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BigDeal
Gambling information, advice and support for young people

About

Gambling

This is where you can find out more about gambling – what it is, how it works, the risks, and what to do if you are worried about your own gambling or the gambling of someone close to you.

Worried about someone else’s gambling?

Gambling doesn’t have to be a big deal. For a lot of people, an occasional bet can be fun, and add to the thrill of a game. But sometimes people don’t know when to call it quits, and for a few people, gambling can be addictive. If someone you are close to is gambling a lot it can be hard to deal with, but we are here to help.

Knowing limits:

Sometimes people don’t know when to call it quits, and for a few people, gambling can be addictive.

Parents and gambling

Your parents might have a flutter on a horse race or big match or play the lottery each week. As long as they do things like control the amount they spend and stick to their limits, then it’s unlikely to cause any harm. However, your parents’ attitudes to gambling have a big influence on you. Around four in 10 young people who have gambled in the last week have seen their parents gamble. And if parents gamble, young people are twice as likely to be at risk, and four times more likely to experience gambling harms.

How your parent’s gambling can affect you

When an adult struggles to control their gambling, it can have serious consequences for the children or young people dependent on them, affecting your family’s finances, your home life, your education and more. Children and young people can be affected in different ways.

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • You feel anxious, depressed or angry
  • Your school work is suffering, or you are getting into trouble at school
  • You’re taking on extra responsibilities – maybe helping to look after your younger siblings, or trying to support your parent
  • You’ve stopped trusting your parent when they make promises they don’t keep
  • You might side with one of your parents over the other
  • You’re worried that you caused the problem and believe that if you are ‘good’, it will stop
  • Perhaps you’re dealing with your feelings by drinking alcohol, doing drugs, gambling, or breaking the law

It’s important to understand that none of this is your fault and if you choose to talk to us you won’t be getting your parents into any trouble. Our Young People Service can provide support and help to you and your family in a difficult situation, so please do get in touch on the phone or via live chat below.

Real story

CJ’s Story

“His behaviour turned in small ways”

“I recently discovered one of my closest friends has been battling a gambling addiction for the last decade. While we were at Uni he put on small bets every weekend, accumulators and first scorers – the usual stuff many members of our group would enjoy. We never thought anything of it”

How to talk to a friend about their gambling

Think one of your friends might be getting into trouble with their gambling? Don’t be confrontational or critical. They’re more likely to open up if you tell them you’re worried about them in a supportive and concerned way.

In fact, your friend might be relieved to talk to you. But be ready for a negative reaction too. They might feel ashamed of their gambling and could become defensive or angry, or deny being in trouble. The best thing to do is to let them know about BigDeal and GamCare (the organisation we’re part of), so they can get help if they need it.

Want to know more about gambling?
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