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Adult Child Gaming Gambling


Hi all 

My son is 21, lives at home with us, and for years has been gambling on online gaming eg buying packs and special events etc.  He has once again tonight told me he's spent all his wages, except £60 which is for a bill thats due this week.  He doesn't get paid for another 2 weeks.

I have previously paid off credit cards, and taken them away.  Even cancelled them so new ones were issued and he couldn't use the stored numbers.  But he took out a PayPal loan instead and also found his new credit card and used that.

He does have diagnosed major depressive disorder and general anxiety which he is medicated for, and chronic low self esteem, all of which diagnosed and received private counselling for.

The issue is, he now doesn't have enough fuel for getting to work for 2 weeks and won't be able to buy lunch. I have said that there is sandwich and pack up stuff in the house, and when he needs fuel we will go together and I will pay for that, which he needs to repay on payday.  But otherwise I won't be bailing him out and he needs to reach out here for support, and perhaps look at opening a monzo account to help with budgeting and limits. 

As its not gambling in the typical sense I don't believe Gamstop or self exclusion would work or apply here.  Is there anyone else who's had similar and could advise? 

I want to support him, and I also want to throttle him! He knows he's got about 8k in savings which we hold, (he pays 550 a month board, 400 of which goes to his savings) and thinks he can borrow from himself and pay it back, but I have refused that idea. 

I dont know what else to do right now, I dont want his longer term future to be affected as I've had poor credit and its a real challenge, but I also don't want to be an enabler!!! Help!! 

Topic starter Posted : 16th January 2022 10:18 pm

Hello and Welcome to the forum

Depression and anxiety are proven links to gambling. Gambling acts like a drug addiction of escape which is highly addictive

There is no shame in being proactive in trying to help him. He needs help and a proper recivery will allow him to see that clearly

He will have all sorts of delusional plans and schemes in his head. Most of it is the addiction talking and it seems to make a perfect sense that he can get out of this with the "perfect plan of borrowing and careful gambling"

Its an addiction and indeed an illness. it doesnt make him a bad person.... he is infact an ill person who needs to get better

My best advice is hold onto his savings and he should be living on a small allowance while providing receipts

You need to be monitoring his reactions and behaviour by talking it through with him

When he is truly ready to stop he will feel a sense of relief even serenity that he is getting love support and help. 

In a strong sense there is cold turkey to be done. if he is argumentative and fight this you have a tougher more delicate job on your hands but I salute you for offering him support. 

Lend him nothing but you can build his pride by paying his bills with him and financial dealings must be cas secured from any savings. he will learn the value of money again and he can save for possessions to motivate him that money has this purpose. 

The most important factors are his mental health, self respect and dignity which do return when free from gambling

You and your son can never be complacent again as its a powerful addiction yearning for its cravings

It can be beaten with love support reality checks and close monitoring

It gives his mind time to heal and ask the real questions about life and happiness

Its not all his fault but he has to accept responsibility to join us for a gamble free life

Best wishes from everyone on the forum

This post was modified 4 months ago 3 times by Joydivider
Posted : 17th January 2022 8:21 am
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