Dealing with Gambling Issues

If you are becoming reliant on gambling as a source of making money, or if you are betting more than you can afford to lose, you may have a gambling problem.

While some people are able to gamble as a one-off occurrence for fun, this is not true for everyone and gambling can quickly become addictive and unmanageable.

If you believe that gambling is having a negative impact on your life, it’s important to seek support as soon as you recognise the issue.

What is a gambling addiction?

A gambling addiction is where you are struggling to control the urge to gamble, even when it’s having a negative and disruptive impact on your life.

How can gambling affect my life?

Frequent gambling can lead to:

  • Financial difficulties, e.g. debt
  • Relationship issues, e.g. social isolation
  • Health issues, e.g. low self-esteem, anxiety
  • Academic/work issues, e.g. decreased attendance and performance
What support is available?

If you believe there is an underlying problem to your gambling, there is a variety of support teams at the University who can help with this:

  • Student Access to Mental Health Support offers triage appointments for students to discuss their mental health with a clinician, who will help to identify what relevant support is available.
  • Central Welfare and Guidance can help with the practical implications that your addiction might have on your ability to engage with your studies.

The following external agencies can offer confidential advice and support to help manage gambling addictions:

  • Gambler's Anonymous runs local support groups and has a similar approach to Alcoholics Anonymous to help with recovery with the addiction. Just as the AA runs support groups called Al-Anon for friends and family, Gamblers Anonymous has something similar called GamAnon
  • Gamcare offers information, counselling and support for people with gambling problems and they run the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133), which also offers face-to-face counselling.
  • Big Deal? is an online support group for advice and support.
  • The National Problem Gambling Clinic is a self-referral specialist NHS clinic for people in England and Wales who are aged 16 or over.
I’m in financial hardship and I’m struggling to pay my bills - what should I do?

If you are worried about your current financial situation, you should speak with a Money Adviser at the Students’ Union Advice Centre.

You can book an appointment by emailing advice@sheffield.ac.uk or by calling 0114 222 8660.