By Ethan Parker - November 10, 2023

Are you an online gambling enthusiast or just getting started? Learn about reality checks, their importance for responsible gambling, and the features to look for in an ideal online gambling platform. Additionally, learn how to set up reality checks on your gambling account, monitor your behavior, and maintain responsible gambling habits. Please stay safe and gamble responsibly with our curated guide to understanding reality checks.

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Online gambling is a growing industry that offers various games and betting options across multiple platforms, making it easily accessible to anyone with a stable internet connection. While the convenience and variety of options are alluring, it also comes with the risk of addictive behavior and potential financial harm. Some online gambling operators have adopted reality checks to minimize these risks, which helps players monitor their gambling activity and make informed decisions.

Defining reality checks

Reality checks are notifications or alerts triggered during a player’s gambling session to help them understand the time they have spent playing, the amount they have wagered or lost, and any information that may help them make responsible decisions. They are designed to interrupt gameplay and provoke reflection on their gambling habits temporarily. 

Reality checks serve as a critical reminder for players to maintain self-control and to recognize any developing patterns of excessive or compulsive gambling. Casino operators increasingly incorporate these tools into responsible gambling strategies to promote safe and sustainable online gambling. They can be customized by the player to their preferences and are often required by regulators in jurisdictions where online gambling is legally authorized to help protect consumers and reduce the harmful effects of gambling.

The importance of reality checks

The primary purpose of reality checks is to foster responsible gambling behavior by:


Promoting self-awareness: Reality checks prompt players to stop and evaluate their gambling activity and their playing time. It helps them stay mindful of the potential risks and consequences of excessive gambling.


Enabling informed decision-making: By providing statistics on wagering, winnings, and losses, reality checks give players a realistic overview of their current situation. It helps them decide whether to continue playing or stop and take a break.


Mitigating addiction risks: Frequent and timely reality checks can interrupt the continuous play loop, leading to addictive behavior. By encouraging players to pause and reflect, reality checks contribute to identifying and preventing problem gambling habits.


Complying with regulations: In many jurisdictions, incorporating reality checks into online gambling platforms is legally required to protect players and promote responsible gambling practices.

Features of a typical reality check-in online gambling

While the specific features of reality checks may vary between different operators, most incorporate these essential characteristics:


Customizable time intervals: Players can set the frequency at which reality checks are triggered, such as every 30 minutes, 1 hour, or 2 hours. This feature allows individual preferences and needs to be taken into account.


Timer displays: Many reality check tools include a timer on the screen to help players keep track of the time spent gambling. It adds an extra layer of awareness throughout the gaming session.


Summary notifications: When the set time interval elapses, a pop-up message or notification appears on the screen, displaying relevant information such as total time spent playing, total amount wagered, and net profit or los


Options to continue or quit: Reality checks offer players the choice to continue playing or stop and exit the game. Sometimes, operators might impose a mandatory cool-off period before resuming play, allowing the player to make a more conscious decision.


Links to support and advice: Reality checks often provide direct access to responsible gambling resources, including help and advice on problem gambling and self-exclusion options. This feature ensures that players can find help quickly and easily if needed.

By integrating reality checks into their platforms, online gambling operators can foster a safer and more responsible gambling environment. Players benefit from increased awareness, enhanced decision-making, and a more enjoyable experience overall.

When it comes to online gambling, choosing the right platform is crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. There are many factors to consider when selecting such a platform, and here is the importance of ensuring a safe and secure platform, comparing reality check options among various platforms, and assessing customer support and responsiveness.

  • Ensuring a Safe and Secure Platform

    Safety and security should be top priorities when selecting an online gambling platform. Several aspects must be considered to ensure a safe and secure gambling experience. 

    Licensing and Regulation: Before signing up with any online gambling platform, ensure it is licensed and regulated by a reputable organization in its jurisdiction. Well-known regulatory bodies include the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), and the Curacao eGaming Authority. Licensed and regulated platforms are more likely to provide fair gaming, protect your personal information, and ensure responsible gambling.

    SSL Encryption: Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption is crucial to online security, ensuring your personal information and financial transactions are safe from hackers. Check if the platform uses SSL encryption by looking for a padlock icon in the URL bar and “https://” at the beginning of the website address.

    User Reviews: Reading user reviews can give you an idea of the experiences others have had with the platform. Look for those mentioning security and safety issues and discussing user experiences. Pay attention to the recurring themes across different reviews, which might indicate a consistent issue.

