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Problem Gambling

Gambling addiction is very real and can sneak up on you. A few light flutters to learn the ropes, a couple of decent wins somewhere down the line and before you see it coming, you've become a regular online casino/poker/bingo/any-type-of-betting player and you are not in complete control. It doesn't matter what your game is - if you've become addicted to gambling (online or offline/land-based) or are seeing early warning signs of problem gambling then NOW is the time to address it.

Further down the page, we've listed some recommended problem gambling resources. But first, some indications of problem gambling:

  • Playing longer than you originally intended. Gamblers who are in total control of their spending (ie. know their exact limits/plans and always stick to them) will often set a time-limit to their gaming sessions. It helps a lot to take scheduled breaks from play. Even if your pockets can comfortably sustain (for now) your wagering outlay, you are not in control of your gambling if you are still throwing chips on the table or spinning the reels at 6am and you're supposed to be at work in two hours.
  • Depositing and/or risking more money than you originally intended - regardless of whether you finished in profit or not, did you RISK more than you had planned to by the time your last betting session finished?
  • Chasing losses - can easily lead to the above, risking more money than planned. If you end up winning, that's equally dangerous (perhaps more so) because it will feel like a 'justification' for having risked more money. It doesn't get more dangerous than this scenario with problem gambling. Your pocket may be temporarily fuller but you're walking a very risky tightrope with no safety net. Most likely, you will lose that 'profit' before long and then more money chasing it.
  • Hiding your gambling from family or friends. This doesn't mean that everyone you know should be aware of your personal spending habits but do you make a conscious effort to hide what you are risking/losing through gambling? It's especially concerning if you are concealing losses (or wins) from close family members who should know and/or have an interest in the household finances. Everyone is entitled to their pastimes and privacy but not at potential cost/risk to those around you.
  • Borrowing/stealing. EVERYONE suffering from gambling addiction will have borrowed money from friends, family, workmates, the bank (possibly dipping into the children's savings), credit cards and anyone/anywhere else possible - to feed the habit, chase that dream big win and recover all your losses with money to spare. It is NOT going to happen. If you have stolen to support your addiction, you might have some difficult times ahead but telling anyone is your first step to taking back control of your life. Loved ones are likely to support you. The problem can only get worse by doing nothing or continuing to gamble. Speak to your closest friends or family who you think will be most likely to understand your illness and respect your bravery in asking for help. If you can't/won't speak to someone you know then reach out to one of the following resources.

The following resources offer support to people with gambling problems. OCNDR is a global website with a worldwide audience so we have provided links to various gambling support resources, some being country-specific. All links below will open in a new window/tab so you can try as many as you want without leaving this page.

Support for gambling related issues. Read inspirational stories about recovery from a gambling problem or post your own story to inspire others.

Gamblers Anonymous
This is the official Gamblers Anonymous website containing lots of information and guidance including Q&A, help for family and friends and hotline phone numbers. If you're US-based you can locate meetings near you. Alternatively, there are contact details for international visitors so you're likely to find a meeting near you, wherever you live in the world. All visitors to this Gamblers Anonymous website can read more about GA's Recovery Program.

GamCare UK
GamCare is a UK-specific charitable company but can be useful reading for anyone with a gambling problem. GamCare's site includes a telephone hotline and online live chat support. There's also a Gamcare discussion forum and chat room for problem gamblers.

This is another UK based support site that offers helpful information and resources to visitors worldwide. BeGambleAware is worth a look regardless of where you live with advice on safer gambling and asking for confidential help.

Gam-Anon provides an international service for friends and family of problem gamblers, offering support through meetings held in Canada, USA and around the world. There's an international meetings directory on Gam-Anon's website with links to groups in Australia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain, UK and other countries.

Well DoneStill Here?

If you've read this far then there's a reasonable chance you could have a gambling problem. If so, we commend you taking the time to read our few words of advice. We mean every word. We are lucky to work in an industry we love and do not want to be the first step of anyone's path to addiction.

If you're just now acknowledging your gambling addiction or have ignored/tried to deal with it alone, probably the best step you can take RIGHT NOW is to either close or suspend all of your player accounts. Responsible online casinos should permit/enable this easily. Uninstall any downloaded casino software. Unsubscribe from any casino/gambling related newsletters, including our own if you currently receive it.

If all that sounds far too much than you are ready to handle right now, then consider making a start by closing/suspending some accounts. If you leave any open then it is extremely important that RIGHT NOW you set deposit limits in your account cashier. Depending on the casino, you should be able to set daily, weekly, monthly limits to your deposits or losses. Setting limits really works - players who are wondering if they are in total control of their betting (so they're probably not) can plan ahead if a higher deposit limit is required for a planned gaming session or sporting event (usually 24 hours notice will be required to alter set limits). If you're a member of any online casino or other betting site that does not enable you to determine deposit limits then you must close the account. It isn't an option not to. Close it now.

Setting limits might feel a bit like acting as your own parent/guardian but we can't recommend it enough - you will be VERY glad you did in the future on occasions when you would have gambled and lost more than you could afford to, had it not been for the set limit. You will feel even better the following day when you take in the reality of how much money you just saved by having a limit. It will feel like the win it is.

We hope this page does not apply to you but if it does, good luck on your journey to recovery. You've already achieved a lot by reading this page and considering your own situation. Now please reach out for help.

We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions - please Get In Touch and we'll be happy to chat.

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