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Worried for my son



i feel i have no where left to turn, my son is 24  and last year he got himself in a mess with gambling, i have always helped him with money issues through fear of anything bad happening to him.  My husband and I borrowed money off my inlaws to pay off his debts, he had his wages paid into an account only i have access to, i would pay his bills and drip feed him any remaining money throughout the month, he registered with gamstop and all seemed to be going well.

He paid off all his debts then lost his job so again i started subsidising him till he got his first wage from his new job……

i didnt think to check any details with him assumed wages would go to the same account as before, i have since discovered he has opened new bank accounts making everything paperfree so nothing came to the house, i now think this has enabled his online gambling again using new accounts not registered with gamstop?? Sorry i dont know enough about the site to know if this is how it works….

he got paid on friday £1400 into a different account, his girlfriend rang me last night absolutely heartbroken, he had borrowed £400 from her £600 from me and them blew all his wages in 2 days

i feel a massive mix of emotions right now, im ashamed my son made his girlfriend sob the way she did to me, im angry that he has lied to me and used me the way he has but im also so worried about him, he doesn’t live a lavish life no alcohol or drug issues he just gets by but i can see he is hurting and not my happy go lucky boy anymore.

sorry for the long post and thank you to anyone who has read it.

i just need advice on how i can help him because right now im not sure i can 

Topic starter Posted : 4th August 2022 5:50 pm

Hi If your son is still gambling with a live gamstop account he will be using non licensed casinos and casinos that haven’t registered with gamstop to be able to do this. Gamstop take details your son would normally use to sign up to casinos once registered gamstop locks all gambling accounts and blocks all deposits. To help your son with this addiction I would recommend attending open gamblers anonymous meetings which will enable you to get an idea on what your son is experiencing or there’s the Gam-Anon service which is all about affected others from other peoples gambling. 

Posted : 5th August 2022 1:24 am

@jaefn I was your son. You haven’t quite done enough for him yet. You could get yourself into debt. You could take out loans that although I’ll promise to pay back I won’t. You could re-mortgage the house and after years of it you could be forced to sell the house and move to a council house. You could cash in your pensions because I’m desperate again. And again. And again.

or you could decide that you’ve done enough and from now it’s on him. Let him face the reality of his actions. A short term shock is better than the long term waste of his and your life. If you enable him he will promise you anything. At the time he’ll mean it. “I’m sorry” and “I promise” were the two most commonly used phrases I said and I meant it at the time. I really did. Once that urgent problem passed all I wanted to do was gamble again. When you aren’t there as a cash machine he’ll use his girlfriend and then he’ll take his kids money. If it’s left this addiction will take everything. There’s no limit.

Now it’s not because your son is a bad son, he has an addiction that goes past the bounds of your morality. All that counts is getting money to gamble with.

I know this sounds bleak and it can’t be that bad but this is my addiction. My story. 
I turned for help when there was nothing left. Either no one had any money left or they just wouldn’t give it to me regardless of what would happen if they didn’t help me. Losing relationships, losing jobs, getting in trouble with the police. Going to prison. Losing my children. 
Once I’d had enough of it I could turn for help. If you and his girlfriend and anyone else can tell him no from now on, if he gets into situations he can’t deal with then maybe then he’ll have had enough and want help now. Maybe he’ll actually want help now? Does he say he has to pay loan sharks and big nasty men? That’s a lie. Did I forget to mention compulsive gamblers tend to be compulsive liars as well. They believe the lies so much that they can’t tell reality from their own fantasy world.

For me it’s Gambler’s Anonymous and working a program of change. Firstly put gambling down, then in time look at myself and learn to react to life differently.

For some people it’s counselling. For some it’s having blocks in place.

I hope this helps you decide and if he wants to come on here and ask anything I’m happy to help. He might think no one understands. I do and this forum does. Better still I hope he attends GA in person. It could save his life.


Posted : 5th August 2022 10:05 am

Thank you for your reply's,

I want to give my son as much information as possible so any suggestions would be greatly received ie blocks he can use on his phone, i will also get him to look on here at some of your stories in the hope he finds some who he can relate to and reach out to.

my son will tell me he has not got a gambling problem therefore i cannot help him but i am sick of falling out with him over money, i tell him not to ask me because i will not give him anymore but he will play the guilt card, its just £10 for petrol or i cant get to work etc and although i dnt believe i give him the money just in case it is the truth.

i think i need to educate myself more on this also and become stronger because i cannot go on like this.


Topic starter Posted : 7th August 2022 10:56 am


This is the gamcare link for the various blocks that can be used on phones or computers.

You do need to get tougher. Remember it’s not your fault or responsibility for whatever he needs money for after his has gone on gambling or drugs or drink. Every penny you give him though is stopping him getting help.

When I wrote what I did above it wasn’t for any other reason but to show you what could happen because it’s true in every aspect. Get tougher, look after yourself.

He has to want help, and by being tougher you will help him get to that point quicker.

Good luck.


Posted : 7th August 2022 4:31 pm

Good Morning Jaefn,

I have only just read your post. It’s certainly heartbreaking and I feel for you and your family.

I know  that this is very tough for you to hear but Chris has taken the time to offer you excellent advice. As a gambler in recovery, I can tell you that Chris’ words clearly outline the path that you need to take to protect yourself and to help your son. If you don’t take this advice I fear that you’ll lose your son somewhere down the line. If you protect yourself and your finances he’ll always have somewhere safe and secure to come back to. 

Please, please take the advice.

I wish you well.




Posted : 14th August 2022 8:08 am

@jaefn I had to reply ,because I'm in a similar situation with my son . 4 years ago was really bad , thats when we found out he had this problem ..he'd blown so much money even now its hard to believe. But we got through it , he promised to tell us if he did it again and for four years we got comfortable thinking he'd beaten it. Then this year twice he has gambled ,loosing all his wages almost as soon as he was paid ,although both times at  least his bills got paid . The second time was the worst as he used money he had put in an account for his son. He hated that he'd done that. I like you have bailed him out ..this time I only paid back my grandsons money and a bill, but have still drip fed him a small amount a week . I know that now has to stop . I hate the way it makes me feel, I hate that gambling comes between me and my son, I hate how it kills the trust we've built back up , that it makes me resent my son because Ive spent my hard earned money bailing him. Ive worked hard all my life , Ive scrimped and now Im at an age when what I have ,I should be enjoying spending on me. I dont want to resent him , to not help him , but as far as this is concerned I will not offer financial support any more, i just cant do it ,its not helping him. He has asked if his brother and I can help him ,take charge of his money again, go with him to support group/counscelling  and that is what we will do. I know he is in touch with gamcare setting this up . So we can only go forward from today ; not forgetting the past but not bringing it up all the time. I wish you the best and hope you come to a good place with your son . best wishes Jan 

Posted : 14th August 2022 11:03 pm
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