Tips for Relatives

The consequences for relatives and friends can be harmful and stressful if excessive gambling negatively impacts their lives. Social withdrawal, financial difficulties, problems at work or substantial complaints may be possible effects of problematic gambling behaviour. How can persons directly involved by the problem gambler protect themselves and be supportive in cases of problematic gambling behaviour?

Below, is a list of some helpful advice on how to behave and act when a player is acting in a risky and problematic manner:

  • Try to remain factual and rational.
  • Gambling addiction is a disease which requires professional treatment.
  • You can support, but you cannot solve the problem by yourself!
  • Unpleasant or difficult appointments (with creditors, debt counselling…) must always be tackled by the player.
  • Finding information regarding contact persons and the possibilities for support must be done by yourself.
  • Actively find a support group for relatives!
  • Avoid making any accusations.
  • Do not make any threats.
  • Never expose the gambler in public.
  • Have understanding for emotions such as shame or guilt.
  • Do not lend money to the gambler.
  • Do not assume any liabilities in order to supposedly help a player.
  • Do not assume any obligation to meet gamblers’ financial liabilities.
  • Do not support somebody’s endeavour to make up lost money by repeated gambling.
  • Avoid spending too much time on thinking about the problem.
  • Pay attention to your own needs and do not neglect them!
  • Never take ownership of the gambler’s own responsibility.
  • Do not gloss over the circumstances.
  • Do not hide the gambler’s behaviour in front of others.
  • Do not lie to the player.
  • Protect yourself and your family!
  • Children in particular are not supposed to be affected.
  • Be cautious and avoid if it becomes too much for you.
  • Do not support anything you do not advocate.
  • Stay consistent, inconsistency is no good role model!

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