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Contacts for Problem Gambling

Andreea Stanescu
Written by Andreea Stanescu
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Andreea Stanescu

Content Writer
  • Over 2 years of experience writing about iGaming-related topics;
  • Skilled in explaining intricate iGaming concepts in simple terms;
  • Holds a BA in Foreign Languages (University of Bucharest) and an MA in Communication in Advertising (SNSPA), which helped her improve her research & writing skills.
Liliana Costache
Reviewed by Liliana Costache
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Liliana Costache

Online Gambling Content and Localization Manager
  • Over 10 years of experience in the iGaming sector, including 5 years as a Content Manager.
  • Holder of certifications in German, Swedish, and the EU Gambling Regulatory Framework from the iGaming Academy.
  • Over 15 years of specialization in creating compelling and SEO-optimized content.
  • Brings 25+ years of experience in translation and localization.
  • Over four decades of fluent French proficiency.
icon-calendar Updated on Jan 25, 2024

types of contacts for gambling addiction

Considering gambling's growing accessibility, it's vital to know how to spot the signs of a gambling problem and whom to contact for help. 

If thinking about the topic of gambling addiction makes you feel uneasy, this is precisely why you should keep reading.

Millions around the world struggle with gambling issues, often in silence, but it doesn't have to be this way. 

On this page, you'll find contacts for gambling addiction hotlines and helplines offering anonymous, professional support.

1. Understanding Problem Gambling & Its Impact
2. Worldwide & Local Contacts for Problem Gambling
3. How Can These Problem Gambling Organizations Help Me?
4. Alternative Resources for Support
5. How Can I Help Someone With a Gambling Problem?
6. Regaining Control of Your Life

Understanding Problem Gambling & Its Impact

Problem gambling, often referred to as gambling addiction or compulsive gambling, is a behavioral disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to keep gaming despite the toll it takes on your life.

It is a growing issue that affects not only the gambler but also the people close to them and often requires professional treatment or support to overcome.

Global statistics

Problem gambling is a global issue:

  • In the United States, approximately 20 million individuals (between 1.2% and 6.2% of the population) struggle with gambling addiction.
  • In Canada, more than 1 million people, which accounts for about 2% of the total population aged 15 or older, experience gambling-related issues.
  • The situation is not much different in Europe, where countries like Latvia (6%), the UK (2.8%), France (2.9%), Italy (3%), Germany (2.3%), Spain (2.2%), and Sweden (4%) also grapple with high rates of gambling addiction.

The youth are a vulnerable group

Helpline calls have surged in recent years, especially among younger individuals, signaling a growing need for these services.

How Can I Tell if I Have a Gambling Problem?

Problem gambling can be different from one person to another. For some, it can manifest as:

  • Sadness;
  • Chasing losses;
  • Betting more than you can afford;
  • Drifting apart from friends;
  • Neglecting responsibilities.

Or it might take a completely different form.

In essence, when the fun ends and your wallet suffers, but you find yourself unable to stop, that's a sign there might be a problem.

Tip

I recommend you take a quick self-assessment test, to better understand where you stand.

What If I Am Afraid or Ashamed to Reach Out?

It might be scary at first to reach out, I know. You might worry that the person on the other end will judge you or that you are not strong enough to get over your gambling problem.

But here's the thing: these organizations have helped countless others in your shoes. There's nothing you can say that will shock them.

Plus, they are professionals. They have a deep understanding of the impact of gambling issues on a person's life, and they offer compassionate support to those going through it.

When you reach out to these organizations, you have full control over how much of your identity you reveal. They respect your boundaries, and there's no obligation to disclose anything you'd rather keep to yourself.

And, frankly, what anyone else thinks of you doesn't matter. Your well-being and joy hold far more value than anyone's opinions or words.

Gambling Addiction Hotline vs Helpline

Before we over the resources you have at your disposal to get help, we need to clarify the distinction between a helpline and a hotline. These terms are sometimes used interchangeably but serve slightly different purposes.

They both provide you with counseling and advice from knowledgeable people. The difference lies in how urgent your issue is.

If you just need someone to talk to about your gambling struggles, ask some questions, seek advice, or simply vent about your problems, a helpline should do the trick.

On the other hand, If you’re dealing with severe problems and need immediate help with your gambling habits, call a gambling hotline.

Worldwide & Local Contacts for Problem Gambling

No matter where you are located, help is available. You can contact global and local organizations for anonymous support, sharing as much personal information as you're comfortable with.

