BetSafe
gambling help

Is your gambling causing harm?

Do you immediately regret going to your local club and losing your money? Does this regularly happen? Can't control your urge to gamble? Do you have money worries? Is gambling causing tension in your relationships? Do you hide your gambling from other people?

It is important that you know that there are many proven and practical forms of help available to you.

Take the first step now and learn about some of the assistance options below provided by your club, BetSafe and other help organisations.

Organise a gambling counselling appointment

In our experience most people who suffer harm from their gambling are using gambling as a way of escape. Some things that a gambler may wish to escape from are: home stress, work stress, financial worries, health issues, loneliness, grief and mental health issues. It can be difficult to stop gambling without also dealing with these issues. Sometimes people manage to stop gambling, but turn to another harmful behaviour to get the same escape (e.g. drugs or alcohol).

Other people gamble excessively as a way of making money or to achieve a certain status.

Many people who gamble excessively find that that the only way to reduce their gambling is to stop altogether. Some people find that they are able to successfully control or reduce their gambling.

Regardless of your goals, counselling is the most effective way of understanding why you gamble, addressing issues that cause you to gamble and putting strategies in place to maintain your goals.

Through BetSafe your club provides a free and confidential gambling counselling service to all patrons. BetSafe offers counselling appointments by face-to-face, telephone and Skype.

The BetSafe gambling counselling service can be contacted 24 hours a day on 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723).

Chat with a counsellor online

Gambling Help Online provides a free online counselling service for those people who do not wish to speak to someone in person or by phone.

Visit Gambling Help Online for more information.

Ban yourself from gambling at your local gaming venues

Have you tried to stop gambling on your own? Promised to never return to the club/pub? Torn up your membership card and then gone back to the club a couple of weeks later to obtain a replacement card?

Some people who suffer harm from their gambling are unable to stop going to the gaming venue without outside assistance. Other people find that they need extra assistance to ensure that they do not have access to gambling.

All BetSafe clubs offer self-exclusion to assist you in controlling your urge to gamble. When you self-exclude you can nominate one or many venues from which you would like to be excluded.

Self-exclusion is a simple process and can be done through a number of ways:

  1. The quickest and simplest way to self-exclude is at your local BetSafe club. All BetSafe clubs have staff on duty at all times who are trained in processing a self-exclusion. The process generally takes 10-15 minutes and can be done at any time during the club's trading hours.
  2. If you do not wish to go into your local BetSafe club you can arrange an appointment with a BetSafe counsellor and complete the paperwork directly through BetSafe. If you would like to arrange this the BetSafe gambling counselling service can be contacted 24 hours a day on 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723)
  3. BetSafe also offers a convenient service that allows people to self-exclude without even needing to speak to your BetSafe club or a BetSafe counsellor. You can self-exclude in a few simple steps using our online self-exclusion service located at www.betsafe.com.au/self-exclusion.

Legal questions

Are you using gambling to escape from legal troubles? Is gambling causing legal problems for you? Are you stealing or borrowing money to finance your gambling?

Not addressing these legal concerns now can result in bigger legal problems later.

BetSafe can refer you on to a specialist lawyer who can provide free advice to you.

To arrange to speak to our independent lawyer contact BetSafe 24 hours a day on 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723).

See a free financial counsellor

Many gamblers find themselves in debt due to their gambling. Some people start gambling as a way of getting out of debt. Don't think that you can gamble your way out of debt. The odds are stacked against you. Even if you win are you actually going to use that money to pay off your debt or will you use it as an excuse to continue gambling and get further into debt?

Financial counselling is different to gambling counselling. While gambling counselling can assist you to stop and control gambling, financial counselling can assist you to address your financial problems. By addressing your financial problems you may find that the need to gamble goes away. Or addressing your financial problems may also allow you to deal with the other issues which are causing you to gamble.

You can visit the FCAN website or call the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 to locate a free financial counsellor in your area.

