SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- Limit your access to cash, since most people experiencing significant harm from gambling find it difficult to stop if they have cash in their pocket, and clubs, pubs, TABs or casinos are open.
- Pay bills by direct debit or cheque, pay as many essential bills on payday as possible and consider paying some bills in advance.
- Seek advice from a financial counsellor. These professionals are experts in credit law and debt collection practices.
Financial counselling is available to support people affected by gambling-related harm, by helping to address their financial problems, manage debt and navigate out of financial crisis. Counsellors can provide direct case work or one-on-one intensive support, including the provision of information, advocacy and/or negotiation; referrals to other services; community education; and networking/liaison with relevant service providers.
Money management suggestions
It will help to limit your access to money. General suggestions include:
- Have someone trusted to help you with your day-to-day money management.
- Only carry a limited amount of money and avoid carrying bank or credit cards.
- Arrange with your bank to reduce your daily cash withdrawal limit from ATMs.
- Contact your bank to remove cash withdrawals on your credit card, and/or
- Cancel bank and credit cards or give them to someone you trust.
- Consider having two people as signatories on your bank accounts.
- Tell family and friends about your current situation and ask them not to lend you money.
- Pay bills by direct debit or cheque on the day you are paid or if possible, arrange for your payroll to make important payments like rent or mortgage.
- If dealing with other people’s money tempts you, avoid jobs where you handle cash.
- Avoid keeping large sums of money in the house.
- Consider paying some bills in advance or make regular payments towards water, gas and electricity bills.
- Consider something you would really enjoy and regularly put money away for it.
- 60% of Gambler’s Help clients report an improvement in their financial situation after financial counselling.
Reduce your access to cash
Most people experiencing significant harm from gambling find it difficult to stop if they have cash in their pocket and the club, TAB or casino is open. You must limit your access to cash. Suggestions include:
- Don’t keep large sums of cash in the house.
- Carry only enough cash for the day’s expenses.
- Use teller machines to provide limited amounts of cash per week.
- Ensure eftpos cards have no pin numbers, so they can’t be used at a gaming venue.
- Make new plans to control cash flow when there is a change, such as a holiday or a new job.
Protect your assets
Protect your property and assets. Suggestions include:
- Transfer important assets, such as titles of property and cars, into your partner’s name or into the name of someone who you trust.
- Talk to a solicitor about placing a caveat on your property. As long as the caveat is in place, it will be more difficult for you to use your house as collateral to borrow money for gambling.
- Consider putting a ‘no more credit’ notation on your credit record. A financial counsellor can help you with this.
- Seek professional legal advice. Your local community health or legal centre may be able to help you.
Make plans to repay your debts. Suggestions include:
- Seek advice from a financial counsellor. These professionals are experts in credit law and debt collection practice.
- Negotiate realistic repayment instalments with creditors.
- Draw up a weekly household budget and strictly allocate a portion of income for debt repayment.
Bankruptcy and gambling
If your debt is insurmountable, voluntary bankruptcy may be the best option. However, this is a serious step and should be considered only after professional advice.
Financial counsellors are available through Gambler’s Help, which supports people experiencing harm from gambling, and their family and friends.
All Gambler's Help services are 100% free.
Where to get help
- Tel. , TTY 1800 777 706 – 24-hour telephone counselling service
- Tel. 24-hour telephone counselling service for people under 25.
- Your or other health professional
- Tel. – support group for people with a gambling problem
- – information about the odds of winning, how gambling works, and when to stop
- Victoria Tel.