Any effort to resolve gambling debt must first begin with an effort to stop gambling. Otherwise, you’re just pouring water into a bucket with no bottom. You might feel like you’re doing something about it, but the water will always run out just as fast as you pour it in.
However, before you can stop gambling, you have to realize you have a gambling addiction. So, before we talk about how to deal with gambling debt, let’s take a look at how to recognize when gambling has become an addiction.
Symptoms of Gambling Addiction
If you find yourself moving money around to disguise losses, you probably have a gambling addiction. If you find yourself making progressively larger bets—trying to ”get even”— you probably have a gambling addiction. If you find yourself selling off your stuff to get money to gamble, you probably have a gambling addiction. If you think about gambling during sex, you probably have a gambling addiction. If you think about gambling while eating, you probably have a gambling addiction.
If you find yourself getting irritable when you can’t gamble, you probably have a gambling addiction. If you lie about money you lost, or get angry when someone (say for example, your spouse) asks to you to account for your time —and you were gambling — you probably have a gambling addiction. If you’re borrowing money from friends to bet—and lying to them about why you need the money—you probably have a gambling addiction. If you’re stealing from your child’s piggy bank to place a bet, you probably have a gambling addiction.
If you’re doing any one or more of the above and, not paying your bills, maxing out your credit cards, taking out loans, or committing crimes to get money to place bets, you definitely have a gambling addiction.
Dealing With That Urge
Unfortunately, gambling addiction, like drug addiction and alcoholism cannot be cured. If you’re a gambling addict now, you’re always going to be a gambling addict. The question is whether or not you allow yourself to indulge your addiction.
The good news here is the medical community has classified gambling addiction as a mental disorder, which means your medical insurance will cover professional treatment. Moreover, The National Council on Problem Gambling has tips and resources on its confidential 24-hour helpline for addicted gamblers or their family members at 1-800-522-4700. Gamblers Anonymous also provides help for those who have a gambling addiction and people affected by someone else’s gambling addiction.
Dealing With Gambling Debt
Here’s more good news; gambling debt is not a whole lot different than any other type of debt (assuming you haven’t fallen into a situation in which you owe money to underworld figures). This means the tried and true processes for eradicating other types of debt will work here too.
- List Your Debts – Chronicle everything and everyone you owe—including casinos, sports books, bookies, credit card companies, friends and relatives—everyone and every dollar. Prioritize the debts from the smallest to the largest, or from the most pressing to the least pressing.
- Generate Additional Cash – Do everything you can—except gamble—to gather as much money as possible, and use the proceeds to satisfy as many of the debts as you can in the order in which you ranked them. This might mean selling off jewelry, home electronics, collections and the like—assuming you haven’t already done so to get cash to feed your habit. Take a second job. This actually has two benefits; it’ll bring in some much needed cash and it will consume your free time. Keep your car, as you’ll need transportation to and from your job(s).
- Look Into Debt Relief – Credit card debt can be resolved in one of several ways. These include debt management, debt consolidation and debt settlement. Qualifying for debt consolidation is one of the best Las Vegas resident debt relief options.
Ideally, you’ll recognize you have an issue before your credit history begins to reflect your problem. This will make debt consolidation easier to accomplish and more likely to be successful. The better your credit score, the lower the interest rate you’ll get, which will make paying off the consolidation loan easier.
For More Information
You can learn more about gambling disorders and treating them at the Medical News Today website.