My friend has a problem with gambling.

He goes to the casino all the time and has lost a lot of money. He is now trying to win it all back before his parents notice. What can I do to help him stop his addiction?


Sometimes friends need help – you can see it, but they can’t.

The best thing that you can do for your friend is to keep talking with him and not lend him any money. Although it may sound at the time like it could help, lending money can actually make things worse, and you never know how your friend is going to spend the money. It might even be better for your friend in the long run if he is found out – at least that way he will be forced to see that he needs some help.

Letting your friend know that you’re worried about him can only be a good thing. Encourage him to leave his credit cards or EFTPOS cards at home, or check whether there is someone around who can manage his money for him in the short term. Limiting the amount of money he carries around with him and making sure that he knows not to mix gambling with drinking might also help.


Who is affected by problem gambling at home?


On average, a problem gambler’s behaviour affects around 7 people (Productivity Commission, 1999). Some of these people are those that the the gambler lives with.

Children, in particular, are affected by the problem gambling of someone they live with. 290,000 Australians have significant gambling problems andjust under 50% of these people live in households with an average of 2 children (Productivity Commission, 1999).

Some of the other people at home who may be affected include:

  • Parents/Step parents
  • Partners
  • Grandparents and other relatives
  • Flat Mates/House Mates
  • Siblings
  • Boyfriends/Girlfriends