much you are comfortable risking and what your “weaknesses” are. By this, we mean that someone prone to chasing losses in the heat of the moment will probably need to focus more on their daily limit. On the other hand, if you are someone who ends up betting every day and then is surprised by how much you have spent at the end of the month, a weekly or monthly limit might be more suitable.
Obviously you cannot have contradictory limits – for example £100 a day but £50 per month. You can, though, have logical, increasing limits, to give you maximum control. So you might, for example, opt for a limit of £10 per day, £50 per week and £150 per month. Note that although most sites offer daily, weekly and monthly limit options, some may not offer the ability to select all three. Equally, as said, the level of the limits may vary between sites.
The very best bookies will allow very low limits even for the monthly option, with some allowing you to enter whatever limit you like. Others though will use a dropdown box with pre-set limit values that may perhaps be higher than you would ideally like. In addition, the lowest options for the weekly and monthly may be higher than the lowest for the daily limit.
Setting Up A Deposit Limit At A Bookie
Once again, the precise steps and process will vary from one bookmaker to the next. Offering deposit limits is now a legal requirement for UK-licensed betting sites and the best online bookies prompt you to set up a limit when you first register. Typically, once you have completed your signup and added all relevant personal details, you will be asked whether you want to set up a limit. Some sites go even further and automatically take you to the deposit limit page where you can choose to either set one up or confirm that you are happy to proceed with no limit.
Other bookies, and usually (but not always) it is smaller and/or newer and/or slightly less reputable ones, will not do this. Instead, if you decide at any point you want to set up a deposit limit you will have to be proactive about it. In theory, doing this should be easy but sometimes navigating to the right part of the site is tricky and you may have to click through a few links first.
You should find some form of responsible gambling tab or hub in one of the homepage sidebars, at the bottom of the page, or via the “My Account” (or similar section). You should be looking for either “Responsible Gambling”, “Player Protection” or something similar to that. If you have any issues just contact customer service (by live chat where available) and they should be able to point you in the right direction.
Once you have found the right area of the site you may see various options, including other responsible gambling tools such as time out, cool off, self-exclusion and links to resources such as GamCare and GAMSTOP. Select deposit limit you and you should see the various options previously discussed. All you need to do now is decide on what limits you want to set and go through the steps as per the site in question to establish the maximum amount you will be able to place into your betting account in each time period.
At this stage, you should see information about the steps needed to alter your limits in the future (see below for more info). You will also probably have to click at least once to confirm you want to set up these deposit limits. Deposit limits should become active immediately but we have seen at least one in the past that did not and instead made players wait 24 hours. Which is not the most responsible bookie behaviour we’ve ever seen.
Can You Change Deposit Limits?
You can choose to change your limits at any time. If you decide that your initial limits were too high and you want to reduce them, just follow the steps outlined above and set new, lower ones. Reductions to limits will almost always take effect immediately.
If you decide that you want to increase your limit, or remove deposit limits completely, such a change will take 24 hours before being made. If you have a hot tip for a race or really want to have a bet on the big game, that can be very frustrating. However, the delay in activating the new higher limit is vital to make limits effective. That 24 hour cooling off period gives punters a chance to decide whether they really do want to deposit and bet more. It prevents bettors from chasing losses, or at least gives them time to think more calmly about it.
What Happens If I Try To Make A Deposit?
There is, again, some variation between how sites handle this but the one thing that is the same is that any attempt to deposit more than your pre-agreed limit will be declined. You may get an error message when entering the amount and at the best sites it will be made clear how much of any limit you have remaining, so you know how much you can deposit.
At some sites you will receive far less information and it may be unclear whether the transaction has been declined by the bank/card provider/e-wallet, or that it is because you have a deposit limit you may have forgotten about or not realised you have triggered. Either way though, the transaction will never be made and will not be sent to your payment provider.
Should I Set A Deposit Limit?
If you’re thinking of setting a deposit limit then the chances are that the answer to this question is yes you should. Deposit limits are a really simple way to make sure you don’t bet more than you are comfortable with or than you can afford. Of course, you can always use another bookie to make bets, so if your concerns are more serious then an alternative solution may be best.
However, for many punters who want to keep on gambling but just have a little bit more control, deposit limits are the perfect option. If you set them up with your main, favourite bookie, the one whose app you have on your phone and that you usually use, the chances are that they will be a really effective way to make you think twice about chasing any losses or betting more than you can afford. Even just that slight pause where you think “I’ll visit the website of bookie X instead” or “I’ll open an account with a different firm”, can often be enough to make you realise that it is a bad idea.
We’re a big fan of using deposit limits as you might have guessed. Even if you do not have any form of gambling problem, setting them up when you first register at a new bookie is a good call and might just save you from having one bet too many, making a silly bet for more than you want, or just betting beyond your means.
If you are concerned about your gambling, more help and information can be found here.