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Friend Gambling Addict  



My good friend told me over two years ago that she was gambling and had a problem. She owns a store that sells lottery and she plays it even though as a retailer she is not allowed. The lottery said something once and warned her they could take it out of her store. They know she gambles still but has not done anything about it as long as they get their money. 

I thought she had quit. She told me yesterday she is still gambling and has been for 6 years. She received a lot of money from an inheritance. She has spent almostvall of it, I am guessing between $300-500 thousand.

I told her two years ago to call a Gamblers Anonymous number and even looked up numbers for her of therapists who deal with addiction and she told me she quit.

Yesterday she told me she is still at it and it is a horrible addiction, that she cannot stop. I told her, please get help.

I know addiction, I know she has to make the effort and do something.

If I told her children they'd be furious and rat me out. If I called the lottery they might tell her someone called and complained.

I know this is not "my problem" and realize I cannot make her do anything to get help . Her dad used to spoil her and always make everything ok so I think she always relied on her inheritance coming eventually. In the past, he has given her large amounts of money which unbeknownst to him went to pay off gambling. I think she wants someone else to make it better for her because she is used to that and does not want to do the work to get help. She says she is lazy.

 Is there anything I can do? I did tell her, again, that she has to be the one who wants to quit bad enough to reach out for help. I am so afraid of her losing everything which will happen very shortly if she does not stop.

I am under a lot of stress myself due to Covid and my husband and my business being shut down. I am not going to watch over her and try to stop her from gambling evety night.

Thank you in advance.



Posted : 15th May 2020 7:38 pm

Hi and welcome to the forum.

Im afraid what you can do is limited if she is not ready to stop. You can try being  more forceful in your words that gambling is not acceptable, is ruining her and she needs help.

It reminds me of a famous comedian telling the story about his friend a famous songwriter who was drinking himself to death. All he could do was mention it a few times but he couldnt make him stop.

However I do think you should try some tactic to make her see the light. maybe you could mention that its affecting your friendship as its so painful to watch her destroying herself.

You should certainly not allow anybody to throw good money after bad so if you see anybody lending I feel you should warn them of a gambling addiction.

You are asking a very difficult question and you know more about her surroundings than we do. Do her children not know? Will her children be badly affected. 

Gambling is an extremely dangerous drug addiction. I think certain people deserve to know about it...dont you? 

She needs help but I think you have to tread a fine line so it doesn't backlash on you. An addict is under the mind control of a craving and that addiction will see you as a threat if you understand me

The sad reality is that she has to reach out for help. You cant force her to stop and there is only so much worry you can take as you have your own life to lead.

Try the tough love approach. I dont know how much she throws that back in your face or not. I think her family do need to know you have concerns though. Secrets are no good for her so I dont think you are interfering as you clearly care about her. 

It really is your decision. This is whats so horrible about any bad addiction. It affects friends and family watching somebody destroying themselves and feeling helpless.

I do think you should get tougher with her though and take it from there. 

Best wishes from everyone on the forum


This post was modified 3 weeks ago by Joydivider
Posted : 16th May 2020 3:20 am
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