Stop creditor action and consolidate all of your gambling debts into one monthly affordable payment – from £70 per month
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What is gambling debt?
Gambling debt is the money owed as a result of gambling activities. That could be money owed to a specific gambling provider i.e. betting shops, gambling websites, a casino, or even to the creditors whose money you used to fund your gambling habit.
The problem with gambling debt is that it doesn’t stop at the creditors. It is more complex than that. Gambling debt and problem debt are frequently linked because when someone with a gambling addiction runs out of money, they will look for alternative sources of finance, exhausting every option until they have enormous debts.
Gambling debt can quickly morph into credit card debt, debit card debt, loan debt, even debt owing to families and friends as the debtor tries to find money to cover their initial gambling debt.
How can gambling addiction affect my life?
Gambling is a common activity that many people do without cause for concern. They manage their wins and their losses sensibly.
However, the reason people fall into gambling debt is because gambling is incredibly addictive, and it can affect anyone’s mental wellbeing.
Gambling debtThere is a difference between the expected losses accrued when gambling, and being a compulsive gambler i.e. someone who is unable to stop gambling in an attempt to win back money. Gambling stimulates the brain in the same way that alcohol or drugs do. When someone wins big money, the will experience an endorphin high that makes them feel invincible. When they then try to chase that high, but without the means to fund their gambling habit, gambling addiction can occur. The addictive nature of betting causes gamblers to place bets with money they don’t have, or can’t afford to lose, leading to gambling debt.
Mental healthWhat makes gambling debt so detrimental is not just the damage it can do to you financially, but it can severely impact your mental health, particularly if you have other forms of debt as well. It can be hard to escape gambling advertising, especially if you’re into sports, or you’re online, it can seem as if everywhere you turn you’re being invited to place a bet. Gambling can cause people to lose interest in hobbies and activities they used to enjoy, it can even push them towards spending more time in betting firms, gambling. People with mental health issues may even turn to gambling in an attempt to distract themselves from their health issues.
Personal financesCompulsive gamblers are more likely to experience financial difficulties. This can mean having to cut back on paying household bills in order to fund their gambling habits. In many cases gambling leads to debt because people are forced to pay for their gambling addiction using any means they can – a credit card, a payday loan, they even try to gamble more in the hope of winning more money to pay off their debts, which only results in a vicious circle of more debt. If your gambling debt is out of control, now is the time to stop gambling and seek debt advice for how to sort your money worries.
What are early warning signs of a gambling problem?
If you think you’ve got a gambling problem, do these sound familiar?
regularly spending more money than you have gambling
you prioritise spending money gambling than on paying priority bills
you use gambling to distract you from other things going on in your life
you feel ashamed of your gambling habits
you use credit cards, payday loans, family and friends, even unsecured debt to fund your gambling addictions
How to stop gambling
If you have gambling problems, it can be hard to stop. But you don’t have to go on this journey alone. There are charities and support groups such as the gambling charity, Gamblers Anonymous, as well as gambling helplines. All of these can give you gambling debt, help and free advice to end your compulsive gambling.
Other practical solutions to help with gambling include:
Timeouts. Most gambling websites have a timeout function that you can initiate to prevent yourself from gambling for a set period of time, usually from 24 hours to 6 weeks.
Self exclusion. If you have the self restraint, impose self exclusion bans on your preferred betting shops and online gambling companies. Again, most gambling websites will allow you to self exclude from their site for a minimum period of 6 months up to 5 years.
GAMSTOP. Sign up to GAMSTOP, a free service available in the UK. Once you’ve signed up to their site, you will be excluded from all online gambling companies licensed in the UK.
Multi Operator Self Exclusion Scheme. If you have a problem gambling in betting shops, sign up to the Multi Operator Self Exclusion Scheme by calling 0800 294 2060 and have yourself self excluded from betting shops for a fixed period. Once activated, your photo and details will be shared with your named establishments and you will be banned from using them.
Gambling site blockers. If you struggle with gambling online, you can instal blocking software that will stop you gambling outright by preventing you from accessing any gambling websites.
Debt advice to clear gambling debts
To get help with gambling debts, there are some steps you can take, depending on your personal circumstances.
Determine exactly what you owe and to whom.
Are there repayment timelines attached to any debts accrued?
How will the gambling debt affect your other debts?
Make sure you keep on top of other important bills such as mortgage repayments, credit card debt, or utility bills, as these have more serious consequences if you miss payments.
Get free advice if you aren’t sure. We’re here to help you out and advise you on the different solutions you have available, including setting up a repayment plan, or consolidating your debts into an affordable monthly repayment plan.
Get free debt advice today
You can get free debt advice from IVA Advice. While many people may be wary of asking for help, it’s important to take responsibility for your situation. We will offer you a plan that deals with all aspects of your financial situation, including debt advice. If you feel like there’s nothing you can do to deal with your debts, and you want advice on writing them off and doing monthly payments, then contact IVA Advice. We can help you with a debt solution or IVA proposal. We’ll help you to prepare a budget and work out what options there are to deal with your debts. Call IVA Advice and chat with us, so we can understand the best way to help you.