BlogHow to help someone with a gambling addiction

How to help someone with a gambling addiction

By the Options Wellbeing Team


Someone with a gambling addiction may feel like they have little or no control over what they’re doing.

It’s often a very secretive addiction. If they know they have a problem, they may keep it quiet due to the embarrassment of getting themselves into the situation.

Often people will not realise they have a problem, or they might be convincing themselves that they are handling it.

How to talk to someone about gambling

When approaching the subject of gambling with a friend or loved one, it’s important to let them know that you’re speaking to them because you are concerned, and you care.

Try to avoid being critical or talking to them in a confrontational way as this may lead them to becoming defensive.

Avoid sounding accusatory by saying ‘I’ instead of ‘you’ and talking about how you feel instead.

Don’t be judgemental

Patience and listening are key. You should try not to be judgemental and refrain from interrupting when they’re talking.

Be calm and caring but also careful that you don’t allow them to make excuses for their actions.

Financial steps you can take

Do not give or lend money to someone you believe has a gambling addiction, as this could make the problem worse.

Speak to the person’s bank, as there may be a number of ways they can help too.

There are lots of gambling blocking tools and software available for computers, tablets and mobile phones. Check out BeGambleAware for more information on what can be done and other helpful advice.

You may want to contact the debt charity StepChange, which offers free advice and support, too.

You can also get in touch with us for help, support and advice for yourself or your loved one. We are gambling addiction specialists and our team has extensive experience in the area.

We can provide someone who is trained to listen attentively and help improve things. For a free, friendly initial consultation give us a ring on 023 8063 0219 or you talk to us via our chatbot on our website homepage too.


If you, or someone else is in immediate danger, please contact 999 or the Samaritans on 116 123.