Gambling addiction can be a huge burden on both sufferers and their relatives. Relatives often feel helpless and overwhelmed when someone close to them exhibits problem gambling behaviour. Discover more about counselling and support services and how you can give sufferers helpful assistance during this process here.

What can the signs of a gambling addiction be?

Wondering whether the gamingbehaviour of a family member or someone close to you is of concern?

The following characteristics can indicate that the person in question is exhibiting problem gaming behaviour:

  • the person continues to play, even though she/he actually wanted to stop;
  • to recoup losses, more money is spent than is available;
  • gaming behaviour is leading to debt;
  • the person borrows money to continue playing;
  • gaming serves as a way to cope with challenging situations;
  • the sufferer lies to family members due to shame or guilt;
  • gaming behaviour is causing problems at work or home;
  • there are striking changes in behaviour.

If one or several of these signs applies to someone you know, you can find helpful information and reliable assistance and advice here.

Hotline for help with gambling addiction

You are welcome to call the Casinos Austria and Austrian Lotteries Group's toll-free player protection hotline from anywhere in Austria: 0800 202 304. It goes without saying that absolute confidentiality and discretion are guaranteed.

Counselling centres for gambling addiction

Counselling centres near you that support relatives and help them interact with sufferers can be found here. You can discuss your future course of action with the counselling centre and find a way to cope with the situation better.

Counselling centres

How to deal with potential gambling addicts properly

Talk to the affected person about their behaviour and show that you're worried about them. Be sensitive and avoid reproaching them or apportioning blame.

Set clear boundaries, i.e. if the affected person asks you for money, don't lend it to them. If you suspect that they're lying to get money, raise the issue directly. Set boundaries, even if it might be hard, so you don't end up in a tricky situation yourself.

Assist the person in seeking professional help, i.e. recommend counselling centres or therapists specialised in treating gambling addiction. Offer to accompany them.

Stay patient and supportive. Overcoming a gambling addiction can be a long, hard process. It takes time and effort to change habits and behavioural patterns. Stay patient and supportive, even if there are setbacks.

Be mindful of your own health. It's important that you don't neglect yourself. If you need to, seek support so that you can cope with the burden a relative's gambling addiction can pose.

The earlier you encourage the sufferer to take a step like applying for a self-suspension or seeking out advice, the better you can help them overcome any potential burdens caused by gambling.