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Responsible Gaming

At PokerStars we strive to assist and protect players who are at risk of the potential negative effects of gambling.

Through a number of means, including self-exclusion tools, guidance on responsible gaming, risk identification and player verification we are helping customers keep in control of their gaming so they can enjoy playing.

We believe in educating our players to empower them through knowledge, which is why we have a number of helpful tools to ensure that playing time is always enjoyable.

What we can do to help you

What you can do to help yourself

What we can do to help you

Age verification

Any underage player who has provided dishonest or inaccurate information regarding their true age may have all winnings forfeited and could face criminal prosecution.

  • Every person signing up for a new account must check a box that indicates that they are at least 18 years of age. This notifies everybody that we don’t accept players under 18.
  • When a player creates an account with us, we collect their name, address, and birth date to confirm that the player is at least 18 years old.
  • We do not target underage players with our marketing and advertising. It is neither good business nor consistent with our personal and corporate values to attract underage players.

If you have children or teenagers in your household, take extra care to secure your computer and mobile devices.

  • All Windows computers can be set up to have password control so that you must enter a password to get to the desktop, and mobile devices can be set up to require a passcode to unlock. In general, this is a good practice, but it’s even more important when there are children or teenagers in your household. Also, keep your username and password private. You can elect to have the software not remember your password each time you log-in. If you have any concern that somebody else might attempt to access your Stars Account, you should not allow the software to remember your password.
  • If you have children or teenagers in your household, use protection software that allows you to limit the websites to which they have access, prevent file sharing, and generally give you detailed control over how your children use the Internet. Here is a list of some of those programs:
  • If you are aware of an underage person using our platform, let us know. Simply visit our Help Center and we will get right on it. Our first step is to investigate, and if warranted, freeze the player’s account and request identification from that player. We take these reports seriously.
  • Be a responsible parent. In many ways, this is nothing more than keeping your eyes and ears open. If you hear your children talking about online gambling accounts, deposits, and withdrawals, start asking questions. If you see the software on your child's computer, uninstall it and ask more questions. A responsible parent is the best start to preventing underage gaming. You can find advice on how to talk to a young person about gambling here.

Self-exclusion

We provide you with the ability to exclude yourself from playing for various periods of time.

To do this, go to the main lobby of the desktop software, select ‘More’ > ‘Tools’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’ > ‘Exclude me from playing’ i. On mobile, go to ‘Account’ > ‘Responsible Gaming Settings’. On the website, login then go to ‘Account’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’.

Please note that all breaks in play are irreversible for the duration of the specified time, and self-exclusions must run for a minimum of 90 days. In addition, all breaks in play and self-exclusion periods are inclusive of all games. Your self-exclusion will apply to your Stars Account, and to any product that requires your username to play, and covers both real money and play money activity.

Suspension of accounts

We may suspend your account when we have enough indications and/or reasonable suspicion that you may be losing control of your gaming, and/or whenever your gaming habits conflict with responsible gaming principles that exist on the gaming law implemented at our platform.

This measure will not be taken lightly and, therefore, we will only apply this precautionary measure of suspension of the account after exhausting the other mechanisms and procedures provided for in this responsible gaming policy, namely:

  • When you don’t set deposit and bet limits on your account;
  • When you do not choose to self-exclude;
  • After we have unsuccessfully suggested you to seek entities specialized in addictive behavior; or
  • In extreme cases where we have enough information to determine that allowing you to keep playing may have a detrimental impact on your life, and immediate and permanent action is required.

The suspension of your account in the terms described above will be communicated to SRIJ, under the Regulation that approves the rules and procedures regarding the registry of player accounts.

If you want to block yourself from a particular game, go to the main lobby of the desktop software, select ‘More’ > ‘Tools’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’ > ‘Restrict Table Limit’ i and set your limit to ‘Don’t play’.

  • We offer breaks in play for periods of 12-hour, 24-hour, 7 days, 30 days, and 60 days. We also offer the option to self-exclude for a minimum of 3 months until the date of your choice. All restrictions can be set directly from within your account by following the instructions above. You will not be able to play any games that we offer for real money or play money on our software. Once you click the button that requests a break in play or a self-exclusion period, the restriction will begin immediately. Portuguese regulations do not allow for any play after any break in play or self-exclusion request (of any duration) is submitted. This means if you self-exclude yourself during a tournament you will be “sat-out” and not be allowed to complete the tournament. In addition, you will not be entitled to any refund. If you are in a cash game, you will be sat-out once the hand in progress is completed.
  • You will be automatically unregistered from any tournament that begins during the break in play and self-exclusion period, with your buy-in refunded per our normal policy. Please also note that if you win any prizes resulting from any offer that may have started prior to your self-exclusion (i.e. automatic drawings to live events, or live activities), they may be forfeited. You will not be able to deposit into your Stars Account. Furthermore, you will not receive any marketing emails or newsletters from us.
  • For Casino games: A casino game (spin) currently in play is allowed to complete. The player may continue to make actions within that spin (e.g. hit within blackjack). Any winnings are returned to the player as normal.
  • When a break in play or self-exclusion expires, the restriction is removed and your account is restored automatically.
  • Please be aware that your self-exclusion request will be reported to the Gaming Regulation and Inspection Service (SRIJ) in accordance with local regulations.

