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I think I might have a gambling problem. What can I do?

You've probably come to this section wondering what you can do about your gambling and if it's something that will ever get better. Gambling problems can often feel overwhelming and confusing and often make no sense to the people affected. It might seem as though there aren't any options and there's no way of taking control of the situation. The good news is that there are things you can do and help is available.

Firstly, give yourself some credit. You've made a start in seeking advice. You are not alone. Whether you are struggling to control your own gambling, or you are worried about someone else’s gambling, the GamCare website has a lot of information to help you cope at this stressful time.

Secondly, some good news. There are things you can start to do to take back some control and begin to feel better. This section of the site is designed to give you clear information about gambling problems, how they can develop and what you can do to start to take control if you believe you are experiencing one.

There are many ways that gambling can affect your life, in this section we examine some of the main impacts of a gambling problem, including:

  • Debt
  • Relationships and Family
  • Mental health
  • Social Impacts

We also have some thoughts on why gambling problems develop in the first place in a person's life, as beginning to think about this can be the start of taking back some control.

Self Assessment tool

If you are not sure how much gambling has become a problem for you, you might like to take our online assessment tool. It will ask you a series of questions about your gambling behaviour. When you have finished it will give you a personalised report and advise you as to what your next steps might be.

Read more about self-assessment

What can you do?

There can be a lot of impacts from a gambling problem. It’s important that you focus on your own recovery. Write a list of the things that are on your mind right now, and break them down into priority order. We've got some thoughts about things you can do both today and in the longer term.

What do you need help with today?

  • Changing your behaviour – Find out how you can manage the urge to gamble and make changes to your life to break out of old patterns and routines
  • Self-exclusion - Find out how you can exclude yourself from betting shops, casinos, arcades and online gambling companies
  • Blocking software– Find out how you can set up your computer or phone to stop you accessing gambling websites
  • Managing your finances and debt– Find out how you can get out of debt and organise your finances

Getting help for yourself in the long term

  • Think about talking to someone. Either, someone close to you, that you can trust, and/or a third party. i.e., GamCare HelpLine, Samaritans, or your GP. Getting things off your chest, can release a lot of tension, and help you to see things more clearly.
  • If you think you would like to get help for your gambling, you can get details of services available in Support & Counselling - For You
  • If you think you would like to get help for a friend or family member, you can get details of services available in Support & Counselling - For a Friend or Family Member

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