Worldwide Help

Gamblers Anonymous (GA) is a renowned global organization that provides multi-lingual resources on compulsive gambling and hosts support meetings (similar to Alcoholics Anonymous) that take place online, by phone, and in person. 

GA also hosts international meetings in over 60 countries worldwide, including:

  • Russia;
  • Tanzania;
  • Israel;
  • Japan
  • Jamaica.

For emergencies, GA offers local gambling hotlines. For example, in many U.S. states, you can call the 855-2CALLGA hotline.

Most common helplines for gambling

In the USA, the National Problem Gambling Helpline (NCPG) is widely used. On the other hand, in Europe, GamCare and Gamblers Anonymous are common picks.

Europe

In the table below, I've gathered some handy helplines and organizations in European countries that can offer you support for dealing with problem gambling. 

Country Helpline Dedicated Organizations
United Kingdom 808-8020-133     GamCare
France 09-69-39-55-12     SOS Joeur
Belgium 0800-35-777     Gokhulp
Switzerland 041-367-48-47     Careplay
Spain 900-200-225 Fejar
Italy 800-558-822 Gioca Responsabile
Germany 0800-0776611 Glücksspielsucht
Netherlands 0800-22-777-22 Agog
Sweden 020-81-91-00 Stödlinjen
Finland 0800-100-101 Peluuri
Denmark 70-22-28-25 StopSpillet
Portugal 968-230-998 IAJ
Austria 0043-1-544-13-57 Spielsuchthilfe
Slovakia 0800-800-900 Úrad pre reguláciu hazardných hier
Hungary 116-123 Telefonos Lelkisegély-szolgálat
Romania 800-800-099     Joc Responsabil

Canada

If you live in Canada, these organizations and helplines can be of great help:

Province National Helpline Dedicated Organizations
Alberta 1-866-461-1259 AGLC
British Columbia 1-888-795-6111  British Columbia Partnership for Responsible Gambling
Manitoba 1-800-463-1554     Addictions Foundation of Manitoba
Ontario 1-866-531-2600 Connex Ontario

USA

First of all, in the USA, there is a centralized 24/7 confidential helpline that covers most countries, called the National Problem Gambling Helpline. You can reach out through:

  • Phone call: dial 1-800-GAMBLER or 1-800-522-4700.
  • Text message: send an SMS to 800GAM.
  • Chat: visit https://www.ncpgambling.org/chat/.

Basically, you can call 1-800-GAMBLER from any state, and you'll automatically connect with a local health and government organization that can assist you.

However, some states have their own national or regional helplines.

Let's take a look at what's available:

State Helpline Dedicated Organizations
Arizona 1-800-777-7207 Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling
Connecticut 888-789-7777 Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling
Delaware 888-850-8888 Delaware Council on Problem Gambling
Ohio 1-800-589-9966 Problem Gambling Network of Ohio
Florida 888-ADMIT-IT  Florida Council on Problem Gambling
Indiana 800-994-8448 Indiana Council on Problem Gambling
Iowa 1-800-BETS-OFF Your Life Iowa
Louisiana 1-877-770-7867 Louisiana Association on Compulsive Gambling
Maine 211 Maine Council on Problem Gambling
Massachusetts 1-800-GAM-1234 Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health
Michigan 1-800-270-7117 Michigan Gaming Control Board
Mississippi 1-888-777-9696 Mississippi Council on Problem And Compulsive Gambling
Missouri 888-BETSOFF Missouri Alliance to Curb Problem Gambling
New Jersey 1-800-GAMBLER Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey
New York 1-877-8-HOPENY New York Council on Problem Gambling
Oklahoma 1-800-GAMBLER Oklahoma Association on Problem Gambling & Gaming
Pennsylvania 1-800-GAMBLER Council on Compulsive Gambling of Pennsylvania
Kansas 1-800-GAMBLER Kansas Coalition on Problem Gambling

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Another trusted organization in the USA is SAMHSA, which operates a helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.

While the operators themselves don't provide counseling, they can connect you with the right professionals for assistance.

LATAM

If you're from Latin America, check out the following contacts for problem gambling:

State Helpline Dedicated Organizations
Argentina 0800-444-4000  Loteria de la Provincia
Chile 600-360-77-77 Salud Responde
Colombia 1-800-GAMBLER Coljuegos
Peru 0800-4-1212 La Voz Amiga Peru
Uruguay 098-111-533 Jugadores Anónimos Uruguay
Panama 506-6698 Junta de Control de Juegos

Note

The majority of states operate their own dedicated national problem gambling helplines. In addition, there are also several non-profit organizations offering free 24/7 support.

