Firstly, I'll start by putting in a disclaimer that this post is purely intended for people that feel they should take a break, but never get around to it. If you're in complete control, understand you'll unlikely ever turn a profit, then don't bother reading or commenting, unless with encouragement.
I started my journey on Stake at the start of the year after picking up on Crypto at the back end of 2020. I have always liked a punt on sports, or at casinos, and I'm not going to lie, I saw it get a bit out of control, though thankfully never to the point where I found myself drastically owing anyone or in extreme debt; I know this isn't the case for some.
So, with a lot of ups and downs, a lot of deposits vs. very few withdrawals, I thought I would post my thoughts on Stake as a whole and offer my advices, where I can, to those that feel they may need to take a step back. If this stops one person depositing money they can ill afford, then my job here is done.
Security and Verification - Now, I'll start with this and probably get plagued by people shouting about their privacy, but this to me is a serious one. There is no way in the modern world a person that is legally old enough to gamble, in a state that allows gambling/Stake (who here is using a VPN to access games, or the whole site, when they shouldn't be able to), would complain about having to verify age and location; every domestic online casino with a license should ensure this. It's sadly a guarantee that Stake users comprise of a number of underage users gambling illegally in countries not verified by Stake, and this scares me. I have read a number of stories about kids getting involved in gambling, a number of stories about gambling related suicides, and to me Stake isn't doing enough. I agree that by dangling a carrot offering 10% on extra bonuses for someone to post an address is a start, but a start isn't good enough.
Emails - I know Stake is a money generating behemouth, most online casinos are, and I also know that there is a good lump spent on marketing, but is it really necessary to receive up to 4 emails a day from a company pushing a gambling service? Again, if you're susceptible to gambling and start getting poked too often, you may very well deposit when you didn't really want to. To me this seems completely irresponsible. I know people can opt-out, but herein lays the problem, what if a bonus comes through and you miss it?
Rewards System - I can't fault the money that Stake returns to its users through bonuses - I always laugh when people complain when getting small bonuses yet they rarely wager; find me another casino so generous! What I can fault is the competitiveness it instills in a user and how it makes some of us needlessly deposit. I am not saying I was pushed into gambling, but I believe most users will attest to depositing extra, sometimes more than they really want to, in order to try and close off a VIP level. I recall spending $1000 to see off VIP I for a reward that was less than that! Again, with better management on my part, this would have been great, but again, I'm explaining my experience for those that may be going through something similar.
Stake Originals - I am not sure how much one needs to shout, "in the long run, the house always wins." These games, however many strategies you set up on Dice, will take your money. These are games of chance, so don't listen to someone with the next best thing - there are no winning strategies and there are no fail-safe ways to turn $1 into $1.01 - If there were, we would all be too rich.
Giveaways/Raffles - Herein lies another great offer for customers, but shrouded in faults. I appreciate bronze and silver VIP's sometimes win the £5k, for example, but I also appreciate that it heavily favours those within a bigger level of 'disposable' cash. In my opinion, these kind of promotions are geared to take our money, make you deposit more than you want to as you may be close to collecting a raffle ticket, and really only offer you a number on a screen and a 0.0001% chance of winning. The strategy behind such a promotion is usually that they've made the money back by the time of the raffle and that 17/20 give that money back to Stake.
Taking a break - I am now a couple of weeks into pausing my account on Stake for 1 month and I haven't felt better. No constant reminders or lures back into Stake through hourly reloads, excessive emails or notifications on Telegram. There were times when I would have Stake running continuously for around 12 hours a day, and if that's you, it isn't healthy! I can now watch football without thinking I need to bet on it, I can go to sleep without a Dice strat. running, and I can wake up not thinking I need a run at Reactoonz. I am not saying I'll keep my pause game on forever, but I will certainly extend it.
So, these are some thoughts I have had for a while, but I've only just started to fully appreciate after taking a step back. If anyone out there feels things are getting on top of them, or feels that they should take a break but are struggling, drop me a line. Don't let Stake be in control of you, be in control of Stake.
Thanks for reading!