< Back to the Blogs Listing

Strategies to address the financial harm caused by gambling

Strategies to address the financial harm caused by gambling

Gambling can have various repercussions on different areas of life including work, personal, interpersonal, legal and financial, the last of which we will discuss today.

Do you think about gambling a lot or all the time? Do you borrow to gamble? Do you have trouble cutting back or controlling your gambling?

If you answered yes to any of these questions or you know someone who would, you may be familiar with Jack’s story.

Jack grew up in a family where gambling was prevalent. For several years, Jack had been gambling on pokies at the TAB and online. Jack is married with a young child and working two jobs. His gambling had increased since his child was born.

He and his wife were separated, but still living in the same house. The deposit for the mortgage was made up of his wife’s inheritance and money from her parents. His wife is paying the mortgage and rates. Jack had borrowed money from a previous employer to cover his losses, and this employer wanted the money to be repaid.

Financial worries piled up, and Jack sought help. He approached Care Financial Counselling Services seeking free and confidential assistance to work through his financial situation. Jack’s priority was to pay money back, but he was also interested in his options to deal with his credit cards and mobile phone debt. Jack also wanted to know what he could do to protect the property, so his wife did not lose the house.

The financial counsellor supported Jack by offering counselling and information about financial matters. At the time of his appointments, the financial counsellor:

• Provided information on debt options.

• Provided information about strategies he can put in place to take and keep control of his money.

• Made a warm referral to the ACT Gambling Support Service for Jack and his wife to receive gambling and relationship counselling.

• Referred Jack and his wife to the Public Trustee for advice around protecting the family home.

• Referred Jack to a free legal service for guidance regarding a property settlement.

Additionally, Jack was provided with advice about the following money management issues:

• Limiting the access to cash and limiting the cash amount available on debit and credit cards.

• Prioritising the purchase of goods and paying bills first to reduce the risk of spending household money on gambling.

• Give any debit and credit cards to someone reliable to manage.

Reconstructing your life 

Jack’s request for financial hardship was approved by his creditors and he was able to repay the accounts at a rate he could afford whilst continuing to repay his previous employer.

Jack received gambling counselling and reported he has ceased gambling. He has been able to maintain a civil relationship with his wife during this period. Jack and his wife received information from the Public Trustee and have changed ownership of the property so he cannot access any equity for gambling purposes.

Supporting, rebuilding and reconstructing positive connections in a person’s life, including their relationships, is an integral part of ACT Gambling Support Service support. Talking to someone who has a lot of experience in how to manage gambling harm can help you feel clearer about the options available.

We provide free and confidential support in a number of ways. We listen without judgement and/or unrealistic expectations. Call us on 1800 585 858 or visit our website for more resources.

∗ All case studies are de-identified to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of our clients