While we’re a site dedicated to online slot websites, as well as a site that really does appreciate the fun online gambling can bring, we know that there are some people in the UK suffering from gambling problems. The first thing we want to say to these people is this – seek help today, from friends and family, or from one of the great gambling addiction organisations listed further down this page. The longer you wait before receiving help, the harder it will be to overcome the problem.
We’d also like to say this: there is nothing embarrassing about admitting to having a gambling problem. It is a medical condition and should be treated as such. So, you should feel as comfortable talking about it as you would the flu or a broken arm.
On this page, we’re going to look at a couple of things. Firstly, we’re going to let you know about some of the common signs of gambling addiction. We will then tell you about a couple of organisations who can really help you to get over your problem. Even if you have no suspicions at all about yourself having a gambling problem, we would still urge you to read this page, just in case gambling does ever become a problem for you in the future.
Common Signs of Gambling Addiction
There are many different signs that someone could have a gambling problem and we’ve collated them below. Even if you only find yourself agreeing with one of the points, we’d urge you to consider whether you have a gambling problem and, if so, to get help.
- Spending too much money. One of the biggest signs of a gambling problem. If you’re spending money that you can’t afford to lose, you really need to get help from a professional straightaway.
- Arguing with family. Your family might see that you have a problem before you do, and this can cause tensions. If your family tell you that they’re worried about you, react calmly and consider that they might be right.
- Hiding your gambling. Many people with a gambling problem hide it from friends and family, as they’re embarrassed. Instead of hiding, admit to them you have an issue. It’s an important step in your road to recovery.
- Neglecting other responsibilities. Those with a gambling problem often neglect other duties, such as work and duties to their family. For example, you could be gambling instead of spending time with your children.
- Constantly thinking about gambling. It is not natural to think about gambling throughout the day – you should only be thinking about it when you’re in front of your computer and playing bingo or any other type of gambling activity.
- Borrowing money for gambling. You should never find yourself borrowing money in order to gamble – if you can’t afford it, you shouldn’t be doing it. What’s more, borrowing money can cause tensions with friends and family.
- Losing interest in hobbies. Most people have a number of hobbies, from reading through to bungee jumping. Those with a gambling issue often side-line these hobbies though, instead focusing solely on gambling.
- Spending more and more. A gambling problem is often characterised by the person spending more and more in order to get the same excitement. This means that debts can be accumulated incredibly quickly.
As already mentioned, most gambling addicts don’t have all these symptoms. Even if you recognise that you’re suffering from one of them, you should seek help as soon as you can.
How to Get Help
If you live in the UK, you’re very lucky. This is because the UK boasts some of the best care for gambling addicts anywhere in the world. There are many different organisations that can help you get over gambling addiction, and two of the biggest are mentioned below.
Gamblers Anonymous is the best-known gambling addiction charity in the UK. They have meetings throughout the country and welcome new members at any time. When you attend a Gamblers Anonymous meeting, you’ll meet many other people going through the same issues as you, plus you’ll also learn about many coping strategies you can implement. You should continue to attend GA even after your crisis period, to help ensure that you don’t slip back into gambling.
If you want to contact Gamblers Anonymous, you can email them via their site, which can be accessed here. You can use the site to find a meeting local to you, plus you can also participate in the online forum.
GamCare is the other main resource for gambling addicts in the UK. It operates a helpline for anyone going through gambling problems, as well as for friends and relatives of gambling addicts. To contact this helpline, just dial 0808 8020 133. You’ll also find that the site offers loads of advice regarding the treatment of a gambling addiction, as well as a number of people and organisations you can contact for help.
This site can be of use even if someone doesn’t feel ready to speak to others yet. We’d encourage anyone with concerns about their gambling to use the free self-assessment tool. This can be found here.
It should also be mentioned that your own GP can also be a great source of help and advice. We would recommend making an appointment with your GP as soon as you can, as it’s a great way to take your first step on your journey of recovery.