According to statistics published by Finder, 47% of Brits have gambled in some way in the past 4 weeks. Gambling may start off as a harmless bit of fun, however, it can quickly turn into a dangerous addiction if not properly controlled.
In Germany an addicted gambler loses, on average, more than ten times the money lost by a non-addict. Addicted players are thus the “foundation for this line of business”, says the daily Suddeutsche Zeitung. In the UK, it is estimated that approximately 430,000 people are suffering from compulsive gambling.
Compulsive gambling can seriously affect your finances and can easily lead you into problem debt if you are not careful about your gambling habits. If you feel as though you are struggling with a gambling addiction, please seek help from the national gambling helpline at 0808 8020 133.
Warning signs of problem gambling
If you feel you have a problem with gambling, you may notice some of these signs within yourself:
▪️Regularly spending more than you had planned on gambling.
▪️Using gambling as a distraction from other things going on in your life.
▪️Having feelings of guilt or shame about your gambling habits.
▪️Spending on gambling instead of important bills such as rent or utilities.
▪️Noticing a change in the state of your mental health.
▪️Using things such as an overdraft, credit card, or payday loan to fund your gambling.
▪️Trying to pay off your debts through gambling.
How to manage gambling debts
▪️Notice your gambling patters – Take a self reflection and look for any potential triggers that you come across that tempt you to gamble. For example, you might be able to avoid places which tempt you to gamble.
▪️Open up – Talking to a close friend or family member about your addiction can make you feel as though a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. They can then support and help you through your problem.
▪️Speak to an expert – You can get free advice through gambling helplines. Some companies also provide counselling to help you find out why you gamble and advice on how to break the gambling habit.
▪️Get help to clear your gambling debts – Writing off debts accrued by gambling can be a great motivator to keep such problems firmly in the past. You may be able to do this by entering into a debt solution such as an IVA. You can get into contact with one of our expert financial advisors and they will show you all of the possible solutions available to you.