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Get help with gambling problems

If you're worried about your gambling, there are things you can do to get support. You might want to:

  • limit how much you gamble

  • talk to someone about your gambling problem

  • get help to deal with debt

  • check if you can get a refund if you’ve borrowed money

  • complain if you were allowed to gamble after you self-excluded

  • get support if you’re finding things difficult

If you’re worried about someone else’s gambling, you can find out how to get help on the GambleAware website.

If you’re under 18 years old

Gambling companies shouldn’t let you gamble. If you’ve been allowed to gamble you can complain to the Gambling Commission on their website

If a shop sold you a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard, you can complain to the National Lottery on their website.

If you’re worried about your gambling, you can get help on the BigDeal website.

Limit how much you gamble

If you want to stop gambling or limit how much you gamble, you can:

  • ask gambling companies to stop serving you

  • ask your bank to limit how much you spend on gambling

  • use software to block gambling websites

Ask gambling companies to stop serving you

You can ask gambling companies to stop serving you - this is called ‘self-excluding’. 

You can self-exclude in different ways depending on where you gamble.

You can find out how to self exclude on the GambleAware website.

Ask your bank to limit how much you spend on gambling

Your bank can do different things to limit how much you spend on gambling. For example, they can:

  • block payments to gambling companies

  • temporarily freeze your card to stop you spending too much

Check how your bank can help you limit your gambling on the Gambling Commission website.

Use software to block gambling websites

You can block access to gambling websites by downloading blocking software to your device. This means you won’t be able to visit gambling websites.

 You can find out more about blocking software on the GamCare website.

Talk to someone about your gambling problem

You can talk to someone about your problem on the GamCare website.

You can also get group support by going to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting near you. You can find out more about the meetings on the Gamblers Anonymous website.

Get help if you're struggling with debt

You should start dealing with your debts as soon as you can.

Our debt advice will help you:

  • work out which debts to deal with first 

  • find specialist help, if you need it

Find out how to start dealing with your debts.

If you don’t have enough money to live on, check if you can get help to pay for living costs.

Check if you can get a refund if you've borrowed money

You can complain to your lender if they let you borrow money you couldn’t afford to pay back - for example, if they gave you a loan or an overdraft.

You should complain if both of the following apply:

  • you’ve used the money you borrowed to gamble

  • your lender should have known you gamble before they lent you money - for example, if your bank statements showed you were gambling

If your complaint is successful, your lender should remove any charges or interest. If you’ve already paid charges or interest, your lender should refund you. You’ll usually still have to pay back the money you borrowed.

You can use a template letter to help you complain to your lender.

If you were allowed to gamble after you self-excluded

Gambling companies shouldn't let you gamble if you’ve asked them to stop serving you - this is called self-excluding. You can find out more about self exclusion on the GambleAware website.

If you think you shouldn’t have been allowed to gamble you can complain to the Gambling Commission. They can take action against a gambling company if they think the company hasn’t followed the rules. Find out how to complain to the Gambling Commission on their website.

If you're finding things difficult

A lot of people with gambling problems have mental health problems. If you’re struggling with your mental health, you can call the Samaritans’ free helpline. You can speak to them about anything.

Samaritans

Telephone: 116 123

Email: jo@samaritans.org

Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from all mobiles and landlines.