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Gambling problems and difficult financial situations go hand in hand, so if you’re working to get a handle on your gambling you’re very likely also struggling with debts you’ve accumulated through your gaming.

Here are 7 steps that you can take to get back in control of your finances as you also limit your access to easy cash for gambling:

1. If you’ve gambled to the point that you’re having trouble managing your debts, then you clearly have a problem. If you’re not already, make sure you get some professional help and treatment that will provide the tools you’ll need to maintain your resolve and to overcome urges. You may also want to get involved with community support organizations, like Gamblers Anonymous.  After all, there is very little point in trying to tackle existing debt if you’re going to go right back out and gamble to add on new debt to the pile.

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2. Forget about trying to solve your debt problem with a big win. Gambling got you into this situation and more gambling isn’t going to get you out of it.

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3. Get a second job. Having a second paycheck roll in every couple of weeks will help enormously as you battle against debt, and the time you spend each evening at your second job is also time you can’t spend gambling or otherwise spending money. Focusing your energies on something productive like a second job reduces dangerous free time and reduces the hours in any given day you’ll have to battle against gambling urges.

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4. Either destroy or put someone you can trust in control of your credit and debit cards. It can be easier to control late night urges to gamble when you have no easy access to money to play with.

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5. After you’ve eliminated you access to credit and debit cards, make it even harder to get quick cash by requiring that any bank withdrawals require two signatures – yours and that of someone else you trust, such as a spouse or family member.

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6. Don’t risk your major assets to gambling debt. Transfer property titles to a spouse or to another family member.

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7. If debt payments are more than you can manage each month, seek assistance from a credit counselor or specialist who may be able to help you restructure your debt payments into something more manageable. 1

 

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Page last updated Jun 24, 2012

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