Financial issues are a common problem for people who suffer from an addiction to gambling. Many of the behaviours associated with a problem gambler relate to how they are unable to stay in control of their spending habits, and you can find out more about the signs and symptoms of compulsive gambling if you are worried about yourself or someone close to you.
Problem gamblers will keep spending what they cannot afford to lose even when they know what they are doing is having a damaging effect on their lives, and that is when money trouble really can start to escalate. Warning signs that you have a problem include using your overdraft or credit card to pay for your gambling, spending money on gambling that should have been used for bills and other debts and attempting to pay off gambling debts by gambling even more.
Sufferers may resort to even more desperate measures, such as taking money from a friend or family member or stealing from an employer to spend on gambling. Rather than coming clean and clearing their debts gradually, the temptation is to try and make their way out of trouble by continuing to gamble, all the while hoping for the big ‘win’ that is unlikely to appear.
As problem gamblers may divert money from paying off household utilities, mortgages, rent and loans in order to fund their habit, they can become caught in a downward spiral, with some looking for help from high-interest payday loans or, even worse, loan sharks, neither of which will solve the problem. Some problem gamblers may find that their utilities are shut off, that they face severe penalties for council tax arrears, or that they are in danger of losing their homes due to spending money on gambling as opposed to rent or their mortgage.
Many problem gamblers are adamant that if they continue to gamble, they will eventually win enough to pay off their debts, but this is extremely unlikely to happen and is certainly not a legitimate rescue strategy.
The key point for gamblers is not to reach a level of crisis where financial problems start to mount up and cause significant damage to their lives. While serious debt issues can convince people to finally face up to their problems, you do not want to let your problems reach such a point and it is in your best interest to start managing your money as soon as you realise you have a problem so that you can start to recover and work towards maintaining financial stability.
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