I've been with my boyfriend almost 2 years and I've known about his gambling addiction from the start (although it was presented to me as something he had help for before he came to this country and that it was taken care of).
I know he genuinely wants to stop. He signed up for self-exclusion but when he feels compelled to gamble he manages to find a website that he can use. It's once every 4-5 months that he gambles and each time it's a bit more that he loses.
I've asked him to get help but he says he tried that before and he doesn't feel it really helped in the long run. He's going back to his country for a week and I know when he's there he finds it really difficult to not go to betting shops as they're everywhere so it's always in the back of his mind. He suggested only bringing the cash with him that he would need for the week and leaving his bank cards here but then realised he still might gamble the cash and be left with nothing the rest of his time there.
Any advice for what he can do while he's there / in the run up to going? Maybe bringing limited cash would be the best option even if it does leave him with nothing if he gambles it..
Also any advice for how to protect your finances from a partner's gambling addiction? I would never do joint bank accounts but anything else you could suggest would be great, thank you.
Forum Admin here, it sounds like you are both being really careful by trying to plan ahead for the trip and triggers. Other than transferring small amounts of money every day or couple of days into a basic bank account which has no overdraft facility, I can't think of anything to suggest you haven't already thought of.
I am really pleased that you are thinking about protecting yourself financially and as you say, not having joint bank accounts is vital. Other things to consider are ensuring the security of your accounts at all times (cards, passwords etc) and making sure you read all statements and bank correspondence.
You can get further information about finance here https://www.gamcare.org.uk/self-help/finance-and-debt-management/ and if you are worried at all, seek specialist help either from one of the agencies listed in the link, Citizen's Advice or from your own bank.
I hope this helps and do feel free to contact us about the special, free support on offer for those people affected by someone else's gambling, or if you would like to talk about how you're feeling.
Wishing you all the best,
Hi.. I am a problem gambler. From what you say, i'd suggest that his gambling is probably more often than once every 4 to 5 months. Most people who gamble tend to minimise how much they are actually gambling, due to shame and guilt and generally not wanting other people to know the extent of the problem.
As you suggest when he says that he has "signed up for self-exclusion" ask yourself.. what does that actually mean? If it means he has registered with gamstop then that is a real barrier for online gambling in the uk... if it means excluding from individual gambling websites then in my opinion that doesn't mean very much at all because there is always another gambling website to sign up to when the "itch" might strike.
Going to another country is a problem. But like you say, limiting access to money will help. he needs to look at the options in that country for ways to protect himself from his compulsion.
Also as the admin person has suggested, you do need to protect yourself. An addicted gambler will sometimes do things that you would never think that they would do... such as... "try to take out loans in partners names or open gambling accounts in partners names"... so be sure that your security details are kept safe with yourself. Am not saying that your boyfriend would ever try to do this... but be mindful.. it does happen. You could register with gamstop yourself?
I hope this is useful in some way. All the best
Thanks for your responses, they've been really helpful.
As I've made sure he knows that I don't blame him or think any less of him, I hope that he has been truthful in how many times he's gambled, but I should keep this in mind as you never know.
Thanks for the suggestion of excluding myself, I hadn't thought of that but would give me a little peace of mind to know he couldn't use my details. He registered with gamstop however I don't think that covers every gambling website (understandable as there are always new ones popping up but a bit frustrating).
It's horrible to think he may try to get my passwords or take out a loan in my name etc. and while I feel sure he wouldn't do this to me.. I feel extremely naive to say it. I'll definitely look into this side of it more and see how I can further protect myself.
Hi.. just to say, that although there are always new online casino's opening all the time, 99% of them are registered with the uk gambling commission and are hence covered by gamstop. Now when i had the itch to gamble online despite being covered by gamstop I did find a handful of sites where I could sign up. However a lot of the gambling games I was automatically barred from playing (for whatever reason) and although I could gamble on a few slot games it was very limited and I soon got frustrated with it all and then excluded myself from each individual site that wasn't covered by gamstop.
I think what am trying to say is that sign up to gamstop yourself and you will get peace of mind despite the 1% of casino's that are not covered by it. Hope this helps.. S.A