  • Comparing Reality Check Options Among Various Platforms

    Responsible gambling features like reality check options can help players monitor their online gambling habits and prevent potential problems. Before choosing an online gambling platform, ensure it offers appropriate tools for responsible gambling. These may include:

    Time Limits: Some platforms allow you to set time limits for your gambling sessions, ensuring you don’t spend too much time playing.

    Deposit Limits: These limits allow you to control the amount of money you can deposit into your gambling account, helping you manage your spending.

    Self-Exclusion: Self-exclusion options allow you to temporarily or permanently exclude yourself from the platform to take a break from gambling.

    Reality Checks: Some platforms provide reality checks by displaying messages or reminders about the time spent playing, your total winnings and losses, and other relevant information.

    Comparing these options among different platforms will help you choose one that matches your need for responsible gambling tools and is suitable for your playing style.

  • Assessing Customer Support and Responsiveness

    Effective customer support is crucial in the online gambling industry. Issues may arise that require assistance, and it’s essential to have access to a responsive and helpful support team. When assessing a platform’s customer support, consider the following:

    Availability: Ideally, customer support should be available 24/7 to accommodate players from various time zones. Check whether the platform offers live chat, phone, or email support and if these services are available round the clock.

    Response Time: Quick response times are vital when dealing with financial transactions and other urgent issues. Test the platform’s response times by sending them an inquiry and evaluating how quickly and efficiently they reply.

    Quality of Support: Aside from availability and response times, assess the quality and professionalism of the customer support team. They should be knowledgeable, helpful, and able to resolve your issues effectively.

    Language Support: If you’re not a native English speaker, finding a platform that offers support in your preferred language is essential to guarantee smooth communication.

    By carefully considering the safety and security measures, reality check options, and customer support of potential online gambling platforms, you’ll be better equipped to choose one that best suits your needs and delivers an enjoyable, responsible, and secure gaming experience.

play in a reliable online casino
assessing online casino's customer support

Online gambling can be an entertaining way to pass the time and engage with a community of players worldwide. However, it is essential to establish limits and safeguards to prevent gambling addiction and unhealthy habits. Setting up reality checks on your online gambling account is crucial for maintaining control of your spending, frequency, and overall gaming experience.

  • Registering or logging in to your account

    Before setting up reality checks, ensure you have a registered account with an online gambling website or a casino app. Once you have created your account and verified your details, log in to your account using your unique username and password.

    For newcomers to online gambling, choosing a reliable and licensed gambling platform that prioritizes player security and responsible gambling practices is essential. Research various platforms before registration and opt for one that meets your preferences, offers a user-friendly interface, and adheres to strict security and responsible gambling protocols.

  • Navigating the user interface

    Each online gambling platform features a unique design and user interface (UI). Familiarize yourself with the UI by exploring various sections like the account panel, games, promotions, and support. Pay particular attention to the account panel section, as this area typically hosts settings related to responsible gambling, including reality check functions.

    Many platforms provide tutorials or step-by-step instructions to help new users better understand basic and advanced features. If you need help navigating the UI, consider referring to the platform’s helpdesk or contacting customer support.

  • Locating the reality check settings

    Upon familiarizing yourself with the platform’s UI, you should be able to locate the reality check settings within the responsible gambling and account panel sections. Depending on the platform, settings may be under a tab or menu labeled as “Responsible Gaming,” “Player Protection,” or “Self-Exclusion.”

    Reality check settings allow you to set specific reminders, notifications or even account limitations that help manage your gambling habits. These settings provide a reliable safeguard, encouraging players to evaluate their actions and avoid unhealthy gaming behaviors, such as spending beyond their means or gambling excessively.

  • Customizing your reality check preferences

    Now that you have located the reality check settings, it is time to customize features according to your preferences and needs.

    Frequency and duration: Set the frequency of your reality checks by setting a specific time interval (e.g., every 30, 60, or 90 minutes). After the designated period, the platform will notify you and provide the option to continue or stop playing. Additionally, by setting a duration limit for each gambling session, players can prevent extended gambling periods without a break.

    Notification options: Customize the way you receive reality check notifications. Many platforms offer various options, such as pop-up messages, emails, or even text messages. Choose the notification method that best suits your needs and preferences for the desired level of interruption and control.

    Account limitations based on reality checks: Some online gambling platforms offer players the ability to set account limitations based on their reality check responses. For instance, a player can set their account to automatically log out after a designated number of reality check notifications, barring them from further gameplay. This advanced feature fosters healthy gambling habits, enforcing breaks and allowing players to reevaluate their actions.

