John had always done a bet at the weekend, it was something he did for fun with his friends when any big sporting event was on.
Just before the pandemic, he found himself out of work. With more free time, he found the frequency and amount he was betting was increasing. With less money coming in he soon found himself in financial difficulties. “I knew things were getting out of hand when I was asking my family and friends for money just so I could gamble. I felt embarrassed and I knew something needed to change but I didn’t know what to do. I saw the gambling ads on TV that talked about gambling limits and safe play but I just ignored them and kept on betting".
“This was the first time someone gave me a real solution, something practical I could do to help me stop.”
How we helped John
We were able to speak to John about the gambling support available. We offered to put a gambling block on his card. "This was the first time someone gave me a real solution, something practical I could do to help me stop. I didn't know my bank could do this, I was blown away. Just putting the block on gave me a great sense of relief, I felt like I was in control again", said John.
"The 72 hours delay worked for me. The first few weeks were difficult, I won’t lie, but when I got that urge to bet at the weekend I knew I couldn’t lift the block for 3 days. Once the next week came around I didn’t want to lift the block anymore and I was glad I didn’t bet".
We were able to follow up with John a few months later, he told us, "the gambling block has changed my life and I can’t thank you enough. I haven’t bet since. I don’t want to think about where I would have been without it. It helped me get my finances sorted and now things are so much better".
Gambling harm isn’t just about losing money, it can affect your physical and emotional wellbeing.
The impacts of gambling can be wide-reaching and family and friends can be affected too.
Here are some of the signs of gambling harms you can look for:
- Losing track of time and the money you spend while gambling
- It’s impacting your relationships with family and friends
- You try and win back money you’ve lost
- It is causing money worries
- Thinking about gambling or previous losses/wins throughout the day
- You want to stop but can’t or don’t know how
If you recognise any of the signs above and you are worried about your gambling, we can help.
There are lots of specialist organisations that can help. Whether you’re looking for confidential advice, treatment, help with money, or you’d just like to speak to someone, find the support that’s right for you.
GamCare is the leading UK provider of free information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling harms. They also provide self-help tools and resources for those who would like to change their relationship with gambling.
How safe is your gambling?
Do you want to know how safe your gambling is? GamCare have created a quick and easy test, it only takes a few minutes, and it’s free and anonymous.
TalkBanStop is a partnership between GamCare, Gamban and GAMSTOP and callers to the National Gambling Helpline will be offered free Gamban blocking software licences (usually around £24.99), which can block access to online gambling sites across up to 15 devices. Callers will also be signposted to register for GAMSTOP – the free national online self-exclusion scheme preventing people from accessing gambling accounts with all licensed gambling sites in the UK.
When used together, this blend of support and practical tools can be more impactful for people seeking to stop gambling, giving additional layers of protection from harm.
GAMSTOP - Gambling Self-Exclusion Scheme Free online self-exclusion from licensed gambling websites in UK.
Young People and Gambling - BigDeal - BigDeal is a place for young people to find information and support related to gambling, either for themselves or someone they care about. They also offer support to parents or responsible adults.