GamCare and the RAF Benevolent Fund
The RAF Benevolent Fund is working with GamCare to provide extra support for RAF personnel and their families.
For many people gambling is not a harmful activity, but for some it can become a serious problem.
Gambling can be a fun way to pass the time, perhaps when you’re at base or in a group. However, gambling also has the potential to cause a variety of negative impacts if it becomes a way to cope with boredom, loneliness, anger, stress or anxiety. Over time, the more you gamble, the more you will lose – and this may not be just money.
As many as 5% of service people and 2% of their dependents think gambling could be a problem for them (Meeting the Needs of the Serving RAF Community, 2018). There are a variety of ways to gamble on bases, and we want to help people stay safe when they gamble, and to know that help and support is available if needed.
How can I keep myself safe?
- Only spend what you can afford
Always keep in mind that you are more likely to lose the money you stake than you are to win any more. Don’t gamble with money that you need for other important things.
- Set your limits for time and money
Decide how long you would like to gamble for, and how much money you have to play with, before you begin. When this money is gone, or your time limit is reached, it’s time to step away.
- Gambling when angry or upset is not a good idea
Emotions like anger, sadness or a feeling of general stress can make it more difficult to make clear decisions. This can lead to you losing money you can’t really afford, and potentially damaging important relationships. If you’re feeling low before you start, gambling won’t make you feel any better.
- Gambling shouldn’t interfere with your relationships
If you spend too much time or money gambling, you may miss out on other important events and activities, including spending time with the people you care about. Keep gambling balanced with other things you enjoy, and other social activities too.
- Gambling is not the answer to any problem
Gambling is most definitely not a way to make money, or to fix something else in your life that you are not happy with. Yes, some people win big, but this is not as often as it may appear! Over time, the house always wins. Any other problems you have will probably only be made worse if you use gambling as a way to get away from them.
In the last 12 months, have you:
- Bet more than you could really afford to lose?
- Been criticised for your betting or told that you have a gambling problem?
- Felt guilty about the way you gamble, or what happens when you gamble?
- Been affected by someone else’s gambling?
Gambling problems can affect anyone. If you are worried, or you feel that your gambling is starting to get out of control, help and support is available.
GamCare Support Services
For information, advice and support for anyone negatively impacted by gambling, talk to us now. All our services are free, confidential and non-judgemental, and our Advisers are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
Additional support for the RAF Family
GamCare have worked with the RAF Benevolent Fund to produce a range of resources to support RAF service people and their families experiencing gambling related harms. Below you will find links to two leaflets providing information about problem gambling and what support is available.
If you have financial concerns related to gambling, please visit the Royal British Legion advice pages.