Players are also offered the option to request to be self-excluded for an indeterminate period. In the self-exclusion feature a separate checkbox will be displayed. If you select this option, a self-exclusion for an indeterminate period is imposed on the account.

Revocation of self-exclusions

Players can request the removal of self-exclusions after serving the minimum period of 3 months. If you want to revoke the self-exclusion once the 3 months have passed, please visit our Help Center to find out ways to contact us and we will review the account for self-exclusion removal. Once the removal has been approved, you will need to wait one month in order for this to take effect.

General exclusion

Players are able to exclude themselves from all licensed Online Gambling and Betting providers via the website of the monitoring, inspection and regulatory body. This includes an exclusion across all operators websites, including our, as well as all verticals. For more information please click here.

If you wish to self-exclude from all online gambling activity, consider downloading gamban®, software that helps you by blocking access to all online gambling.

You may also wish to investigate GamBlock, a software application that limits a computer’s access to online gaming sites.

What you can do to help yourself

Identify and reduce the risks

If you choose to play online, there are some general guidelines that can help make your playing experience safer, and reduce the risk of problems occurring:

  1. Play for entertainment, and not as a way of making money.
  2. Play with money that you can afford to lose. Never use money that you need for important things such as food, rent, bills, or tuition.
  3. Set deposit limits and ensure you never deposit more than you can afford to lose.
  4. Never chase losses. If you lose money, don't play higher stakes to try and recoup your losses.
  5. Don't play when you are upset, tired, or depressed. It is difficult to make good decisions when you are feeling down.
  6. Balance your playing with other activities. Find other forms of entertainment so playing does not become too big a part of your life.

If you believe that playing games might be a hindrance to your life rather than a form of entertainment, we want to help you. First, please review the following questions:

  1. Have you ever taken time from your major daily obligations because of playing?
  2. Has playing caused you to neglect your own welfare or that of your family?
  3. Have you ever sold anything or borrowed money to finance your playing?
  4. Have you often played until your last money was gone?
  5. Have you ever played longer than you had planned?
  6. Have you ever considered self-destruction or suicide as a result of your playing?

If you answered “Yes” to several of these questions, we encourage you to visit Gamblers Anonymous.

You can take the test in its entirety at one of the following websites:

www.gamblingtherapy.org/information/do-i-have-a-gambling-problem/

jogoresponsavel.pt/criterios-de-diagnostico-e-questionarios/

There are risk factors that can contribute to the development of gambling issues and make it more difficult to stop gambling. Players can be more at risk if they:

  • Have easy access to their preferred form of gambling
  • Hold mistaken beliefs about the odds of winning (see “Common Myths about Compulsive Gambling” below)
  • Do not take precautions to monitor gambling wins and losses
  • Have an early big win (leading to false expectation of future wins)
  • Have had a recent loss or change in their personal life, such as divorce, job loss, retirement, or death of a loved one
  • Often feel bored or lonely, or have a history of risk-taking or impulsive behavior
  • Have financial problems
  • Have a history of mental health problems, particularly depression and anxiety
  • Have a parent who also has (or has had) problems with gambling or other compulsive disorders
  • Have (or have had) problems with alcohol or other drugs, or overspending

The more factors that apply, the more likely a person is to develop a gambling problem.

If you are finding it hard to stop gambling, or if you’re already suffering from consequences related to your gambling behavior, it may be time to get help.

Setting limits

We offer you the option to set different Responsible Gaming limits to help you play responsibly. You can set these limits by following these instructions, depending on how you are accessing our services:

  • Website

Log in and go to ‘Account’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’

  • Desktop Client

Log in and select ‘More’ > ‘Tools’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’ i

  • Mobile App

After logging in go to ‘Account’ > ‘Responsible Gaming Settings’

Set limits on your real money deposits

We believe that you should be allowed to manage your own budget for playing online. We allow you to restrict your own daily, weekly, or monthly real money deposit limits. Of course, those limits may be no higher than the ones we already have for your account. Any requests to self-impose a lower deposit amount will take effect immediately. You will not be permitted to increase or remove the deposit limit during the next 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days depending on the limit that you have set for your account. Once you request to increase or remove your deposit limit, it will be approved after 24 hours. To set a limit go to More > Tools > Responsible Gaming > Restrict Deposit Limit i.

Set deposit limits

Accumulated Buy-in limits

Players have the opportunity to place an accumulated buy-in limit: A bet limit is a restriction on the accumulative buy in amount a player may exercise over some time period. For example, if a Daily limit of €100 exists and on one 24 hour period a player has registered for 9 * €11 tournaments their daily cumulative total is €99, the player then tries to buy in to an €11 tournament, this would take their cumulative total in excess of their limit and so he is restricted from playing that game.

Please note that this limit takes into consideration all the activity in Casino and Poker during the last 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days depending on the limit that is select. To set this limit, just go to Tools> Responsible Gaming > Accumulated buy in Limit.

For more information on the accumulated buy-in feature, please visit our Help Center.

