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Table of Contents
What Is Gambling Debt?
In simple terms, gambling debt is when a person owes money to a bookmaker or casino. However, things can often become more serious than that, where an individual uses other means of credit to cover their gambling losses.
Unfortunately, gambling can easily become an addiction and so things can get out of control very quickly. When someone with a gambling addiction runs out of money, they do not just stop gambling, they will often begin to access different types of credit and continue with their addiction until their sources of credit are exhausted, leaving them at risk of bankruptcy.
How Does Gambling Become a Problem?
The rush of a big win can be a great feeling, but it can also lead to problems in the future. Gambling can be highly addictive, since when that win comes, our brain’s reward pathways are triggered, sending chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins into our bloodstream giving us that sense of euphoria. For some, the urge to experience this feeling can lead them to take greater and greater risks, regardless of the consequences to their finances.
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Who Is Most Likely to Have a Gambling Addiction?
Extreme gambling is seen as a recognised disorder by the World Health Organisation. Many people will place the odd bet from time to time leading them to lose small amounts of money, or to even have the occasional win. But for others, gambling can have a devastating effect.
In 2016, according to the Gambling Commission, there were an estimated 340,000 individuals with a gambling addiction. The report suggested problems gamblers were:
Five times more likely to be male than female
More likely to be unemployed
Are likely to be between 25 and 34
More likely to be suffering from poor mental health
Are likely to be showing signs of low wellbeing.
Between March 2018 and 2019 gamblers are estimated to have lost £14.4bn.
In fact, it is unsurprising that so many people choose to gamble or feel a compulsion to do so, when it is reported that 95% of adverts during live football games are gambling related.
Lots of betting is now done online or via mobile phone apps and as such is paid for via credit cards. This means the negatives of losing money can be avoided for enough time to allow the addiction to develop, ending in serious credit card debts and a gambling disorder that compels you to keep spending.
How Can Gambling Affect Your Life?
The following are some of the more visible signs and effects of a gambling addiction:
A preoccupation with gambling that leads to a loss of interest in other areas of your life e.g. family responsibilities
Being unable to control the urge to gamble, even when the odds of winning are small
Betting with ever greater stakes, often to cover previous losses or to heighten the thrill of winning
A negative impact on relationships – It is not uncommon for relationships to break down because of a gambling addition
Difficulties at work can arise as a result of being preoccupied with gambling
The losses that can arise from a gambling addiction can lead to significant financial strain and hardship. This can also lead to a loss of trust at home.
How Can I Get Help with My Gambling Debt?
Coping With Gambling Addiction
If you feel as though you may have a gambling problem, then seeking help and guidance from a gambling charity like www.GamCare.org.uk could be a really positive step. You could even take an online assessment test to see if your gambling habits may be becoming harmful.
There is lots of help and advice out there which could help you.
Dealing with The Gambling Debts
Alongside learning how to cope and deal with an addiction, it can also be a major relief to know that your debts are back under control. Here at IVA4Me, we are here to listen and help you put your gambling problems behind you.
If you are having trouble paying your Gambling Debts or if you have other unsecured debts that are beginning to get out of control, then the following solutions may be right for you:
If you live in England, Wales Or Northern Ireland:
If you live in Scotland then the following may suit your needs:
Contact IVA4Me for help. We can help you begin to get your life back on track.
What Can I Do to Help Myself?
Keeping on top of an addiction can be challenging. Here are some steps you can take to begin to make changes to your life.
This is an option that you can take, either in a betting shop or on a gambling website, where you can choose to ‘exclude’ yourself.
All gambling businesses offer must be part of a multi-operator self exclusion scheme. This means that you can make a single request to be excluded from gambling, rather than having to apply to each individual provider. Any gambling companies that you have an account with, will then delete your details from their database and return any money they have of yours on account. To find out more about self exclusion, visit the GamStop website.
Other steps that you could take are listed below:
Friends and Family of People with Gambling Problems
Having someone close to you who is living with a gambling problem, can be incredibly stressful and concerning. Sometimes it can be important to seek help yourself in order to know how best to support and encourage your loved one to deal with their issue.