Published on: 12 Sep 2017
Having a flutter on the horses, trying to second-guess which team is going to win a game or playing those slot machines on your base are all ways to alleviate the pressure or ease the boredom of your day – just a bit of fun. But if it stops being fun, then it’s time to stop! Here are some tips to help you avoid the spiral of debt and stay MoneyFit.
Recognise the signs
Does gambling excite you – does it give you that adrenaline rush of combat?
time to get help
Problem gamblers place up to 90 bets a day and bet in middle of night*. If this sounds familiar, get help now.
*Source: Remote gambling research by Gamble Aware - August 2017
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Have you started hiding the amount of money you’ve lost from family and friends?
Are you borrowing, selling or even stealing to have ‘just another go’?
Are you getting irritable and frustrated with those closest to you because you’re worrying about how to make up your losses?
Compulsive gambling is the uncontrollable urge to keep gambling despite the toll it takes on your life. It can stimulate the brain’s reward system, much like drugs or alcohol, and can lead to addiction.
Admit you have a problem
As with all addictions, you need to recognize that you have a problem.
If you’re suffering from PTSD or other mental health issues, you’re more at risk to developing a gambling problem.
Don’t worry, you’re not the first – or the last. There may be as many as 600,000 people in Great Britain with a gambling problem.
You may feel that there'll be repercussions to admitting to a gambling problem, like being thrown out of the Armed Forces or losing your chances of promotion, but this in itself is not going to help you deal with your problem. To suffer a gambling addiction is a very real and crippling problem and requires the the right attention. To get the best help, you need to be totally honest and transparent.
To keep it a secret is very unhealthy and not doing yourself or your family and friends, who may be worried about you, any good.
Talk to your Unit Admin officer, see your GP or get help for one of the organisations below.
See how Ash took control of his life after getting into difficulty with his gambling.
Where to get help
There are a number of charities where you can get self-help or assisted help. You can choose which is right for you.
You won’t be judged – a number of those on the other end of the phone or email have been in your situation and know what you’re going through.
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Gambling addiction - NHS
Where to get help if you’re in debt