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Succeeding against the odds

Online gambling is a popular pursuit. In fact, there are nearly 32 million online betting accounts currently active in the UK.

But spending beyond your means can cause more than money problems for you and your family.

Gambling can lead to debt, family breakdown and mental health problems.

It might also result in you coming into contact with loan sharks and others engaged in illegal activities.

Gambling-related harms

Gambling-related harms are the adverse impacts from gambling on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and society. These harms impact on people’s resources, relationships and health.

Recognising Gambling Harms

It can be really difficult to know if you’re struggling with gambling, as sometimes it’s hard to see the physical effects of gambling too much. Harm from gambling is more than financial losses, it can affect self-esteem, relationships, physical and mental health, work and social life. Below are some signs to look out for that mean you may be having some difficulties with your gambling and would benefit from help and support:

  • Spending more money on gambling than you can afford;
  • Spending too much time on gambling;
  • Hiding your gambling from those around you, or lying about it;
  • Finding it hard to manage or stop gambling;
  • Having arguments with family or friends about money and gambling;
  • Losing interest in usual activities like spending time with friends or family;
  • Always thinking or talking about gambling;
  • Chasing losses or using gambling to get out of financial trouble;
  • Gambling until all your money is gone;
  • Borrowing money, selling possessions or avoid paying bills in order to pay for gambling;
  • Gambling with larger amounts of money or for a longer amount of time;
  • Neglecting work, school, family, personal needs or household responsibilities;
  • Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable.  

Take the test

Are you concerned that you might have a problem with gambling?

If so, Gamble Aware has a short quiz. It only takes a few minutes to complete and it can start to give you an insight into how gambling might be affecting you, or someone you care about.

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Tacking the issue can be difficult

Reducing gambling harms is a lot more complicated than telling people to stop.

There are many reasons why people gamble including easy access, time and money, poverty and the power of advertising.

Things can improve

Although problems with gambling are serious, they can be overcome.

If you’re experiencing any of these warning signs, no matter how big or small, you should get in touch with the National Gambling Helpline for confidential advice as leaving them un-checked could lead to these harms becoming more serious.

You can talk to an adviser for free 24/7 on 0808 8020 133 or via live chat.

Here are a list of organisations that can help both you and your loved ones: