Addiction of any sort can be incredibly lonely. This is certainly the case when it comes to gambling, with those addicted to gambling often keeping their issues and feelings to themselves.
This is why when a friend or a relative uncovers someone that they care about is suffering, the subject needs to be handled with compassion and care.
In this blog, we look at ways to help gambling addicts, sharing some advice and tips to those looking to aid a loved one back to health.
Get the truth
Gambling addicts are likely to lie about the severity of their gambling addiction for many reasons. From not wanting to worry people to sheer embarrassment, keeping closed-lip about their addiction is a dangerous position to be in. This is why if you are concerned about a family member or loved one, work hard to find the truth about their condition.
Our advice would be to ask questions, showing that person that you are there to support them and help them back to happier times. We recommend meeting them somewhere neutral to have these talks, giving them the freedom to open up away from their home, betting devices and family. This approach has proven to make people more honest and open about their gambling issues and seek help.
Do not fuel the problem
Giving or even lending money to somebody with a gambling addiction is not a good idea, with there being a strong chance that the money will be used to further enhance their addiction. While it may seem like you are helping, when it comes to combating problem gambling, you have to be cruel to be kind.
Encourage them to socialise in places with no temptations
When spending time with someone who is trying to recover from a gambling addiction, it is advisable that you socialise in areas and in places where there is limited or no temptation. Our advice would be to steer clear of places with in-house casinos, pubs with sports on etc.
If someone has shared that they have a gambling addiction with you, then you may feel overwhelmed with the responsibility to correct things for them, not knowing where to start. One of the first things you should do is inform them of self-exclusion.
Self-exclusion is a tool that permits gamblers to exclude themselves from gambling products and services. This can be actioned via a gambling site. All the person needs to do is visit the ‘Responsible Gambling’ section of the site and follow the instructions. Most sites will request that they send an email or call into the customer service team to action the exclusion. Others may take a message via live chat as enough to cut them off from using the site.
They will however require a few basic details to go through the self-exclusion process. This includes their full name, home address and their date of birth.
Please note that this is not something that you can do on their behalf.
Navigate them to GAMESTOP
Worried that cutting them off from just one betting sites will not help limit their problem? If so, then you should make them aware of GAMESTOP; an organisation created to make multi-operator self-exclusion possible. Taking on the responsibilities of contacting each of the betting providers, GAMSTOP can completely restrict players from accessing betting sites that are licensed to the UK.
Send them useful guides and articles
Though the internet is full of betting temptation, it is also full with advice and support, with millions of articles and guides out there informing on responsible gambling and addiction recovery. Making the person you are trying to support aware of these articles is advisable, allowing them to educate themselves and learn about ways they can improve their situation on their own.
Be at the end of the phone
Although helping someone out of an addiction is the priority, most of the time, they just want a shoulder to cry on or a friendly voice at the end of the phone. So, try and make yourself available as and when they may need you for a chat.
Seek help from the professionals
Whether you are a friend, partner or even a parent, there is only so much you can do to help someone with a compulsive gambling disorder. If you feel the person you are trying to help needs more than just your emotional support, seek help from the professionals.
In the UK, there are over 1000 gambling support groups holding sessions every single day. These can be incredibly useful for addicts, sharing their experiences and learning from others that are in similar situations to them.
But, if they are not quite ready to talk to someone, helplines can be rather useful too.
Find gambling addiction support groups and helplines through BetAid
Here at BetAid, we created this platform not only for gambling addicts but for their friends and family members also, providing anyone in need of gambling support information with a way to access it easily. By partnering with groups, charities and government organisations, we provide our users with a full view of ALL their gambling support options.
Head over to our homepage now to access the most credible organisations out there.