Advice For Gamblers

Gambling Help provides many free tools to help you on your journey to a better life that is not dominated by gambling. Many of these tools are equally useful for gamblers and for concerned family and friends.

Limit your funds

Making sure you don’t have access to money at times when you are tempted to gamble is an effective way you can put the brakes on your own behaviour. When you decide to gamble, leave your ATM and credit cards at home and only take with you an amount of cash that you can afford to lose. NEVER ‘chase your losses’, or try to win back money you’ve already lost. This is the way that gamblers most often end up in serious trouble. Once you’ve lost, or won, walk away. You can also consider asking your bank to lower the daily withdrawal limit on your ATM card. A financial counsellor can offer you many practical tips on controlling your money more effectively. For a list of free financial counsellors who specialise in gambling issues, click here.

Get a helper

Making positive changes can be difficult when you first start. Having someone there to cheer you on can be a big source of strength and encouragement. Pick someone in your life whom you trust and talk to them honestly about your gambling and the fact that you would like to get more control of that aspect of your life. Just taking that step can feel like a massive relief and a good start to your recovery. Ask them if you can ‘check in’ with them once a week, or as often as you need to, to talk over the steps you’re taking to change your life.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, call Gambling Help on 1800 858 858, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The person at the other end of the line has talked to hundreds of people just like you, and they understand exactly what you’re going through. You can call as many times as you like, at the cost of a local call, and you can arrange to speak to the same person each time, if you prefer.

Many people also find Gamblers Anonymous (GA) very helpful. If you like, they can pair you up with a sponsor who has been through the same experiences as you. There is also Gam-Anon which provides peer support for friends and family of problem gamblers. Meetings are in most communities on a regular basis and are held in the strictest of confidence. You can find out more here:

Gamblers Anonymous NSW


Lastly, please remember that Gambling Help’s peer support forums are also there to provide encouragement and put you in touch with people who are going through the same thing.

Self exclude

You have the right to exclude yourself from any gaming venue in New South Wales if you have a problem with gambling and want to cut down or quit. You must do it yourself – you cannot exclude another person without their participation. Any Gambling Help service – face-to-face, online or by phone 1800 858 858 – can talk you through the process of self-excluding from one or more clubs or pubs or from the casino. You can also exclude yourself from up to 10 pubs and clubs through BetSafe.

Australian-based sports and track betting websites also have the option to self-exclude, though you may find it difficult to find the part of the site that allows you to do so. Look for the Responsible Gambling link at the bottom of the webpage or type Responsible Gambling into the website’s search box to find it more easily.

There are a number of other software options available online that can exclude you from any betting site.

Keep a gambling diary

Our free workbook includes a Gambling Diary. By writing down the stresses that trigger you to gamble, your emotions at the time and your patterns of gambling, you can come to understand a lot about what is behind your gambling and how to fix things. You can order or download the workbook here.