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Citizens Advice shares advice on spotting the signs of gambling harm during the FIFA World Cup

29 November 2022

Citizens Advice has released guidance to help spot the signs of gambling harm during the FIFA World Cup. The advice comes as the two home nations, England and Wales, prepare to take each other on in their final group match in Qatar later this evening. 

It’s estimated that €136 billion* was gambled worldwide during the previous men’s FIFA World Cup in 2018. With sponsorships and advertising bringing increased awareness of sports betting companies during the current FIFA World Cup in Qatar, being gamble aware is incredibly important. 

Alongside its partners GambleAware and GamCare, Citizens Advice supports people whose lives have been damaged by gambling harm - which can include debt, homelessness, mental health problems and relationship breakdown. 

Via its website, Citizens Advice has a range of advice designed to support people who need help if they’re dealing with gambling problems of their own, or are worried about someone else’s gambling. This also includes advice on how to get help with debt.  

Citizens Advice signs of gambling harm to watch out for:

  • Losing track of time while gambling. Gambling for a long time can make you lose perspective - so it’s easier to lose larger amounts of money. You can set time limits on betting apps to remind you when to stop, and take frequent breaks.

  • Losing track of money lost. It can be really difficult to keep track of the money you’ve lost over time. Chasing losses or using gambling to get out of financial trouble should always be avoided. You can set a money limit in advance, and only gamble with the money you can afford to lose.

  • Keeping gambling or betting a secret from others. This can lead to increased stress and anxiety - so try and talk to someone. Don’t gamble when you’re sad or upset, or you’ve been drinking alcohol or using drugs. Keep a check on whether you’re still enjoying other social activities and entertainment.

Matthew Upton, Director of Policy at Citizens Advice, said:

“All too often our advisers see the devastation that gambling can cause, not just to those betting more than they can afford, but to their family and friends as well. 

“Gambling is something that impacts millions of people but can feel really complicated and difficult to talk about. If you’ve been affected by gambling it's important to know you’re not alone and that it’s okay to ask for help. As a charity we’re able to offer free and confidential advice to help you find a way forward.”

Support and advice to help start a conversation with someone if they’re worried about someone else’s gambling is also available via GambleAware

Notes to editors

  1. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
  2. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.
  3. Citizens Advice helped 2.55 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2021-22. And we had 40.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
  4. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 18,500 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.
  5. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.