Gambling not only affects the person who gambles, but can negatively affect friends and family. Sometimes it is friends and family who seek help on behalf of the gambler.
Identifying a friend or family member who may be experiencing difficulties with gambling.
This is not an exhaustive list but the more these signs seem to fit the person, the more likely it is they need to review or seek help for their gambling behaviour:
- Preoccupied with gambling and unable to stop
- Spending increasing amounts of time playing on Internet gambling sites or visiting external gambling venues with increasing frequency
- Reliving past gambling experiences, planning the next gambling venture, continually talking about new ways to get money
- Bragging about gambling, exaggerating wins and minimizing losses
- Becoming withdrawn, restless or irritable when attempting to reduce or stop gambling.
- Losing interest in other pastimes and hobbies, refusing invitations to attend social events with friends and colleagues
- Increasingly spending available free time on gambling activities.
- Gambling alone more and more, especially for long periods
- Gambling with increasing amounts of money
- Gambling to win back money that has been lost
- Borrowing money for gambling or in order to pay off gambling debts
- That they are finding that after losing money gambling, they continue to gamble in order to get back those losses ("chasing”)
- Lying to others in order to conceal the extent of gambling
- Unpaid bills and debts
- Unexplained absences
- Losing work time because of gambling or jeopardizing job by gambling
- Doing something illegal to get money for gambling
- Ability to control their gambling is lost, and repeated efforts to reduce or stop gambling are unsuccessful.
Family and friends typical reactions to someone with gambling problems
- Shame - embarrassed by the gambler
- Hurt - the gambler may blame all the problems on their partner and blame them for their preoccupation with gambling
- Fear and worry - not knowing what mood the gambler will be in and uncertainty and worry about finances
- Loneliness - feels rejected, unloved.
Recognising the problem and what can be done
You can start this process by:
- Acknowledging the problem;
- Regaining control of finances, budgeting and maintaining or establishing family routines;
- Talking to someone, and accepting support
- Planning for you and your family’s emotional needs
- Establishing a "safety net" of supportive family, friends and community support agencies
- Get counselling.
Dealing with finances:
- Establishing separate bank accounts;
- Assessing your partner’s access to money;
- Knowing your long-term assets and investments;
- Determining your average monthly family income and expenses;
- Listing all valuable possessions accessible to the gambler;
- Knowing what debts you are liable for.
Strategies for how to deal with the behaviour of a gambler
- Giving support to someone that has a gambling problem
- Support through treatment and recovery
- Set boundaries
- Control cash
- Don’t play the blame game
If you are concerned about a close friend or family members gambling then there are various support services you can turn to:
National Problem Gambling Clinic
The CNWL National Problem Gambling Clinic treats problem gamblers living in England and Wales who are aged 16 and over. It assesses the needs of problem gamblers as well as those of their partners and family members and offers evidence based treatments as well as interventions to assist with financial, employment, social and relationship difficulties.
Online Site: http://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/gambling.html
Telephone: 020 7534 6699 or 020 7534 6687
Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who have joined together to do something about their own gambling problem and help other compulsive gamblers do the same. There are regional fellowships around the world.
GamCare provides, advice, support and free counselling for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling. In addition to a telephone support line, GamCare provides a range of online support services, from our confidential NetLine, through to peer-to-peer services including our Forum and Chat/Support room.
Online Support: http://www.gamcare.org.uk
Phone support: 0845 6000 133
ChildLine is a counselling service for children and young people.
Phone Support: 0800 1111
Email and 1-2-1 service is also available via their website at www.childline.org.uk
If you are a young person and need to talk to someone confidentially about your concerns then call Childline.
NSPCC Helpline: 0808 800 5000
If you are an adult and are worried about cruelty or abuse to a child, please contact the NSPCC Helpline
Gambling Therapy provides on line and telephone support and counselling for anyone adversely affected by gambling. Members of the Gambling Therapy team operate from locations both within the UK and internationally.
Online Site: http://www.gamblingtherapy.org
National Gambling Hotline
Australian national 1800 gambling helpline - Call 1800 858 858. This is a hotline for all problem gamblers and their families who will be able to speak directly with someone locally, irrespective of where they are calling from within Australia. There is a new facility for help, the National Gambling Help website.
Online Site: http://www.gamblinghelponline.org.au
Telephone: 1800 858 858
The Gambling Addiction Service provides addiction counselling and support to individuals and their families experiencing a problem with gambling. It offers a wide range of services, including crisis interventions and planning one's finances, employment and housing arrangements.
Online Site: http://www.sedqa.gov.mt
Telephone: Supportline 179 / 2144 1029
Betfair cannot enforce exclusion at the request of a third-party. However, you can contact the Tasmanian Gaming Commission via the Liquor and Gaming Branch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for a third-party exclusion order. The Commission considers such applications carefully before deciding whether or not to make such an order. Betfair is not able to impose third-party exclusion on an account unless the TGC has formally issued a third-party exclusion order for that customer.