Compulsive gambling or problem gambling can take a toll on your physical and mental health, can affect your employment, cause strain on relationships, but also jeopardise your finances . Sometimes incurring substantial debt as a result of gambling can be done without family members and loved ones even knowing as it is easily hid until a financial crisis hits. A gambling addiction is sometimes easier to hide compared to a drug or alcohol addiction therefore large amounts of debt can be incurred usually as a result of borrowing money, making cash withdrawals, selling items, taking out more loans to cover bills, or even writing false cheques. Many gamblers find themselves getting deeper into debt because they try to win back the money they’ve already lost. But by this point, gamblers have often lost the value of money, and money is only seen as a means to gamble with.
Making the decision to stop gambling is the first step to getting help, but dealing with the financial debt and crisis may feel incredibly overwhelming, and may seem impossible. It is important to know about options and supports available.
Here Are A Few Helpful Tips:
- Seeking help for your gambling is the first step; meet with a trained gambling counsellor
- Hand over your finances, bank cards & credit cards to someone else you trust
- Limit your access to money, even from ATM machines
- Do not carry large amounts of cash; suggestion of $20 or less
- Have yourself excluded from the casino; this can be done by meeting with a gambling counsellor
- Tell others not to lend you money even if you ask
- Speak to your bank about your finances, limiting access to funds and limiting access to ATM withdrawals
- Meet with a credit counselling or debt consolidation agency to discuss your options
Regardless of your financial situation, know that recovering from financial debt caused by your compulsive gambling is possible. Don’t wait, get help and contact an agency near you.
If you have more questions or require more information about gambling support, call the Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-306-6789