Although on the surface it may not seem harmful, gambling has the potential to get out of control quickly. If you’re worried that you or someone close to you is spending too much money on gambling, or if it’s starting to affect relationships with others or your own health, it’s time to take action.
It’s important to understand the impact gambling can have on your life and those around you, so recognising it as a problem is the first step. Here are some signs it’s becoming an issue:
- You’re spending a lot of time gambling
- You feel out of control with spending money
- You’re lying about how much you’re gambling
- Your relationships are being affected
- You’re missing out on normal day to day activities including work or education
Recognise any of these behaviours? Then please keep reading. We have worked with GamCare, a leading national provider of free support for anyone affected by gambling harms, to give you the best support you need.
We understand that a gambling problem can’t be changed overnight, but there are steps you can take to help overcome it, one bit at a time. A good place to start is by adding your name to an ‘exclusion list’. This means gambling companies won’t be able to serve you, nor will you continue to receive direct marketing from them, which should really help. Please click here to find out more about how you can exclude yourself today.
Blocking software is also helpful for blocking gambling sites and apps on your devices, including your phone, tablet, laptop or PC. Gamban, a recommended software, is now available for free for up to 15 devices if you contact the National Gambling Helpline on Freephone 0808 80 20 133 or live chat via www.GamCare.org.uk
Gambling transaction ‘blocks’ may also be possible through your bank. Similar to exclusions, this is a really good way of taking control of the problem. To find out which banks do this, and more information on gambling and your finances, please click here.
Even though a gambling problem may seem overwhelming and scary, please please remember that there is hope, and help is available for you. You are not alone! The sooner you can take action, the better. GamCare told us that most people who complete a free course of treatment with them say it brought about positive change to their gambling situation and improved their wellbeing. Support is also available for your loved ones.
You can get in touch with GamCare now for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 0808 80 20 133 or live chat at www.GamCare.org.uk
If you are facing financial difficulties because of your own or someone else’s gambling, getting your finances under control is an important step. Please go to our section on financial worries where you can find resources and links to organisations that can help you. Similarly, if you do feel like your mental health is affected by gambling behaviour, please see our guide on ways to help your mental wellbeing, here.