Information for the Family

Family and friends can help

Someone close to you may have a problem with gambling. You can read about the signs of problem gambling here.

If your friend or family member shows signs of having a problem with gambling there are things you can do to help them. The sooner you do something about the issues the easier it will be for them to address the problem.

Talk to them - be honest about how you feel, be firm but avoid arguments. They may be embarrassed or feel guilty about their gambling and may not be able to talk honestly. Make sure you have some written information at hand for them about getting help.

Listen, try not to "nag" about the issue but encourage positive change.

Plan ahead, organise social events at places that are not gambling venues.

Set boundaries - allow the problem gambler to experience consequences of their gambling, don't pay gambling debts for them and don't make counselling appointments for them. They need to do these things for themselves.

Help yourself

Coping with a friend or family member that has a gambling problem can be very difficult. As well as a range of emotional issues you may also be dealing with financial and legal problems and it is important that you get help to keep yourself safe.

Talking to a trusted friend can help or you can seek professional assistance in the form of counselling. A counsellor will help you to understand why your friend or family member has developed a problem, provide you with strategies to resolve problems and also help you to find free financial or legal advice. Talking to counsellors is private and confidential.

Here are some tips to keep you safe:

The "Help From the Pro's", "Research and Publications" and "Links" pages of this website provide information about counselling and other places to read about problem gambling.