COVID-19
The National Gambling Helpline is available 24/7 as usual. If you need advice or support about your
gambling or someone else’s you can call 0808 8020 133 or talk to an adviser on live chat.

Freephone 24/7
National Gambling Helpline 0808 8020 133

Signs to look out for

Is your gambling causing harm for you or others around you? The following signs may indicate that someone is experiencing difficulties with gambling:

  • Spending more money and time on gambling than you can afford.
  • Finding it hard to manage or stop your gambling.
  • Having arguments with family or friends about money and gambling.
  • Losing interest in usual activities or hobbies like going out with friends or spending time with family.
  • Always thinking or talking about gambling.
  • Lying about your gambling or hiding it from other people.
  • Chasing losses or gambling to get out of financial trouble.
  • Gambling until all of your money is gone.
  • Borrowing money, selling possessions or not paying bills in order to pay for gambling.
  • Needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or for a longer time to get the same feeling of excitement or buzz.
  • Neglecting work, school, family, personal needs or household responsibilities because of gambling.
  • Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable.

Remember, harmful gambling behaviour is often hidden

It can be really difficult to know if someone is struggling with gambling, and it is known as a ‘hidden addiction’ because unlike substance addictions it is hard to see the physical effects of gambling too much. Initially we may not want to believe that someone we know or love is having difficulties with gambling. It can also be difficult to detect, because many people who gamble do not show their feelings and may lie or get angry if questioned about their behaviour. 

People sometimes say they feel that they should have noticed sooner, but remember the person gambling may have gone to great lengths to hide it from you. 

Read more about how to help someone showing signs of gambling disorder, and support yourself, here.

There is free, confidential and tailored support available for anyone affected by gambling. If you think you, or someone close to you may have a gambling problem, and you would like help and support, visit our Confidential Help page or contact the National Gambling Helpline on freephone 0808 8020 133.