For more information on how financial counselling can benefit you, or to obtain a referral to a qualified financial counsellor, contact BetSafe 24 hours a day on 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723).

Attend a gambling support group

Are you hesitant to see a counsellor for assistance? Are you already attending counselling but require additional support? Have you tried counselling and it didn't work for you?

Support groups are different from individual counselling. Gamblers Anonymous operates support groups for gamblers throughout Australia (and the world). Gamblers Anonymous meetings give you the opportunity to hear from other people who are in the same position as you. You can also obtain a sponsor through Gamblers Anonymous, who will provide you with support and guidance in your recovery.

We urge you visit the Gamblers Anonymous website for more information and details on your local meeting.

BetSafe can provide you with more information on meeting locations and times in your local area by contacting 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723).

BetSafe has no affiliation with Gamblers Anonymous, but is a strong advocate for them as they have helped many of our clients to stop gambling.

Comprehensive guide to stopping gambling

BetSafe founder, Paul Symond, wrote the book 'How to Stop Gambling'. This book has helped many gamblers to stop or control their gambling. It provides an in depth explanation as to why people gamble, case studies of actual gamblers helped by Paul, strategies used by counsellors to assist gamblers and many tools/strategies that can be used by gamblers to stop or control their gambling.

This book normally sells for $22.95 in bookstores, however, BetSafe can provide patrons of BetSafe clubs with a free copy of this book.

To arrange for your free copy of 'How to Stop Gambling' contact BetSafe 24 hours a day on 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723).

Self-help strategies for stopping gambling on your own

The urge to gamble can be strong. Willpower alone may not be enough Here are 10 things you can do:

1. Deciding to change

Have you made a serious decision to stop gambling or cut back? Did you make that decision before but then went back to gamble? It's common to have a few false starts before successfully overcoming the urge to gamble. The beginning is your decision to beat it.

2. Reminding yourself

Strengthen your commitment to change with reminders:

  • Negative reminders could be an unpaid bill that you stick on the wall where you will see it frequently
  • Positive reminders might be photos of your family or a reward you will give yourself for achieving your goal

To be discreet, choose a symbol, such as $, that you can write on your ATM card, phone, car dashboard, desk at work etc. that you will see frequently and will be meaningful to you only.

3. One day at a time

Begin each day with a reminder to self that today you will overcome the urge to gamble. At the end of each day reflect on the number of days of abstinence If you did lapse, don't give up but commit yourself to starting again tomorrow.

4. Finances

Remove temptation by making it difficult to get money to gamble. Leave your ATM card at home and just take the cash that you need for the day.

5. Debts

If you're getting calls from debt collectors, the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007 will help you speak to a financial counsellor. Ask creditors for hardship assistance. See the MoneySmart website for helpful information on managing your money to get out of debt.

6. Use time wisely

Stopping or cutting back gambling will give you more time to do other things. Use that time to do something you enjoy such as spending time with family or friends or starting a new hobby or social activity.

7. Healthy lifestyle

Don't increase your drinking or smoking. Now is the time to improve your diet and get more exercise. You'll have more time to cook fresh food at home. Healthy living will strengthen your ability to stick with your gambling commitment.

8. Plan a holiday

A holiday is a good goal to strengthen your resolve to stop gambling. Even if you have pressing debts, a simple low-cost break will be a goal and reminder of the good things in life.

9. Relapse

Few people can overcome gambling without an occasional relapse. Don't give up. Relapse is a setback not a disaster. Each time you relapse, reflect on the triggers that caused the relapse. What protective factors can you add to prevent it happening again?

10. Life after gambling

Many people who once had a serious addiction to gambling are now living happy lives gambling free. You can join them. All it takes is a genuine commitment to change and a determination to stick with it When you are older and look back on your life, how would you like to remember this time?

If you would like any more information on these assistance options, or to get the ball rolling, the BetSafe gambling counselling service can be contacted 24 hours a day on 1800 BETSAFE (1800 238 723).