A lot of people come to IBAS hoping that we can help them recover some of the money they have lost gambling.
Often people will say that the gambling company has failed to check whether the amount of money was affordable. Sometimes they will say that a business allowed them to gamble even though they had previously asked to be excluded from their website.
We understand that losing money you couldn’t afford to lose is an extremely difficult, worrying and stressful situation.
As things stand IBAS can’t investigate whether you are entitled to a refund of any money you’ve lost.
The industry’s regulator, the Gambling Commission, asks that any complaints that a gambling business has acted irresponsibly should be referred to the Commission itself (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There are no court cases we are aware of where a gambling business has been ordered to refund losses to one of its customers because they were allowed to gamble more than was affordable, say. There are no rules set in parliament or licence conditions set by the Gambling Commission to say that refunding losses is the right thing to do.
That doesn’t mean that there is no hope of recovering any of the money. You can write to the company and ask it to consider your case. You could search for lawyers online who might offer to take up your case directly with the company.
But there are a lot of other, important, helpful steps you can take to make a positive difference. We’ve listed a few suggestions here:
If you’re in financial difficulty, the temptation is to try and sort it out without anyone knowing. It’s not a good idea to keep something so important to yourself. If you don’t have someone you can trust to talk to, a friend or family member – and even if you do – there are other people you can talk to.
The Samaritans say you can always call them, 24/7, if you’re not feeling okay. Call them free on 116 123.
To talk to someone about how gambling is affecting your life, the National Gambling Helpline is also free and also always open. It provides anonymous, specialist advice to anyone who is struggling with gambling or looking for support for a friend or relative who might be struggling with gambling.
You can call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133
If it isn’t easy to talk, they also offer a live chat alternative. More information about the helpline, the chat service and other group chat services can be found on the link below:
Gamble Aware's National Gambling Treatment Service says, “If gambling’s on your mind, we’re here to help.”
Visit the website https://www.begambleaware.org/ngts for lots of advice, helpful links and suggestions, as well as real life examples of others’ shared experiences about how gambling affected their lives and how they went about their recovery.
The Gambling Therapy App gives you access to a collection of tools and information to help you identify and overcome problem gambling, including:
text based live support
mindfulness and self help exercises
crisis support information
daily motivational quotes
links to blocking software
directory of organisations that can help
Download it here: https://www.gamblingtherapy.org/gambling-therapy-presents-gt-app/
Most gambling websites offer a range of tools to help people control their spending. These can include deposit limits, cooling down ‘time out’ periods and the most popular tool, ‘self-exclusion’.
When you choose to self-exclude from a gambling website, the website agrees to do all that it reasonably can to stop you from visiting and gambling on its site for an agreed period of time.
There is now a website called GAMSTOP which you can use to request self-exclusion from every UK-licensed gambling website.
For more information about GAMSTOP, visit their website: www.gamstop.co.uk
Some people have said that the most helpful tool to help them avoid the temptation to gamble has been software that blocks access to gambling sites. These programmes can be installed on your computer, tablet or mobile.
Popular access blockers include Betblocker and Gamban. You can find more information about each of these services through the links below:
A lot of UK banks now offer their customers the chance to block gambling transactions from being authorised using your debit card or bank account.
Visit your bank’s website, app or telephone their customer service helpline to ask whether that service can be provided to you. If it can’t you might want to consider moving your account to bank which can offer this important helping hand.
The NHS now has a website devoted to the help that is available to those who suffer from gambling related problems:
The Gamcare website offers an interactive map providing links to your closest treatment services:
Gordon Moody offers residential treatment programmes among other types of support. You can read more about them here:
If you’re struggling, talk, reach out. Get help. There is nothing to be afraid or ashamed about. The services we’ve referred to on this page have helped thousands of people make a positive change in their lives. They will want you to contact them.