    Setting up reality checks on your online gambling account is essential in maintaining healthy and responsible gaming habits. Use the above steps to establish your preferences and secure a satisfactory gaming experience tailored to your needs. With reality checks in place, you will find it easier to control your time, funds, and overall gambling enjoyment.

Online gambling can be an entertaining and exciting recreational pastime if managed responsibly. However, like any other form of addiction, gambling can have severe negative consequences and pose psychological and financial risks if it gets out of control. Here are the various ways through which you can monitor and manage your online gambling behavior to ensure a fun and safe gaming experience.

One critical step to managing your online gambling behavior is keeping a record of your gambling activities—carefully tracking your gaming funds, bets, winnings, and losses. Doing this lets you understand your gambling patterns and identify if you exceed your financial limits.

Many online casinos offer built-in features that allow you to track your gambling activities. You can also consider using third-party budgeting and tracking tools, such as mobile apps or web-based software, designed specifically for this purpose. Manual methods like maintaining a logbook or using spreadsheets are also effective.

Setting gambling limits is essential in managing your gaming funds. Establish an amount you are comfortable losing and stick to it. The best practice is to deposit only your budgeted money into your online casino account and avoid using money meant for other necessities. This way, you are more likely to gamble within your means and not succumb to the temptation of chasing losses.

Regular breaks from gambling also help in keeping a check on your activities. Plan “time-outs” for yourself, and restrict your gambling sessions to a designated timeframe, ensuring you have ample time to tend to your personal and professional commitments.

Recognizing gambling addiction signs

Being aware of gambling addiction symptoms is vital for early identification and intervention. Here are some common signs to watch out for,

Increasing frequency and duration of gambling sessions.

Constantly thinking about gambling.

Experiencing mood swings and irritability when not gambling.

Spending increasing amounts to experience the same level of excitement.

Neglecting personal or professional responsibilities in favor of gambling.

Borrowing, stealing, or lying to fund gambling activities.

Chasing losses and being unable to stop playing, even after multiple attempts.

Experiencing financial difficulties due to gambling. If you spot any of these signs in yourself or someone you care for, it is crucial to seek help immediately.

Utilizing self-exclusion options

Most licensed online casinos offer self-exclusion options to support responsible gambling. These measures allow you to temporarily restrict or permanently block your access to a particular gambling platform. By opting for a self-exclusion period, you can take a break from gambling and focus on other aspects of your life. This cooling-off period is beneficial for evaluating your gambling habits, regaining control, and making informed choices.

Many online casinos also offer multi-operator self-exclusion schemes, which prevent you from accessing multiple gambling platforms simultaneously. Registering for such programs ensures you remain committed to your self-imposed gambling restrictions.

Seeking professional help

Acknowledging the need for assistance is a significant step in addressing problem gambling. Talking to family and friends is helpful, but more specialized support is sometimes necessary. Consider reaching out to professional counselors and therapists specializing in addiction and recovery. They can provide practical advice and coping strategies to manage the distress and urges associated with gambling addiction. Various helplines and self-help organizations offer free and confidential support to individuals facing gambling issues.

Monitoring and managing your online gambling behavior is about creating and maintaining healthy habits to enjoy a safe and responsible gaming experience. By taking advantage of tracking mechanisms, recognizing addiction signs, using self-exclusion options, and seeking professional help, you can protect yourself and your loved ones from the potential risks of problem gambling.

contacting support groups for help
building a support group for responsible gambling

Online gambling can be an entertaining and exciting hobby for many people. However, it is essential to maintain responsible gambling habits to ensure it remains an enjoyable pastime rather than becoming a harmful addiction. Here are the essential tips for maintaining responsible online gambling habits, such as setting up a budget, balancing gambling with other hobbies, remembering the potential consequences of excessive gambling, and staying informed about gambling regulation

Setting up and adhering to a budget

One of the most important elements of responsible online gambling is setting a budget and sticking to it. Determine how much money you can lose and only gamble with that amount. Avoid using money designated for essential bills or savings, leading to financial problems and increased stress. When setting up your budget, be realistic and consider your overall financial situation. It might include considering your income, living expenses, and outstanding debts.

Once you have determined your budget, make sure that you stick to it, no matter how tempting it may be to chase losses or keep playing due to a winning streak. To help you adhere to your budget, consider using tools available from online gambling sites or third-party applications that allow you to set deposit and spending limits. These tools can help you manage your spending more effectively and prevent you from making impulsive decisions that could lead to financial trouble.

