Get help with gambling problems
If you're worried about your gambling, there are things you can do to get support. You might want to:
limit how much you gamble
talk to someone about your gambling problem
get help to deal with debt
check if you can get a refund if you’ve borrowed money
complain if you were allowed to gamble after you self-excluded
get support if you’re finding things difficult
You can also get help if you’re worried about someone else’s gambling.
If you’re under 18 years old
Gambling companies shouldn’t let you gamble. If you’ve been allowed to gamble you can complain to the Gambling Commission on their website.
If a shop sold you a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard, you can complain to the National Lottery on their website.
If you’re worried about your gambling, you can get help on the BigDeal website.
Limit how much you gamble
If you want to stop gambling or limit how much you gamble, you can:
ask gambling companies to stop serving you
ask your bank to limit how much you spend on gambling
use software to block gambling websites
Ask gambling companies to stop serving you
You can ask gambling companies to stop serving you - this is called ‘self-excluding’.
You can self-exclude in different ways depending on where you gamble.
Ask your bank to limit how much you spend on gambling
Your bank can do different things to limit how much you spend on gambling. For example, they can:
block payments to gambling companies
temporarily freeze your card to stop you spending too much
Use software to block gambling websites
You can block access to gambling websites by downloading blocking software to your device. This means you won’t be able to visit gambling websites.
Talk to someone about your gambling problem
You can also get group support by going to a Gamblers Anonymous meeting near you. You can find out more about the meetings on the Gamblers Anonymous website.
Get help if you're struggling with debt
You should start dealing with your debts as soon as you can.
Our debt advice will help you:
work out which debts to deal with first
find specialist help, if you need it
If you don’t have enough money to live on, check if you can get help to pay for living costs.
Check if you can get a refund if you've borrowed money
You can complain to your lender if they let you borrow money you couldn’t afford to pay back - for example, if they gave you a loan or an overdraft.
You should complain if both of the following apply:
you’ve used the money you borrowed to gamble
your lender should have known you gamble before they lent you money - for example, if your bank statements showed you were gambling
If your complaint is successful, your lender should remove any charges or interest. If you’ve already paid charges or interest, your lender should refund you. You’ll usually still have to pay back the money you borrowed.
If you were allowed to gamble after you self-excluded
Gambling companies shouldn't let you gamble if you’ve asked them to stop serving you - this is called self-excluding. You can find out more about self exclusion on the GambleAware website.
If you think you shouldn’t have been allowed to gamble you can complain to the Gambling Commission. They can take action against a gambling company if they think the company hasn’t followed the rules. Find out how to complain to the Gambling Commission on their website.
If you're finding things difficult
A lot of people with gambling problems have mental health problems. If you’re struggling with your mental health, you can call the Samaritans’ free helpline. You can speak to them about anything.
Telephone: 116 123
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Calls are free from all mobiles and landlines.
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Page last reviewed on 29 March 2022