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Support someone

Recovering from a gambling problem isn't easy. It takes hard work and a lot of encouragement. Many people with a gambling addiction can turn their lives around because of support from people close to them.

We can help you provide this support with information and tips specifically suited to your situation.

Identifying if someone close to you has a gambling problem

Gambling issues are often easy to hide. People who gamble compulsively may feel ashamed and fear being rejected. These factors combine to create considerable barriers to help-seeking and explain why some people deny the problem until the impacts are severe.

If your friend or family member is strugging with their gambling, he or she might:

  • have long, unexplained absences from home, school, or work.
  • withdraw from family and friends.
  • seem anxious or distracted, or have difficulty paying attention.
  • have mood swings, usually high when winning and lower when losing.
  • get overly upset at the conclusion of sporting matches or online games.
  • suddenly become secretive over money and finances or start to hide bank and credit card statements.
  • display intense interest in gambling conversations.
  • ask friends and family for money.
  • have unexplained debts, or windfalls of cash or new items (like new clothes or jewellery).
  • is always either short of money, or exceedingly generous.
  • has money conflicts with other people.

You may notice that:

  • money is missing from the house or from bank accounts.
  • an increasing lack of money despite the same income and expenses.
  • your family member takes on extra jobs, but you don't see any extra money.
  • unexplained dwindling of savings and assets.
  • jewellery or other valuables mysteriously disappearing and reappearing as they are pawned.
  • your family member talks about gambling all the time.
  • your family member defends gambling as a way to get money.
  • Your family member may get secretive, defensive or even blame you for the need to gamble, telling you that it is all for you and you need to trust in the "big win someday."
A young man sitted on a sofa having a discussion with an older male

I’m worried my friend or family member has a problem with gambling

Information on how to help your loved ones.

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Ensuring that you’re in a good position, mentally and emotionally, to support

Steps to limit the impacts of your loved one’s gambling on you.

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Understanding why people gamble

Understand how gambling can start and why it’s hard to stop.

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Making an action plan

Having the conversation

Ways you can help someone with a gambling problem.

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Looking after your finances

Tips for partners, family and friends to protect your finances

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Protecting yourself and your family

If you have ever felt threatened or unsafe, or if you are concerned about the welfare of children affected by a parent’s gambling, it’s important that you know that there is support available.

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Sunenna’s Story

“You’re not alone and help is available.” Sunenna says many people think their story is unique, but there are lots of people fighting similar battles.

Chandana's story

“You don’t need to keep it to yourself.” Chandana’s was shocked to find out about her partner’s gambling. She says that without the help of others, she could never have rebounded so quickly.