Restricting cash game table limits, tournament limits and casino games

Setting table limits and poker tournament limits provides individual players with an opportunity to control their spending by limiting themselves from playing certain table limit stakes, as well as tournament buy in limits.

Set game limits

You can also block yourself from individual casino games using the same menu located in ‘Tools’. And you can also login to your account through our website. From the ‘Account’ menu, you can access our responsible gaming tools.

If you want any restriction in place permanently or for a designated time, visit our Help Center to find out ways to contact us .

Restricting withdrawal cancelation

You have the option to restrict yourself from cancelling your withdrawals once they have been requested. You can apply this by going to the main lobby in our desktop client and selecting ‘More’ > ‘Tools’ > ‘Responsible Gaming’ > ‘Restrict Withdrawal Cancellation’ i.

If you activate this feature, you will disable your ability to cancel pending withdrawals on your account and we will not cancel your withdrawals at your request. This restriction is permanent and it will not be possible to restore your ability to cancel your withdrawals once you have activated it.

Set withdrawal cancellation restriction

Be aware of common myths about compulsive gambling

We believe players should play for fun and entertainment. But some players who engage in recreational gambling do not believe they could become addicted, and sometimes hold onto false beliefs or myths about problem gambling that can lead to denial and other problems. Some of the more common myths are listed below. Click ‘More’ to read on.

Myth: A compulsive gambler gambles every day.
Fact: A problem gambler may gamble frequently or infrequently. If a person’s gambling is causing psychological, financial, emotional, marital, legal or other consequences for themselves and the people around them, then they could be displaying signs of a gambling problem.

Myth: A compulsive gambler will bet on anything and gamble at any opportunity on any form of gambling.
Fact: Most problem gamblers have a favorite form of gambling that causes them problems and are not likely to be tempted by betting on other things. For example, a gambler who makes weekly trips to the race track may not be tempted by lottery tickets or slot machines. Some compulsive gamblers also engage in secondary forms of gambling, but these are not usually as problematic.

Myth: Gambling only becomes a problem when you lose every last penny. Compulsive gambling is just a financial problem.
Fact: How much money you win or lose does not determine if you have a gambling addiction. Compulsive gamblers may win big and then lose all their earnings the next day, or they may only bet a certain amount each time. Typically, those with gambling problems will incur enough debt that the financial consequences of their behavior begins impacting their lives, but that is not always the case.

Myth: It’s not possible to become addicted to something like gambling.
Fact: Certain activities, such as gambling, can be just as addictive as drinking or doing drugs. Gambling may produce a euphoria that encourages a compulsive gambler to keep repeating the behavior to achieve that effect. As with drugs and alcohol, a gambling addict may develop a tolerance for gambling and take bigger and bigger risks to achieve that euphoria. A compulsive gambler will give in to a craving for gambling by doing it more often, regardless of the negative consequences. As with any other addictions and compulsive behavior, pathological gamblers may also be in denial about their behavior, and may not believe they have a problem at all.

Myth: Only irresponsible people become addicted to gambling.
Fact: Many problem gamblers hold, or have held, responsible community positions. In addition, even people with a long history of responsible behavior are vulnerable to developing a gambling problem. It is common for people to believe that those suffering from addictions are weak-willed and irresponsible. But anybody can become addicted to gambling, no matter how responsible they are.

Myth: Compulsive gambling isn’t really a problem if the gambler can afford it.
Fact: Problems caused by excessive gambling are not just financial. If a person’s gambling is interfering with their ability to act in accordance with their values, then there is a problem. For example, too much time spent on gambling means less time to spend with family, friends and others. It can lead to relationship breakdown and loss of important friendships.

Myth: It’s easy to recognize a compulsive gambler.
Fact: Problem gambling has been called the hidden addiction. It is very easy to hide as it has few recognizable symptoms, unlike alcohol and drug use. Many problem gamblers themselves do not recognize they have a gambling problem. Problem gamblers often engage in self-denial.

Myth: If I keep gambling, my luck will change and I'll win back the money I've lost.
Fact: Each time you place a bet, the outcome is completely independent of the previous bet. This means that the odds are no more in your favour on the tenth bet than they were on the first bet. Risking more, or playing longer, will not improve your chances of winning.

Myth: I have a feeling that today is my lucky day. I just know I’m going to win.
Fact: Hoping, wishing, or even needing to win money has absolutely no influence on the outcome of a game of chance.

If any of these myths are realities for you or a loved one, it may be necessary to consider seeking treatment for a gambling addiction. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, please contact one of the organizations that we recommend.

Need help, advice or counselling?

If you feel you might have a gambling problem, and seek further advice or counselling, you can visit these web sites:

Player Protection

In case of need, and for your own protection, you can contact the Linha Vida service through phone number 1414 (available every day from 10am to 6pm) or through this email address. This specialized phone line is a psychological counselling service (anonymous, free and confidential) that belongs to the Ministry of Health's Addiction and Addictive Behaviour Intervention Service (SICAD). You can find more information about Linha Vida service here.

Over 18 OnlyWorried about excessive play? Click here for help.

i if you don’t see the “Tool” menu, please, check under “More”