Felix, from GamCare’s Youth Advisory Board, shares his views on how other people can be impacted by someone’s gambling.*
It is a common misconception that gambling is a one-person issue, that your gambling only affects you and is only your issue. But this isn’t right, anyone can be affected by someone else’s gambling in many ways.
For example, if you see a friend gamble you may want to gamble too. Similarly, if you grow up with both your parents gambling you are likely to follow the same path. Gambling is an issue that almost everyone will come in contact with at some point in their life, whether this is direct or indirect.
As I said earlier it is most commonly thought that gambling doesn’t affect others and that it is a solo issue, however one person’s gambling can cause a knock on effect. If a newly-turned 18 year-old went to the casino and found themselves in debt, this can have a knock-on effect in stress amongst their parents as they have now lost money and it could also worry their friends.
If a child grows up with a parent who gambles, the stress the parent feels can be pushed down onto this child and when they grow up they can become stressed and anxious, or they themselves may have a gambling addiction because of the influence that has been placed in them as a child. And this child could then force these habits upon their future children and so on.
Have you ever gambled? If so I want you to think about in what way it may have affected the people around you. If you have only gambled a few times in a social setting this may not be as true as there is no issue, however if you are a regular gambler you may have these knock-on effects on other people.
Or if you have been affected by someone else’s gambling, try to think about why they have affected you and how you can stop this, and help them. If you are struggling to find reasons to stop gambling it may be helpful to think about how your gambling is affecting your loved ones.
Gambling can also have a financial impact on the people around you, in some cases people lie to their families and friends, and ask them for money. In some cases, they tell the truth but the family and friends still give them the money. This shows that what the gambler is doing can have a huge financial impact on the people around them.
I hope this has helped you understand how gambling can affect the people around the gambler and not just the gambler themselves. I feel this is something that isn’t talked about but should be because if you understand how you are harming someone else you are more likely to stop than if you are harming yourself.
To finish I want to remind you to always think about how your actions could affect or harm someone.
If you are affected by gambling harm, whether it is your own gambling or someone close to you, reach out to our Young People’s Support Service here.
*This article is written by a member of our Youth Advisory Board and all views represented are their own