Is problem gambling affecting you, or those close to you?

National Gambling Helpline

0808 8020 133

Whenever you play machines it is always wise to remember that:

  • Gambling is a fun and exciting form of entertainment which provides an enjoyable experience.
  • Playing slot machines is an attractive way of taking a risk as long as the risk taking is kept under control.
  • The great majority of people who play slot machines or gamble in other ways enjoy the experience without any problems, but a very small number lose control of what they are doing.
  • For these players gambling ceases to be fun.
  • Their life can be dominated by gambling.
  • Problem gamblers will continue playing whether winning or losing. They will use their own and other people’s money in order to keep playing. As gambling takes over their life, many other things can su­ffer; family life, their job and other interests.

Gambling becomes a problem when you:

  • Gamble until all your money has gone.
  • Borrow or steal money to continue gambling.
  • Gamble to change your losses.
  • Neglect other interests, family and friends to gamble.

Someone who thinks they might have a gambling problem should ask themselves if:

  • They lose time from education or work or other commitments because of gambling.
  • They gamble to get money to pay debts or solve financial difficulties.
  • After losing they feel they must return as soon as possible to win back losses.
  • They gamble until their last pound has gone.
  • They borrow to finance their gambling.
  • They are reluctant to use ‘gambling money’ for normal expenditure.
  • They have ever committed or considered committing an Illegal act in order to finance their gambling.
  • They have ever considered self-destructive behaviour as a result of their gambling.

If you are in difficulty because of your gambling or know someone who is and would like to help, visit the Be Gamble Aware website at or call the helpline on 0808 8020 133.

Be Gamble Aware the national centre for information, advice and practical help regarding the social impact of gambling.

The national helpline is answered by trained staff­. They can o­ffer counselling, information and advice to problem gamblers, family members and friends of a gambler. Information regarding counselling for problem gamblers is available on request.

Whenever you play machines it is always wise to remember that:

  • You are buying entertainment, not investing your money.
  • You should only spend money you can a­fford to lose
  • In advance of playing you should set strict limits on how much you will spend.
  • Problems will arise if playing machines becomes the most important part of your life.
  • Playing should take up only a relatively small amount of your life and interest.
  • Playing within your means is likely to be fun and exciting.
  • Spending outside your means is likely to create problems for you and others.
  • You shouldn’t play to escape from worries or pressure.