Problem Gambling

Harmful gambling is defined as any type of repetitive gambling that disrupts or damages personal, family or recreational pursuits. It can have many and varied impact, including on an individual’s physical and mental health, relationships, housing and finances, and affect a wide range of people, such as families, colleagues and wider local communities.

One third of a million of us are problem gamblers.  On average, one problem gambler commits suicide every day. The harm goes wider: for each problem gambler, six other people, a total of two million, are harmed by the breakup of families, crime, loss of employment, loss of homes and, ultimately, loss of life. (Source:

Individuals experiencing harm from gambling, or their families or carers, rarely present to health or social care services with problem gambling as their presenting condition, and it can manifest in a range of different ways, including physical and mental health problems, relationship breakdowns as well as social care and financial issues.

Very Brief Intervention


Problem gambling is often described as a hidden addiction and some people may have gone to great lengths to hide this. Where the person has highlighted that problem gambling may be affecting them and/or the people around them.

Have you ever had to lie to people important to you about how much you gambled?
Have you ever felt the need to bet more and more money?

What impact does your gambling have on your relationships with people who are important to you?
How does gambling make you feel?

look for anxious/depressed, worried, guilty

What have you tried in the past that has helped you to limit your gambling? (look for setting a limit and or self-exclusion)
What aspects worked for you? What worked well? What worked less well?
There are a range of people and organisations that can help, would you like me to provide some information for you?


What you can do to help depends on the particular circumstances and needs of the individual. 

Please click on the below regional links for information about Problem Gambling support services relating to your locality.


National Support Services

The National Gambling Helpline                                         

The National Gambling Helpline gives confidential information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling problems in England, Scotland and Wales.

Individual can speak to advisers one-to-one over the phone or on live chat 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

Tel: 0808 8020 133    

24/7 Live Online Chat:




The BeGambleAware website has a short series of questions you can complete if you are concerned about your gambling.  This has direct link to help, support and advice about problem gambling.  



The GamCare Forum 

An online message board, providing a safe and secure space for users (who may be gamblers or their partners, friends and family) to share experiences, thoughts and feelings about problem gambling. Although the Forum is moderated by the GamCare Team, it is designed first and foremost for people to come together in similar situations, working through similar concerns and problems. Available 24/7 via the GamCare website, 365 days a year. 

GamCare run regular sessions in the GamCare online Chatroom, where users can use live text chat to talk about issues related to problem gambling. Each session is moderated by a GamCare Adviser, who is welcoming and on hand to ensure everyone is supported.



GamCare Treatment Services                                          

GamCare provides local services for people concerned about their own gambling and for people affected by someone else’s gambling.

People can refer themselves or be referred by another professional. Following assessment we provide individually tailored support through 1-1 sessions and groups or courses. We work holistically to enhance opportunities for people to make changes in their own gambling. We support affected others by providing a safe space for them to recognise and increase their coping skills.    

Helpline: 0808 8020 133



GamCare Youth Services  

Young people may be problem gamblers themselves or affected by another person’s gambling. Our full treatment services are offered to anyone 16 years or older, available through our regional partner networks.

Young people of any age can speak to our specially trained advisers on our helpline and net line and use our information and activities on

Gamcare has a Youth Outreach Hub in Hull and the surrounding areas. This will offer free workshops for schools and youth groups, and free CPD training for youth-facing professionals.

Tel: 0203 092 6964 (9am-8pm Monday-Thursday; 9am-5pm Friday) - Outside these hours, you can call the National Gambling Helpline for free on 0808 8020 133


Youth Outreach:


Gamblers Anonymous

Runs local support groups for people with gambling addictions and advocates the same 12-step approach to recovery as Alcoholics Anonymous. Gamblers Anonymous also offers help and support via their website, including a forum, chat room and literature. Anyone who is seeking help for gambling addiction is able to attend meetings.





Is an organisation dedicated to supporting the husbands, wives, partners, relatives or close friends of someone with a gambling problem who have also been affected by the problem. Like Gamblers Anonymous, meetings are held throughout the country, with online support also available.

Tel: 08700 50 88 80


Where the person has indicated that problem gambling may be affecting their physical and mental health and wellbeing. (This could include anxiety/depression, low mood, stress, use of alcohol as a coping mechanism etc)

  • Encourage the person to contact their GP. Their GP will be able support the person in many ways whilst they seek help for any associated gambling problems.
  • LEPH Link has dedicated content for a range of national and local support services for Mental and Physical Health.
  • If you believe the person is highly destressed or in crisis, consider offering details for Samaritans as a safe place to talk any time they like. Samaritans - (All age groups) Tel: 116 123, open 24 hours a day.

Where the person has indicated debt or financial concerns as an additional factor

Debt advice - Citizens Advice      

Citizens Advice offers free, independent, confidential and impartial debt advice through their web chat service.                                 

Tel: 0300 330 1313                            



Debt advice - Step Change Charity               

StepChange Debt Remedy provides expert advice, budget support and solutions to help someone manage their debts.                   

Tel: 0800 138 1111, Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-4pm                                              



Where the personal has indicated that they would like more information on self-exclusion from bookmakers or online gambling sites.

National self-exclusion schemes

New multi-operator schemes are being introduced across the five main sectors of the gambling industry to allow you to exclude yourself from each of those forms of gambling across the whole of Great Britain.



Individual gambling sectors self-exclusion schemes

(Bookmakers, Casinos’, Bingo venues and Arcades also offer exclusion schemed for more information click the link below:


Local Support and Contact Details