The ad was first seen on Twitter on April 19 and acts as an effective reminder to players that there are tools baked into the online poker platform to help them stay in control of their time and money spent on the site. The ad clearly illustrates how a player can reach a boiling point and that, to prevent a situation where a player may start to chase their losses, they can implement ways to take control.
RG Tools Available at PokerStars UK
- Table Limits
- Tournament Buy-in Limit
- Deposit Limit
- Restricted Withdrawal Cancelation
- Time-Outs/Cool-Off Periods/Self-Exclusion
Here, we take a closer look at each tool and how it can be used by players to manage their time and money effectively.
Table Limits are applicable to players who are playing real cash games on PokerStars. They do not affect tournaments or play-money games. By going into the Table Limit tab on the responsible gambling section on PokerStars UK, a player can pick limits on No-Limit/Pot-Limit Games or Fixed Limit Games. A player can opt-out of being allowed to play any of these types of cash games, or they can pick one of 25 stake limits that are available, ranging from $0.01/ $0.02 limits to $500/$1000.
A Table Limit can be changed, but it will take 24 hours to be approved by the PokerStars team.
Table Limits can be picked in any currency and will be applied across the board using currency converters. If a player joins a mixed game, they will not be allowed to sit at the table if any part of the rotation exceeds the table limit already picked.
Tournament Buy-In Limit
A player can choose to set a limit on how many tournaments and sit & go’s they are prepared to play.
A player can choose to:
- Play All
- Set a Limit (a player can type in how much they are prepared to spend on buy-ins)
- Don’t Play
If a player chooses to lower a tournament buy-in limit, the change will take effect immediately, but, again, if they want to make changes, it will take 24 hours to approve.
The tournament buy-in limit does not apply to seats won via satellite or purchased via the VIP store.
A Deposit Limit can be set when a player signs up to PokerStars or at any time during the player’s journey. A Deposit Limit can be set on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. A player can choose the maximum amount they are prepared to deposit during those time periods. Once the deposit threshold has been met, the time period must pass before the player can deposit any more money onto the site.
Requests to raise the deposit amount after it has been set will take a month to process whereas requests to lower the limit will take effect immediately.
PokerStars also allows players to block all deposits. It will stop the ability of a player to deposit any money onto the site.
Restricted Withdrawal Cancelation
PokerStars offers players the ability to disable the function that allows them to cancel a pending withdrawal. This is important, as, usually, it can take a withdrawal a few days to appear back in a player’s bank account — during which time, they could decide to leave their money on the site and continue to gamble. Opting in to remove the ability to cancel a pending withdrawal means funds will always return to a player’s bank account. The player will then have to deposit more on the site if they wish to continue gambling — but if their deposit limits are set, this should allow a player to only deposit what they can afford to lose.
Once this function is enabled a player cannot change their mind and reverse the decision.
Time-outs, cool-off periods, and self-exclusion are all variations on the same theme — they essentially ban a player from being able to join any games, place bets, or deposit money onto the site. A player can still log into the site during their cooling-off period, during a time-out, or once self-excluded. However, the player will be in breach of PokerStars’ terms if they sign up under a new name during this time — a process which, in theory, should be very difficult for a player due to the responsible gambling checks PokerStars will carry out.
- 12 hour cooling-off periods
- 24 hour cooling-off periods
- 7 day time-outs
- 30 day time-outs
- 180 day self-exclusion
- 2 year self-exclusion
- 3 year self-exclusion
- 4 year self-exclusion
- 5 year self-exclusion
Once any of these functions are enabled, they are not reversible, under any circumstance, until the time period has passed.
PokerStars USA and Responsible Gambling Tools
Over in the US market, PokerStars has been promoting responsible gambling tools via its social media accounts for some time. The ads first aired at the beginning of March in line with Problem Gambling Awareness Month, which is observed in the US for the month of March.
Since then, PokerStars USA has been promoting the use of its RG tools during the online tournament series SCOOP, which runs in the markets of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
For those unaware, PokerStars USA has the following RG tools available to players at any time whilst playing on their site.
- Set Deposit Limits: This allows players to set a maximum amount of money that they are allowed to deposit on the site in a particular length of time, i.e. $100 a week or $20 a day. Once the player hits that limit, the player will be blocked from depositing more funds until the next time period begins.
- Set Game Time Limits: This allows players to limit the amount of time spent playing certain game types.
- Set Table Limits: This limits how many tables players can play on at the same time.
- Set Tim-Outs: This cooling-off period is important for players who may start to chase their losses. It gives players some breathing space before jumping back into any action.
Elsewhere in the US market, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) released a series of new RG ads in March again, highlighting the ways players can stay in control when gambling online.