Get practical support with your gambling problem Forum Friends and Family Dad has serious gambling addiction

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    Hi. Its not about me its about my dad. Hes a gambling addict and this time he has gone to far for the last time. Hes lost his job he run away for 3days he spent all his wages on gambling apps fruit machines hiding away not paying bills left my family with nothing. We have tried everything possible to help him but now he is beyond our help he is in need of serious help. What can we do. Ive read about the 12week placement with urselves and i really think thats what he needs full rehab. He was sleeping rough on the streets. This has happend so much over the years and he is out of chances now.


    I’m really sorry that you and your family are suffering through your Dad’s gambling problem.

    I hope you don’t mind me writing here, I am a Dad, (and a Granddad), who is also a compulsive gambler.

    You have obviously done a bit of research into gambling addiction/problem gambling/compulsive gambling, whatever you choose to call it.

    I think by what you have said about your Dad and his behavior he most certainly does need help and support, and in my opinion, help and support for a CG, (compulsive gambler), does not come any better than that on offer at the residential programme. It helped me to stop gambling, and believe me I’ve done all the things that you’ve mentioned your Dad has done.

    He is not the only person to act in this inexplicable and outrageous way I’m afraid.

    I would often go absent from my family, it was part of my routine when I’d gone overboard, running away and leaving others to have my mess rubbed in their faces. I have been homeless lots of times in my life, and I have also been to prison more than once. When I was gambling nothing or no one meant anything to me. Only gambling. I wasn’t deliberately going out of my way to hurt people although I knew I was hurting them. The only thing to block out the pain of knowing I was hurting people was to gamble more, I wasn’t gambling to hurt them, rather I was gambling to escape from the pain I would have suffered by hurting them. But of course now I’d hurt them even more, so I gambled even more.

    Its very hard to explain exactly what is going through your head when you gamble, but please know that how ever weird, peculiar, pathetic or strange you find his behavior that anybody is capable of learning to live their life without gambling. Anybody can change.

    Sadly Chelsea, you may have read, that there is very little anybody can do to talk an addict into quitting.

    There is a lot more awareness of problem gambling these days, and some expert help available. However until the addicted person can actually understand that they can change, and take their own steps to seeks support. Until then, the best support in the world wouldn’t help.

    I had/have a very supportive family and over the decades that I gambled many many people have helped me in every possible way. People genuinely wanted to help, lots of people have given or lent me money, many more have given me a roof over my head, a meal when I’ve had no money. At the time I thought this was great and just what I needed. The people who helped me were convinced they were doing the best by me.

    Sadly now when I look back, and reminisce with those that have stood me about “those days” we both agree that the best help would have been to have left me to face all the consequences of my actions.

    However nobody invites addiction into their lives. So on the first encounter with addiction how is anybody supposed to know how best to help?

    I know through personal experience that there is a great deal of help available to people in your position, people in my family attended Gam-anon, and my partner used this forum a lot. She gained a great deal of knowledge about this addiction through this forum and especially the F+F groups, she said that she was able to support me better because of what she had learned here. It may be of some help to you, I hope so.

    I’m pleased you found the courage to post here. I just thought I’d post because I didn’t want you think nobody had read your post .


    Hi thank u so much for replying this is exactly what had happend to my dad. He needs to help himself and get on the waiting list here for him to be able to get help.
    Its really emotional to read about your story. X


    Hello Chelsea

    Thanks for starting a thread in the Gambling Therapy friends and family forum. This forum will provide you with warmth and understanding from your peers.

    Feel free to use the friends and family group, you’ll find the times for these if you click on the “Group times” box on our Home page

    Read about the friends and Family Online Groups

    Now that you have introduced yourself you’ll find that many of the people you meet here have already read your initial introduction and they’ll welcome you in like an old friend 🙂

    If you’re the friend or family member of someone who is either in, or has been through, the GMA residential programme please take extra care to make sure that nothing you say in groups, or on our forums, inadvertently identifies that person. Even if your loved one isn’t connected with GMA, please don’t identify them either directly or indirectly just in case they decide to use the site themselves.

    You’ll find a lot of advice on this site, some of which you’ll follow, some you won’t…but that’s ok because only you fully understand your
    situation and what’s best for you and the people you love. So, take the support you need and leave the advice you don’t because it all comes from a caring, nurturing place 🙂

    We look forward to hearing all about you!

    Take care

    The Gambling Therapy Team

    PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our
    privacy policy and terms and conditions so you know how it all works!


    Hi Chelsea
    I think that Billy Bob’s post says it all and I am so pleased he has written to you. In my turn I can tell you that your dad can change, he can be the dad you want him to be and not only that, he can be the dad he would rather be; if it was not so I wouldn’t be writing to you now.
    I recognise everything that you have written and I appreciate how you feel he has used all his chances but sometimes when we walk the extra mile it can make all the difference and that is what you have done writing your post – well done.
    Four questions to help me understand you and your situation better although please don’t write anything you are unhappy with. How is your mother handling all this? Do you have siblings? How old is your father? Do you live at home?
    Your father will have to want the placement with GMA or it will not work for him but hopefully if he has reached a new low he hopefully will be willing to accept his addiction and change.
    When an addiction is in a family there is often tears and anger but these don’t help the person with the addiction or those who are crying and angry. I am hoping you will tell you mum that you have sought support for you and that you can help her to understand what works and what doesn’t work with an active CG.
    Your father’s behaviour is sadly not surprising but his addiction means that he is not emotionally mature and therefore behaves in a way that fathers should not behave in a perfect world. You seem very understanding and he is lucky to have a daughter like you who is trying to help him in spite of himself.
    Keep talking Chelsea, join the groups, talk to our Helpline which is brilliant and maybe get your mother to do so too.
    Speak soon

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