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Problem gambling can affect people from all walks of life, and there’s no shame in admitting you need some help or support. Whether you’re struggling with lottery addiction or having concerns with another type of gambling, this guide can help. We look into what problem gambling is, highlighting the warning signs you should watch out for. Finally, we offer the contact details for organisations that provide help for those struggling with gambling addiction. 

Lottery and Problem Gambling

What is a lottery addiction?

While the idea of what constitutes problem gambling can vary between individuals and organisations, one of the most widely accepted definitions comes from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which describes it as ‘gambling that disrupts or damages personal, family, or recreational pursuits’. 

The signs of problem gambling and lottery addiction often show up in three areas: finance, mood and behaviour, and time. For example, a person suffering from a gambling addiction problem might struggle to pay bills, become withdrawn from family and friends, or start to take sick days from work to spend more time gambling. 

Signs of Lottery Addiction

How do I know if I'm addicted?

The absence of the physical signs and symptoms that may accompany drug or alcohol addiction is why gambling addiction is often referred to as a hidden illness. While this applies as much to lottery ticket addiction as it does to any form of gambling, there are specific symptoms that can indicate you may need lottery addiction help:

  • You can’t stop buying tickets 
  • You feel that you must play the lottery all the time
  • You spend more on lottery tickets than you can afford to lose
  • Buying lottery tickets negatively affects your emotions
  • You lie about how many lottery tickets you are purchasing
  • You buy more lottery tickets to try to cover your losses

Treatment for Lottery Addiction

What should I do?

While there is no need to struggle alone with lottery gambling addiction, self-help tools and tips are a good source of additional support. The NHS is among many organisations to offer self-help tips for problem gambling. Their simple list of dos and don’ts includes the following advice:

Dos

  • Make it your priority to make vital payments like your mortgage, council tax, and utility bills before spending any money on lottery tickets or other forms of gambling.
  • Arrange to spend time with family or friends who don’t gamble. You might organise a lunch date or a stroll around your local park.
  • Address any debts you have built up through gambling. Ignoring them won’t help, as extra charges can mount up. Visit Citizens Advice for tips and support.

Dont's

  • Don’t think of the lottery as a means of income. Gambling is not a guaranteed way to earn money. It should simply be considered a form of entertainment.
  • To help reduce the likelihood of betting habits leading people into debt, the UK Gambling Commission has barred the use of credit cards on gambling sites and online casinos. While you can still legally use credit cards to buy lottery tickets, it may be better to avoid doing so.
  • Don’t suffer alone. These self-help tips are just a starting point. There are trained professionals who are happy to talk things through and offer further help.

Don’t forget to reach out to Citizens Advice for tips and support – you don’t have to go through this on your own!

Professionals in the UK

Self-help tools are useful, but you may find that professional treatment is a better option. This kind of help for gambling and lottery addiction is widely available in the UK. We have provided contact details for several sources of professional support towards the bottom of this page. 

Compare.bet Playsafe

You can explore the Compare.bet problem gambling hub. Playsafe provides information about enjoying safer gambling and offers handy tips about setting deposit limits and time limits, self-exclusion and more. We also include the contact details for various support options. 

Open Up About Lottery Addiction

Who do I talk to if I need help or support?

We hope that this guide has given you some insight into lottery addiction and problem gambling, along with an understanding of some of the key signs of gambling addiction and how to get help if you need it. Here are the contact details for some of the organisations that offer help for problem gamblers:

GamCare 

GamCare operates the UK’s national gambling helpline and offers live online chat to provide support to individuals with gambling problems. You can also join forums to share experiences.

Address: 1st Floor, 91-94 Saffron Hill, London, EC1N 8QP

Helpline: 0808 8020 133

Email: [email protected] 

GambleAware

There’s a wealth of resources at the BeGambleAware website, including tips on improving your situation, and pointers on how to provide help for gambling addicts you are close to.

Gordon Moody Association 

The Gordon Moody Association is a charity that offers advice, online support, counselling, and structured residential treatment courses. 

Address: 47 Maughan Street, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 2BA

Phone: 01384 241292

Email: [email protected] 

Gamblers Anonymous UK

Gamblers Anonymous UK offers local support groups that help people work through a gambling problem, using the same 12-step approach used at Alcoholics Anonymous. The organisation also runs GamAnon groups for family and friends. 

Address: The Wellness Centre, 45 Montrose Avenue, Intake, Doncaster, DN2 6PL

Phone: 0330 094 0322

Email: [email protected] 

How do I know if my gambling is a problem?

You can compare any issues you’re facing with a list of the signs of problem gambling to see if they match. You can also contact any of the support organisations detailed on this page for further advice and support. 

Support

Summary of Resources

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Support:

Support for friends and family: