Gambling for lots of people is a normal and enjoyable activity.

However, for some people it can become problematic and can have a negative effect on many aspects of their life.

What is problem gambling?

Problem gambling can be defined as ‘gambling to a degree that disrupts or damages personal, family or recreational pursuits’.

Many problem gamblers are also addicted to alcohol and/or drugs and more than half also have a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal tendencies.

Recognising the problem

Problem gambling can contribute to loss of productivity at work, potential unemployment and associated money, debt and housing issues.

Family and relationship breakdown can also occur, along with child neglect as a result of debts accrued or a parent’s preoccupation with their habit.

Problem gambling can also force gamblers to approach illegal money lenders, loan sharks and unregulated debt management companies.

If you recognise that gambling is affecting any of these areas of your life, you are not alone and help is available.

Getting help

The Beacon Counselling Trust, in partnership with Gamcare deliver a free support service for individuals and families affected by problem gambling in the North West of England.

This service includes a national telephone helpline and other support services including live chat rooms / forums and counselling, along with advice and guidance signposting in relation to debt management and social support. If you are having financial problems our money page has advice and support to help you regain control and get yourself back on track.


For more information visit Beacon Counselling Trust or call 0151 321 1099 or visit the Gamcare website.

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