Gambling is a fun and exciting pastime so let's keep it that way!
The majority of people have a great time gambling and do so safely, unfortunately, for a small number of people, gambling can become a problem. If you feel that you are no longer gambling for fun, or you just wish to obtain more information about the help available to you or your loved ones, then over the next few pages, we at Sporting Index, can help show you the way.
You can scroll down through the pages to find, among other things, advice, links to helpful websites and ways to evaluate your gambling, or that of a friend or family member. Alternatively, you can click on the headings below to navigate straight to what you are looking for.
Take our Test
Are you unsure as to whether your gambling is a problem or not? Or maybe you are worried about a friend or family member? Why not take this simple test to better evaluate your situation?
- Do you stay away from work or college to bet?
- Do you bet to escape what you feel to be a boring or unhappy life?
- When betting and you run out of money, do you feel lost and in despair, and need to gamble again as soon as possible?
- After losing, do you feel you must try to win back your losses as soon as possible?
- Have you bet more than you can really afford to lose?
- Do you bet until every last penny is gone, even the bus fare home or the cost of a cup of tea?
- Have you had to increase the amount of money you gamble with over the last 12 months to experience the same level of excitement?
- Have you borrowed money or sold anything to get money to gamble?
- Have you ever felt that you might have a gambling problem?
- Have others criticised your levels of gambling, or told you that you have a gambling problem, regardless of whether you thought it was true?
If you answered 'Yes' to at least 4 of these questions, it is likely that you are experiencing gambling issues. To find out about how to get confidential expert advice and support, please ring the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133 to speak to an advisor, or click here to be taken to the Gamcare website. The helpline is open 7 days a week, from 8am to midnight.
A National Gambling Helpline advisor will listen to you carefully and encourage you to talk about your concerns. Sometimes just telling someone can be a relief, and is an important first step towards dealing with the problem. The advisor will be able to suggest ways of helping you to stop betting, or if you are someone who is indirectly affected by a betting problem, ways to support the person in their process of stopping, and ways to deal with the effects on your own life. If you want to address the underlying issues that drive you to bet more than you want, the advisor may be able to help you do that too.
Track Your Gambling
Tracking your gambling is an important part of gambling safely and can help you remain in control of your finances. There are a number of helpful tips and tools that may help!
Remember to manage your play:
Gambling should always be thought of as a form of entertainment and not a means to earn money.
- Use your entertainment budget to gamble with - Don't gamble with money you cannot afford to lose, like your rent.
- Balance gambling with other pastimes - It should not be your only form of entertainment.
- Set a money limit in advance - Make sure you know how much you can afford to lose, set this amount aside to play with, and stick to it.
- Set a time limit in advance - It's easy to lose track of time when you are gambling, so why not try setting a time limit and sticking to it!
- Apply for a stop-loss account - You can choose a Stop-Loss account to limit your losses within agreed parameters in the case of unusual or volatile results.
Only you can know how best to manage your play, and it's up to you which, if any, of these tips you will find helpful.
Keep an eye on your spending:
Do you know how much you are spending on gambling? This knowledge can help you stay in control so try using this simple calculator to see how much you are actually spending on gambling:
Are you worried about a friend or a family member?
Here are a few signs that they may not be in control of their gambling:
- Unexplained debts
- A loss of interest in other pastimes
- Wishing to sell assets for money to gamble
- Gambling alone more and more
- Spending increasingly long periods of time gambling
- Becoming very down when suffering losses
If someone you know is exhibiting these signs, there are ways you can help and support them.
- Firstly, acknowledge the problem
- Offer them help and support
- Take control of finances
- Talk to someone, don't feel ashamed
- Spending increasingly long periods of time gambling
- Ring National Gambling Helpline 0808 8020 133
Need a break
Do you think you need a breather?
If so, you can choose to apply a Time Out period to your account. This freezes your account for a duration of your choice: 24hours, 48hours, 7 days, 30days or 6 weeks.
You will not be able to place or close any bets during that period and will not receive any gambling-related marketing from us. Once you choose to Time Out, this will take effect immediately, so please close any open bets that you can before you do so. If you do not, then they will be allowed to run to their natural conclusion.
Once the Time Out period has expired, your account will automatically become active again, ready for you to gamble safely.
If you think you need a Time Out, you can request it through any of the contact channels available: post, email, Live Chat or via Twitter.
Perhaps you feel you need a longer break?
If you consider your gambling to have become a serious problem, you may need to self-exclude for a period of time. Self-exclusion means that you are unable to place any bet with us, across our whole service (spread bets or fixed odds) for the pre-determined time period.
With our internal self exclusion programme you can choose to self- exclude from a minimum period of 6 months, 1 year or 5 years. If you don't specify a duration of self-exclusion, then the minimum time period of six months will be applied to your account.
Once you request a self-exclusion, it takes effect immediately by your removal from all mailing lists, and the balance on your account being paid back. Should you wish to reactivate a self-excluded account once the appropriate time period has elapsed, a 24-hour cooling off period is applied before your account can be reopened.
If you think you need to Self-Exclude, you can request it through any of the contact channels available: post, email, Live Chat or via Twitter.
In addition to our own internal self-exclusion facility, we are registered with GAMSTOP, the self-exclusion service provided by The National Online Self Exclusion Scheme Limited.
You can find out more details about the GAMSTOP self-exclusion service by visiting www.gamstop.co.uk
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to open a Sporting Index account or to gamble with us and we take steps to confirm the age and identification of every new customer. We do all we can to protect minors, but if you are a parent or guardian and wish to actively help protect your child, then we encourage you to install filtering software so that children and young persons are not able to access gambling websites such as ours.
There are many different providers of filtering software available, some of the most popular are:
Further information on software which can block access to gambling sites can be found at this link - Blocking Software Information.