Balancing gambling with other hobbies and interests

Another crucial aspect of responsible online gambling is ensuring that it does not become your sole source of entertainment. Balancing gambling with other hobbies and interests is vital for maintaining your overall well-being and preventing gambling from becoming an all-consuming addiction. To maintain a healthy balance, allocate time for friends, family, exercise, and other hobbies.

Allocate specific time slots for online gambling and set a time limit for each session. By setting boundaries and sticking to them, you can ensure that gambling remains an enjoyable and controlled part of your life rather than becoming a destructive habit.

Remembering the potential consequences of excessive gambling

It is essential to remember that, like any other form of entertainment, online gambling risks negative consequences if taken to the extreme. The consequences may include financial losses, damaged relationships, poor mental and physical health, and even legal troubles. By keeping the potential consequences in mind, you can help maintain perspective and ensure that you gamble responsibly.

If you find your gambling habits starting to impact your life negatively, it may be time to step back and reevaluate your approach. Additionally, it is essential to recognize the signs of problem gambling, such as feeling anxious or irritable when not gambling, lying to conceal the extent of your gambling, or jeopardizing important relationships or your job in favor of gambling. If you notice these signs, it is crucial to seek professional help, such as talking to a counselor or joining a support group.

Staying informed about gambling regulations

Staying informed about the latest gambling regulations can also play a significant role in maintaining responsible online gambling habits. Various countries and states have different laws governing online gambling, and it is essential to be aware of these regulations to ensure that you are gambling legally and responsibly. By staying informed about the rules and regulations around online gambling, you can protect yourself from potential legal troubles and better understand the limitations and requirements of your chosen gambling site.

Moreover, being informed about responsible gambling practices can help you identify and use available support resources if you need them. Responsible online gambling can be achieved by adhering to essential habits such as creating a budget, balancing gambling with other hobbies, considering the potential consequences of excessive gambling, and staying informed about gambling regulations. Maintaining these habits allows you to enjoy online gambling as an entertaining pastime without compromising your well-being or financial stability.


What are reality checks in online gambling accounts?

Reality checks are features online gambling platforms provide to help players keep track of their gambling habits. They usually include alerts or notifications reminding players about how long they have been playing, the amount wagered, or other specific preferences set by the user (American Psychological Association, 2020).

How can I set up reality checks in my gambling account?

To set up reality checks, log in to your online gambling account, navigate to your account settings or responsible gambling section, and look for reality check options. Choose the desired frequency and type of reminders to be notified about your gambling activity (American Gaming Association, n.d.).

Can I modify or turn off reality checks?

Users can modify or turn off reality checks in their online gambling accounts. Users can change the frequency and type of reminders through account settings or responsible gambling options or disable them entirely if desired (Gambling Commission, 2019).

Are reality checks mandatory on online gambling platforms?

Although regulations may vary by jurisdiction, most online gambling platforms are encouraged or required to provide reality check features to promote responsible gambling. Users may choose to set up or ignore these options at their discretion (Gambling Commission, 2019).

Do all online gambling platforms offer reality checks?

While the availability of reality checks depends on individual platforms and jurisdictions, most reputable online gambling providers offer reality check features to promote responsible gambling practices (American Gaming Association, n.d.).

Will reality checks impact my gaming experience?

Reality checks promote responsible gambling by providing gentle reminders without significantly disrupting the gaming experience. They can help maintain a healthy relationship with online gambling without negatively impacting the user’s enjoyment (American Psychological Association, 2020).

What is a reality check in gambling?

A reality check in gambling refers to the display of elapsed time since the start of a gaming session. To comply with regulations, gambling systems should provide easily accessible features that allow customers to set the frequency of reality checks on the screen. By offering this feature, players can stay aware of the time spent gambling

How to set up an online gambling business?

To set up an online gambling business, follow these 6 easy steps: 1) Research the market and gather necessary licenses; 2) Choose a reliable online gaming software provider; 3) Create a website with a user-friendly interface; 4) Implement secure payment methods; 5) Develop a marketing strategy to attract players; 6) Ensure compliance with legal regulations.

How to start an online casino with real money?

To start an online casino with real money, consider these tips: create a business plan, get a reliable software provider, obtain necessary licenses, set up secure payment gateways, develop a user-friendly website, and implement effective marketing strategies. By following these steps, you can launch your online casino business successfully and attract players to play with real money.

Are real money gambling apps legal?

No, real money gambling apps are not legal in California. The state does not permit online gambling for real money. However, you can still enjoy playing casino games by visiting social casino sites that offer fun gameplay and the chance to win Sweepstakes Coins. These coins can be redeemed for real money prizes and gift cards.