Hi Shelly, I also wondered a lot what my hb could or should not do once he started his recovery. He told me that for example playing solitaire on the computer would be a huge trigger for him. The same goes with anything that has only the slightest indication of winning anything. Like a sweep stakes, or the many “review our services for a chance to win a shopping spree” offers. He will not even buy a raffle ticket for a good cause. No monopoly either. I like to compare it to the many challenges an alcoholic faces in recovery. Eating gravy containing sherry or wine can do the trick. Madge, you said that he tried to hide playing a game of hearts and seemed to feel guilty about it. Yes, that is addictive behavior.
I also agree with Velvet that it is a bad idea at this point in time to visit his mother who evidently avoids or minimizes his addiction. By going there he puts himself in danger and at the same time escapes the “pressure” he feels at home right now to address his gambling. The fact that his mom also has a gambling problem is a huge red flag in my opinion. That is almost like one alcoholic spending his vacation with another one while trying to quit drinking. Try to take care of yourself while he is gone because there is nothing you can do to prevent anything that goes on with him. That is his decision and his alone. Hang in there!