Responsible Gambling Resources
While the vast majority of players are able to gamble for fun without adverse effects or the development of problem gambling habits, not everyone is so lucky. That’s why we have brought together a set of diffferent types of resources here to make it as accessible as possible for people to get help when they want it.
Problem gambling is something that we take very seriously, and though different people may define it in different ways, everyone can acknowledge that it can be a serious issue for a small portion of the population. A variety of studies from a wide range of countries have found that the rate of problem gambling ranges somewhere between 0.5 percent and 2 percent, often changing based on the exact criteria used. While that’s a very small frequency, it can be absolutely devastating for an individual and their friends and family, and that’s why we take it so seriously.
In the following, you’ll find a variety of resources that can help you to get help if you need it when you’re ready.
How to Define Problem Gambling
First and foremost, we want to give you an idea of what we mean when we say problem gambling, compulsive gambling or gambling addiction. The exact criteria that different groups in different countries use can be a bit different, but it all boils down to a few different points:
- Do you have trouble stopping gambling when you want to or when you know that you should?
- Do your losses from gambling impact your ability to pay for your bills and other expenses?
- Do you get an urge to gamble as a response to stress or stressful situations?
If you answer yes to any of these three questions, then it’s virtually certain that you meet any reasonable criteria for problem or compulsive gambling. All of these behaviors, when grouped together, are collectively called gambling addiction in many areas as well.
However, you also need to realize that you don’t have to meet these criteria to want to quit gambling. If that’s the case, then the resources we’re going to list here can still be helpful for you.
Problem Gambling Support for US Readers
For those in the United States, the largest problem gambling support organization is Gamblers Anonymous. They’re also one of the largest groups in the world, and they have meetings available in several dozen countries. However, they also have groups that hold meetings in each state, and they have lots of resources for those who want to stop gambling. Here are the main ways to get in contact with them:
- English-speaking Hotline:
- Spanish-speaking Hotline:
- US Meeting Location Finder:
Another option is the National Council on Problem Gambling. They have a different set of resources and a different approach than Gamblers Anonymous, so different types of people may find one or the other to be a better fit. They have a 24-hour hotline, and they also have a live chat option that may be more accessible for those on the computer. There’s also an online support forum.
- Live Chat:
- Support Forum:
These are the two main options for those in the United States.
Problem Gambling Support for Canadians
Gambler’s Anonymous is also a good option in Canada because they have meetings available in every major city and in a lot of smaller cities as well. Both open and closed meetings are running across the country every week. Here are the relevant resources for GA for Canadians:
- Canadian Meeting Finder:
- English-speaking Hotline:
We want to point out that they also have provincial hotlines listed on the meeting finder link above as well as both English and French options as well.
Canada also has the Responsible Gambling Council. While they focus on a lot more than just helping people directly, they have a tremendous set of resources to help people find treatment who are looking for help:
- Finding Treatment by Province:
- Other Resources:
Most of what the Responsible Gambling Council does is raise awareness and help people get access to the resources they need to try to control their urges to gamble. While they mostly do not run their own support meetings like GA or other groups do, they do have relationships with many other provincial groups, many of which are operated by colleges and universities, and they can help to connect you with those.
Problem Gambling Support for UK Readers
The number one option for problem gambling help in the United Kingdom is GamCare. They have a comprehensive set of different options that can help you to get the assistance you want. These include the following:
- Telephone Helpline:
0808 8020 133 (8 am – midnight, daily)
- Live Chat:
- Web Forum:
One of the really great things about GamCare is that it’s very well-funded, so they have tons of free resources. This includes free counselling, and this includes both group and individual sessions. On top of that, you can get these sessions online or in person, which means that your ability to get help wll not be restricted based on where you’re from.
Problem Gambling Support for Australian Readers
Australia’s help for problem gambling is set up a bit differently than other countries. There are a lot of different generalized options for psychological and relationship help that have compulsive gambling resources. Some of these work together in different ways and share resources just depending on which you’re looking at.
As is the case in many countries, Gamblers Anonymous has a big presence here. There is a special set of online resources just for Australians from GA:
- Meetings Listing:
Gambling Help Online is another option, and they provide support for anyone affected by gambling, even if you’re a family member, spouse or friend to someone who is having issues with problem gambling. Despite the name, they can help people who gamble online or in land-based ways.
- Live Chat:
- Email Form:
1800 858 858 (available 24/7/365 from anywhere in Australia)
- Non-English Speakers:
They take problem gambling very seriously in this country, and there are a lot of helpful resources between Gamblers Anonymous and Gambling Help Online.
Problem Gambling Support Internationally
Gamblers Anonymous has the best international presence available. They have meetings in several different countries, and they can help you to find meetings and other types of support in areas where they are not available.
- International Meeting and Contact Listing:
Many countries have their own GA offices and individualized setups. The contact listing link above will help you to find the phone number, email and/or other contact information about the Gamblers Anonymous headquarters located in your country, if there is one.
Even if there is not a listing for your country, or if no contact information is available, you can use the email address listed above, and they will help you to find resources in your area.
You Can Beat Compulsive Gambling
If you have compulsive gambling issues, then you need to realize that it’s not your fault. A small percentage of people have a certain predisposition that makes them particularly vulnerable to addiction in general. If you have issues with other types of addiction, then we strongly encourage you to seek out other resources for that as well because it’s often the case that multiple addictions are paired together in individuals.Menu