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Why is Gambling an Issue?

Recent changes in gambling are thought to be contributing to a rise in problem gambling.  An increase of casino style betting terminals in bookmakers and online gambling sites provide easy and discreet opportunities for gambling.  Like other addictive activities, gambling can have serious and wide ranging physical and mental health consequences for the individual and those around them.

How to Help Yourself and Others?

1. Recognise the signs! 
If you do gamble and feel that things are becoming a problem then it’s important to recognise the signs and do something about it. If you experience any of the signs below then it’s time to think about talking to someone to seek help:
- Increasing your bets
- Being secretive about your gambling
- People commenting on your gambling
- Gambling to win back lost money
- Constantly thinking about gambling
- Becoming stressed when trying to stop
- Using money to gamble you need for other things i.e. bills
- Using borrowed money or stealing to gamble
- Spending more money than intended including all your wages
- Gambling when you should be doing other things

2. Set a limit!
There is such a thing as a responsible gambler. Many social occasions with family, friends and others could involve a gambling type situation for example a day at the races or a sporting event. However think about setting a limit if you are thinking of placing a bet and keep this responsible. Gambling can be part of recreational occasion but set aside an amount of money you can afford and are prepared to lose that won’t cause you any problems if this happens.

3. When the fun stops...STOP...!
This is just sensible position to keep in mind but an important one. If you do gamble stay in control and remember to be a responsible gambler. Don’t lose what you can’t afford and when you begin to feel bad about your gambling then go home or finish putting more money on. STAY IN CONTROL.
4. Be a good friend!
Being a responsible and in control gambler applies to your friends. If you’re with a friend who looks like they have lost the ability to stay in control then a friendly bit of advice and support is what good friends do for each other. A conversation to make a plan to keep to your limits before a gambling situation takes place is a good approach in any recreational occasion where gambling may be part of the planned entertainment.
5. Seek support from relevant services
If you’re a young person and need help, information advice or support concerning gambling or other issues then help is available from the services under the who can help section below:

Who Else Can Help?

There are lots of local and national organisations who can offer support, advice & guidance if you need it. 

Beacon Counselling Trust
Delivers a free support service for individuals and families affected by problem gambling in Knowsley.  This service, run in partnership with GamCare, includes one to one counselling, couple counselling and group counselling, as well as debt management and social support.  Services are delivered from a central hub in Liverpool and satellite locations across the North West.
Tel:     0151 321 1099

Provides confidential advice, information and emotional support to anyone experiencing problems with gambling.
Free Helpline:    0808 8020 133 8am to midnight, 7 days a week.

Gamblers Anonymous
Uses the same twelve-step approach as Alcoholics Anonymous and also has a support group for relatives called Gam-Anon.

Children's charity dedicated to ending child abuse and child cruelty.


Childline offers free, confidential advice and support whatever your worry, whenever you need help. 
0800 1111 24-hour helpline for children
0808 800 5000 For adults concerned about a child 24-hour helpline

1. There is no system that will help you win!

There is no system that can outsmart the odds and increase your chances of winning. Keeping track of previous results, knowing all the rules, being a good gaming player and/or coming up with a combination. None of these methods will help you win or increase your chances of winning. The fact is the results are always random and a chance you take – fact!


2. Everyone has a relationship with gambling!

This is mostly true for the majority of us. At some point probably everyone will have a gamble on something at sometime. That could be a scratch card, a friendly bet with a friend, a raffle ticket purchase, a lottery ticket or a day out with others that may involve a bet being made for example at a football match. Although this is true, and for many something that doesn’t become problematic, it can also turn into something more regular for others.

3. Gambling is addictive!

Very true. Every year people contact services such as gamblers anonymous and Beacon Counselling Trust to seek support for problematic gambling. Many of these people have developed a pathological problem. In other words they have become compulsive obsessed with their gambling becoming more persistent or habitual and causing many other problems in their life such as relationship difficulties and extreme debt problems. Gambling addiction also causes problems with parents, difficulty with studies in school or college, holding down a job, lying stealing, feeling depressed and irritable when trying to stop or chase money lost on bets...

4. Its all gambling!

There are many forms of gambling that many people just do not consider... the common forms such as using betting shops, fruit machines in pubs, a spin of the roulette table in a casino, betting at the horse races, poker games are all generally the first thing that comes to mind when we think of gambling. However think about it, buying a lottery ticket, having a game of bingo, two pence slot machines at the arcade that children play and more recently video games where you stand to win are all forms of gambling and all have the ability to cause problems just like the more common and familiar methods. Some believe that online football gaming where people purchase various virtual trading cards for example star football players to make up their virtual team is a form of gambling as the purchases are random and hidden. People purchase more virtual cards hoping to get the players they didn’t get previously... it’s a bit like betting on a result and it not coming in and they try again...

5. Gambling is morally acceptable until!

This is so true. Most people don’t consider gambling to be a big issue especially when they are bragging about winning. However this changes drastically when gambling becomes addictive and problematic. There are many problem gamblers who have suffered due to their gambling becoming out of control. Failed relationships, getting involved in crime, losing your job, trouble studying, arguments, losing your home, doing things you wouldn’t do normally, stealing, lying, developing huge debts, anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts are all the problems that out of control gambling can lead to.

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