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05.04.2019

Grand National: Don’t get saddled with gambling debt

As horse racing’s finest fillies are poised and ready at the Grand National start line, millions of Brits hope to cash in on the action.

An annual fixture in the sporting calendar, it is estimated that 25% of UK adults will have a bet on the race and up to £300 million being wagered.

With over 150,000 people expected to head to Aintree racecourse on April 6, it’s gearing up to be a fantastic day for fans and bookkeepers alike.

We’re always advised to ‘bet responsibly’, but for some, this is easier said than done. According to GamCare, 76% of people who call their helpline felt they had a gambling problem and 66% of callers revealed that they were in some level of debt.

In a report published by Income Access, horseracing was revealed one of the most popular betting pastimes for both men and woman across the country. A male British gambler will spend an average of 15% on the races in his lifetimes, and nearly half of the female population have bet on a horse at one point in their lives.

It can become very easy to fall down that rabbit hole of betting £1 here and £5 there, and pretty soon you could find yourself in too deep. This can affect your relationships, your finances, and your mental health.

Further figures from GamCare revealed that 43% of their callers mentioned impacts on their mental wellbeing, including depression, anxiety, and isolation. Many of these often overlapped with their financial struggles and some admitted to having suicidal thoughts when it came to their gambling.

Warning signs 

As such it’s important to recognise when you may have a gambling problem. There are several warning signs that your gambling may be spiralling – such as using credit cards or loans to fund your bets or missing bill payments because you have lost the money on a bet.

It’s even more important to understand that continuing to gamble is also not the solution to your problems. A lot of problem gamblers often think that their luck will turn around and they will win enough to solve everything. It is simply not the case.

More often than not, they will end up in further gambling debt and sometimes in an even worse situation than they were before. Gambling is also an addiction, so the likelihood of using your winnings on further bets is also higher than most people.

If you are struggling with gambling debt, call us now and speak to one of our impartial advisors or visit our gambling debt page for more info.

How to get help if your gambling becomes a problem

Facing up to a gambling addiction can seem daunting, however, there are simple steps you can take to help address the problem.

  • Talk it out: It’s not easy but one of the first steps in dealing with any sort of addiction is opening up about your problem. Speaking with a trusted friend or loved one will help you address your gambling habits and help you understand that you’re surrounded by people who will support you.
  • Self-exclusion: Excluding yourself from betting shops or online betting sites will mean that staff, or the site, will not allow you to gamble. This can be an important option for those struggling to keep their gambling under control.
  • Find support: Joining a support group is also a simple way to address your gambling habits. Gamblers Anonymous, for example, can offer help and advice to help you overcome your issues whilst offering a friendly and understanding ear.

If you are struggling with gambling debt, give us a call on 0808 2234 102 and speak to one of our impartial advisors or visit our gambling debt page for more info.

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