Financial issues are often the first outward sign of problem gambling. When a person loses control of their gambling, they will continue to spend increasingly larger amounts of money attempting to win back their losses (and often without success).
Financial consequences of problem gambling include:
- Overdue bills
- Maxed out credit cards / Denial of credit
- Always short of money, despite adequate income
- Cannot provide for basic needs (food, clothing, shelter)
- Relies on borrowing money from friends, family or coworkers
- Develops a pattern of extremely high-risk investing or frequent trading
- Money is pulled from home equity, savings, investment or retirement accounts
- Household and personal items are pawned or sold for cash
- Frequent, multiple payday loans or cash-advances
- Property is repossessed
- Home is in foreclosure
Treatment and support resources can help to stop problem gambling and, with abstinence from gambling, the financial stress can ultimately be relieved. With careful planning and debt repayment the finances of a problem gambler and their family can recover over time.
To learn more about dealing with the financial impacts of problem gambling, please see “Personal Financial Strategies for the Loved Ones of Problem Gamblers” from the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) and National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).loved_ones_guide_ncpg_booklet