Problem gambling can have a huge impact on your finances and result in unmanageable debts that take over your life
- Spending more than you want on gambling?
- Struggling to find the money for bills?
- Taking out loans to cover gambling debts?
If you have a gambling problem, the answer to those questions is probably 'yes', as gambling problems and financial issues really go hand-in-hand.
It is often a financial crisis that brings a person’s gambling issues to the surface, forcing them to address the problem. It’s also not uncommon for partners, friends or family members of problem gamblers to tell us that they did not realise their loved one was a problem gambler until there were serious financial consequences such as a court summons for non-payment of debt or repossession action on their home.
Financial problems can really mount up. Bills don’t get paid and debts continue to accumulate. Some people who have credit cards may resort to ‘max-ing’ them out to pay bills, or worse, to keep gambling. At this point, payday loans can look like a solution – but their interest rates and charges are so high they are they are likely to make the situation worse. Business-owners can also find themselves in debt due to using business money to finance their gambling.
Tackling the issue of how to get out of debt is a common dilemma for someone with a gambling problem. It can be overwhelmingly tempting to take the risk of continuing to gamble in order to win it back and make everything alright again. Gamblers may also feel as though there is no chance of repaying debts accrued through gambling unless they carry on gambling, so you feel completely trapped as the vicious cycle continues.
However, we would suggest that you try and think of it another way. If you are struggling to control your urge to gamble, a win will probably not clear your debts, as you won't be able to stop gambling to pay them off. The temptation to repeat the thrill of the win would be high. It rings true that 'I cannot win because I cannot stop'. Ultimately, losing even more money and making the situation worse is inevitable. Also, using more gambling as a way of solving a debt caused by gambling in the first place is unlikely ever to be effective. It may feel like clearing your debts gradually will take longer, but in reality, continuing to gamble will only make things worse in the long run and may leave you with a far greater amount of debt.
At New Leaf, we understand that the idea of owning up to out of control gambling and your debt problems can be frightening and embarrassing. You would probably much rather people didn't know, and may be reluctant to be honest due to feelings of guilt and shame. However, taking control of your debt problems and looking for another way of solving the issue can however be very empowering. If you become safe in the knowledge that you can relax and feel that those things are being taken care of, you will then have chance to address other problems that your gambling has created, such as re-building relationships, performing better at work, and improving your overall health and self-esteem. It is then that you have a clear mind with which to think about stopping gambling altogether.
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If after reading this information you are concerned for yourself, a friend or family member, please contact us today.