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Grand National 2024: beat the odds of gambling debt article
Grand National 2024: beat the odds of gambling debt article

With the Grand National 2024 round the corner, millions of Brits hope to cash in on the action.

The country’s finest filles will take to the National start-line on Saturday, April 13 when an estimated 13 million people will place a bet on their hopeful champion.

When it comes to the Grand National, gambling tactics vary with some leaning on knowledge while others place faith in superstition to find their winner.

However, with more than 150,000 people expected to attend the extravaganza at Aintree Racecourse and 600 million international viewers, it’s a big day for fans and bookkeepers alike.

Ahead of the annual fixture, we’re offering tips on how to gamble responsibly as well as guidance for those who may struggle to know when to stop.

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How to gamble responsibly

While gambling isn’t exactly a positive habit, it’s also not the worst if you do it sensibly.

But just how exactly do you gamble responsibly?


Know your limit

First things first, it’s always a good idea to set a limit in advance and stick to it. In the heat of the moment, it can sometimes be hard to stick to a self-imposed limit but it’s important to take steps to ensure you do.

If you’re betting online, you can often set a limit on your account or app, or you can separate your gambling funds into another pot to stop you going over your limit.


Accept your losses

If you’ve lost the money you’ve set aside, it’s important to walk away.

Trying to win back losses or chasing another win can lead to bigger problems.

It’s also a good idea to keep a list of what you’ve spent to make sure you’re not going over what you can afford to lose.


Treat gambling as an expense

Remember, the house always wins. That means over time you’ll likely spend more than you’ll gain from gambling.

Rather than making it a regular habit, try treating it as an expense. Gamble Aware suggest thinking of it like buying a cinema ticket. That way you pay a fixed piece for the entertainment rather than trying to win a profit.


Check in with your feelings

It’s important to never underestimate the importance of checking in with yourself when you’re gambling.

That means thinking about the reason why you’re placing a bet as well as how you feel when you’re playing.

Sometimes people use gambling as a distraction from difficult thoughts or situations. If that feels familiar, try doing something else to distract yourself or chat to someone you trust about your situation.


How do you know if your gambling is a problem?

We often hear gambling companies say: “When the fun stops. Stop.”

But that can be easier said than done for people gripped by gambling addiction.

It’s important to know the signs to look out for that could indicate that your gambling, or a loved one’s, gambling habits have become an issue.

Signs that gambling is becoming uncontrollable include:

  • Using an overdraft to cover the cost of bets
  • Borrowing from friends and family to pay for gambling
  • Missing payments for important bills or debts
  • Not being able to afford essentials, like food or rent
  • Gambling to win back what you’ve lost
  • Lying to friends and family about your gambling habits


Can your gambling affect other people?

When you’re gambling, especially if you have a gambling addiction, it can be easy to think that it doesn’t impact anyone else.

However, the reality is that it could affect more people than you think. Especially if:

  • You have a joint credit card or loan with a partner
  • You have a joint benefit claim
  • You own your home with your partner

If you’re concerned about your gambling and how it could affect you’re your partner, they could protect their finances by having their own current account and credit cards.


Can gambling impact mental health?

It’s unsurprising that poor mental health and gambling problems can go hand in hand.

A gambling addiction can cause low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression -particularly if it’s beginning to feel like things are spiralling out of control.

You may also be at a higher risk of harmful gambling if you have a mental health problem. So, if you find yourself turning to gambling to feel better when you’re depressed or distract yourself when you’re angry or upset, it’s important to seek support.


The link between gambling and debt

Just as gambling problems and mental health issues go hand in hand, so does problem betting and debt.

If you need to address your gambling, it’s important to get financial help too. Even if you don’t feel like your finances are out of control, it’s still worthwhile reviewing your circumstances to make sure there’s no anything you’ve missed.

Even if you haven’t borrowed money to gamble you may have used the money that should be spent on things like rent or energy bills to cover the cost of bets.

If you relate, don’t worry. There are ways to regain control – you just need to start repaying bills one at a time.

It’s important to pay priority bills first to avoid serious consequences. These bills include:

  • Court fines
  • Council tax
  • Child maintenance
  • Gas and electricity bills
  • Income tax, National Insurance and VAT
  • TV Licence
  • Mortgage or rent
  • Hire purchase agreements

If possible, it might be a good idea to pay these on pay day to help you avoid the temptation to use the money to gamble.

Alternatively, if you’re worried about debt, you can also speak to an experienced advisor to find out about the solutions available to you.


What help is available?

If you’re worried that your gambling is becoming a problem, help is available from:

If you’re worried about debt, Creditfix could help. Our advisors will discuss all options available to you to help you regain control of your finances.

Why choose

Why choose Creditfix?

  • Write off unsecured debts over £6,000
  • Stop interest and charges soaring
  • Reduced payments from £110 per month

Maxine McCreadie

Maxine is an experienced writer, specialising in personal insolvency. With a wealth of experience in the finance industry, she has written extensively on the subject of Individual Voluntary Arrangements, Protected Trust Deed’s, and various other debt solutions.

How we reviewed this article:


Our debt experts, and insolvency practitioners continually monitor the personal finance and debt industry, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

Current Version

April 2 2024

Written by
Maxine McCreadie

Edited by
Maxine McCreadie