Gambling Debt Help & Advice

Types of Debt

Gambling Debt Help & Advice


Chasing lady luck with a flutter on horse racing or placing your bets on your favourite football team can seem like fun, however, gambling debt is a serious problem across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

According to recent research by the Gambling Commission 66 per cent of adults in Scotland have splashed cash on gambling activities compared with just 56 per cent in England and 55 per cent in Wales.

There’s no one size fits all profile when it comes to those struggling with gambling debt as thousands of people struggle across the country.


How gambling debt can affect your life

For many people gambling is just a way of life. Something they do for a little fun every so often and have total control over. However, when debts begin to add up that’s when the fun stops for many and gambling debt can have a serious impact on day-to-day life.

Personal finances

It is hardly surprising that a person who struggles with compulsive gambling is likely to experience financial difficulties. It might not seem like a lot at first, but gambling debt can force someone to cut back on non-essential spending before eventually being left without money to cover priority bills. Gamblers often fund their habits using credit cards, overdrafts and in some instances even payday loans with the hope of winning it all back which can lead to a destructive habit that’s hard to break.


Gambling debt doesn’t simply have an impact on the life of the person placing the bets but also those closest to them. Just as there’s a stigma about talking about debt, there is also a stigma against gambling problems which can make speaking out about a problem all the more difficult. However, allowing it to fester will only cause financial strain which can lead to arguments between partners, families and friends whilst compulsive gambling can lead to spending less time with those who matter most. Professional relationships can also feel the brunt too as gambling debt and secretiveness and lies can often go hand in hand, leading to anxiety and loss of concentration.

Mental Health

Just as gambling can bring euphoric highs, gambling can bring extreme lows and as such have a serious impact on mental health. From anxiety and stress to sleepless nights and depression, gambling addiction is often the source of more than one mental health problem. Like any addiction, gambling can cause people to lose interest in other activities, their social life and even cause lack of concentration at work and can lead to spend more time placing bets.

If you’re worried that you or a loved one has a problem with gambling, it’s important to be aware of the warning signs that trouble could lie ahead. Prioritising gambling over essential bills, being secretive, consistently over spending and feeling guilty are all signs that shouldn’t be ignored. Other sings of gambling problems include having unpaid bills, turning to loans and credit cards to cover the cost of essentials or further gambling and withdrawal from social events can also indicate a gambling addiction.


What to do if you have gambling debt

Admitting you’re living with a problem of any kind is one of the hardest things to do in life. However, if you think you might be struggling with gambling debt the most important thing is to take action as soon as possible to prevent the problem from becoming worse. There are simple steps you can take to address the problem and begin making changes to regain control.

Speak up

This is possibly the most difficult thing to do but opening up about a gambling problem and gambling debt is the first step on the road to recovery. Speaking to a trusted friend or family member will not only let you clear your head but also lift the stress of hiding from the problem off your shoulders.

Exclude yourself

Do you visit a certain bookmakers, casino or bingo hall every day? Betting shops should allow customers to exclude themselves which means that staff will refuse service. Online betting also offers a similar function.

Personal changes

If your recovery is to be successful it’s important to make personal changes in the first instance. Noticing patterns in your gambling will help you to adjust your lifestyle without huge hardship. This could be something as simple as taking a different route to work to avoid walking past a betting shop.

Seek support

If you’re living with a gambling addiction and attempting to deal with your gambling debts the most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone. Joining a support group, such as Gamblers Anonymous, can be a way to open up about your problem, free of judgement, with others who understand your situation.

Get gambling debt help

A gambling addiction and gambling debt go hand in hand like the ultimate partners in crime making it imperative to get help with what you owe. All unsecured debts, including gambling debt, can be included in debt solutions such as Trust Deed or Debt Arrangement Scheme allowing you to manage what you owe. However, it’s important to note that to be eligible for help with gambling debt you must be able to prove you are taking steps to resolve your problem.

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