Problem Gambling can lead to severe financial problems and significant debts very quickly. There are actions that gamblers can take to deal with a gambling problem and the financial problems that often result.

The first step is to accept you have a gambling problem and get professional help to stop gambling. If you are in financial difficulty or have accumulated significant debt as a result of gambling, the only way to stop adding to the debt is to stop gambling. You cannot pay off your debts by continuing to gamble. Continued gambling will only to result in increased losses and debt. Even if a gambler had the unlikely good fortune to win enough money to pay their debts, they would be likely to continue gambling it away. The only long-term reliable solution is to quit gambling.

Once you have accepted you have a gambling problem, the next step is to get seek professional help and other services to help you overcome gambling. In Saskatchewan, there are professional Gambling Counsellors in every region of the province and this counselling is free for all Saskatchewan residents. There are also several Gamblers Anonymous chapters organized in several Saskatchewan cities.

Once you’ve stopped gambling, you will no longer be increasing your gambling debts and you can begin the process of financial recovery from your gambling debts. This will likely be a difficult and lengthy process; but not impossible.

Paying off your debt means compiling a list of all the people and companies you owe and systematically paying them off. Pay back the credit cards and loans that charge you the highest interest first and work your way down. Create a schedule for debt repayment and stick to it.

If you’ve been gambling using credit cards, it will be beneficial to cancel those credit cards.

You may also have to consider other ways to earn additional money above your employment income to pay off your debts. You may have to find ways to cut your monthly expenses or consider getting a second job until you can pay off your debts. You may have to sell some of your personal property through on-line selling or classified websites. If a second job is not feasible, perhaps there is an opportunity in the sharing economy to rent out a room via Airbnb or you could consider driving for Uber or Lyft.

With a combination of debt strategies, you may be able to recover from your gambling debt faster.

There may also be debt relief strategies that may help you deal with your gambling debts. If your credit is still good, you may qualify for a debt consolidation loan to help you pay off your debts. You may also benefit by involving a credit counselling agency who may assist you in developing a plan for debt management and arranging payment schedules with your creditors.

For most people, bankruptcy would be the option of last resort. The impacts of bankruptcy on your credit is long-lasting and so bankruptcy should only be considered if the gambling debts are so overwhelming that no workable solution can be found.

Accepting that you have a gambling problem and seeking help to overcome the problem are the first steps to success. Once that is accomplished, you can consider the many options to begin paying off your debts and getting relief from your problem gambling debts.