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GamCare supports the RAF

Gambling harm support for the RAF

We are collaborating with the RAF Benevolent Fund to provide extra assistance for gambling-affected RAF personnel and their families.

Working with the RAF Benevolent Fund

For many people, gambling can be a fun way to pass the time, perhaps when you’re off-duty at base or in a social group. For others, however, gambling has the potential to cause a lot of harm, especially 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 these losses might not be just money.

As many as five per cent of service personnel and two per cent of their dependants 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 military bases, and we want to help service personnel stay safe if they do gamble, and to know that help and support is available if and when they need it.

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. Do not gamble with money you need for important other things.

Set your limits for time and money

Decide how long you will gamble for, and how much money you have to play with, before you begin. When your stake 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 such as anger, sadness or stress can make it more difficult to make clear decisions. This can lead to you losing money you can’t afford; and can potentially damage important relationships. If you’re feeling low before you start, gambling won’t help 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 duties, including spending time with the people you care about. Keep gambling balanced with other pastimes and social activities you enjoy.

Gambling is not the answer to any problem

Gambling is most definitely not a way to make money, or to fix an aspect of your life about which you are unhappy. 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’re experiencing will likely only be exacerbated if you use gambling as a way to try and escape them.


Additional support for the RAF family

Together with the RAF Benevolent Fund, we have produced a range of resources to support RAF personnel and their families experiencing gambling-related harms.

As well as our services, the RAF Benevolent Fund provides support services from Relate and a mental wellbeing training tool with Headspace.

If you have financial concerns related to gambling, please visit the Royal British Legion advice pages.

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We are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can also contact us for free on 0808 80 20 133. If you would like to find out more about the service before you start, including information on confidentiality, please click below. Call recordings and chat transcripts are saved for 28 days for quality assurance.

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