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Gambling can be an enjoyable leisure activity when done in moderation. However, for some it can get out of control and cause harm. This is when it starts to have a negative impact on your finances, relationships, health or work. If you feel your gambling or someone else’s gambling may be causing you harm, there is help available. 

Signs your gambling may be causing harm to you, or someone close to you:

  • You’re struggling to pay for the basics – such as rent or your mortgage, bills, food and other essential costs, as you’ve spent your money on gambling.
  • Your debt has increased due to your gambling spend.
  • You feel stressed or worried about the impact gambling is having on your finances, relationships or health.
  • You may be spending significant time on gambling or hiding your gambling from others.
  • You start to withdraw from other people or activities.

If you are worried about how gambling is impacting you, there are steps you can take to help yourself:

  • Pay your important bills as soon as possible after pay day, so you’re less likely to gamble that money.
  • Think about planning other things to do at times when you might be tempted to gamble (such as sporting activities or seeing friends who don’t gamble, for example).
  • Don’t bottle up your concerns: talk to someone - a friend, a close family member, a colleague at work or a professional.
  • If you have a Santander Mastercard, you can block gambling transactions in the Mobile Banking app. In the app, go to the ‘more’ menu, select ‘cards’ and then ‘freeze and manage card’ to block gambling transactions. This will block most gambling payments you make with your card.
  • If you have a debit or cash card, we can reduce your daily cash withdrawal limit at the cash machine from the standard £300 to £0 or £60. This may help you to reduce access to cash where your circumstances may need it. To arrange this, please speak with us in branch or call us


What other help is out there?

Gambling and debt

Gambling can have a negative impact on your finances. Some people may find that their gambling causes an increase in their debts. Gambling should not be seen as a way to make money or pay off your debts. If you’re worried about the impact gambling is having on your finances, look at our if finances are a struggle page for help and support, as well as guidance on what steps you can take to manage your finances.

Independent organisations

GamCare operate the National Gambling Helpline, providing confidential information, advice and support for anyone worried about gambling (whether you gamble yourself or are affected by someone else’s gambling) across England, Scotland and Wales. 
Call freephone 0808 8020 133 or use web chat at www.GamCare.org.uk, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Advisers can provide information about, or refer you to, other important support services (such as debt and financial advice services), and your conversation is completely confidential. GamCare are part of the National Gambling Treatment Service, and can link you with other gambling support as needed.

GamCare have a partnership with Gamban and GAMSTOP to provide a combination of practical tools and support. Callers to the National Gambling Helpline will be offered Gamban blocking software which can block access to online gambling sites. Callers will also be signposted to register for GAMSTOP - the national online self-exclusion scheme preventing people from access gambling accounts from all licensed gambling sites in UK. For further information, visit TALKBANSTOP

Look at our independent help and support page for details on where else you can get support with your finances and mental health. 

Under 18s

You won’t be able to make payments to most gambling companies on your debit card. If you feel you’re ‘at risk’ or experiencing harms because of gambling, then you can get in touch with GamCare’s Young People Service. They can provide support to anyone aged 18 and under across the UK, for those affected by their own gambling or someone else’s.

Independent help and support

Help with your finances and mental health from independent organisations

Block gambling transactions 

Use the mobile app to put a block on payments to gambling operators


Independent and confidential help with gambling

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