Also, the organizations I mentioned in the tables before are just some examples. There are other reliable groups that can help you with gambling problems.

Contact Methods

These organizations offer various anonymous contact methods, including phone, email, or live chat; some simply provide resources on problem gambling and refer you to the national helpline.

How Can These Problem Gambling Organizations Help Me?

Are you not convinced that you should bother contacting a problem gambling organization? Then, take a look at what they can do for you:

  • Provide you with one-on-one anonymous support through phone calls, chats, video calls, or emails (depending on the organization). Your identity is kept confidential throughout and you are free to only share as much about you as you like.
  • Share proven methods to help you overcome gambling problems.
  • Empower you by providing you with information on practical tools to use to gamble responsibly
  • Help you understand what causes your urges, addressing the root causes rather than just the gambling itself.
  • Connect you with other players going through similar experiences, providing a space to share and learn. During these meetings, you have complete control over what personal information you disclose.
  • Reassure you that you're not alone and that many people have successfully overcome similar struggles.
  • Assist you in maintaining control by helping you to enroll in a voluntary self-exclusion program. You'll complete some forms, and the organization will block your access to casinos for a duration of your choosing.

Keep in mind

Some national gambling addiction hotlines/helplines operate around the clock, while others have varying working hours. Always check their availability to be sure.

What Happens When You Call a Gambling Addiction Helpline?

When you call a gambling helpline, you will anonymously talk to a trained professional or counselor.

They'll ask about your struggles and recommend ways to help you overcome them.

Just talking is fine

If you just want to vent about your issues, that's okay, too. You won't be forced to do anything you don't want to.

Depending on your specific issues and what you are comfortable with, they might offer you self-help resources, refer you to a GA meeting, or help you enlist in a treatment program.

Remember

You are free to share only the information that you are comfortable with when talking to the person on the other end of the line. They will respect your boundaries and won't push you.

Alternative Resources for Support

If you're uncomfortable reaching out to gambling addiction-focused organizations or feel you need different types of assistance, it's okay. Consider these alternatives:

  • Financial advice organizations like Money Helper can assist with budgeting and debt management.
  • Addiction support organizations such as SMART Recovery provide help for various addictions.
  • Suicide prevention hotlines offer immediate support if you're feeling overwhelmed.
  • Psychotherapy can provide you with a safe space to express yourself and learn how to navigate your current situation. Everything you tell the therapist remains between you two.

Note

You also have the option to dial your state's emergency number for immediate access to a professional.

How Can I Help Someone With a Gambling Problem?

If a family member or loved one is struggling with problem gambling, there are many things you can do, such as:

  • Provide them with a safe, non-judgmental space to express their feelings.
  • Encourage them to seek professional help.
  • Call the local problem gambling helpline and ask the operators for guidance on how to assist them best.
  • Attend group meetings organized by dedicated organizations (e.g., Gam-Anon) to learn how to help them.
  • Call the emergency number if they are in immediate danger.

Regaining Control of Your Life

Compulsive gambling can deeply affect both your personal and professional life. Fortunately, many dedicated organizations are prepared to help you with kindness and understanding, while respecting your confidentiality.

No matter how minor your gambling concerns may seem to you, it's worth calling a gambling helpline. Reaching out early can prevent more significant problems later on and keep you on the right track.

Recovery from gambling problems is a step-by-step journey, and it takes time. And you are fully capable of beating gambling addiction.

And hey, remember, you're not alone in this - there's a world of support waiting to help you. So take that first brave step today and call a gambling addiction hotline/helpline!

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Andreea Stanescu

Andreea Stanescu

Content Writer

About Andreea Stanescu

  • Over 2 years of experience writing about iGaming-related topics;
  • Skilled in explaining intricate iGaming concepts in simple terms;
  • Holds a BA in Foreign Languages (University of Bucharest) and an MA in Communication in Advertising (SNSPA), which helped her improve her research & writing skills.
Read Full Bio
Liliana Costache

Liliana Costache

Online Gambling Content and Localization Manager

About Liliana Costache

  • Over 10 years of experience in the iGaming sector, including 5 years as a Content Manager.
  • Holder of certifications in German, Swedish, and the EU Gambling Regulatory Framework from the iGaming Academy.
  • Over 15 years of specialization in creating compelling and SEO-optimized content.
  • Brings 25+ years of experience in translation and localization.
  • Over four decades of fluent French proficiency.
Read Full Bio

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