For the majority of people, responsible gambling is a fun, enjoyable and social pastime. For some people though gambling can sometimes become an addiction with far-reaching consequences that can affect their personal life, their family life, their professional life and their health.
If you believe you may have a problem with gambling then you should know that there are tools and services available to help manage and overcome and problems.
If you need help then please do take advantage of the tools and services listed below.
- Help Services & Tools
- Spot The Signs
- Spot The Signs Early
- Self-Help Tools
- Self-Help Note
- What Can I Do?
- Protecting Minors
- Things To Remember
If you feel your gambling is already out of hand and you require immediate help, please contact one of the support services below.
If your gambling is not an immediate danger to your wellbeing, please take a look over the details on this page for further help and guidance.
Help Services & Tools
Addiction Support Services:
GameAnon – http://gamanon.org.uk/
Gamblers Anonymous – https://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/
Dunlewey Addiction Services – https://dunlewey.org/gambling-services/
Gambling Therapy – https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/en
Gordon Moody Association – https://gordonmoody.org.uk/
General Advice Services:
Money Advice Service – https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en
Debt Advice Foundation – http://www.debtadvicefoundation.org/
National Debt Line – https://www.nationaldebtline.org/
The Samaritans – https://www.samaritans.org/
Gambling Help Tools:
GamStop – https://www.gamstop.co.uk/ (Self Exclusion)
Gamban – https://gamban.com/ (Software)
GamBlock – http://www.gamblock.com/ (Software)
Bet Filter – http://www.betfilter.com/ (Software)
Spot The Signs
Any person having problems with responsible gambling, and/or finances in general, will most likely display one of a number of warning signs at various points.
Knowing when to spot and act on these signs, both personally and when seen in other people, can greatly help with the chances of avoiding gambling addiction.
If you or anybody else show any of the signs detailed below, then please look further into what you can do (next section), self-help tools or speak to one of the help services at the top of this page.
- Excessive betting/gaming websites and apps on devices
- Obsessed with gambling and constantly talking about betting
- Ever increasing stakes to get the same enjoyment
- Gambling until every penny has gone, not knowing when to stop
- Unable to stop gambling or know when to stop
- Change of routine, missing family, work, college, university
- Loss of interest in hobbies, socialising, sport
- Change in personality, irritable, argumentative
- Using betting as an escape from everyday life
- Chasing losses more and more to recoup lost money
- Hiding betting from friends and family
- Borrowing money from friends, family, banks, loan companies
- Selling personal items to get more money for gambling
- Lying about betting and money in general
- Sudden changes in money situation, one day rich, next day poor
- Feeling anxious, depressed or having suicidal thoughts
- Unable to stop gambling through own choice
Spot The Signs Early
Spotting the signs early and acting quickly is one of the best things you can do to avoid gambling addiction and manage your betting for social enjoyment. If you spot any change in your behaviour then act accordingly to address it.
Most bookmakers, casinos and gaming providers give the user a number of tools to allow them to manage their spending and time in a responsible way. The list below details some of these tools and how they can help you manage your account.
Please check with your individual account provider to see which tools are available.
- Deposit Limits – limit total deposit amounts in a certain period
- Loss Limits – limit total amount of losses in a certain period
- Session Timer/Reality Check – receive notifications after certain total time periods
- Cooling Off Period/Time Out (Short Break / Suspended Account)
- Self-Exclusion (Longer Break / Suspended Account)
- Account Closure – Permanent closure of customer account
All of these self-help tools can assist the user in practising responsible gambling as part of a mixed and balanced social life.
What is Self-Exclusion?
Self-exclusion is a process that allows individuals to voluntarily ban themselves from gambling, both online and in person. This can be an effective way to take control of gambling habits and avoid potential negative consequences. Self-exclusion can be implemented for a specific period of time or permanently, depending on the individual’s needs.
How Self-Exclusion Works
To self-exclude, individuals can contact the gambling operator and request to be excluded. The operator is then required to take reasonable steps to prevent the individual from gambling during the exclusion period. This may include blocking access to their account, removing their name from mailing lists, and denying access to gambling premises.
How to Implement Self-Exclusion
To implement self-exclusion, individuals can contact the gambling operator directly or through a third-party organization such as GAMSTOP. GamStop can help individuals to self-exclude from multiple gambling operators at once. It is important to note that self-exclusion is not a guarantee that an individual will not be able to access gambling services, as it relies on the cooperation of the operator.
There are several resources available for those looking to implement self-exclusion or seeking additional support for problem gambling. These may include self-help guides, counselling services, and support groups. Some of the most widely recognised resources include GamCare, the National Gambling Treatment Service, and the Gordon Moody Association.
It is important to find help that is right for your own needs and situation.
Self-Help tools can be a powerful and useful tool to the user, to manage both their finances and their time. You should use any tools available to you to assist in your enjoyment.
What Can I Do?
Before things become a problem there are a number of things you can do, steps you can take, to make betting and gambling both enjoyable and safe.
The list below details some quick and easy steps that will help you in managing your betting more effectively.
- Review your account and betting history regularly to know how you stand
- Bet within your means, bet what you can afford to lose NOT to earn an income
- Calculate and budget what to spend before you start
- View betting and responsible gambling as entertainment only, not as a reliable income
- Know your limits of both time and money before playing
- Know when to spot a problem and what to do
- Take a break as and when required, take regular breaks at set intervals
- Don’t gamble when upset, depressed, tired, emotional, drunk, this doesn’t help
- Don’t chase losses by betting higher and higher stakes
- Monitor how long you play for and make sure it fits in with other social activities
- Balance responsible gambling with other social activities like socialising, sport, family, fitness
- Understand how gambling works, the chances of winning and how many people win/lose
- Know that if you need help then there a plenty of people you can talk to. Family, friends, betting companies, independent bodies, support organisations are all available to help at any time.
Knowing how and what you are doing, knowing how much time is being spent and how much you are investing, are all important parts of keeping betting part of a healthy, normal, social, balanced lifestyle.
Protecting children from harm should always be a priority and when it comes to betting and gambling things are no different. Bookmakers and betting companies do what they can to spot and stop underage gambling, there are also a number of steps that can be taken to minimise the risk.
- Don’t share or make public your login details
- Don’t save passwords on devices that children might use
- Always logout of sites and apps when possible
- Use tools available online to restrict access to certain sites
- Talk to children about gambling and the harm it can cause
- Be aware of the time your child spends online and sites they visit
- Use tools available on devices to protect vulnerable users
- All sites should verify age and suspend suspected accounts
Spotting any suspicious activity early and dealing with it quickly is the best preventative measure for any children suspected to be taking part in gambling activities.
Things To Remember
You Are In Control
There are actions to be taken and tools to use that can help you take part in and enjoy betting and responsible gambling.
Tools & Software
Online tools and apps are more and more widely available and can be used to help you limit or stop any problem gambling.
Help Is Available
If things do happen to go too far then there are services available to discuss any problem and put steps in place to mitigate any loss.
Talk To People
Friends, family, colleagues or helplines are all ready and willing to help with any issues you may have. Don’t stay silent.