Some people may be struggling financially as a consequence of Coronavirus and may turn to gambling.
As with other addictions, the consequences of gambling can have a damaging impact on your psychological and physical health.
What starts as harmless fun can escalate into a problem quickly - recognising the warning signs can help you realise when it’s time to seek help for yourself or others.
Spot the signs
There are a number of signs to look out for, these include:
- Spending more money and time on gambling than you can afford
- Finding it hard to manage or stop your gambling
- Having arguments with family or friends about money and gambling
- Losing interest in usual activities or hobbies and neglecting work, family and personal needs/responsibilities
- Always thinking or talking about gambling
- Lying about your gambling or hiding it from other people
- Chasing losses or gambling to get out of financial trouble
- Gambling until all of your money is gone
- Borrowing money, selling possessions or not paying bills in order to pay for gambling
- Needing to gamble with more money or for a longer period of time to get the same feeling of excitement
- Feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable.
Tips if you’re finding it too hard not to gamble:
- Pay important bills, such as your mortgage, on payday before you gamble
- Spend more time with family and friends who don't gamble
- Deal with your debts rather than ignoring them.
- View gambling as a way to make money - try to see it as entertainment instead
- Bottle up your worries about your gambling - talk to someone
- Take credit cards with you when you go gambling.
You are not alone and you don’t need to hide it any longer. If you have a problem with gambling, or you know someone who gambles compulsively, support and advice is available.
- Betknowmore has support groups in East London.
- Citizens Advice Newham provides debt management support.
- Gamblers Anonymous provides annonymous forums to get help.
Money management guide
You can find information on tips and support available for money management and dealing with financial hardship (PDF) during Covid-19.